THREAT REMOVAL

Remove CryptoLocker Ransomware Virus

This article is created to help you remove CryptoLocker ransomware and restore files encrypted by it’s variants(.cryptolocker, .powned and other encrypted files)

Ever since the original CryptoLocker caused quite a stir back three years ago, the ransomware virus has been the source for many variations of it and updated versions that have continued to infect users in 2017. Even though law enforcement agencies have continued to taken down this ransomware virus in an operation, called Tovar, cyber-criminal groups have created multiple copycats and updated the original virus as well. Cryptolocker 2017 is the latest updated version of the virus and features the utilization of the RSA-2048 encryption algorithm which generates a unique encryption key for each encrypted file. And just like the other versions, we see the message demanding 0.5-1.5 BitCoins to be paid to get the files back. In case you have been infected by the Cryptolocker 2017 infection, we recommend reading this article to learn how to remove this virus and restore files encrypted by it.

Threat Summary

Name

CryptoLocker

TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionCryptoLocker 2017 encrypts the files on compromised computers, asking a ransom of 0.5 up to 1.5 BTC ransom payoff.

SymptomsThe user witnesses the CryptoLocker ransom note (image above) along with instructions and e-mail contacts (sysgop01@india.com, sysgop02@india.com, suppteam03@india.com, suppteam03@yandex.com, suppcop@india.com, and suppcop@yandex.ru.) of the cyber-criminals.
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 malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin our forum to Discuss CryptoLocker.
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.

CryptoLocker 2017 Virus – How Does It Spread

Behind the infection process of CryptoLocker 2017 lies a sophisticated network of spammers who spread the ransomware using different tactics. Usually, in terms of software used, the crooks take advantage of JavaScript that is malicious or attacks via Exploit Kits, reprogrammed to download the virus’s payload on the compromised computer.

Such tactics may be employed in combination with malicious files that are uploaded on Dropbox accounts as SFX (Self-Extracting archives) or other types of files. In addition to this, the CryptoLocker 2017 virus may also utilize fake program installers, game patching software or programs that are related to patching or licensing software. Such are usually posted on suspicious websites or uploaded via compromised Torrent sites.

In addition to this, the CryptoLocker 2017 virus may also be spread in archives uploaded in e-mail spam messages that aim to convince the user into opening the attachment. Such is also possible, if web links, linking to Dropbox accounts are embedded within the e-mails. The convincing messages may be of different types, as criminals have pre-written spam templates they send out massively, for example:

  • “Your PayPal Receipt.”
  • “Your eBay order has been confirmed.”
  • “Open the attachment to see your new credit card number.”
  • “Your account has been suspended.”

Once these e-mails are sent and the victim believes the statements in them and opens the attachment, he becomes infected with a loader or a dropper that is obfuscated. This obfuscated program may connect to a remote cyber-criminal server and download the payload of Cryptolocker 2017. The payload may consist of the following malicious files being created:

→ %AppData%\WinDsk\windsk.exe or sysras.exe
%AppData%\windskwp.jpg
%Desktop%:\CryptoLocker.lnk
%Desktop%:\en_files.txt

From there, the malicious activity of CryptoLocker 2017 begins.

CryptoLocker 2017 Ransomware – Malicious Activity

The malicious activity of CryptoLocker is to insert code in legitimate Windows processes and files responsible for the Windows Registry editor. This is due to the fact that CryptoLocker ransomware controls the regedit.exe to modify the following subkey adding a custom value in it:

→ HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\ with an added value string – “wincl” = “{location to the malicious executable}”

In addition to this, the virus may have been updated to delete the Shadow Copies of the infected computer and disable system recovery via the bcedit and vssadmin commands:

→ process call create “cmd.exe /c
vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /quiet
bcdedit.exe /set {default} recoveryenabled no
bcdedit.exe /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures

In addition to those, the virus may have also adopted some of the activity from it’s many copycats and versions, which you can find on the related article below:

CryptoLocker 2017 – Encryption Process

For the encryption process of CryptoLocker ransomware, different types mechanisms are utilized. For starters, the virus uses the XOR encryption cipher which works on the following encryption formula:

For the encryption process, CryptoLocker does not attack many file types, but instead is focused only on important documents, like PDF files, presentations, documents and Adobe Photoshop files. The files for which CryptoLocker ransomware scans for to encrypt are reported to be the following:

