Home > Ransomware > Remove SkidLocker Ransomware and Restore .locked Files

Remove SkidLocker Ransomware and Restore .locked Files

encrypted-files-.locked-SkidLockerRansomware, going by the name SkidLocker has been reported to threaten users that they will never see their files again unless they make a payoff to cyber-criminal. The ransom payment amount which SkidLocker demands to decrypt the files it encodes is ~0.5 BTC which is around 250 US dollars. What is more, this crypto virus uses AES encryption algorithm to encode the files of infected users. After doing so, SkidLocker ads the .locked file extension to the encrypted files. Users are left with no choice but to pay the ransom with no guarantee their files will be restored back.
However, we strongly advise against paying any ransom money to decrypt your files to any ransomware, not just SkidLocker. This is because there is no guarantee you will receive your files back and furthermore, you support the cyber-criminals to further develop their ransomware.

Threat Summary



Type Ransomware
Short Description The malware encrypts files with a strong AES algorithm and uses RSA cipher to encrypt the key for decryption.
Symptoms The user may witness his wallpaper changed and unfamiliar files on his desktop. READ_IT.txt appears as a ransom note text file..
Distribution Method Via an Exploit kit.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join our forum to Discuss SkidLocker 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.

SkidLocker Ransomware – Distribution Strategy

In order to infect users successfully SkidLocker`s creators may use different types of distribution methods to reach the end user.

They may conduct massive spam campaigns that resemble reputable services like PayPal, eBay, different banks, BestBuy and other services. The messages often feature malicious URLs that may lead to the automatic execution of a .js(JavaScript) file or even an Exploit Kit infection.

Another campaign that may be used to distribute SkidLocker is extremely shady websites or compromised legitimate sites. Such sites may have malicious executables put instead of setups of original software that the user might believe he or she is downloading.

The ransomware may also be distributed wherever you meet malicious URLs – forums, social media like Facebook, twitter and other. Such links, however are a bit tricky to place because, the cyber-criminals need to make them undetectable by the malware filters of the website. One way is to make the web links bounce through several hosts until the user lands on the malicious URL.

SkidLocker Ransomware – Technical Analysis

After infection, SkidLocker has been reported to create the following files:

In C:\Users\{Username}\Desktop:
In C:\Users\{Username}:

After doing so, the ransomware is able to successfully encrypt files using not just one but two encryption algorithms:

  • AES to encrypt the files.
  • RSA to encrypt the decryption password of the AES encrypted files

The ransomware is pre-programmed to look for the following file types and encode them:

→ .txt, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .pdf, .pps, .ppt, .pptx, .odt, .gif, .jpg, .png, .db, .csv, .sql, .mdb, .sln, .php, .asp, .aspx, .html, .xml, .psd, .frm, .myd, .myi, .dbf, .mp3, .mp4, .avi, .mov, .mpg, .rm, .wmv, .m4a, .mpa, .wav, .sav, .gam, .log, .ged, .msg, .myo, .tax, .ynab, .ifx, .ofx, .qfx, .qif, .qdf, .tax2013, .tax2014, .tax2015, .box, .ncf, .nsf, .ntf, .lwp

Researchers at Nyxbone have also established that the ransomware executes a so-called “CreatePassword” command to encrypt the files with an AES cipher and use a unique 32 character alpha-numerical password for deciphering them.

After doing so, SkidLocker ransomware uses a very strong RSA cipher to encrypt the AES key file. It executes a “EncryptTextRSA” and “RSAENcrypt” commands to conduct the encryption.

Finally after it encrypts the files, the .locked file extension is added, for example:

→ Picture.jpg.locked

The ransomware is also reported to establish an active connection with the server which is believed by researchers to be the command and control center of the virus. When Nyxbone checked the index of the server, the following files appeared, suggesting that other malware may also be distributed in association with this server:

SkidLocker-index-server-sensorstechforum-nyxboneSource: nyxbone.com

This server may also be used to send the encryption key in a RSA encrypted form to the cyber-criminals, so that they are successfully able to extort users with it. After this is done, the ransomware then changes the wallpaper using the image “ransom.jpg” it created:


The ransomware also drops a READ_IT.txt file which has the following ransom message:

