2017 has not marked the death of Locky ransomware. Article, designed to help you remove the Locky ransomware virus infection and try to decrypt files encrypted with the .locky file extension appended to them. Locky virus has come out in many iterations and many variations of it are still using the .locky extensions embedded on files encrypted by the virus. The ransomware in question is Locky, and it sets an extension with the same name to the victim’s encrypted files. Files that Locky targets for encryption are mainly documents. To remove the ransomware and see how you can try to restore your files, you should carefully read the article.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files with the RSA algorithm and AES-128 ciphers and asks a ransom for decryption.|
|Symptoms||Files are encrypted and become inaccessible. A ransom note with instructions for paying the ransom shows as a .txt file.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, File Sharing Networks.|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Locky Ransomware |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss Locky Ransomware.|
|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.|
Locky Ransomware – Update August 2017
Locky has reappeared in the past month, but wasn’t running for all Windows versions and its spam campaign was hindered shortly after. That only means that there is bound to be a comeback for the notorious cryptovirus and it might happen during the month of August, 2017. At the moment there are no reports from victims or malware researchers trying to find new samples of the ransomware, but that surely could be the calm before the storm.
Locky Ransomware – Update July 2017
Locky ransomware continues to infect users worldwide, and is also one of cybercriminals’ most preferred ransomware pieces when it comes to creating copycats. Jaff ransomware appeared last month and is still active as evident by the statistics and users’ complaints over tech support forums.
In factm Jaff mimics Locky ransomware in more than one way, including the payment page design, the way it distributes its infection payload, etc. Similarly to Locky and other ransomware families, Jaff ransomware might also be spreading its payload file via social media and file-sharing networks. Learn more about Jaff.
Locky Ransomware – Update May 2017
Locky ransomware keeps spreading and infecting new users even up to this day, but mainly distributes newer variants. The latest of them all is the Locky’s .Loptr File Extension Virus variant which is spreading with malspam campaigns delivering document files embedded inside PDF files. The document files contain hidden macro commands which download the virus from a domain and afterward infect the computer system they were activated on. This clever obfuscation tactic is applied to try and prevent security programs from detecting the threat. As that method of delivering the virus to a computer requires social engineering, experts advise you to not open emails, nor their attachments if you are not certain of their origin.
Locky Ransomware – Spread
Locky ransomware spreads in several ways. One is through spam emails having a malicious file attached. Opening the attachment automatically gets malware inside your computer. The malicious code may also hide inside the body of the email. So, only opening such emails is enough to get you infected, even without getting to the attachment part.
Learn More about Locky’s Spam Email Campaigns
Other ways this virus can spread are via file sharing services and social networks, which may contain similar attachments and files with the Locky ransomware inside. These files might be presented to you as useful or something needed, like an update. Visiting untrusted websites and clicking on links with redirects could also lead to this malware infection.
Locky Ransomware – Information
Locky is classified by researchers as ransomware.
If your computer is infected with it, the ransomware might create new values in the Windows Registry to improve its persistence. That includes an automatic start with every boot of Windows. The modifications are usually made in these registry entries:
It has already been included in several security programs’ definitions and detected by them as shown in the VirusTotal site:
Afterward, the ransomware will create at least one file called _Locky_recover_instructions.txt, which contains the ransom note with instructions on how to pay the ransom. It states the following:
!!! IMPORTANT INFORMATION !!!!
All of your files are encrypted with RSA-2048 and AES-128 ciphers.
More information about the RSA and AES can be found here:
Decrypting of your files is only possible with the private key and decrypt program, All which is on our secret server.
To receive your private key follow one of the links:
1. hxxp: //6dtxgqam4crv6rr6.tor2web(.)org/[mixed letters and numbers] 2. hxxp: //6dtxgqam4crv6rr6.onion(.)to/[mixed letters and numbers] 3. hxxp: //6dtxgqam4crv6rr6.onion(.)cab/[mixed letters and numbers] 4. hxxp: //6dtxgqam4crv6rr6.onion(.)link/[mixed letters and numbers]
If all of this addresses are not available, follow synthesis steps:
1. Download and install Tor Browser: https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy(.)html
2. After a successful installation, run the browser and wait for initialization.
3. Type in the address bar: 6dtxgqam4crv6rr6(.)onion / [mixed letters and numbers] 4. Follow the instructions on the site.
!!! Your personal identification ID: [mixed letters and numbers] !!!
Users of Reddit clicked on one of the links inside this ransom note, and have provided an image of what the payment website looks like:
Image Source: Reddit
On that website, there is an alleged Locky Decrypter program and a promise that your files will be decrypted if you pay. Contacting the ransomware makers to pay for the ransom is strongly NOT advised. There is no guarantee your files are going to be decrypted with the above-mentioned decrypter software. Also, paying ransomware creators is like an equivalent of supporting them to make an even worse version of the malware and a tougher encryption.
The Locky ransomware is known to search for and encrypt document and text files. The files that it could encrypt have the following extensions:
→ .doc, .docm, .log, .pap, .info, .gdoc, .asp, .jsp, .json, .xhtml, .txt, .xls, .xlsx, .xml, .docx, .html, .js, .mdb, .odt, .asc, .conf, .msg, .rtf, .cfg, .cnf, .pdf, .php, .ppt, .pptx, .sql
This is not a full list as there could be other file extensions that the ransomware searches for encryption. After encryption, files have the extension .locky. The encryption algorithm of the ransomware, according to its own ransom note is RSA mixed with AES-128 ciphers. This makes a very strong encryption.
Learn More about AES-128 Encryption
The Locky ransomware is known to encrypt file locations which usually contain documents, such as:
- C:\Documents and Settings\Users\My Documents
For now, it is not known if Shadow Volume Copies are erased from the Windows operating system, but it is likely. So, after removing the ransomware, you should check the third section of the instructions written below for a few ways which can help you try to restore your files.
Remove Locky Ransomware and Restore .locky Encrypted Files
If you have been infected by Locky, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. This ransomware could lock your files irreparably, so it is highly recommended that you act fast and follow the step-by-step instructions provided down here.