|Short Description||May encrypt important files and give decryption keys upon paying ransom which is usually financial compensation.|
|Symptoms||Appearing of different objects in various user folders and a message in the user’s Web Browser. May terminate internet connection. Files encoded with unfamiliar extensions.|
|Distribution Method||Spam mails. MiTM attacks, malicious redirects and links.|
|User Experience||Join our forum to follow the discussion about Trojan:HTML/Browlock.|
|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.|
This new ransomware Trojan belongs to the Police Ransomware family of Trojans. This group of Trojans is specially created to induce fear in your average inexperienced user by posing as a law enforcement notification service. ESG malware researchers have established an increasing trend in attacks by monitoring police ransomware threats such as Trojan:HTML/Browlock. Ransomware such as this one are the ones that we are most likely to see in near future. Also, known as Browlock, this type of ransomware may exhibit a pop-up screen on the user’s web browser, claiming that he or she has committed a crime and has to pay a ‘fine’ in order to evade legal consequences.
Trojan:HTML/Browlock -How Did I Get Infected With?
A very obvious cause of an infection is carelessness in most users. The Trojan may be distributed via malicious web links that may be opened via ad-supported search results, online pop-up ads, dangerous browser redirects and other. All of those are common for adware PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) situated on your computer. Such unwanted apps come ’glued’ to third-party installers of various free programs provided by third-party sites. This is called bundling, and it is done solely to make money online. Also, the Trojan may come into existence in your machine by clicking on a malicious message, falsely advertised or sent by a virus on social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, and others.
Trojan:HTML/Browlock – More About
Researchers claim that it is very common for this family of Trojans to block all access to the infected computer with to the world wide web. It also utilizes the victim’s browser to display the ransom message. Similar to other ransomware police attacks, it demands payment in the form of ‘legal’ compensation in its ransom note. Browlock trojan is reported also to do your regular ransomware activities, such as making modification in the victim’s OS to make sure they cannot escape the ransom message. This type of trojan varies in its methods of infection and is believed to modify its attack, depending on the victim’s location. ESG security analysts even report it to resemble every country’s law enforcement ministry in badges and language, depending on where your machine is situated. For example, if you are located in Spain, it may resemble Spanish police, and the message may be in Spanish.
Security researchers have managed to establish that one of the servers, connected with this trojan may be located in Saint Petersburg in Russia.
Removing Trojan:HTML/Browlock and Protecting Yourself
In case you are experiencing difficulties in accessing the web and see a Police Ransomware message, that is a clear sign you may have Browlock Trojan on your computer. Experts advise to disconnect immediately from the internet and use a USB stick to install an advanced anti-malware program by downloading it onto the flash drive or other external memory carriers from a safe PC. They also advise booting into Safe Mode without networking since this will prevent any unauthorized third-parties to run on the computer. It is advisable to check the aftermentioned the step-by-step removal and protection tutorials to get rid of this threat.
Also, In case you want to decrypt your files and do not know any methods of decryption, please download a decrypting program (For example Kaspersky Decryptor) or check out these instructions. Either way, do not raise your hopes, because if the encryption is strong you may not restore your files in the next year or so.
Ransomware Removal and Protection Instructions
1. Start Your PC in Safe Mode to Remove Trojan:HTML/Browlock.
For Windows XP, Vista, 7 systems:
1. Remove all CDs and DVDs, and then Restart your PC from the “Start” menu.
– For PCs with a single operating system: Press “F8” repeatedly after the first boot screen shows up during the restart of your computer. In case the Windows logo appears on the screen, you have to repeat the same task again.
– For PCs with multiple operating systems: Тhe arrow keys will help you select the operating system you prefer to start in Safe Mode. Press “F8” just as described for a single operating system.
3. As the “Advanced Boot Options” screen appears, select the Safe Mode option you want using the arrow keys. As you make your selection, press “Enter“.
4. Log on to your computer using your administrator account
While your computer is in Safe Mode, the words “Safe Mode” will appear in all four corners of your screen.
For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 systems:
Step 1: Open the Start Menu
Step 2: Whilst holding down Shift button, click on Power and then click on Restart.
Step 3: After reboot, the aftermentioned menu will appear. From there you should choose Troubleshoot.
Step 4: You will see the Troubleshoot menu. From this menu you can choose Advanced Options.
Step 5: After the Advanced Options menu appears, click on Startup Settings.
Step 6: Click on Restart.
Step 7: A menu will appear upon reboot. You should choose Safe Mode by pressing its corresponding number and the machine will restart.
2. Remove Trojan:HTML/Browlock automatically by downloading an advanced anti-malware program.
To clean your computer you must download an updated anti-malware program on a safe PC and then install it on the affected computer in offline mode. After that you should boot into safe mode and scan your computer to remove all Trojan:HTML/Browlock associated objects.
Security engineers recommend that you back up your files immediately, preferably on an external memory carrier in order to be able to restore them. In order to protect yourself from Trojan:HTML/Browlock (For Windows Users) please follow these simple instructions:
For Windows 7 and earlier:
1-Click on Windows Start Menu
2-Type Backup And Restore
3-Open it and click on Set Up Backup
4-A window will appear asking you where to set up backup. You should have a flash drive or an external hard drive. Mark it by clicking on it with your mouse then click on Next.
5-On the next window, the system will ask you what do you want to backup. Choose the ‘Let Me Choose’ option and then click on Next.
6-Click on ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the next window in order to protect your files from possible attacks by Trojan:HTML/Browlock.
For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10:
1-Press Windows button + R
2-In the window type ‘filehistory’ and press Enter
3-A File History window will appear. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’
4-The configuration menu for File History will appear. Click on ‘Turn On’. After its on, click on Select Drive in order to select the backup drive. It is recommended to choose an external HDD, SSD or a USB stick whose memory capacity is corresponding to the size of the files you want to backup.
5-Select the drive then click on ‘Ok’ in order to set up file backup and protect yourself from Trojan:HTML/Browlock.
Enabling Windows Defense Feature:
1- Press Windows button + R keys.
2- A run windows should appear. In it type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and then click on Run.
3- A System Properties windows should appear. In it choose System Protection.
5- Click on Turn on system protection and select the size on the hard disk you want to utilize for system protection.
6- Click on Ok and you should see an indication in Protection settings that the protection from Trojan:HTML/Browlock is on.
Restoring a file via Windows Defense feature:
1-Right-click on the encrypted file, then choose Properties.
2-Click on the Previous Versions tab and then mark the last version of the file.
3-Click on Apply and Ok and the file encrypted by Trojan:HTML/Browlock should be restored.