→ “(If you are in Notepad, please click the Format menu above ^^^^ and click Word Wrap)
Uh oh. It looks like your data has been the victim of the encryption thief. Your files have been encrypted with AES: search your drive for “locked” if you don`t believe me. Unfortunately you’re going to have to pay some money to get your files back and your fee is approximately $200 in US Dollars. I`ll get right to the ugly details for that:
*You have 72 hours to make this happen as of {date} {time}. Otherwise, your files are lost for good. I will delete the necessary code for all time and I don`t even have to revisit your machine to do it.
*You will be paying by Bitcoin. Don`t worry, it is easy to figure out. Your fee is 0.500639 BTC. Pay this amount precisely, or I might not know who it was that paid in order to rescue them.
*Use LocalBitcoins.com. It isn`t hard to user, there are numerous ways to pay for my bitcoins on there and most importantly, it is fast. Did I mention you have 72 hours?
*The address you will be sending the bitcoins to is {Cyber-criminal’s bitcoin address}.
*Then you will wait for me to get the unlock code for you. Your code will be shown here, https://let-me-help-you-with-that.webnode.com/, under the amount you paid. This may take a day or so: you are on my schedule now :P
*Once you have the code, you can unlock your files as follows:
***Go to your Start Menu
***In the search field, type “cmd”
***Right-click the cmd program.
***Click Run As Administrator(doesn`t have to be but files might be missed otherwise)
***Click Yes to allow it to run like that
***Type “cd C:\Users\{Username}
***Type “Decrypter.exe
*** Other people’s codes will not work for you, obviously.
That is basically it. The rest of this document is a further description about your situation.
*You’ll never be able to find me. Police will never be able to find me. Go ahead and try them if you like, but don`t expect your data back. They will be concerned about helping the community not with helping you meed your deadline. If they say they need to keep your desktop for a few days well lol, you probably won`t be seeing your machine again soon, let alone your data. I`ve been doing this for five years now and haven`t been caught yet.
*Best Buy will have no ability to undo the encryption. Hell, even the NSA probably couldn`t undo it. Well, maybe they could, but I suspect you won`t be a high priority for their computation clusters for at least a couple of years.
*In 72 hours, you will never be able to get these files open. I don`t much like people struggling against the powerful and there is no way for you to argue for an extension. Just make it happen.
So just be thankful that it wasn’t worse. I could have asked for more money. I could have been working for ISIS and saving that money to behead children. I could have been a mean SOB and just destroyed your data outright. Am I those things? No. I just need the money to live off (true story) and don`t care at all about the hacker “community”. So there isn’t anyone you will be protecting by sacrificing yourself. I’ll just encrypt more people’s data to make up for the loss.
So you have your instructions. I’ll even tell you how you could have prevented this.
*Install a good antivirus and keep it up to date. This is basically where you fell down.
* Don`t click on any file from the internet that isn`t a piece of data like (jpg, txt, doc) or you better really know where that file came from.
* Back up your files in case the encryption thief visits you. :P
Better luck to you in the future.”

There is nothing more to say about this ransomware, as it is mentioned in its ransom note. However, malware researchers and security experts strongly advise against paying the ransom money, because:

  • You help the cyber-crook further spread the malware.
  • You may not get your files back and they may want more money later on.
  • Researchers may discover a decryption possibility by analyzing flaws in the malware itself with time.
  • There are alternative methods of restoring even a small portion of the data.
  • Your files will not be deleted they will just stay encrypted until a reliable decryption is created.

Remove SkidLocker Ransomware and Restore .locked Files

To remove SkidLocker, you should simply follow the step-by-step instructions which are posted below. We strongly advise you to install an advanced anti-malware program because it will automatically detect and remove the ransomware without damaging the encrypted files and protect you in the future from such.

To try and restore files encrypted by SkidLocker, you may want to use the alternative file restoration methods posted in step “3. Restore files encrypted by SkidLocker” below. They may not be 100 percent effective but they could help you revert even a small portion of the data.

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.

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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.


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

About the SkidLocker Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this SkidLocker 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.

Furthermore, the research behind the SkidLocker ransomware threat is backed with VirusTotal and the NoMoreRansom project.

To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.


1. How to Recognize Spam Emails with Ransomware
2. How Does Ransomware Encryption Work?
3. How to Decrypt Ransomware Files
4. Ransomware Getting Greedier and Bigger, Attacks Increase by 40%
5. 1 in 5 Americans Victim of Ransomware

Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove SkidLocker from Windows.

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


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 SkidLocker 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 SkidLocker 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 SkidLocker 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.

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 SkidLocker 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.


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.


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.


If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Video Guide for Automatic and Fast Removal

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by SkidLocker.

Ransomware infections and SkidLocker 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 recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on the top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.

Step 6: How to Restore Files Encrypted by Ransomware (Video Guide)

Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of SkidLocker from Mac OS X.

Step 1: Uninstall SkidLocker and remove related files and objects

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 SkidLocker:

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 SkidLocker. 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 SkidLocker. 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 SkidLocker 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 SkidLocker. 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

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.

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


SpyHunter for Mac

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

Ransomware infections and SkidLocker 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 recommended 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.

SkidLocker FAQ

What is SkidLocker ransomware and how does it work?

SkidLocker 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 SkidLocker ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.SkidLocker 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 SkidLocker 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 .SkidLocker files?

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

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like SkidLocker 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.

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:

Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.

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