A week or so ago, researchers from Proofpoint uncovered their findings of a ransomware they named MM Locker. The ransomware encrypts files with the .locked extension. Rumor has it that some of the infections are caused by crack executables for the game Far Cry Primal. To see how to remove the ransomware and what ways you can try to restore your files, you should carefully read this article.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files with .locked extension and demands a ransom of 200 US dollars.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware targets around 60 different file extensions for encryption. READ_IT.txt file and an image file are created.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable Files|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by MM Locker |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss MM Locker.|
MM Locker Ransomware – Distribution
MM Locker ransomware is distributed in a few ways. Traditionally, spam emails are the main source for getting infected with ransomware. This one does not make an exception. The emails distribute malware as attachments. Malicious code can be found inside the attachments. Do not open such emails as your PC might get infected just from the body of the email in some cases.
A rumor is spread that some infections with this ransomware started upon downloading crack executables. They were promoted around YouTube as crack files for popular games, including FCPrimal.exe for the newest game in the Far Cry series – Primal.
Social media sites and file-sharing services are not excluded as methods to spread the infection. The best prevention advice is not to download, open or click anything that is either suspicious or with an unknown origin.
MM Locker Ransomware – Details
MM Locker is the name that Proofpoint researchers gave to this ransomware. The name comes from a directory path of one of the malware samples – C:\mm\mm\obj\Release\mm.pdb. The ransomware connects to a remote location to download a picture. The picture is set as a user’s desktop background after encryption is complete. This is how that image looks like:
The image bears the name ransom.jpg. The ransomware may connect to locations which have an IP address starting with the numbers 23.227.199. User name and host name can be sent to those locations.
MM Locker creates the following files in the %AppData%, %UserProfile% and Desktop directories:
The file READ_IT.txt contains the actual instructions on paying the ransom. The file can be viewed in the picture down here:
The file reads the following:
(If you are in Notepad, please click the Format menu above ^^^^ and click Word Wrap)
Uh oh. It looks like your data has been the victim of the encryption thief. Your files have been encrypted with AES: search your drive for “locked” if you don’t believe me . Unfortunately you’re going to have to pay some money to get your files back and your fee is approximately $200 in US Dollars. I’ll get right to the ugly details for that:
* You have 72 hours to make this happen as of 12/03/2016 21:03:16. Otherwise, your files are lost for good. I will delete the necessary code for all time and I don’t even have to revisit your machine to do it.
* You will be paying by Bitcoin. Don’t worry, it is easy to figure out. Your fee is 0.501049 BTC. Pay this amount precisely, or I might not know who it was that paid in order to rescue them.
* Use LocalBitcoins.com. It isn’t hard to use, there are numerous ways to pay for my bitcoins on there, and most importantly, it is fast. Did I mention you have 72 hours?
* The address you will be sending the bitcoins to is 192awRvM4V8LS24GSHj6o3v2fVQ5QYh4pB .
* Then you will wait for me to get the unlock code for you. Your code will be shown here, http://let-me-help-you-with-that.webnode.com/ , under the amount you paid. This may take a day or so: you are on my schedule now :P
* Once you have the code, you can unlock your files as follows:
*** First you must download my decrypter: http://we.tl/L2dUFWqdJa . You may get various warnings that this is a Trojan or some other nonsense. Don’t believe it: if I needed to cause more damage I would have done so already. The file is marked as such because the antivirus people are lazy SOBs and just mark everything they can.
*** Go to your Start Menu
*** In the search field, type “cmd”.
*** Double click the cmd program.
*** Type “cd C:\Users\xxx\Downloads”
*** Type “Decrypter.exe
*** Other people’s codes will not work for you, obviously.
That is basically it. The rest of this document is a further description about your situation.
* You’ll never be able to find me. Police will never be able to find me. Go ahead and try them if you like, but don’t expect your data back. They will be concerned about helping the community, not with helping you meet your deadline. If they say they need to keep your desktop for a few days, well lol, you probably won’t be seeing your machine again soon, let alone your data. I’ve been doing this for five years now and haven’t been caught yet.
* Best Buy will have no ability to undo the encryption. Hell, even the NSA probably couldn’t undo it. Well maybe they could, but I suspect you won’t be a high priority for their computation clusters for at least a couple of years.
* In 72 hours, you will never be able to get these files open. I don’t much like people struggling against the powerful and there is no way for you to argue for an extension. Just make it happen.
So just be thankful that it wasn’t worse. I could have asked for more money. I could have been working for ISIS and saving that money to behead children. I could have been a mean SOB and just destroyed your data outright. Am I those things? No. I just need the money to live off of (true story) and don’t care at all about the hacker “community”. So there isn’t anyone you will be protecting by sacrificing yourself. I’ll just encrypt more people’s data to make up for the loss.
So you have your instructions. I’ll even tell you how you could have prevented this:
* Install a good antivirus and keep it up to date. This is basically where you fell down.
* Don’t click on any file from the internet that isn’t a piece of data like (jpg, txt, doc) or you better really know where that file came from.
* Back up your files in case the encryption thief visits you. :P
Better luck to you in the future.
The ransom price is 200 US dollars within the first 72 hours. The paying instructions are written in a clever way to try and make you feel like paying up. The person behind the ransomware even gave some good tips to prevent this from happening again in the future. A mere trick, rather than sympathy. Do NOT fall for it and don’t even think of paying the ransom. Paying can only encourage the malware creator. Also, no guarantee exists that the decryptor will even work.
The MM Locker ransomware locks files with nearly sixty different extensions. The encryption process is yet unclear, but the extensions that the ransomware searches to encrypt are these:
→.avi, .box, .csv, .db, .dbf, .pps, .ppt, .pptx, .psd, .doc, .docx, .txt, .wav, .wmv, .xls, .xlsx, .xml, .html, .frm, .gam, .ged, .gif, .ifx, .jpg, .log, .lwp, .m4a, .mdb, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpa, .mpg, .asp, .aspx, .msg, .myd, .myi, .myo, .ncf, .nsf, .ntf, .odt, .ofx, .pdf, .php, .png, .qdf, .qfx, .qif, .rm, .sav, .sln, .sql, .ynab, .tax, .tax2013, .tax2014, .tax2015
The list with file types for encryption could be incomplete, but that is what researchers have uncovered for now. After the encryption process is done, all files have the same extension – .locked. The extension has also been used by the Cryptolocker.AA ransomware and as ORX Locker.
MM Locker ransomware probably also deletes Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows Operating System.
Remove MM Locker Ransomware and Restore .locked Encrypted Files
If your PC got infected by the MM Locker ransomware, you should have some experience with removing malware. You should remove the malware as soon as you can as it could encrypt other files and further spread on the network. We recommend that you remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions provided below.