→ .3fr, .accdb, .ai, .arw, .bay, .cdr, .cer, .cr2, .crt, .crw, .h, .dbf, .dcr, .der, .dng, .doc, .docm, .docx, .dwg, .dxf, .dxg, .eps, .erf, .indd, .jpe, .jpg, .kdc, .mdb, .mdf, .mef, .mrw, .nef, .nrw, .odb, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt, .orf, .p12, .p7b, .p7c, .pdd, .pef, .pem, .pfx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .psd, .pst, .ptx, .r3d, .raf, .raw, .rtf, .rw2, .rwl, .srf, .srw, .wb2, .wpd, .wps, .xlk, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx Source:kb.wisc.edu

After the encryption process is complete, the ransomware renders the files on the compromised computer no longer able to be opened and leaves behind it’s ransom note where it’s demands are stated:

“Support e-mail: sysgop01@india.com sysgop02@india.com
Your personal files encryption produced on this computer: photos, videos, documents, etc.
Encryption was produced using a unique public key RSA-2048 generated for this computer.
To decrypt files you need to obtain the private key.
The singe copy of the private key, which will allow to decrypt the files,
Located on a secret server on the Internetl the server will destroy the key after XX hours.
After that nobody and never will be able to restore files
To obtain the private ke for this computer you need to pay XX Bitcoin (~XX USD)
Your Bitcoin address:
{Address key}
You must send XX Bitcoin to the specified address and report it to e-mail customer support.
In the letter must specify your Bitcoin address to which the payment was made.”

Whatever the case may be, reccomendations are always not to pay any ransom and backup the encrypted files and look for alternative solutions, like the ones below.

Remove CryptoLocker Virus and Restore Encrypted Files

Before beginning the removal process of CryptoLocker ransomware, we recommend you to focus on backing up the malicious files of this ransomware infection prior to performing the removal.

For an effective and successful removal to take place, we advise following the removal instructions posted at the end of this article. They are specifically designed to help you isolate CryptoLocker before hunting down the files. In case manual removal may be a challenge and you feel unsure, experts always advise removing CryptoLocker automatically. The best way to do this is by using a particular anti-malware software which automatically removes all objects related to CryptoLocker from your computer.

File Recovery

In case you have been infected by the PClock variant of Cryptolocker, make sure to use the Emsisoft Decrypter for PClock available on their web page. But beware, because CryptoLocker 2017 may look the same as PClock at first glance. This is why we recommend trying this decryption method only after you have created copies of the encrypted files.

The same goes if it doesn’t work and you try the alternative methods which we have also suggested in step “2. Restore files encrypted by CryptoLocker” below. They are not 100% effective, but with their aid, you may restore a great portion of your encrypted files.

If you have been infected by another version of CryptoLocker 2017 ransomware, you can also check FireEye’s webpage for more information.

Avatar

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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Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.

As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.

How to recognize trustworthy sources:

  • Always check "About Us" web page.
  • Profile of the content creator.
  • Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
  • Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.


OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Spy Hunter
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove CryptoLocker from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove CryptoLocker

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall CryptoLocker and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by CryptoLocker on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by CryptoLocker there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for CryptoLocker with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is 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. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by CryptoLocker.

Ransomware infections and CryptoLocker aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of CryptoLocker from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall CryptoLocker and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to CryptoLocker:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to CryptoLocker. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to CryptoLocker. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove CryptoLocker via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as CryptoLocker. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by CryptoLocker on your Mac.

Ransomware for Mac CryptoLocker aims to encode all your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decode, unless you pay money.

This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files, but only in some cases. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the recommended Data Recovery Mac app by clicking on the link underneath:


CryptoLocker FAQ

What is CryptoLocker ransomware and how does it work?

CryptoLocker is a ransomware infection - the malicious software that enters your computer silently and blocks either access to the computer itself or encrypt your files.

Many ransomware viruses use sophisticated encryption algorithm how to make your files inaccessible. The goal of ransomware infections is to demand that you pay a ransom payment to get access to your files back.

How does CryptoLocker ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.CryptoLocker Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, containing virus attachment.

This attachment is usually masked as an important document, like an invoice, bank document or even a plane ticket and it looks very convincing to users.

After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.

Another way, you may become a victim of CryptoLocker is if you download a fake installer, crack or patch from a low reputation website or if you click on a virus link. Many users report getting a ransomware infection by downloading torrents.

How to open .CryptoLocker files?

You can't. At this point the .CryptoLocker files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .CryptoLocker files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by CryptoLocker ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.

How Do I restore ".CryptoLocker" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .CryptoLocker files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How do I get rid of CryptoLocker ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate CryptoLocker ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .CryptoLocker files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like CryptoLocker ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.

What to Do If nothing works?

There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:

  • Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
  • Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
  • Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted it can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way to get back some of your files is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
  • You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.

More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.

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