Decrypt .locked Files Encrypted by Portuguese WinSec Virus

Article created to help you remove the .locked file ransomware (Portoguese HiddenTear) and restore data encrypted by the virus.

An interesting ransomware variant of the HiddenTear ransomware project has been detected, dubbed WinSec ransomware. The virus, unlike other HT variants, written in Portoguese has a very well designed graphic user interface. It’s primary purpose is to encrypt the files on the compromised computers with the aid of AES algorithm and then leave behind a ransom note which demands payment of the ransom. In case you have become a victim of the WinSec ransomware, we urge you to read the following article thoroughly.

Threat Summary

Name

.locked File Virus

TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionEncrypts important files on the compromised computers and then demands a hefty ransom fee to be paid to get the unlock password.

SymptomsThe victim may not be able to open the files. A file extension. locked may appear after their original one. Additionally, a file with a ransom note is dropped<.td>
Distribution MethodVia an Exploit kit, Dll file attack, malicious JavaScript or a drive-by download of the malware itself in an obfuscated manner.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .locked File Virus

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin our forum to Discuss .locked File Virus.
Data Recovery ToolWindows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.

WinSec .locked Virus – Distribition

No matter how users who are inexperienced try to evade such malware, cyber-criminals always develop newer and more direct methods to infect computer with malware. WinSec ransomware is no exeption. The cyber-criminals behind this ransomware infection may take advantage of the fact that many users are still active on their e-mails, meaning that they may engage e-mail spamming campaigns which usually contain spam messages within them that aim to convince victims into opening malicious e-mail attachments. The messages are similar to what example image below displays:

In addition to this method of file infection, other alternative tools for infecting users also may include fake installers, fake game patches and cracks uploaded on shady websites.

.Locked Ransomware – Infection Activity

Once already infected a computer system, the WinSec locked ransomware virus may begin to drop it’s malicious files. They may be situated in the following Windows directories.

  • %AppData%
  • %Roaming%
  • %Local%
  • %LocalLow%
  • %SystemDrive%
  • %Windows%
  • %System32%

In addition to dropping malicious files, named winsec.exe and a random executable file, this ransomware virus may also begin to interfere with the Windows registry editor and the main sub-keys which it can interfere with are the following:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

In addition to this, the ransomware virus may also delete any shadow volume copies on the compromised machine by executing versions of the following Windows commands in the Windows command prompt:

→ process call create “cmd.exe /c
vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /quiet
bcdedit.exe /set {default} recoveryenabled no
bcdedit.exe /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures

.Locked Portoguese Ransomware – Encryption

The encryption process of this ransomware virus may be configured to skip important Windows files so that it does not damage Windows and in addition to this attack files of importance, for example:

  • Microsoft Office Documents.
  • PDF Files.
  • Database Files.
  • Photos.
  • Music.
  • Image Files.
  • Archive files.

For the encryption, the .locked file extension is used and the AES cipher is also employed to render the files no longer openable. After the encryption the files may appear like the following:

Then, the ransomware virus also drops it’s ransom note which translates to the following

“THE FILES ON THIS DEVICE ARE ENCRYPTED
Follow the instructions for file decryption.
Step 1 – Step 2 – Step 3
Enter your e-mail address to receive the decryption key.”

HiddenTear Ransomware Variants – Decoding Instructions

The file-decryption process of HiddenTear ransomware is not as difficult, but you need to be prepared and do it from a safe computer that is powerful. Let’s begin!

Step 1: Download the HiddenTear BruteForcer by clicking on the button below and open the archive:

Download

HiddenTear Bruteforcer


1-hidden-tear-bruteforcer-download-sensorstechforum

Step 2: Extract the program onto your Desktop or wherever you feel comfortable to easily access it and open it as an administrator:

2-hidden-tear-bruteforcer-extract-sensorstechforum

Step 3: After opening it, you should see the main interface of the brute force. From there, choose “Browser Sample” to select a sample encrypted file of the type of ransomware you are trying to decrypt:

3-Hiddentear-sensorstechforum-bruteforcer-main-panel

Step 4: After this select the type of ransomware from the down-left expanding menu:

4-hidden-tear-choose-ransowmare-variant-sensorstechforum

Step 5: Click on the Start Bruteforce button. This may take some time. After the brute forcing is finished and the key is found, copy it and save it somewhere on your PC in a .txt file, you will need it later.

Step 6: Download the HiddenTear Decryptor from the download button below:

Download

HiddenTear Decrypter

Step 7: Extract it and open it, the same way with HiddenTear Bruteforcer. From it’s primary interface, paste the key copied from the BruteForcer, write the type of extension being used by the ransomware and click on the Decrypt button as shown below:

5-hiddentear-decrypter-password-decrypt-sensorstechforum

After these steps have been completed, you should immediately copy your files to an external device so that they are safe. After this has been done, we strongly recommend completely wiping your drives and reinstalling Windows on the affected machine.

HiddenTear Decryption – Conclusion

Viruses like the HiddenTear variants are becoming more and more common. Researchers, publish many projects online with the goal to stop ransomware, but this represents an opportunity to coders that develop ransomware and either start infecting users with it or put it up for sale in the deep web. With the expanding of ransomware variants lately, we predict seeing even more infected systems than the year 2015. This is why we advise you to follow our recommendations for securing your computer below:

Advice 1: Make sure to read our general protection tips and try to make them your habit and educated others to do so as well.
Advice 2: Install an advanced anti-malware program that has an often updated real-time shield definitions and ransomware protection.

Download

Malware Removal Tool


Spy Hunter scanner will only detect the threat. If you want the threat to be automatically removed, you need to purchase the full version of the anti-malware tool.Find Out More About SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool / How to Uninstall SpyHunter

Advice 3: Seek out and download specific anti-ransomware software which is reliable.

Advice 4: Backup your files using one of the methods in this article.

Advice 5: : Make sure to use a secure web browser while surfing the world wide web.

Vencislav Krustev

A network administrator and malware researcher at SensorsTechForum with passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cyber security. Strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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