Remove Locky Ransomware and Restore .locky Encrypted Files

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.

Threat Summary

NameLocky Ransomware
TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts files with the RSA algorithm and AES-128 ciphers and asks a ransom for decryption.
SymptomsFiles are encrypted and become inaccessible. A ransom note with instructions for paying the ransom shows as a .txt file.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, File Sharing Networks.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Locky Ransomware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin our forum to Discuss Locky Ransomware.
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.

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 – 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 – 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:

HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run/

and

HKLM/Software/Microsoft/WindowsNT/CurrentVersion/Winlogon/Shell

It has already been included in several security programs’ definitions and detected by them as shown in the VirusTotal site:

STF-locky-ransomware-virustotal-virus-total-detections-anti-malware-anti-virus-programs

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Encryption_Standard

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:

STF-locky-ransomware-tor2web-main-ransom-decrypt-website-page-info

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:\Users\[UserName]\Documents
  • Desktop\MyDocs\Downloads
  • 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.

Manually delete Locky Ransomware from your computer

Note! Substantial notification about the Locky Ransomware threat: Manual removal of Locky Ransomware requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Locky Ransomware files and objects
2.Find malicious files created by Locky Ransomware on your PC
3.Fix registry entries created by Locky Ransomware on your PC

Automatically remove Locky Ransomware by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

1. Remove Locky Ransomware with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
2. Back up your data to secure it against infections and file encryption by Locky Ransomware in the future
3. Restore files encrypted by Locky Ransomware
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Berta Bilbao

Berta is the Editor-in-Chief of SensorsTechForum. She is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space.

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  • L. Maik

    Thanks for the info. Just one thing: Thete is no Locky decryptor on the Kaspersky’s webpage.
    There are other decryptors, but none specially tailored for locky.

  • carlos jaurez

    buenas tardes

    Se podrian recuperar los archivos si se conecta el disco duro con un adaptador o haciendolo esclavo??? Existe riesgo de al hacer esto la computadora que este visualizando los arhcivos se infecte tambien ??

    Saludos

  • bronger

    Le souci c’est que shadow explorer restaure les fichiers word à une date postérieur à l’attaque de locky, c’est donc un coup d’épée dans l’eau…

  • tony

    I have a client who complained about his laptop being infected by Locky. At this very moment I am performing a malware check on the whole network and I have cleaned the infected PC. Fortunately for her, i managed to find a backup of the data on another flash drive.

    Do you know by any chance if Locky can spread to other PCs on the network or smartphones? Does it infect servers?

    • Kenny Black

      Yes if Network share is mapped it will treat it as a drive

  • sha

    hi tony,

    the ransomware is not reported to have multi-device spreading capabilities as far as i am concerned. locky uses a lot of methods to spread, however so be careful and teach your client how to spot malware!

  • Josué David

    Hi everyone
    I have a problem with the new variant, all my documents are encrypted with *.cript.

    I probe all kaspersky tolls, but noneone works with this variant.

    Please help me to recover my files.

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