ScammerLocker ransomware - How to remove

ScammerLocker virus is a ransomware infection, based on the Hidden Tear open source project. Multiple viruses are based on this project: CrY-TrOwX and Ordinal infections are only a few of the examples. ScammerLocker virus uses AES encryption algorithm: after the encoding process is completed, users won’t be able to access most of their digital files. Researchers also spotted that the creators of this ransomware do not conceal their identity. However, only the name of Jodis Hunter Team is provided. The image in the ScammerLocker virus has also been found in an old virus: VindowsLocker ransomware.

ScammerLocker crypto-virus appends .jodis extension to the encrypted files

There is another rather surprising feature of ScammerLocker virus. Instead of demanding ransom in more common crypto-currencies, hackers decided to try the IOTA cryptocurrency. This marks the first time when this currency has been selected by crooks. The hackers are asking for 10 IOTA: only 12 US dollars. These demands (and inappropriate language) can be found in the FILES_ENCRYPTED.txt file. In the message, crooks instruct victims to contact [email protected].

 

The payload for this infection is ScammerLocker.exe. Currently, most of the powerful anti-virus tools are able to detect it as malicious. Researchers have mentioned that the ScammerLocker virus mostly targets scammers. However, some innocent people might also fall as victims of this ransomware (Ransomware: Facts, Threats, and Countermeasures). Victims should not pay the ransom: this will only encourage crooks to create more crypto-viruses. The only way to put an end to ransomware is to stop paying. Nevertheless, there are thousands of people that choose this way out.

What methods can I use to recover data, lost due to ScammerLocker virus?

We did not find information a free decryptor, allowing victims to recover their digital files. However, if the ransomware starts to bother a lot of people, researchers might pay more attention to its decryption possibilities. Until then, we hope that you will explore some alternatives. First of all, check whether the crypto-virus removed Shadow Volume Copies. If no, then it is possible to restore the older versions of your files.

Of course, the best solution would be to recover data from a backup storage. However, not all users understand the benefits of having backups. We hope that you will be one of the clever users who will decide to try some online storage services. Find a legitimate and a reliable storage to put your digital data. If a ransomware like ScammerLocker virus would encrypt your files, you could easily retrieve them from a backup (after removing the virus, of course).

How can this ScammerLocker virus be distributed?

Like most of the ransomware viruses, ScammerLocker infection could be transmitted thru deceptive email letters. If you receive a suspicious message, urging you to download a doc, pdf or another type of document, please be careful. Check whether the sender is legitimate and it does not belong to hackers. Some malspam can also instruct you to click on a random link (which might also infect you with a ransomware, Trojan or another type of infection).

There have been many instances when deceptive pop-ups transmitted malware. For instance, you could be introduced to a message, urging you to download an update for your software. However, pop-ups are not a legitimate source for such content. It is only appropriate to download software or updates for it from legitimate websites.

Lastly, it is time to discuss the removal of ScammerLocker virus. If you have experience in removing ransomware and the guidelines below do not seem too complicated, you can get rid of the crypto-malware manually. However, this option does not apply to all people. Some might have very little knowledge about malware removal. Therefore, they can do damage to their operating systems. We recommend that these people install an anti-malware tool and use it to eliminate the malware threat. We have no doubts that Spyhunter are not going to disappoint you.

How to recover ScammerLocker ransomware 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 ScammerLocker ransomware 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 ScammerLocker ransomware

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 ScammerLocker ransomware. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore ScammerLocker ransomware 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 ScammerLocker ransomware 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 ScammerLocker ransomware 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.

Removal guides in other languages

El ransomware ScammerLocker (es) 
Ransomware ScammerLocker (pt) 
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *