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.
|The ransomware institutes a dangerous lockscreen that is accompanied by other components.
|The ransomware engine can delete or encrypt sensitive user data.
|Spam Emails, Email Attachments
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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.”
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.”
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.
What is StalinLocker Ransomware?
StalinLocker 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 StalinLocker 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 StalinLocker Infect?
Via several ways.StalinLocker 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 StalinLocker 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 .StalinLocker files?
You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .StalinLocker 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 .StalinLocker files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".StalinLocker" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .StalinLocker 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 StalinLocker 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 StalinLocker ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .StalinLocker 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 StalinLocker 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 StalinLocker Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this StalinLocker 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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