WannaMad Locker - How to remove

When the WannaMad locker infects a Windows PC, it shows a pop-up window in which it threatens that your files “has been encrypted” and that your computer is in danger.

WannaMad encrypts files and appends “.hacked” to their names. The extension “.hacked” may be used by file-locking ransomware infections other than WannaMad, although the principle is similar: those files can’t be opened, not even if you remove the “.hacked” extension from their names.

The WannaMad/hacked ransomware can be removed with the help of antivirus programs.

About WannaMad/hacked ransomware:

Type of threat Ransomware
How WannaMad/hacked works It encrypts files and appends “.hacked” to their names.
How to protect yourself from ransomware Use antivirus programs to protect your computer,

test suspicious executables in a sandbox,

always backup your data before running risky programs on your PC.

How to delete WannaMad Use antivirus software (Spyhunter, others) to find and delete all malicious programs and files,

find out how your computer was infected so that you can avoid future infections.

How does WannaMad ransomware work?

WannaMad is a type of CobraLocker

WannaMad ransomware infects Windows computers, encrypts files, and then shows a window in which it threatens that if you turn off your computer, “your system will die”.

The name “WannaMad” references WannaCry, the devastating ransomware attack from back in 2017. However, WannaMad is not related to WannaCry. Instead, it is related to LegionLocker and CobraLocker.

Besides WannaMad/hacked, CobraLocker has had a few different variants – they all use very flashy ransom notes. In the notes, they ask for a payment to be sent to a Bitcoin wallet in exchange for the files being unlocked.

Oops… You Has Been Encrypted

1. Don’t turn of your computer or tour system will die!
2. Don’t try to open encrypted files!
3. Don’t try to change your file name!

WannaMad is flagged by antivirus scanners.

Can you fix the files?

WannaMad encrypts files, which essentially corrupts them. It also changes their names so that they end with “.hacked” – it’s a double extension (for example, the name of an encrypted file could be “picture.jpg.hacked”).

Changing the names of these files by removing the “.hacked” part won’t fix the data.

A Twitter user hinted that the decryption password for the files is “RansomwareWannaMad”. If that doesn’t work, check out our post How to Recover Files Encrypted By Ransomware.

How ransomware infects computers

In theory, there are many ways in which ransomware spreads: email attachments, malicious ads, even vulnerability exploits.

CobraLocker has been seen spreading in pirated or modified game downloads. We can expect something similar to have been used to distribute WannaMad/hacked.

When the infected file is downloaded, it hasn’t infected your device yet – it might not even have the malware yet. You need to run it first.

Here, tools like virtual machines and Windows Sandbox are helpful – you could check a suspicious file by running it in a sandbox where it can’t hurt your computer.

It’s also helpful to use an antivirus program that offers real-time security. An installer or another file that is infected with WannaMad might not always be visible to an antivirus scanner. But once the malware is running, it should be more obvious.

How to remove WannaMad ransomware

To get rid of WannaMad and other malware, you can use antivirus programs, such as Spyhunter. Antivirus scanners flag WannaMad as Malicious, Trojan, Ransom, Filecoder: Virustotal.com.

It’s possible that your antivirus program finds other threats besides WannaMad. It’s common for malicious programs to spread in groups. Make sure to remove all infections.

You can reset your Windows to get rid of malware. If you keep your files (that’s an option when resetting Windows), just make sure that no infected files are among them. Don’t accidentally reinfect your PC by running the same malicious file again.

Automatic Malware removal tools

Download Spyhunter for Malware detection

Note: Spyhunter trial provides detection of parasites and assists in their removal for free. limited trial available, Terms of use, Privacy Policy, Uninstall Instructions,

Download Combo Cleaner for Malware detection

Note: Combo Cleaner trial provides detection of parasites and assists in their removal for free. limited trial available, Terms of use, Privacy Policy, Uninstall Instructions, Refund Policy ,

How to recover WannaMad Locker 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 WannaMad Locker 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 WannaMad Locker

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 WannaMad Locker. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore WannaMad Locker 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 WannaMad Locker 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 WannaMad Locker 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.
Leave a Reply

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