A new ransomware variant has been released. Just don’t panic. Its developer does not seek for extorting a hefty amount of money from you. In fact, he does not pursue extorting any money from you. ShinoLocker ransomware is a new educational ransomware developed by a cyber security researcher Shota Shinogi. This ransomware project aims at educating users about the ransomware threats. This is a useful initiative, especially, for those who have not encountered ransomwares before. Though it does have some drawbacks either.
About ShinoLocker Ransomware
As you might have gotten the point, ShinoLocker is a ransomware simulator. This simulator acts similarly to real ransomwares. It searches the computer’s system for data to be encrypted. Once, the hunt is over, the files are encrypted. ShinoLocker cryptomalware can download the key and the function of decryption is embedded in it. This pseudo-ransomware also deletes Shadow Volume Copies, thus, preventing file recovery using Shadow Volume Service. The user is provided with the opportunity to try retrieving the key form the memory. There is also a builder provided so that you could also create your own ransomware by entering certain configuration options into the fields of the website at the address shinolocker.com.
However, this project has already been criticized for certain flaws. In the community of cyber security experts is it speculated about the possible consequences if its script was used for making real ransomwares. The other vice of the project is an intrinsic one. It regards the source code of ShinoLocker. This encoder generates different passwords for each ‘‘victim’’. If the decryption of the files fails, the data chosen for the simulation may be lost. If the decryption process is stopped by shutting down the computer or otherwise, again, the data recovery will not be an easy task. Thus, it is recommended to take unimportant data for the simulation.
How are Ransomware Viruses Spread?
While ShinoLocker file-encrypter is not a ransomware in its real sense nor it is a virus, it is aimed to educate people about such cyber threats. Ransomwares are typically spread through spam e-mail and their attachments. These e-mails, which fall into the spam folder of your e-mail box, contain malicious links and/or they have malicious files attached. Once the victim clicks on the links provided or open the attachments appended, the ransomware is being executed. The e-mails can have no sender at all or pretend to be official letters from your local or international companies or institutions, for instance, FedEx, etc. Cryptomalwares are also distributed by exploit kits such as Angler, Nuclear, Blackhole, etc. EKs. This kind of software runs on suspicious domains (e.g. torrents, free gaming or gambling platforms, porno sites, etc.). When the user enters such web pages, the exploit identifies the software vulnerabilities in the user’s computer and uploads the payload of the ransomware.
How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by Ransomware Viruses?
The best way to retrieve your encrypted data is to use the free decryptor created by cyber security experts. The best way to clean your computer from the malware is to apply professional automatic malware removal tools such as Spyhunter or Hitman. You can also use your backup, which is highly recommended to be regularly updated, to recover the data. Or try professional data recovery tools such as the software by Kaspersky Lab, Recuva, R-Studio, PhotoRec, etc., if you have not any other option left. Every means are good to be applied, as long as you do not contact the cyber criminals and do not pay them. The ransomware may also be deleted following the instructions provided below.
Shinolocker Ransomware quicklinks
- About ShinoLocker Ransomware
- How are Ransomware Viruses Spread?
- How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by Ransomware Viruses?
- Automatic Malware removal tools
- How to recover ShinoLocker Ransomware (Educational) 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:
- 2.Restore System files and settings.
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover ShinoLocker Ransomware (Educational) encrypted files
Automatic Malware removal tools
How to recover ShinoLocker Ransomware (Educational) 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 → Restart → OK.
- Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
- Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
for Windows 8 / 10
- Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart.
- Choose Troubleshoot → Advanced Options → Startup Settings and click Restart.
- When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings.
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.
- Click “Next” in the windows that appeared.
- Select one of the Restore Points that are available before ShinoLocker Ransomware (Educational) has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of ShinoLocker Ransomware (Educational)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 ShinoLocker Ransomware (Educational). You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore ShinoLocker Ransomware (Educational) affected files using Shadow Volume CopiesIf 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 ShinoLocker Ransomware (Educational) 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 Properties → Previous 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.
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.
Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover ShinoLocker Ransomware (Educational) encrypted filesThere 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.