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Remove Cryptolocker 3 Virus and Restore .Cryptolocker Files

This article aims to show how to remove Cryptolocker 3 virus and restore .cryptolocker encrypted files.

One of the olders crypto-viruses, Cryptolocker ransomware has come up with a 3rd iteration which encrypts user files with a strong encryption adding the .cryptolocker file extension to them. The virus demands 0.5 BTC from the victims to pay in order to get their encrypted files back to normal again. However, it is strongly advisable not to pay any ransom requested by this cryptovirus and instead read our instructions on how to remove this Cryptolocker iteration from your computer and try to restore the encrypted files.

Threat Summary


Cryptolocker 3

Short DescriptionThe malware encrypts users files using a strong encryption algorithm, making direct decryption possible only via a unique decryption key available to the cyber-criminals.
SymptomsThe user may witness ransom notes and “instructions” to pay the ransom in BitCoin. Changed file names and the file-extension .cryptolocker has been used.
Distribution MethodVia an Exploit kit, Dll file attack, malicious JavaScript or a drive-by download of the malware itself in an obfuscated manner.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Cryptolocker 3


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin our forum to Discuss Cryptolocker 3.
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.

How Does Cryptolocker 3 Infect

For it to be successfully spread, the Cryptolocker 3 virus uses the conventional approaches for most malware infections. The malware may undertake an unconventional approach meaning that it takes advantage of malicious e-mail attachments that can infect a computer via a set of tools used, such as:

  • Malware obfuscators.
  • Malicious exploit kits.
  • JavaScript.
  • Malicious macros embedded in .pdf or Microsoft Office documents.

After the infection has been caused, the malware may automatically connect to the cyber-criminals’ command and control servers after which cause an infection via the download of the Cryptolocker 3’s payload. The payload may consist of main executable responsible for file encryption and in addition to it additional module files. The files may be located in the following Windows folders:

  • %AppData%
  • %Roaming%
  • %Temp%
  • %Local%

.Cryptolocker File Virus – Post-Infection Activity

After having infected the user, the virus may modify the following registry keys, adding registry values with custom data in them, to most likely run the encryption process on system startup:

→ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

After this has been completed, the virus may immediately begin to encrypt the files on the compromised computers by injecting malicious code in legitimate processes or starting it’s own encryption processes. This procedure results in the encryption of important for the user files, like:

  • Documents.
  • Audio files.
  • Microsoft Office Files.
  • Adobe Reader .PDF’s.
  • Videos.
  • Pictures.
  • Database files.
  • Virtual drives.

After the encryption process has completed, the Cryptolocker 3 malware begins to perform several different activities, such as changing the file extension on the encrypted files to the following:

After having completed encryption, the Cryptolocker virus may display a lockscreen, containing the following ransom message:

Remove Cryptolocker 3 and Get .Cryptolocker Encrypted Files Back

The bottom line is that the cyber-criminals who are behind this malware aim for one thing only – to obtain your money by extorting you for your files. Fortunately, malware researchers are tirelessly working to battle against ransomware and they often come up with free decryptors. In the meantime, they advise not to pay any ransom and to back up the encrypted files.

To fully remove Cryptolocker from your computer, recommendations are to guide yourself by the malware removal instructions posted below. In case you are having difficulties in manually locating the malicious files created by Cryptolocker, advises are also to use the aid of an anti-malware program that will make sure this specific threat is fully eliminated in a safe manner.

After having removed Cryptolocker, advices are to save the encrypted files on a removable drive or in the cloud and to make copies of them. Then, we recommend trying alternative methods to restore them, like the ones suggested by us in step “2. Restore files encrypted by Cryptolocker” below. They are in no way 100% guaranteed to succeed, but these methods may be solution for at least some of your files, at least until a free decryptor is released, which, if happens, we will update this article.


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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