Our in-depth removal guide shows how victims of the .RansomUserLocker virus can restore their data and computers. This is a follow-up derivative of an earlier threat and the security experts propose that future updates can also be expected.
The malware engine has the ability to cause a lot of different types of infections and as it is built on a modular framework it can easily be delivered using different techniques.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files on your computer, institutes a lockscreen and may lead to other infections.|
|Symptoms||Various sensitive user files are encrypted with the .RansomUserLocker extension. Persoanl data can be stolen and other modules can be launched.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Compromised Web Pages|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss .RansomUserLocker.|
|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.|
Distribution Techniques for .RansomUserLocker Virus
The .RansomUserLocker virus is distributed using the common ransomware delivery tactics. Depending on the hacker operators and their target end users the strategies can change according to the inteded scale.
The ransomware strains can be delivered through email spam messages using various methods. One of them relies on the creation of messages that contain malware file attachments. Using different social engineering techniques the criminals can manipulate and coerce the victims into interacting with them. The .RansomUserLocker virus samples hosted on malware sites can be linked in the messages.
In certain situations the criminal operators can embed the malware code in infected documents that can be of different types: rich text documents, spreadsheets or presentations. Once the victims open them up a notification prompt appears which asks them to enable the built-in macros (scripts). If this is done the infection follows. Fraud software installers are the other method that has attained popularity among the criminal operators. The hackers obtain the legitimate software files from the official vendors and bundle the malware code in them. They are then distributed on hacker-controlled sites that can take the form of download portals or search engines that resemble legitimate web services. In many cases file sharing applications such as BitTorrent can also be used.
When advanced delivery tactics are used the payload can be delivered through other infections. In such cases the hackers can utilize exploit kits and other types of direct attacks against the intended victims.
Infection Flow of .RansomUserLocker Virus
According to the analysis the .RansomUserLocker virus is descendant from an earlier threat known as the Korean Talk ransomware. The original threat was noteworthy for performing a series of system changes and then instituting a lockscreen instance once the encryption phase has completed.
One of the first actions that are executed once the infections have taken place is the information gathering module. The ransomware itself does this in order to harvest sensitive information from the computer hosts. It is usually categorized into two main types:
- Anonymous Metrics — The criminals can harvest information that can be useful in determining how efficent the attack campaign is.
- Personally-identifiable Information — This type of data can be used to directly expose the users identity. The malware engine is able to search for strings related to the victim’s name, address, telephone number, interests and passwords.
The security analysis has revealed that the information harvesting engine uses the extracted information in order to calculate an unique victim ID assigned to each individual computer host. Depending on the configuration this data can be relayed to the hacker operators once the module has completed executing or after the network connection has been made. Advanced versions of similar ransomware enable the criminal controllers to perform a stealth protection installation. They can scan the system for security software (sandbox and debug environments and virtual machines) and attempt to bypass or delete them. The ransomware has the ability to impact the compromised computers — the Windows registry and important configuration settings. As a result the victims may experience performance issues and application failure. Further updates to the malware code can lead to Trojan infections that allow the hacker operators to spy on the victims in real time as well as take over control of the infected hosts.
Encryption Process of .RansomUserLocker Ransomware
Once all modules have completed execution the ransomware component is engaged. Like its predecessor it seeks to encrypt files according to a built-in list of target file type extensions. If the hackers have implemented the same code baase then it is likely that the same list is used as well. The original threat was set to encrypt the following user data:
.asp, .aspx, .bat, .bmp, .csv, .doc, .docx, .html, .hwp, .java, .jpg, .kys, .mdb, .mp3, .odt,
.pdf, .php, .png, .ppt, .pptx, .psd, .rtf, .sln, .sql, .txt, .URL, .xls, .xlsx, .xml, .zip
As a result the affected data is renamed using the .RansomUserLocker extension. In a similar way to other popular viruses of late it institutes a lockscreen instance in Korean.
Remove .RansomUserLocker File Virus and Restore Data
Below you can find a set of manual removal instructions for .RansomUserLocker file virus. Beware that threat samples reveal that it has a really complex code so the removal process can be sort of challenging task even for tech-savvy guys. That’s why the help of professional anti-malware tool is recommended for maximum efficiency. Such tool will scan the whole system to locate all malicious files so you can easily get rid of them with a few mouse clicks.