New Locky Ransomware Attacks. TROJ_LOCKY.DLDRA Downloader - How to, Technology and PC Security Forum |

New Locky Ransomware Attacks. TROJ_LOCKY.DLDRA Downloader

petya-ransomware-skull-art-acsii-master-boot-record-dropbox-uniqueLocky ransomware has already affected thousands of users. Unfortunately, the threat is not nearly done with its infections, as new, more dangerous methods of distribution were just reported by security researchers at TrendMicro.

The new techniques include the already known deployment of the Flash zero-day exploit CVE-2016-1019 (used in Locky’s earlier drive-by download attacks) and an escalation of privileges exploit in Windows – CVE-2015-1701. This exploit was used to bypass sandbox technologies.

NameLocky Ransomware
Short DescriptionThe infamous Locky ransomware has employed new distribution and infection techniques.
SymptomsThe user’s files are encrypted and a ransom is demanded.
Distribution MethodA Flash exploit and a kernel-level faws are leveraged.
Detection ToolDownload Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by Locky Ransomware
User Experience Join our forum to discuss Locky Ransomware.

CVE-2015-1701 Official Description


Win32k.sys in the kernel-mode drivers in Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP2, Vista SP2, and Server 2008 SP2 allows local users to gain privileges via a crafted application, as exploited in the wild in April 2015, aka “Win32k Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability”.

Analysis of the Attack

One of the discoveries of TrendMicro’s research is a downloader file detected as TROJ_LOCKY.DLDRA. The researchers also captured network traffic and found a steady use of the Flash exploit mentioned in the beginning.

Learn More about Locky Ransomware

Further Analysts of TROJ_LOCKY.DLDRA

TROJ_LOCKY.DLDRA, on the other hand, used the kernel exploit. The downloader was detected to connect to a Command & Control server located at 202[.]102[.]110[.]204:80. It also installed Locky. The interesting part is that the whole procedure would need several kernel-level instruments:

  • Work items;
  • System threads;
  • Asynchronous procedure calls, or APC.

All the above don’t need any files to be created, and as a result, Locky can be installed directly onto a system, evading detection. As with many other malware files, Locky’s downloader uses svchost.exe.

Researchers believe that CVE-2015-1701 kernel-level exploit s used to avoid detection by security vendors and conceal its malicious behavior. The exploit makes the whole infection process more complex and more difficult for sandboxing detection and analysis. Furthermore, other kernel exploits may also be used for later versions of Windows OS.

The malware sample analyzed by TrendMicro’s research team also has various anti-debug tricks and a new packing method, such as decrypted API strings and construction of API addresses at run time.

After the activation of the kernel flaw, the downloader file will handle other techniques to conceal its bad behavior. Overall, the attack is quite complicated and to understand it, you should have above average knowledge of the inner workings of Windows and malicious software.

Is There an Antidote for Locky’s Latest Infection?

Researchers believe that the success of this latest attack is due to the fact that not many people pay attention to kernel exploits. Furthermore, the above-mentioned work items, APCs, and system threads are typically not monitored for malicious behavior. Not only are they disregarded but also monitoring them would be a tough job.

However, the deployment of sxchost.exe is a typical malware routine and is perfect for concealing network traffic.

What should you do to prevent the attack from happening? The very first thing you should do is update your system with the latest version of Adobe Flash. If you’re having difficulties monitoring and updating your software, you can rely on a software inspector program such as Secunia:

Flexera/ Secunia Personal Inspector Software Review

To add another layer of protection, consider installing an anti-ransomware utility, such as the ones described in the article below. However, keep in mind that most tools only protect against particular ransomware families.

Free Anti-Ransomware Tools

Another thing you should immediately do is backup all of your data.

If it’s too late and you have already been infected with Locky, have a look at the manual below.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Locky Ransomware

Boot Your PC Into Safe Mode

1. For Windows 7,XP and Vista. 2. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

For Windows XP, Vista, 7 systems:

1. Remove all CDs and DVDs, and then Restart your PC from the “Start” menu.
2. Select one of the two options provided below:

For PCs with a single operating system: Press “F8” repeatedly after the first boot screen shows up during the restart of your computer. In case the Windows logo appears on the screen, you have to repeat the same task again.


For PCs with multiple operating systems: Тhe arrow keys will help you select the operating system you prefer to start in Safe Mode. Press “F8” just as described for a single operating system.


3. As the “Advanced Boot Options” screen appears, select the Safe Mode option you want using the arrow keys. As you make your selection, press “Enter“.

4. Log on to your computer using your administrator account


While your computer is in Safe Mode, the words “Safe Mode” will appear in all four corners of your screen.

