The VxLock ransomware has finally arrived and it has surely showed that it is a serious threat. It uses the same spam tactics as most ransomware viruses. What VxLock virus does is it encrypts the files on the compromised computers with the one and only purpose to advertise a payoff message which prompts victims to pay to get the files back. This form of online extortion is security experts’ enemy and they are constantly working on decrypting viruses like this one. This is one of the reasons paying the criminals is not advisable. Instead, we recommend you to read the following material and learn how to remove this VxLock iteration from your computer and try to restore your files.
|Short Description||The malware encrypts users files using a strong encryption algorithm, making direct decryption possible only via a unique decryption key available to the cyber-criminals.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness ransom notes and “instructions” linking to a web page and a decryptor. Changed file names and the file-extension .VxLock has been used.|
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|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss vxLock.|
|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.|
VxLock Ransomware – More Information
VxLock How Does It Spread
In order to infect the maximum amount of users, this VxLock ransomware varian acts very similar to the Cerber Ransomware. It may use new URLs and higher obfuscation In order to cause an infection that is successful and not detected by most anti-virus programs. The exploit kit which may be used by VxLock is a new type of software that is not spread to just anyone, but only to the big virus makers, suggesting it is a big investment.
VxLock ransomware might also use different types of files to cause an infection. These files are usually .hta, .html, .htm, .vbs, .wsf, .js or others, depending on what the person spamming the file has decided.
But files are not the only source of infection. Another method of causing a system to become a victim of this ransomware is via malicious web links that may either be uploaded online or be sent via e-mails, just like malicious attachments are.
Those e-mail messages may resemble legitimate messages sent out by various well-known companies, like FedEx, PayPal, etc.
Furthermore, In some specific instances, VxLock ransomware may even infect organizatons, since some of the spammers of the virus may target them customly. This means infecting company computers via USB flash drives as well as other “hands-on approach” type of methods.
VxLock File Virus Encryption and Post-Infection Actions
After already being infected by this vxLock version, the virus may begin to stop all active processes, related to databases, such as:
- Microsoft Access.
In addition to this, the VxLock virus may delete all shadow volume copies via an administrative command in Windows Command Prompt:
To encrypt the files of the user, VxLock may stop any Windows processes that may interfere with the actual encryption of the files. Then the dangerous ransomware virus may scan for different file types to encode them, like the most widely used ones, for example:
“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
To encode those files, this ransomware virus uses a powerful combination of different encryption algorithms. The encrypted files no longer look the same:
Besides changing the wallpaper of the user to the traditional vxLock ransomware wallpaper the virus also a ransom note file which leads to the VxLock Ransomware’s web page, where the user is demanded a hefty ransom fee to get the files back.
Remove VxLock Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files
The bottom line for this VxLock iteration is that so far, malware researchers have not managed to develop a direct decryption methods. There is no cause for alarm, however because we have some alternative methods to try and restore your files. But first, you need to remove the virus from your computer.
To remove vxLock ransomware virus, advices are to follow the removal instructions we have posted in the accordion below. In case you lack the necessary experience to perform a manual removal, do not despair. You can follow the Automatic removal instructions to remove VxLock completely at the click of a button with the assistance of an anti-malware program. It will also ensure future protection against such menaces.
After having removed this VxLock ransomware version from your computer, we urge you to focus on restoring your files in case they have been encrypted by it. Several alternative methods to do this are mentioned below in step “3. Restore files encrypted by VxLock”. Also, keep in mind that these methods are not 100% guaranteed file restoration, but you may get some of the data back. Make sure to backup the encrypted files, before attempting them.
What is vxLock Ransomware?
vxLock 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.
Can vxLock Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like vxLock?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does vxLock Infect?
Via several ways.vxLock 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.
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 vxLock 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 .vxLock files?
You can't. At this point, the .vxLock files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey 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 .vxLock files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".vxLock" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .vxLock 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 vxLock 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 vxLock ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .vxLock files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like vxLock ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
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 can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way 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.
How to 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 vxLock 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.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can 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 vxLock Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this vxLock 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.
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.
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