THREAT REMOVAL

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 malware

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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 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:

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.

Avatar

Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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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 Anti-Malware
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 Locky Ransomware from Windows.


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

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 Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware:

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 Locky Ransomware. 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 Locky Ransomware. 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 Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware. 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 Locky Ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Locky Ransomware 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.


Locky Ransomware FAQ

What is Locky Ransomware ransomware and how does it work?

Locky 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 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 Locky Ransomware ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Locky Ransomware 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 Locky 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 .Locky Ransomware files?

You can't. At this point the .Locky Ransomware 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 .Locky Ransomware files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Locky Ransomware 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 ".Locky Ransomware" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Locky Ransomware files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Locky Ransomware 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.

7 Comments

  1. AvatarL. 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.

    Reply
  2. Avatarcarlos 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

    Reply
  3. Avatarbronger

    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…

    Reply
  4. Avatartony

    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?

    Reply
    1. AvatarKenny Black

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

      Reply
  5. Avatarsha

    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!

    Reply
  6. AvatarJosué 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.

    Reply

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