THREAT REMOVAL

Remove VenusLocker Ransomware and Restore .Venusf Encrypted Files

ransomware-sensorstechforumRansomware, named VenusLocker, using AES-256 and RSA-2048 ciphers to encrypt files of infected computers has appeared in the wild, leaving the encoded objects with a .Venusf extension added to them. To purchase back their files, the users are given instructions and a deadline to pay the hefty sum of 0.15 BitCoins. The ransomware also uses a lock-screen mechanism to block the user from using the computer. Users who have become victims of this cyber-threat are advised not to pay the ransom money, remove VenusLocker from their computers and try alternative methods like the ones in this article to restore their files.

Threat Summary

Name VenusLocker
Type Ransomware
Short Description The ransomware uses 256-bit AES and RSA ciphers to encrypt files with an asymmetric algorithm to generate a decryption key different than the encryption one.
Symptoms The ransomware will lock all your files with .Venusf extension appended to them and put a ransom note in your PC. The note states that you have to pay the equivalent of 0.5 Bitcoins for decryption.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Suspicious Sites
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss VenusLocker 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.

VenusLocker Ransomware – How Does It Spread

To replicate successfully and infect user PCs, the creators of VenusLocker may have undertaken a massive e-mail spam campaign. The messages of the e-mails sent to users may contain false names of people or companies that may be familiar to the user, such as the following examples of topics:

  • “Your PayPal Receipt.”
  • “Your account confirmation.”
  • “Your bank account details.”
  • “Your account has been discontinued.”

The e-mails may contain malicious attachments which are obfuscated and disguised as if they are legitimate documents. Another form of infection via those mails is to use malicious URL web links.

VenusLocker Ransomware – More Information

Once entered the computer, VenusLocker may situate its malicious files under different names in the following Windows locations:

commonly used file names and folders

After this, it modifies heavily the Windows Registry Editor. VenusLocker may attack and compromise the following registry keys:

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
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ScreenSaveTimeOut
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\

To encrypt files, VenusLocker uses an AES-256 encryption algorithm – one of the strongest in the world, which is military grade and also used by the NSA. After encryption it generates a unique AES unlock key which is also encrypted with another military grade cipher – RSA-2048 bit. VenusLocker ransomware may attack the following types of files:

“PNG .PSD .PSPIMAGE .TGA .THM .TIF .TIFF .YUV .AI .EPS .PS .SVG .INDD .PCT .PDF .XLR .XLS .XLSX .ACCDB .DB .DBF .MDB .PDB .SQL .APK .APP .BAT .CGI .COM .EXE .GADGET .JAR .PIF .WSF .DEM .GAM .NES .ROM .SAV CAD Files .DWG .DXF GIS Files .GPX .KML .KMZ .ASP .ASPX .CER .CFM .CSR .CSS .HTM .HTML .JS .JSP .PHP .RSS .XHTML. DOC .DOCX .LOG .MSG .ODT .PAGES .RTF .TEX .TXT .WPD .WPS .CSV .DAT .GED .KEY .KEYCHAIN .PPS .PPT .PPTX ..INI .PRF Encoded Files .HQX .MIM .UUE .7Z .CBR .DEB .GZ .PKG .RAR .RPM .SITX .TAR.GZ .ZIP .ZIPX .BIN .CUE .DMG .ISO .MDF .TOAST .VCD SDF .TAR .TAX2014 .TAX2015 .VCF .XML Audio Files .AIF .IFF .M3U .M4A .MID .MP3 .MPA .WAV .WMA Video Files .3G2 .3GP .ASF .AVI .FLV .M4V .MOV .MP4 .MPG .RM .SRT .SWF .VOB .WMV 3D .3DM .3DS .MAX .OBJ R.BMP .DDS .GIF .JPG .CRX .PLUGIN .FNT .FON .OTF .TTF .CAB .CPL .CUR .DESKTHEMEPACK .DLL .DMP .DRV .ICNS .ICO .LNK .SYS .CFG” Source:fileinfo.com

After encryption, VenusLocker locks the screen and drops a ReadMe.txt file, displaying the following ransom instructions on how to contact the cyber-criminals and pay the ransom money:

→“—————————————- Venus Locker ————————————
Unfortunately, you are hacked.
1. What happened to my files?
Your personal files, including your photos, documents, videos and other important files on this computer, have been encrypted
with RSA-4096, a strong encryption algorithm. RSA algorithm generates a public key and a private key for your computer. The
public key was used to encrypt your files a moment ago. The private key is necessary for you to decrypt and recover your files.
Now, your private key is stored on our secret Internet server. And there is no doubt that no one can recover your files without
your private key.
For further information about RSA algorithm, please refer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)
2. How to decrypt my files?
To decrypt and recover your files, you have to pay 100 US Dollars for the private key and decryption service. Please note that
you have ONLY 72 HOURS to complete your payment. If your peyment do not be completed within time limit, your private key will be
deleted automatically by our server. All your files will be permanently encrypted, and nobody can recover them. Therefore, it is advised that you’d better not waste your time because there is no other way to recover your files except making a payment.
3. How to pay for my private key?
There are three steps to make a payment and recover your files:
1). For the security of transactions, all the payments must be completed via Bitcoin network. Thus, you need to exchange 100 US dollars
(or equivalent local currencies) to Bitcoins, and then send these Bitcoins (about 0.15 BTC) to the following address.
1Dj9YnMiciNgaKuyzKynygu7nB21tvV6QD
2). Send your personal ID to our official email: VenusLocker@mail2tor.com
Your personal ID is cc673bcfcf644d2c1a88893cb0ff8fa7
3). You will receive a decryptor and your private key to recover all your files within one working day.
4. What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is an innovative payment network and a new kind of money. It is based on an open-source cryptographic protocol that is independent of any central authority. Bitcoins can be transferred through a computer or a smartphone without an intermediate
financial institution.
5. How to make a payment with Bitcoin?
You can make a payment with Bitcoin based on Bitcoin Wallet or Based on Perfect Money. You can choose the way that is more convenient for you.
About Based on Bitcoin Wallet
1) Create a Bitcoin Wallet. We recommend Blockchain.info (https://blockchain.info/)
2) Buy the necessary amount of Bitcoins. Our recommendations are as follows.
LocalBitcoins.com — the fastest and easiest way to buy and sell Bitcoins.
CoinCafe.com — the simplest and fastest way to buy, sell and use Bitcoins.
BTCDirect.eu — the best for Europe.
CEX.IO — Visa / MasterCard
CoinMama.com — Visa / MasterCard
HowToBuyBitcoins.info — discover quickly how to buy and sell Bitcoins in your local currency.
3) As mentioned above, send about 0.15 BTC (equivalent to 100 USD) to our Bitcoin receiving address.
4) As mentioned above, and then, send us your personal ID via email, you will receive your private key soon.
About Based on Perfect Money
1) Create a Perfect Money account. (https://perfectmoney.is)
2) Visit to PMBitcoin.com. (https://pmbitcoin.com/btc)
Input our Bitcoin receiving an address in the “Bitcoin Wallet” textbox.
input 100 in the “Amount” textbox, the amount of Bitcoin will be calculated automatically.
click “PAY” button; then you can complete your payment with your Perfect Money account and local debit card.
6. If you have any problem, please feel free to contact us via official email.
Best Regards
VenusLocker Team” Source: Infected Users

VenusLocker ransomware also changes the wallpaper to the following image:

ransom-message-sensorstechforum

Remove VenusLocker and Try to Get Back The Files

To remove VenusLocker ransomware, we strongly advise you to follow the instructions below. They are methodologically arranged to assist deleting this virus. However, since VenusLocker ransomware may create different files on your computer, it is strongly advisable to use an advanced anti-malware program which will take care swiftly of all associated objects with VenusLocker on your computer.

VenusLocker ransomware has been created for one purpose – profit via online extortion. The cyber-criminals use advanced mechanisms and directly decrypting files is next to impossible, unless researchers discover holes in the code which can help decrypt files. We are currently monitoring the situation and will provide a download link for a free decryptor on this web page once it is released. In the meantime, we strongly advise you to make copies of the encrypted files and try using the file restoration methods in step “3. Restore files encrypted by VenusLocker” below.

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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.


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 VenusLocker from Windows.


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

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 VenusLocker 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 VenusLocker 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 VenusLocker 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 VenusLocker 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 VenusLocker.

Ransomware infections and VenusLocker 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 VenusLocker from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall VenusLocker 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 VenusLocker:

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 VenusLocker. 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 VenusLocker. 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 VenusLocker 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 VenusLocker. 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 VenusLocker:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and VenusLocker 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.


VenusLocker FAQ

What is VenusLocker ransomware and how does it work?

VenusLocker 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 VenusLocker ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.VenusLocker 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 VenusLocker 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 .VenusLocker files?

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

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like VenusLocker 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.

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