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LIGMA Virus Removal – Restore Infected Computers and .CRYPTR Files

LIGMA image ransomware note .CRYPTR  extension

The LIGMA virus is an original ransomware that can cause irreversible damage to the infected computers. It’s modules include an advanced protective engine that can counter any security tools installed on the system. Our article provides an overview of the virus operations and it also may be helpful in attempting to remove the virus.

Threat Summary

Name LIGMA virus
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The ransomware encrypts sensitive information on your computer system with the .CRYPTR extension and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
Symptoms The ransomware will encrypt your files with a strong encryption algorithm.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss LIGMA virus.
Data Recovery Tool Windows 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.

LIGMA Virus – Distribution Ways

The LIGMA virus is a ransomware threat that has been identified in a global attack campaign. The volume of the attacks are low which signals that the ransomware campaigns are probably a testing release or a sampling of its initial capabilities. Due to the fact that the analysts have not been able to identify a main method we presume that the most popular ones are going to be used.

A common distribution tactic is to rely on phishing email messages, they use various social engineering scams in order to manipulate the victim users into interacting with a malicious element. The messages are designed to appear as notifications such as password reminders, software updates and etc. The criminals will guide the victims into downloading and running an infected executable file or clicking on a hyperlink that will lead to a virus-infected file.

Another tactic would be to create fake download sites that are fake copies of vendor download sites and popular Internet portals. They are created in a similar manner to the email messages and may spread both the virus files or any infected payload carriers. They are carriers of the virus that come under various forms. One of the most common types is the inclusion of the virus code into documents. The installation procedure is through the macros that are built into them. As such all popular file types can be affected: rich text documents, spreadsheets, databases and presentations. Once they are opened by the victims a notification prompt will appear asking them to enable the built-in scripts. If this is done the virus infection will follow.

The other common payload carrier is the inclusion of malware code into application installers. They are legitimate software setup files taken from the official vendor download sites which are modified with the malware code. They are then distributed using the various delivery methods.

To further increase the chance of acquiring a virus infection the criminals can opt to use file-sharing networks such as BitTorrent, they are popular for spreading both legitimate and pirate content.

Infection tactics may also include the inclusion of the virus files via infected web browsers plugins. They are hacker-modified or created plugins made for the most popular web browsers. They are uploaded to the relevant repositories using fake user reviews and developer credentials. Their descriptions often include promises of adding new functionality or enhancing already existing ones. Once they are installed the code will automatically redirect the users to a specific hacker-controlled site by manipulating the web browsers settings — home page, search engine and new tabs page. Following this the LIGMA virus will be installed.

LIGMA Virus – In-Depth Analysis

The security analysis of the captured LIGMA virus reveals that it does not contain any code taken from any of the famous ransowmare families. This means that it is very probable that it has been created by the hacker or criminal collective behind it. The alternative hypothesis is that it has been bought on the underground hacker markets. So far we have no information about the identity of the perpetrators. The captured attacks do not seem to be against a specific country or language which signals that the criminal intent is against all users.

There are interesting modules available in this threat. The available analysis shows that the virus is built around an engine that calls different functions. Upon infection it will follow a predesigned behavior pattern.

A main process that controls the additonal modules will be spawned It will launch a combined information harvesting and stealth protection module.

The virus engine will scan the infected host for any security software that can interfere with the virus execution. This is done via signature scans that look for anti-virus engines, as well as virtual machine hosts and debug environments. The engine will terminate them and in certain cases can altogether delete the software. The developers of the LIGMA virus have implemented a protective layer which prevents system administrators and analysts from following its execution.

Following the virus’s infection onto the operating system it can proceed with various system changes such as the following:

  • Files Manipulation — The LIGMA virus can delete user files, modify existing ones and also drop files that belong to the virus.
  • System Access — LIGMA virus commands can help the engine achieve administrative privileges, access removable storage devices and available network shares. This also helps it to disable the Windows Firewall rules, start its own processes and hook up to others.
  • Virus Report — The engine can report the infections to a hacker-controlled server automatically.

The fact that the infection framework allows for a variety of modules to be launched on the infected system, in some cases this may include Trojans. The typical case would follow the LIGMA virus to establish a connection to a hacker-controlled server. It allows the criminal operators to spy on the victims in real-time, as well as take over their machines and deploy other threats.

Users can also expect Windows Registry modifications that can affect both the operating system strings and those belonging to any user-installed applications. As a result the victim users may expect overall performance issues and the inability to start certain functions.

LIGMA Virus — Encryption

Instead of using an ordinary ransomware behavior pattern the LIGMA virus also includes a dangerous Master Boot Record (MBR) wiper. This means that not only sensitive user data will be processed, but the LIGMA virus will also delete the boot records. This will make it very difficult to restore infected hosts. The files themselves will be encrypted with the AES-256 cipher.

The ransomware engine will process files according to a built-in list. The captured samples have been shown to encrypt the following extensions:

