$ UcyLocker ransomware virus is a two-faced variant which is only concerned with money. Despite the fact that READ_IT.txt and the new background image pledges to recover digital data that the virus has purposely ruined and marked with .WINDOWS extension, there is no way that hackers are capable of doing this.
After either AES or RSA algorithm is exploited on random executables, the crypto-virus should be programmed to store the private decryption key in crooks’ servers. However, this action is not completed, which means that hackers do not have the power to restore files back to their original form. You should not pay the 0.16 BTC (approximately 444.97 US dollars) as there is no point in making this transaction.
VapeHacksLoader.exe has been explained to be the payload of this deceitful infection. It will support and initiate all of the procedures, leading up to the placement of READ_IT.txt file on the users’ desktops. You should never have hope that crooks will restore your digital data after the required payment has been sent. In this case, hackers will have no choice but to abandon victims after the ransom reaches their bitcoin wallet.
The crypto-virus has been assigned to the family of infections that are based on the open source Hidden Tear project. This means that not a high level of skills were necessary to generate this infection. As a consequence, security researchers might be capable to produce a free file-recovery tool soon. Do not waste your money by providing the crooks with money they require. There is absolutely no doubt that you will be cheated and files, appended with .WINDOWS extension, will remain to be encoded.
$ UcyLocker virus is an extremely malicious sample that will not care about its victims. The payload will viciously invade operating systems, make modifications to Windows Registry keys, scan hard drives for files (for encryption), use cryptography against those executables and replace desktop’s background image. The infection does not even check whether the ransom has been paid. It has been reported that even if people made the payment, the crypto-virus will suggest otherwise.
Decryption, prevention and distribution of ransomware
Upload files in backup storages if you have no interested in fearing for their safety. If you place them in an alternative location, you will have an additional source for them. Keeping executables only in the hard drive of your computer means that you are risking to have them encrypted and unavailable for usage.
This could save you from having to deal with all of the panic when a ransomware manages to enter and encrypt valuable digital data. Also, you could protect your information by keeping it safe in an USB flash drive. One small detail: do not keep this storage device plugged into your computer at all times. Ransomware is also capable of encrypting files in connected devices as well.
As for the options for file-recovery, we have explained them in more detail at the end of this page. We observe restoration of Shadow Volume Copies, usage of universal file-decrypting tools and etc. It is important to emphasize that no file-recovery should be done until the payload of the ransomware all other traces of it are removed from an OS. People that have some experience in this field could try to get rid of this infection manually. However, if you are an average user, it would be better to assign an anti-malware tool for the job. Reimage, Spyhunter or Malwarebytes can help you.
There are more than one possible method that hackers can select to distribute ransomware infections. One of the easiest ones is to send malicious emails to random accounts. Such messages will contain a harmful executable or instruct you to follow a specific link. The URL has been noticed to transfer users into remote domains that have the capacity of automatically implanting payloads of ransomware.
- Decryption, prevention and distribution of ransomware
- Automatic $ UcyLocker virus removal tools
- How to recover $ UcyLocker virus encrypted files and remove the virus
- Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
- Step 2. Complete removal of $ UcyLocker virus
- Step 3. Restore $ UcyLocker virus affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover $ UcyLocker virus encrypted files
Automatic $ UcyLocker virus removal tools
How to recover $ UcyLocker 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 → 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 VapeHacksLoader virus has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of $ UcyLocker virus
After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Reimage and remove all malicious files related to VapeHacksLoader virus. You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore $ UcyLocker 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 VapeHacksLoader 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 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 $ UcyLocker 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 Data Recovery Pro (commercial)
- Install and scan for recently deleted files.
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.