Locked_File ransomware virus - How to remove

Locked_File ransomware virus is one of the recently-detected malware infections. Similarly to SyncCrypt and Karo crypto-viruses, the newest addition will encode files with AES cryptography method, meaning that users will be forced to be in mercy of vicious hackers. Investigation so far suggests that the ransomware uses the same filemaker at the end of files. Furthermore, Locked_File infection can be added to the ransomware samples that have been written in Delphi (ThoughtCo). This family consists of such cyber threats like Amnesia and Telecrypt.

Report about Locked_File computer virus

Like any other ransomware, Locked_File virus will extract files into its victims’ computers. One file carries important significance to the attacked people as HOW_TO_UNLOCK _FILES.HTML! will present the conditions of users’ surrender. The message declares that users have only 72 hours to put all affairs in order and retrieve key for decryption. After this time period passes, decryption key will be deleted from hackers’ private servers. Somehow, 72 hours are popular among hackers: ArmaLocky and Matroska give this deadline too.

Locked_file ransomware

All victims are required to contact authors of Locked_File crypto-virus via an emailing service. The letter is instructed to be sent to [email protected]. To recognize each victim, hackers mark them with specific ID numbers that have to be included in the sent email messages. Presumably, this ransomware is not capable of functioning fully without contacting specific C&C servers. Therefore, Internet connection is an important requirement. Nevertheless, some sophisticated examples of cryptoware are designed to function offline (CheckPoint).

In 72 hours, victims can also request that hackers decrypt 3 encoded files. Naturally, there are certain restrictions. Firstly, these 3 executables cannot contain valuable information. Secondly, their size is limited to being less than 5 MB. Creators of DilmaLocker virus have also explained to allow users to decrypt some files for free.

Requiring this decryption from hackers is not a bad idea. As soon as victims receive the restored versions, they shall immediately send them to respectable security experts. They could be able to create a free-of-charge tool for decryption. All of the damaged digital data is expected to be marked with [[email protected]] .locked_file extension.

There is another important aspect about this ransomware (UnmEdu): it is not finished. Locked_File ransomware virus could still be in development as the encryption does not fully encode. Spongebob and MoWare HFD ransomware infections were also indicated as incomplete. We hope that hackers won’t put the last touches to this variant, but if they do, we will be sure to inform our readers as soon as possible.

Ransomware: how to treat it, decrypt files and stay safe?

There are a few tactics that could help people recover their lost executables. Creators had ransomware emphasize that any outside influence can damage the files beyond restoration. In case they are right, we would suggest that encrypted files would be properly secured in an alternative location. Also, ransomware infection has to be eliminated from an operating system before file-decryption is attempted to be done. This means that all files and Windows Registry keys have to be removed. This action can either be done manually (we have provided convenient instructions for this action). Or could be done with an anti-malware tool like Spyhunter. The second option means that all other malware parasites will also be exterminated.

Even though most of the newest ransomware viruses remove Shadow Volume Copies, there still might be some samples that do not actually implement this. In this case, the file-recovery would be possible to complete. However, as we have mentioned, mostly all encoders initiate commands to remove all Shadow Volume Copies. Of course, the best thing would be to restore files from backup storages. In order to be able to do this, users have to upload executables into backup storages beforehand.

If you are not familiar with the most basic methods of malware distribution, we are here to inform you of them. The first option is that malware can be delivered through malspam. In addition to this, users might no be appropriately protecting their RDP: please choose difficult passwords. Also, ransomware could slither inside due to vulnerabilities in operating systems. These flaws exist because of out-dated software. This should serve as a reminder that all applications must be regularly updated.

How to recover Locked_File ransomware virus encrypted files and remove the virus

Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore

1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt:

for Windows 7 / Vista/ XP
  • Start Shutdown RestartOK.
  • Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
  • Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Windows 7 enter safe mode

for Windows 8 / 10
  • Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart. Windows 8-10 restart to safe mode
  • Choose TroubleshootAdvanced OptionsStartup Settings and click Restart.
  • When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings. Windows 8-10 enter safe mode

2.Restore System files and settings.

  • When Command Prompt mode loads, enter cd restore and press Enter.
  • Then enter rstrui.exe and press Enter again.CMD commands
  • Click “Next” in the windows that appeared. Restore point img1
  • Select one of the Restore Points that are available before Locked_File ransomware virus has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”. Restore point img2
  • To start System restore click “Yes”. Restore point img3

Step 2. Complete removal of Locked_File ransomware virus

After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to Locked_File ransomware virus . You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore Locked_File ransomware virus affected files using Shadow Volume Copies

If you do not use System Restore option on your operating system, there is a chance to use shadow copy snapshots. They store copies of your files that point of time when the system restore snapshot was created. Usually Locked_File ransomware virus tries to delete all possible Shadow Volume Copies, so this methods may not work on all computers. However, it may fail to do so. Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There are two ways to retrieve your files via Shadow Volume Copy. You can do it using native Windows Previous Versions or via Shadow Explorer. a) Native Windows Previous Versions Right-click on an encrypted file and select PropertiesPrevious versions tab. Now you will see all available copies of that particular file and the time when it was stored in a Shadow Volume Copy. Choose the version of the file you want to retrieve and click Copy if you want to save it to some directory of your own, or Restore if you want to replace existing, encrypted file. If you want to see the content of file first, just click Open.
Previous version
b) Shadow Explorer It is a program that can be found online for free. You can download either a full or a portable version of Shadow Explorer. Open the program. On the left top corner select the drive where the file you are looking for is a stored. You will see all folders on that drive. To retrieve a whole folder, right-click on it and select “Export”. Then choose where you want it to be stored.
Shadow explorer

Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Locked_File ransomware virus encrypted files

There are several data recovery programs that might recover encrypted files as well. This does not work in all cases but you can try this:
  • We suggest using another PC and connect the infected hard drive as slave. It is still possible to do this on infected PC though.
  • Download a data recovery program.
  • Install and scan for recently deleted files. Data Recovery Pro
Note: In many cases it is impossible to restore data files affected by modern ransomware. Thus I recommend using decent cloud backup software as precaution. We recommend checking out Carbonite, BackBlaze, CrashPlan or Mozy Home.
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