A new ransomware infection has been discovered by malware researchers at the end of May 2017. The virus carries the dubbed name Luxnut and appends the .locked file extension on the encrypted file. The interesting part is that this virus does not drop any ransom note on the infected computer, showing no sign of ransom demands to unlock the encrypted files. In case your computer has been infected by the Luxnut ransomware virus, we advise you to read the following article.
|The virus encrypts the files on the computers infected by it after which appends the .locked file extension and changes the wallpaper
|The wallpaper is changed to the evolution of humanity fail picture with the text “Something, somewhere went terribly wrong”.
|Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
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How Does Luxnut Ransomware Infect
For it’s infection process, this ransomware virus uses multiple different types of approaches. It may come as a fake installer of a program or a fake game patch or software license activator. It may also be force-downloaded from malicious web links.
The most often method of distribution, seen with ransomware, like the Luxnut infection is to be spread via spammed e-mails. This ransomware virus can be involved in the massive sending of spam e-mails to various unsuspecting users. These e-mails may either contain malicious e-mail attachments or web links that can lead to the infection. The e-mails contain deceptive messages within them that aim to convince the victim into clicking on the malicious object.
In some cases there are even Microsoft Office documents with malicious macros embedded within them that may infect your computer with Luxnut ransomware. The infection procedure includes a document that prompts you to click on “Enable Content”, immediately after which the virus connects to a remote host and downloads it’s payload on your computer.
Luxnut .locked File Virus – Further Analysis
As soon as this ransomware virus has infected your computer, it has been identified that it drops two files on it:
- The malicious executable of the virus, named eda2.exe.
- The picture which is set as your wallpaper.
After the malicious files of the Luxnut ransomware infection have been situation on your computer, the executable may further extract multiple support files, that may be .tmp or .dll formats. These files may contain functions that may change different settings on your computer. One of those settings’ modification may result in changing your wallpaper to the following image:
In addition to this, the .locked file virus may also set it’s malicious executable to run on Windows boot. The targeted Windows registry sub-keys in which you may see value strings associated with the Luxnut ransomware virus are usually the Run and RunOnce keys.
But Luxnut ransomware does not stop there. The virus may also delete Windows system restore points and shadow copies as well. To do this, the Luxnut ransomware virus may also execute Windows commands in the background, like the following commands;
Luxnut .locked Ransomware – Encryption Process
In order to encrypt the files on the computers it has infected, Luxnut uses the AES encryption algorithm, also known as Advanced Encryption Standard. Although it has not yet been confirmed, the Luxnut virus may also use the EDA2 encryption mode, since on the encrypted files, the file marker eda2 has been detected. This is a specific encryption mode that aims to render the files on the computer no longer able to be opened by replacing important code of those files.
Furthermore, Luxnut ransomware also aims to encrypt only specific files from the infected computer, carefully avoiding Windows system files, so the OS does not crash afterwards. The files it is looking for to encrypt are around 20 file types and the virus is pre-configured to scan them by extensions:
→ .asp, .aspx, .csv, .doc, .docx, .html, .jpg, .mdb, .odt, .php, .png, .ppt, .pptx, .psd, .sln, .sql, .txt, .xls, .xlsx, .xml Source: id-ransomware.blogspot.bg
After the files have been encrypted by the Luxnut virus, they are appended the .locked file extension to them. It is the primary file extension that is also seen in many other ransomware variants, like FabSysCrypto, CryptoShocker and CyberDrill.
Remove Luxnut Ransomware and Restore .locked Files
In order to remove this ransomware virus, we recommend you to focus on following the removal instructions we created below. They are specifically designed to remove the .locked virus either manually or automatically. In case you feel unsure that you will remove all the files of this virus, experts recommend doing the removal automatically with the aid of an advanced anti-malware program.
After having already removed this ransomware virus from your computer, we recommend you to try and restore your files using the alternative instructions below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by Luxnut”. The virus does not have any contact address to which to pay the ransom, but even if you see any, we strongly advise you against paying the ransom.
What is Luxnut Ransomware?
Luxnut 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 algorithms 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.
What Does Luxnut Ransomware Do?
Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
How Does Luxnut Infect?
Via several ways.Luxnut Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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.
Another way you may become a victim of Luxnut 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 .Luxnut files?
You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .Luxnut files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Luxnut files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Luxnut" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Luxnut files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of Luxnut Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate Luxnut ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Luxnut files.
Can I 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:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can Luxnut Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Can a Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the Luxnut Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Luxnut 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.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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