Zyklon Locker - How To Remove?
Zyklon Locker is a ransomware virus named after the chemical weapon used in the World War II. Discovered by a malware analyst Katja Hahn, it bears resemblance to GNL Locker (read the further paragraph) and is considered to be a modified version of this crypto-malware.
About Zyklon Locker Ransomware
Once Zyklon Locker penetrates your computer’s system, it places .bat file, named freepalistine.bat, in the %AppData% folder. This executable starts to scan the data to be encrypted. All types of files can be encrypted: text, audio, video files, images, etc. NAS (network-attached storage) can also be compromised. Zyklon Locker encrypts data with AES-512 cipher and appends .locked (just like GNL Locker) or .zyklon extension to the encrypted files. Then, it creates UNLOCK_FILES_INSTRUCTIONS.txt file in every folder of encrypted data, UNLOCK_FILES_INSTRUCTIONS.png file replaces your wallpaper and UNLOCK_FILES_INSTRUCTIONS.html is loaded when you launch your browser. These files embody the ransom note with further instructions. Again, the file names are the trait of GNL Locker. The ransom demanded at the moment is approximately 0.6 BTC (Bitcoins) which equals to 250 USD. This compensation for the restoration of data is said to be tripled (the third similarity to GNL Locker), if the payment is not made until the given date. Rebooting the computer will not do any good since it adds registry entries to Windows Start up and starts whenever Window launches.
How does Zyklon Locker Ransomware Spread?
Zyklon Locker ransomware trojan employs spam e-mails with malicious links and their malicious attachments to crawl into your computer. These e-mails masks as official letters from official companies (e.g. DHL, FedEx, etc.). They may even have logos and other signs of ‘‘authenticity’’. But they are actually red herrings and this can be understood from the place they all fall into, that is the spam folder. Secondly, exploit kits, such as Nuclear exploit kit, Angler exploit kit, Neutrino exploit kit, are employed by hackers to inject users with malware, especially, the ransomware.
How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by Zyklon Locker Ransomware?
Unfortunately, there are no decryption tools created yet. It seems that Zyklon Locker virus deletes Volume Shadow Copies so it is obvious that VSS (the Volume Shadow Copy Service) will be of no use here. Despite this, data recovery software such as PhotoRec, R-studio, etc. can be put into use. For preventative measures, back up your data in some external storage device and install some authoritative anti-malware utility. Professional malware removal tools such as Reimage, SpyHunter, Malwarebytes or StopZilla is also to be applied to eliminate Zyklon Locker ransomware from your computer’s system. Follow the removal guide of Zyklon Locker below.
- About Zyklon Locker Ransomware
- How does Zyklon Locker Ransomware Spread?
- How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by Zyklon Locker Ransomware?
- Automatic Zyklon Locker removal tools
- How to recover Zyklon Locker encrypted files and remove the virus
- Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
- Step 2. Complete removal of Zyklon Locker
- Step 3. Restore Zyklon Locker affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Zyklon Locker encrypted files
- Removal guides in other languages
Automatic Zyklon Locker removal tools
How to recover Zyklon 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 → 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 Zyklon Locker has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of Zyklon Locker
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 Zyklon Locker. You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore Zyklon 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 Zyklon 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 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 Zyklon 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 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.