StalinLocker Virus — How to Remove It and Restore Your Files

StalinLocker Virus — How to Remove It and Restore Your Files

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The StalinLocker virus is a new ransomware that appears to be still in a testing phase of development. The initial strains associated with it have been featured in a small attack campaign. We expect to see newer versions of it that can cause serious damage to the infected hosts. Read our removal guide to learn how to handle active infections.

Threat Summary

TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware institutes a dangerous lockscreen that is accompanied by other components.
SymptomsThe ransomware engine can delete or encrypt sensitive user data.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by StalinLocker


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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss StalinLocker.
Data Recovery ToolWindows 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.

StalinLocker Virus – Distribution Ways

The StalinLocker virus is a typical representative of generic ransomware that are created by individual hackers or criminal groups based on the behavior patterns of famous malware families and strains. To this date there is no information available about the identity of the perpetrators. At this point the severity of the attacks remain low, the virus strains seem to be test versions or early development releases.

The StalinLocker virus can be distributed using email messages that utilize social engineering tactics that can manipulate the users into infecting themselves with the threat. This is done by posing as a legitimate notification and they can deliver files that are either hyperlinked or attached directly to the emails. These tactics are also employed to spread viral payloads. Two of the most popular types are the following:

  • Infected Software Installers — The hackers behind the StalinLocker virus can embed its code into application installers of various types: system utilities, creativity solutions, productivity apps or even computer games.
  • Infected Documents — Using the same approach the dangerous code containing StalinLocker virus can be embedded in documents of different types: presentations, rich text documents or text documents. When they are opened by the victims a notification message will be spawned asking them to enable the built-in scripts. When this is done the associated virus engine will be started.

Another virus delivery tactic is the use of browser hijackers that represent dangerous browser plugins. They are made compatible with the most popular applications: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari and Opera. Once they are installed the associated code will change the default settings in order to redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled page: the default search engine, home page or new tabs page.

Using web scripts the criminals can spread the StalinLocker virus to legitimate sites as well through affiliate and ad networks.

StalinLocker Virus – In-Depth Analysis

The initial code analysis does not reveal a similarity between this threat and any of the famous ransomware families. Furthermore its behavior patterns indicate that the captured samples so far may be the initial test versions. We expect to see future updates to the main malware engine that can integrate newer components.

If configured so the StalinLocker virus can begin with an initial infection module. It can harvest sensitive data about the users and machines by launching a specialized module. The collected information can be divided into two main types:

  • Private Data — The nature of this information can be used to personally identify the victims. Examples include their name, address, interests, geographical location, passwords and account credentials.
  • Campaign Metrics — They are used to optimize the attacks and the contained data is made up primarily of metrics taken from the operating system and certain regional settings.

The acquired information can then be loaded to a stealth protection module. It is used to counter any applications that might interfere with the correct virus execution: anti-virus products, sandbox/debug environments and virtual machine hosts. In some cases if the virus is unable to bypass the security measures it will delete itself.

Follow-up changes can manipulate the Windows Registry in order to affect user-installed software or the operating system itself. This can render certain functions non-working and can lead to overall performance issues. The malware engine can create entries for its own installation which can make the StalinLocker virus start automatically when the computer boots. In connection with this boot options can be manipulated as well by removing the possibility to enter into the recovery menu.

We expect to see a network server connection mechanism that is made with a hacker-controlled machine. It is used to spy on the victims in real time as well as overtake control of the victim machines upon request. As the malware engine is modular in nature other components can be loaded when they are developed.

One of the interesting aspects about StalinLocker virus is the fact that it doesn’t showcase the typical ransomware behavior. Once all prerequsite conditions have been met it starts a lockscreen instance in Russian showing an image of Stalin. The shown text reads the following message:

Победа социализма в нашей стране обеспечена
Фундамент социалистической экономики завершен
“Реальность нашего производственного плана – это миллионы трудящихся творящие новую жизнь.”
И. Сталин.

An English-translated vesion of it reads the following:

The victory of socialism in our country is assured
The foundation of the socialist economy is complete
“The reality of our production plan is millions of working people who are creating a new life.”
I. Stalin.

An integrated music sound clip will play the USSR’s anthem. After a set time period has passed the virus engine may either delete or encrypt target user data.

The decryption code is 30121922 however it works within 10 minutes of infection.

Remove StalinLocker Virus and Restore .StalinLocker Files

If your computer system got infected with the StalinLocker ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.


Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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