THREAT REMOVAL

Remove PClock Cryptolocker Ransomware and Decrypt Encrypted Files

pclock-crytolocker-image-sensorstechforum-PClock ransomware, pretending to be the notorious Cryptolocker, which is one of the first infections of this kind, has been reported to encrypt files. The crypto-virus uses the algorithm XOR to encrypt the data. The PClock ransomware wants 0.5 BTC, which is approximately 220 USD to decrypt the files and give the user access to them. However, users are strongly advised NOT to pay any ransom money, because there may be a solution to decrypt the files. If you want to remove PClock from your computer and decrypt the data, please read the instructions in this article.

Threat Summary

Name PClock
Type Ransomware
Short Description The ransomware encrypts files with a powerful RSA algorithm and asks a 0.5 BTC ransom payment for decryption.
Symptoms Files are encrypted and become inaccessible. The wallpaper is changed and a window pops up, both with the ransom note, giving a deadline to pay the ransom ammount..
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, File Sharing Networks.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join our forum to Discuss PClock 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.

PClock Ransomware – Spread

To infect users, PClock is believed to use one of the following methods:

Infect via malicious URLs posted as referral spam messages or spam e-mails.
Infect via dangerous files that may contain JavaScript or Exploit Kits that are programmed to download the payload undetected.

To begin with, the ransomware may use the following e-mail subjects to convince users into clicking on the malicious content:

  • “Your PayPal Receipt.”
  • “Your eBay order has been confirmed.”
  • “Open the attachment to see your new credit card number.”
  • “Your account has been suspended.”

Such indirect social engineering type of attacks are the primary reason users get infected by malware. We strongly advise you to check thoroughly every URL or file you believe is suspicious before its even downloaded on your computer. One way to do this is via online security services, such as VirusTotal or HerdProtect, for example.

PClock Ransomware – More about The Threat

After infecting a computer system, PClock may create the following files on its primary drive:

In %AppData%:
\WinDsk\windsk.exe – the executable of the ransomware that may encrypt files.
\WinDsk\windskwp.jpg – the ransom message which is set as a background after a successful infection.
On %Desktop%:
CryptoLocker.lnk – a support file for paying the ransom.
In the %User’s Profile% folder:
enc_files.txt – a list which contains the names of the files that have been encrypted by the ransomware.

In addition to that, PClock also gets administrative permissions to modify the Windows Registry editor. This is done to create a registry entry that runs the malicious “windsk.exe” file every time you boot up Windows. The targeted key with values is the following:

The key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\
The values in it:
“wincl” = “{location to the malicious executable}”

After finishing the setup process, PClock Ransomware start the encryption process. Researchers from the independent blog ID-Ransomware.blogspot.bg https://id-ransomware.blogspot.bg have identified that it uses the XOR cipher to encrypt files. PClock scans for the following files and encrypts them:

→ .3fr, .accdb, .ai, .arw, .bay, .cdr, .cer, .cr2, .crt, .crw, .h, .dbf, .dcr, .der, .dng, .doc, .docm, .docx, .dwg, .dxf, .dxg, .eps, .erf, .indd, .jpe, .jpg, .kdc, .mdb, .mdf, .mef, .mrw, .nef, .nrw, .odb, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt, .orf, .p12, .p7b, .p7c, .pdd, .pef, .pem, .pfx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .psd, .pst, .ptx, .r3d, .raf, .raw, .rtf, .rw2, .rwl, .srf, .srw, .wb2, .wpd, .wps, .xlk, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx Source:kb.wisc.edu

After encrypting the files, PClock changes the wallpaper of the user, with a message that makes it look like CryptoLocker:

note-2-2

Furthermore, it opens up a Window with payment instructions to additionally scare off infected users into paying ransom money:

note-2-1

The ransomware usually gives around 72 hours to pay the ransom money of 0.5 BitCoins. After this, it threatens to destroy the private keys.

Remove PClock Ransomware after Which Decrypt the Files

“Do not pay the ransom!” – This is what malware researchers advise infected users. Luckily there is a decryptor provided for PClock by EmsiSoft, and you may download it by clicking on the web link in step “3. Decrypt files encrypted by PClock Ransomware” below.

To remove PClock, you should immediately orient towards following the instructions below. They will help you isolate this cyber-threat and remove it without damaging your system.

Avatar

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter


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 PClock from Windows.


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

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 PClock 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 PClock 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 PClock 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 PClock 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 PClock.

Ransomware infections and PClock 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 PClock from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall PClock 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 PClock:

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 PClock. 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 PClock. 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 PClock 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 PClock. 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.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for PClock:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by PClock.

Ransomware infections and PClock 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.


PClock FAQ

What is PClock ransomware and how does it work?

PClock 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 PClock ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.PClock 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 PClock 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 .PClock files?

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

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like PClock 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.

5 Comments
  1. AvatarJohn McClane

    Is there anyone who confirms that decrypting actually works?

    Reply
    1. SensorsTechForumSensorsTechForum

      Hello John,

      The decrypter tool works, but some users report that it did not work on their PCs. Moreover, it was updated just recently, you can try it and get back to us to share your experience: http://emsi.at/DecryptPClock2.

      Cheers,

      STF

      Reply
      1. AvatarJohn McClane

        Thx, it looks like my encrypted files are other type than PClock. Anyway I might use it in the future in case I need it. thx

        Reply
        1. SensorsTechForumSensorsTechForum

          You’re welcome!

          Stay tuned :)

          Reply
  2. AvatarAnmol

    Sir my laptop is affected by the cryptolocker and it is identified as the pclocker ransomware, how do i decrypt my files

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Stay tuned
Subscribe for our newsletter regarding the latest cybersecurity and tech-related news.