A virus from the file encryption type, using the e-mail email@example.com for contact with the victims has been detected by malware researchers at the end of February 2017. The ransomware is dubbed Lock2017 and it encodes the files on the computers it infects by using a combination of RSA and AES encryption algorithms. This combination makes the files on the compromised computers no longer able to be opened. In case you have become a victim of the Lock2017 ransomware infection, recommendations are to focus on reading this article carefully.
|Short Description||The malware encrypts users files using a strong encryption algorithm combination, making direct decryption possible only via a unique decryption key available to the cyber-criminals.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness ransom notes and “instructions” linking to a web page and a decryptor. Changed file names and the file-extension with the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org has been used.|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Lock2017 |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss Lock2017.|
|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.|
Lock2017 Ransomware – How Does It Spread
In order for it to infect users, the creators of the virus may spread a malicious file extension via e-mail spam messages sent out. The messages may be sent via spam bots that send them from a pre-configured list of targeted e-mail addresses. The messages may be convincing and written to get the user to click on a web link or open an attachment.
Other methods of spreading this ransomware infection may be via fake installers, fake updates of programs and also fake patches or game cracks, all of which may be uploaded on shady websites.
Lock2017 Ransomware – What Happens When It Infects
After the user opens a malicious e-mail attachment, the Lock2017 virus begins to drop it’s malicious files, amongst which are it’s main executable which has a completely random name and is .exe type of file and alongside it is a README.TXT file with a ransom note in which there are demands.
In addition to dropping malicious files, the Lock2017 ransomware may also modify those files in a way that will make the executable or the ransom note run on system startup. This is usually achieved by adding a custom registry value string with the location of the file in the following Windows Registry Entries:
In addition to these activities the Lock2017 ransomware virus may also perform multiple other activities such as delete any backups from the infected computer and cut out any possibility of restoring backed up files. One way is to delete shadow volume copies via the vssadmin command in quiet mode:
Lock2017 Ransomware – Encryption Method
For the encryption, this ransomware virus uses two main algorithms:
- RSA – Rivest-Shamir-Adleman encryption algorithm which generates unique keys for each file.
- AES – Advanced Encryption Standard, also known as Rijndael. It is very stable and strong for file encryption.
These two, used in combination, make it practically impossible to factorize the AES decryption keys, because they are further encoded by the RSA algorithm. The Lock2017 ransomware may attack multiple widely used files that may be of importance to the victims:
- Microsoft Office documents.
- OpenOffice files.
- PDF documents.
- Text files.
- Database files.
- Music files.
- Image files.
- Archive files.
These files are no longer able to be opened and the Lock2017 ransomware adds a unique file extension to them which appears relatively in the following format:
After the files have been encrypted, the virus makes sure that the victims knows of it’s presence by dropping a README.TXT file in which the situation and demands are explained:
Remove Lock2017 Ransomware Virus and Try Restoring Encoded Files
Before attempting any removal, we recommend backing up the encrypted files, just in case. Then, you can go ahead and follow the removal instructions below. In case you lack the experience in manually removing this ransomware virus, experts often advise victims of malware in general to remove viruses automatically with the aid of an anti-malware program. Such software in particular will ensure the full removal of all malware on your computer and make sure you are protected In the future too.
After having removed Lock2017 ransomware from your computer, recommendations are to focus on multiple different methods to try and get back the files. We have mentioned several alternative tools below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by Lock2017” but they are no guarantee you will get your files back. And if you are about to try the third-party decryptors, we recommend never to try them on the original files, but on copies instead.