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Remove AutoLocky Ransomware and Decrypt Your .locky Files

shutterstock_271501652A new ransomware which pretends to be one of the “big fish” in this segment of malware has been reported to infect users. The ransomware imitates Locky ransomware and is named AutoLocky by malware researchers. Not only this, but it even sets the .locky file extension after encrypting the files. Besides several other differences this ransomware works in the same principle like any other crypto malware – encrypting the user files after which demanding BitCoin payment for the decryption of the files.

NameAutoLocky
TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionEncrypts the user’s files appending the .locky extension and impersonates Locky Ransomware.
SymptomsThe user may witness info.txt and info.html files on his desktop containing ransom instructions explaining how to pay 0.75 bitcoin for file decryption.
Distribution MethodVia malicious files, macros or Exploit kits featured in malicious URLs.
Detection ToolDownload Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by AutoLocky
User Experience Join our forum to discuss AutoLocky.
Data Recovery ToolWindows 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.

AutoLocky Ransomware – Distribution

To spread to various systems, this ransomware may use several different distribution methods. One of them is via malicious links posted on social media, comments or as replies on forums. The other distribution method that you are more likely to encounter is via spam e-mails. The spam e-mails may contain different malicious files in an archive. Some of those files are usually Microsoft Word, Excel or .PDF documents with infected macros. This means that when the document is opened, and editing is enabled by the user, the malware may use a malicious macro script that will infect the user with malware.

AutoLocky Ransomware In Detail

Once activated on the victim PC, AutoLocky creates several files in key Windows folders:

→ Startup executable located in the “%UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\Start.lnk.” file.
“%UserProfile%\Desktop\info.html – Ransom note
“%UserProfile%\Desktop\info.txt

The ransomware then begins to look for the following files to encrypt:

→ .pptx,.sql,pat,fxg,fhd,fh,dxb,drw,design,ddrw,ddoc,dcs,wb2,psd,p7c,p7b,p12,pfx,pem,crt,cer,der,pl,py,lua,css,js,asp,php,incpas,asm,hpp,h,cpp,c,csl,csh,cpi,cgm,cdx,cdrw,cdr6,cdr5,cdr4,cdr3,cdr,awg,ait,ai,agd1,ycbcra,x3f,stx,st8,st7,st6,st5,st4,srw,srf,sr2,sd1,sd0,rwz,rwl,rw2,raw,raf,ra2,ptx,pef,pcd,orf,nwb,nrw,nop,nef,ndd,mrw,mos,mfw,mef,mdc,kdc,kc2,iiq,gry,grey,gray,fpx,fff,exf,erf,dng,dcr,dc2,crw,craw,cr2,cmt,cib,ce2,ce1,arw,3pr,3fr,mdb,sqlitedb,sqlite3,sqlite,sql,sdf,sav,sas7bdat,s3db,rdb,psafe3,nyf,nx2,nx1,nsh,nsg,nsf,nsd,ns4,ns3,ns2,myd,kpdx,kdbx,idx,ibz,ibd,fdb,erbsql,db3,dbf,db-journal,db,cls,bdb,al,adb,backupdb,bik,backup Source: BleepingComputer

So far it is believed that the ransomware uses strong RSA-2048 and AES-128 encryption algorithms which are practically near impossible to decipher directly. After file encryption, the ransomware displays the following ransom message:

→ “Locky Ransomware
All of you files are encrypted with RSA-2048 and AES-128 ciphers.
More information about the RSA and AES can be found here:
{links to Wikipedia}
Decrypting of your files is only possible with the following steps.
How to buy decryption?
1.You can make a payment with BitCoins; there are many methods to get them.
2.You should register BitCoin wallet (simplest online wallet OR some other methods of creating wallet)
3.Purchasing Bitcoins – Although it’s not yet easy to buy bitcoins, it’s getting simpler every day.”

The ransomware has been reported to demand around 0.75 BTC as ransom money from the victims. However malware research experts report that it does not use Tor networking like the original Locky Ransomware, and it uses different programming language than Locky’s C++.

Remove Locky Ransomware and Get Your Files Back

First, before restoring your files, you should remove this ransomware from your computer. To do this effectively, we strongly recommend backing up the encrypted data before following the instructions in the steps below.

After removing AutoLocky, it is time to recover your files. Fortunately, Emsisoft have developed decrypters for AutoLocky ransomware, and you can download it by clicking on step “4. Restore files encrypted by AutoLocky”. The decryptor works fairly easy; you just have to:
1. Open it and wait for it to discover the decryption key.
2. Press OK after the decryption key has been found.
3. Wait for your files to be decrypted one by one.

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

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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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

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

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Step 6: Click on Restart.
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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 AutoLocky with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

Remove AutoLocky with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

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

donload_now_140
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.

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Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button.
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Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any AutoLocky files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently.
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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 AutoLocky 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
backup-1
2-Type Backup And Restore
3-Open it and click on Set Up Backup
w7-backup3
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.
backup-3
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.
backup-4
6-Click on ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the next window in order to protect your files from possible attacks by AutoLocky.
backup-5

1-Press Windows button + R
filehistory-1
2-In the window type ‘filehistory’ and press Enter
filehistory-2
3-A File History window will appear. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’
filehistory-3
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.
filehistory-4
5-Select the drive then click on ‘Ok’ in order to set up file backup and protect yourself from AutoLocky.

1- Press Windows button + R keys.
sysdm
2- A run windows should appear. In it type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and then click on Run.
windows-defense2
3- A System Properties windows should appear. In it choose System Protection.
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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 AutoLocky is on.
windows-defense1
Restoring a file via Windows Defense feature:
1-Right-click on the encrypted file, then choose Properties.
file-restore1
2-Click on the Previous Versions tab and then mark the last version of the file.
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3-Click on Apply and Ok and the file encrypted by AutoLocky should be restored.

4. Restore files encrypted by AutoLocky

Restore Files Encrypted by AutoLocky

Fortunately, Emsisoft researchers have managed to discover a solution for AutoLocky ransomware and create a decryptor to restore your files. Below you may find the download URL:

Emsisoft AutoLocky Decrypter

Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Remove AutoLocky Using Other Alternative Tools

STOPZilla Anti Malware
1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove AutoLocky.
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.
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Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
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Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
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Step 6: Review and click on the ‘Install’ button.
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Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button.

2. Scan your PC with STOPZilla Anti Malware to remove all AutoLocky 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.
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Step 3: After the removal of all threats and associated objects, you should Restart your PC.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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