Step 1: Open the Start Menu


Step 2: Whilst holding down Shift button, click on Power and then click on Restart.
Step 3: After reboot, the aftermentioned menu will appear. From there you should choose Troubleshoot.


Step 4: You will see the Troubleshoot menu. From this menu you can choose Advanced Options.


Step 5: After the Advanced Options menu appears, click on Startup Settings.


Step 6: Click on Restart.

Step 7: A menu will appear upon reboot. You should choose Safe Mode by pressing its corresponding number and the machine will restart.

2. Remove Locky Ransomware with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

Remove Locky Ransomware with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove Locky Ransomware.2. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove Locky Ransomware.
Step 1:Click on the “Download” button to proceed to SpyHunter’s download page.

It is highly 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.

Step 2: Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser.
Step 3: After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to automatically update.


Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button.
Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any Locky Ransomware files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently.
Step3: Once the intrusions on your PC have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart it.

3. Back up your data to secure it against infections and file encryption by Locky Ransomware in the future

Back up your data to secure it against attacks in the future

IMPORTANT! Before reading the Windows backup instructions, we highly recommend to back up your data automatically with cloud backup and insure it against any type of data loss on your device, even the most severe. We recommend reading more about and downloading SOS Online Backup .

To back up your files via Windows and prevent any future intrusions, follow these instructions:

1. For Windows 7 and earlier 1. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 1. Enabling the Windows Defense Feature (Previous Versions)

1-Click on Windows Start Menu
2-Type Backup And Restore
3-Open it and click on Set Up Backup
4-A window will appear asking you where to set up backup. You should have a flash drive or an external hard drive. Mark it by clicking on it with your mouse then click on Next.
5-On the next window, the system will ask you what do you want to backup. Choose the ‘Let Me Choose’ option and then click on Next.
6-Click on ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the next window in order to protect your files from possible attacks by Locky Ransomware.

1-Press Windows button + R
2-In the window type ‘filehistory’ and press Enter
3-A File History window will appear. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’
4-The configuration menu for File History will appear. Click on ‘Turn On’. After its on, click on Select Drive in order to select the backup drive. It is recommended to choose an external HDD, SSD or a USB stick whose memory capacity is corresponding to the size of the files you want to backup.
5-Select the drive then click on ‘Ok’ in order to set up file backup and protect yourself from Locky Ransomware.

1- Press Windows button + R keys.
2- A run windows should appear. In it type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and then click on Run.
3- A System Properties windows should appear. In it choose System Protection.
5- Click on Turn on system protection and select the size on the hard disk you want to utilize for system protection.
6- Click on Ok and you should see an indication in Protection settings that the protection from Locky Ransomware is on.
Restoring a file via Windows Defense feature:
1-Right-click on the encrypted file, then choose Properties.
2-Click on the Previous Versions tab and then mark the last version of the file.
3-Click on Apply and Ok and the file encrypted by Locky Ransomware should be restored.

4. Restore files encrypted by Locky Ransomware

Restore Files Encrypted by Locky Ransomware

Security engineers strongly advise users NOT to pay the ransom money and attempt restoring the files using other methods. Here are several suggestions:

To restore your data, your first bet is to check again for shadow copies in Windows using this software:

Shadow Explorer

If this method does not work, Kaspersky have provided a decryptors for files encrypted with the this and other encryption algorithms:

Kaspersky Decryptors

Another method of restoring your files is by trying to bring back your files via data recovery software. Here are some examples of data recovery programs:

Video tutorial on how to recover your data using data recovery software and find hidden files on your computer:

Recover Your Data and Find Hidden Files

There is also the technical option to use a network sniffer:

Another way to decrypt the files is by using a Network Sniffer to get the encryption key, while files are encrypted on your system. A Network Sniffer is a program and/or device monitoring data traveling over a network, such as its internet traffic and internet packets. If you have a sniffer set before the attack happened you might get information about the decryption key.

Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Remove Locky Ransomware Using Other Alternative Tools

STOPZilla Anti Malware
1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove Locky Ransomware.
Step 1: Download STOPZilla by clicking here.
Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards.
Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
Step 6: Review and click on the ‘Install’ button.
Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button.

2. Scan your PC with STOPZilla Anti Malware to remove all Locky Ransomware associated files completely.
Step 1: Launch STOPZilla if you haven’t launched it after install.
Step 2: Wait for the software to automatically scan and then click on the ‘Repair Now’ button. If it does not scan automatically, click on the ‘Scan Now’ button.
Step 3: After the removal of all threats and associated objects, you should Restart your PC.

NOTE! Substantial notification about the Locky Ransomware threat: Manual removal of Locky Ransomware requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum for 4 years. Enjoys ‘Mr. Robot’ and fears ‘1984’. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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