.0, .1st, .3dm, .3mf, .600, .602, .7z, .7zip, .a, .aaf, .abw, .accdb, .acl, .aep, .aepx, .aet,
.ahk, .ai, .aps, .as, .asc, .asp, .aspx, .assets, .asx, .avi, .bas, .bep, .bmp, .c, .cbf, .cbfx,
.cer, .cfa, .class, .config, .contact, .cpp, .cs, .css, .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .deb, .dic, .doc,
.docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .dvi, .dwg, .dxf, .ebf, .ebfx, .ebuild, .efx, .eps, .ev3,
.ev3, .exp, .fits, .fla, .flv, .fnt, .gif, .go, .gz, .gz, .h, .hmg, .htm, .html, .ico, .idml, .ilk,
.inc, .indb, .indd, .indl, .indt, .inx, .iso, .jar, .java, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .json, .ldr, .lic, .loc,
.lock, .log, .lxf, .m3u8, .m4a, .max, .mcfunction, .mcmeta, .md2, .md3, .md4, .md5, .mdb, .mkv, .mp3,
.mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .msg, .msi, .nc, .ncb, .nut, .obj, .object, .odf, .odp, .odt, .ogg, .otf, .pdb, .pdf,
.pek, .pez, .php, .php?, .piv, .pkf, .pl, .plb, .plg, .pm, .pmd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .pov, .ppj, .pps,
.ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prefs, .prel, .prfpset, .prproj, .prsl, .ps, .ps, .ps, .psc, .psd, .psm1, .py, .python,
.rar, .raw, .rb, .rbt, .rc, .res, .resource, .resx, .rex, .rtf, .ru, .rxe, .s3, .sdf, .sdl, .ses, .silo, .sln,
.sql, .sti, .svg, .swf, .swift, .tab, .tar.gz, .tdf , .tif, .tiff, .tpk, .txt, .udo, .umod, .vb, .vcf, .vob,
.w3d, .war, .webp, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .wtv, .wve, .x, .xla, .xlam, .xll, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt,
.xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .xmp, .xpl, .xps, .xqx, .xsl-fo, .z, .zip

All victim files will be renamed with the .ForgiveME extension. Following the MBR code deletion once the process is complete the users will view a green text screen with black background showing the following text:

This PC is dead because you did n’t follow the rules.
Your PC will never work again.
NOTE: Even if you fix the MBR your Your PC Is Dead.
Entire Registry is Fucked and your files are infected.

Remove LIGMA virus and Restore Encrypted Files

If your computer system got infected with the LIGMA virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Step 1: Scan for LIGMA virus with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.

It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.

2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 2

3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 3

4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 4

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Ransomware Automatic Removal - Video Guide

Step 2: Uninstall LIGMA virus and related malware from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:

1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.
delete ransomware from windows step 1

2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.
delete ransomware from windows step 2

3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
delete ransomware from windows step 3Follow the instructions above and you will successfully delete most unwanted and malicious programs.

Step 3: Clean any registries, created by LIGMA virus on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines 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

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by LIGMA virus there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
delete ransomware virus registries step 1

2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.
delete ransomware virus registries step 2

3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
delete ransomware virus registries step 3 Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove LIGMA virus


Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows Key + R.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 1

2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 2

3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
remove ransomware in safe mode step 3
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.

4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 4

5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 5

Step 5: Try to Restore Files Encrypted by LIGMA virus.

Method 1: Use STOP Decrypter by Emsisoft.

Not all variants of this ransomware can be decrypted for free, but we have added the decryptor used by researchers that is often updated with the variants which become eventually decrypted. You can try and decrypt your files using the instructions below, but if they do not work, then unfortunately your variant of the ransomware virus is not decryptable.

Follow the instructions below to use the Emsisoft decrypter and decrypt your files for free. You can download the Emsisoft decryption tool linked here and then follow the steps provided below:

1 Right-click on the decrypter and click on Run as Administrator as shown below:

stop ransomware decryptor step 1

2. Agree with the license terms:

stop ransomware decryptor step 2

3. Click on "Add Folder" and then add the folders where you want files decrypted as shown underneath:

stop ransomware decryptor step 3

4. Click on "Decrypt" and wait for your files to be decoded.

stop ransomware decryptor step 4

Note: Credit for the decryptor goes to Emsisoft researchers who have made the breakthrough with this virus.

Method 2: Use data recovery software

Ransomware infections and LIGMA virus aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on the top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


What is LIGMA virus Ransomware?

LIGMA virus is a ransomware infection - the malicious software that enters your computer silently and blocks either access to the computer itself or encrypt your files. 

Many ransomware viruses use sophisticated encryption algorithms to make your files inaccessible. The goal of ransomware infections is to demand that you pay a ransom payment to get access to your files back.

What Does LIGMA virus Ransomware Do?

Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.

Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.

How Does LIGMA virus Infect?

Via several ways.LIGMA virus Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, containing virus attachment. This attachment is usually masked as an important document, like an invoice, bank document or even a plane ticket and it looks very convincing to users.

Another way you may become a victim of LIGMA virus is if you download a fake installer, crack or patch from a low reputation website or if you click on a virus link. Many users report getting a ransomware infection by downloading torrents.

How to Open .LIGMA virus files?

You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .LIGMA virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key for the particular algorithm.

What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?

Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .LIGMA virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

Can I Restore ".LIGMA virus" Files?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .LIGMA virus files. 

These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How To Get Rid of LIGMA virus Virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.

It will scan for and locate LIGMA virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .LIGMA virus files.

Can I Report Ransomware to Authorities?

In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.

Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:

Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:

Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei

United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre

United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police

France - Ministère de l'Intérieur

Italy - Polizia Di Stato

Spain - Policía Nacional

Netherlands - Politie

Poland - Policja

Portugal - Polícia Judiciária

Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)

India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell

Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center

Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.

Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?

Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.

Can LIGMA virus Ransomware Steal Your Data?

Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.

In many cases, the malware authors or attackers will threaten to delete the data or publish it online unless the ransom is paid.

Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?

Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.

Should I Pay Ransomware?

No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.

What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?

If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.

Can a Ransomware Attack Be Detected?

Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.

It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.

Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?

Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.

About the LIGMA virus Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this LIGMA virus how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.

How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?

Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.

Furthermore, the research behind the LIGMA virus ransomware threat is backed with VirusTotal and the NoMoreRansom project.

To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.

As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.

How to recognize trustworthy sources:

  • Always check "About Us" web page.
  • Profile of the content creator.
  • Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
  • Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.

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