The iLock ransomware, previously spotted in 2016 has returned with a new version. Being one of the first ransomware viruses that are themed in an Anonymous style, the virus aims to intimidate the user by dropping a WARNING-OPEN-ME.txt where the the virus asks the user to pay a hefty ransom fee in order to decrypt the encrypted files. Despite this being the case and the TOR payment page reported to not be working, malware researchers advise not to pay any ransom and instead remove iLock yourself and try to restore the files. Keep reading to learn more about iLock ransomware and learn how to eliminate it plus try and
get the files back.
|Short Description||The malware encrypts users files using a strong encryption algorithm, making direct decryption possible only via a unique decryption key available to the cyber-criminals.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness ransom notes and “instructions” linking to a web page and a decryptor. Files are no longer openable.|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss iLock.|
|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.|
How Does The iLock Virus Spread
In order to cause an infection, the cyber-criminals behind the iLock threat may have used an advanced spamming kit, which is basically a mixture of tools to successfully spam different types of phishing e-mails across computers worldwide. The tools included may be:
- A list of e-mail accounts that are not blocked by spam filters and are tested for e-mail attachments being sent.
- A list of distribution malware, like exploit kits’, obfuscators and documents with malicious macros.
- A pre-set list of socially engineered e-mails that may copycat original e-mails from FedEx, Amazon, E-bay, a bank, AliExpress plus many other well-known websites and services. This is created to hook the user into opening the attachment.
All of these tools combined with multiple online servers that conduct the spamming may end up increasing the infection rate of the iLock ransomware. Despite that they may work, one of it’s TOR-based web page has been reported on Twitter to not being able to be opened.
iLock Ransomware – Post-Infection
Once the user has opened the malicious attachment, if he does not have sufficient anti-malware protection, the iLock ransomware successfully drops the following file in the %SystemDrive% directory:
→ C:\Users\admin\Documents\Visual Studio 2013\Project\iLock\encrypter\obj\Debug\encrypter.pdb
In addition to this, iLock may also modify the following registry entries to make encrypter.pdb run on system startup:
After having modified the registry keys, the virus may also delete any backups and shadow copies of the infected computer, using the vssadmin command in administrative mode:
The files encrypter.pdb attacks and scrambles are many. Amongst them are different file types associated with:
- Microsoft Office documents.
- Adobe Reader files.
- Database files.
- Files associated with any backups. (backup image files)
- Virtual machine files.
- Other files associated with often used software.
The virus is very careful to skip encrypting important Windows files, since they may damage the whole system. After encryption the virus drops the following ransom note:
The wallpaper on the affected computer is also changed, depending on the language or region:
Remove iLock Virus and Restore The Files
After you have been attacked with this virus, there is not much you can do, but remove it, experts say. The best advisable method for removal is to use an advanced anti-malware tool, such as the one in the instructions below which will also protect your computer in the future as well.
To try and restore the encrypted files, your first deed of the day should be to back them up i.e. create multiple copies on other drives. After this you can feel free to risk them by trying the alternative methods for file decryption, which we have gladly provided in step “2. Restore files encrypted by iLock” below.
- Guide 1: How to Remove iLock from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of iLock from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove iLock from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase iLock from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall iLock from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove iLock from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate iLock from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove iLock from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove iLock
Step 2: Uninstall iLock 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by iLock on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by iLock there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of iLock from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall iLock and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- 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 iLock 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:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
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.
Remove iLock from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase iLock from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall iLock from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove iLock from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the iLock will be removed.
Eliminate iLock from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.