Attention! This article will help you remove .locked4 Virus (Fantom ransomware) effectively. Follow the ransomware removal instructions given below carefully.
The Fantom ransomware cryptovirus is back with a new variant. The virus encrypts files with more than 1200 different extensions as in the past. The newly appended extension to the encrypted files is .locked4. A ransom sum is demanded from all victims, while a ProtonMail address is given for contacting the cybercriminals – namely firstname.lastname@example.org. See if you can try to restore some of your files with the ways outlaid at the end of this article.
|Short Description||The ransomware will encrypt your files and demand payment. A ProtonMail address is given as a contact – email@example.com.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will encrypt over 1200 files with different extensions while placing the .locked4 extension after their names. A ransom note with instructions will be shown on your screen after the encryption process is done.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Fantom Ransomware.|
.Locked4 Virus (Fantom Ransomware) – Infection
The latest variant of the Fantom ransomware is possible to spread in a few ways. Spam emails are believed to be the most used way for spreading this virus. A spam email like that usually is being composed of a brief description that tries to convince you that is of big importance. Furthermore, victims usually open an attached file, which is presented as useful or having more information related to the letter. Those attachments might look harmless, but upon opening, such a file can drop the payload of the virus and infect your computer. One of these files is on VirusTotal:
Websites for file-sharing or social media could be utilized to spread the Fantom ransomware variant further. The cyber crooks might have put a file containing a malicious script on those networks. Opening the file will release the payload of the ransomware, and your system will be infected shortly after. Avoid any suspicious emails, links, and files as prevention from these attacks. When you are about to open a file you downloaded, check its signatures first, along with its size and scan it with a security tool. You can read more ransomware tips for prevention in our forum.
.locked4 Virus (Fantom Ransomware) – Information
Right after the infection, the payload file will create files on your personal computer. Those files will launch a fake update. You can see the fake Windows update screen right here below:
The screen will be locked and disallow any interaction with it or different windows. If you see the screen shown in the above image, know that your files are in the process of being locked in the background. You might be able to close the screen using the Ctrl + F4 key combination. That will not stop the encryption process. The screen is detailed and even has a percentage counter to fake the spike in activity of your disk drives – to best imitate an update.
The Fantom ransomware can create entries in the Windows Registry, that allow it to auto-start with the boot of the Windows operating system. In support of that, the ransomware will not encrypt any files which have the following extensions:
→.sys, .dll, .exe, .ico, .link, .locked4, .purge, .frozen, .tmp, .temp, dll, ini, manifest, .com, .prx, .bin, .am, .dlm, .ngr
The following folders might also be ignored along with all files inside them:
→APPDATA, ProgramData, ProgramFiles, WINDOWS, APPDATA, Appdata, Application Data, intel, nvidia, Program Files, Program Files x86, Windows, RECYCLER, Recycle.Bin, Recycler, TEMP, Temp, Microsoft, RECYCLE.BIN
After encrypting the rest of the files set in the ransomware’s code, a note with the instructions for paying the ransom will appear on your desktop. That ransom note looks the same as the one in the last variant of the cryptovirus. It is contained in a file called ”RESTORE-FILES![random symbols].hta” and looks like the following:
The newest variant of Fantom ransomware does not set a price for paying not unlike its predecessors. The claim for the deletion of your files from its servers after a while is still there. The criminals who made it once again are using the ProtonMail encrypted mail service and a BitMessage address:
- https://bitmsg.me BM-2cTivRoWe5eXdZAt8PqxTJ6tqaQwoaNt6t
Do NOT contact the cybercriminals asking for decryption. No guarantee exists that you will get your files back to normal and as you should know by now, that these crooks will keep making ransomware. Deciding to give them money for the potential unlocking of your files is a bad idea, because it will probably be used to build the next ransomware project. In conclusion, you might end up having your files locked again.
The latest version of the Fantom ransomware is believed to search to encrypt files with nearly 1,300 different extensions, just like before. The list is enormous, so all of those extensions are put in the below drop-down window:
All of the encrypted files will have one and the same extension appended to them, which is .locked4. The ransomware probably uses the RSA-2048 encryption algorithm as its past iterations. The ransomware still seems to be not decryptable.
The Fantom ransomware is very likely to delete the Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows operating system. Read below to learn of some ways in which you can try to restore some of your data.
Remove .locked4 Virus (Fantom Ransomware) and Restore Your Files
If your computer got infected with the Fantom ransomware virus, you should have some experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as fast as possible before it can have the chance of spreading further and infect more computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below. To see in what ways you can try to recover your data, check the step titled 2. Restore files encrypted by Fantom ransomware.
What is Fantom Ransomware Ransomware?
Fantom Ransomware 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 algorithms 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.
Can Fantom Ransomware Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like Fantom Ransomware?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does Fantom Ransomware Infect?
Via several ways.Fantom Ransomware Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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 Fantom Ransomware 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 .Fantom Ransomware files?
You can't. At this point, the .Fantom Ransomware files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Fantom Ransomware files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Fantom Ransomware" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Fantom Ransomware files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of Fantom Ransomware Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate Fantom Ransomware ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Fantom Ransomware files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Fantom Ransomware ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
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 can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way 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.
How to Report Ransomware to Authorities?
In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.
Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:
Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can Fantom Ransomware Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the Fantom Ransomware Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Fantom Ransomware how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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.
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- Always check "About Us" web page.
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