.Ykcol File Virus (Locky) - Remove It and Restore Files

.Ykcol File Virus (Locky) – Remove It and Restore Files

This article will help you remove the .Ykcol File Virus fully. Follow the ransomware removal instructions given at the end of the article.

.Ykcol File Virus is the newest Locky ransomware variant placing the .ykcol extension to all encrypted files. Ykcol is actually the name “Locky” spelled backwards. Your computer machine can get infected by you opening an email attachment or something similar, thus getting all your files locked. Changes which are apparent in this iteration of the virus are in its infection method, ransom note, and payment price. Keep on reading and check if you can potentially recover your file data.

Threat Summary

Name.Ykcol File Virus
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe .Ykcol file virus is a new variant of Locky ransomware. The cryptovirus has some changes mainly in its infection method, ransom note, and payment price.
SymptomsYour files are encrypted and will get the .ykcol extension attached to them. You see a ransom note with instructions which states that the encryption which is used is both AES and RSA.
Distribution MethodPhishing Email Campaigns with File Attachments, Malicious Domains
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .Ykcol File Virus

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .Ykcol File Virus.
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.

Update October 2017: The latest news around Locky’s “.Ykcol” variant is that a new email spam campaign is spreading in the beginning of October. The invoice this time is labeled “Emailed Invoice – 435346” where the 6 digits are random for every recipient. The contents look like the following:

From: Carey Burnaby ([email protected][the domain is made to look like your email domain])

As requested

regards
Carey Burnaby


Carey Burnaby

Attachment: I_435346.7z

The attachment opens a “I_435346.js” file which is a JavaScript Downloader that will put the payload file of Locky from one of these sites:

List with some of the payload download sites

Notice! The above list with domains is for purely informational purposes and it is strongly advised against the opening of any of them, because they will download the virus onto your computer.

Update September 2017: This variant of the Locky ransomware is continued to be spread via multiple spam campaigns which are a little bit different than the one described further in the article. Since the initial wave with emails that had the subject line “Status of Invoice” now the following subjects are also seen to spread the virus:

  • Message from km_224e
  • HERBALIFE Order Number: F93HL47301
  • Emailing – 27698399359
  • Status of Invoice K2948610-26
  • Your Payment # 0098
  • New Voice message 2384904 in mailbox 2384904 from “2384904” <367567831>

Fortinet has reported to have seen some of these campaigns and also reported that the “Message from km_224e” has also been used in the past to deliver the Jaff Ransomware virus. The numbers above are set as an example but vary and whatever number you see in the subject line, that is what you will see on the attached archive file as well. The other change to the .Ykcol File Virus is that the price is now doubled and is 0.50 Bitcoin which equals to almost 2,000 US dollars at the time of writing.

.Ykcol File Virus – Propagation Techniques

The .Ykcol File Virus is propagating itself via a massive e-mail spam campaign. The e-mail has “Status of invoice” written as a subject. Inside there is a .7z or a .7zip file attached to the e-mail. That file contains a VBS script, which upon execution will download the virus payload from a malicious domain. The payload will then be automatically executed, thus infecting your computer system and getting your files encrypted. The text of the e-mail message is the following:

Hello,
Could you please let me know the status of the attached invoice? I appreciate your help!
Best regards,
Mark Loopis
Tel: 554-762-3658 x 100
Fax: 554-762-3687
*NEW* [email protected](.)com
* Kindly note we will be closed Monday in observance of Labor Day *

Other emails with different texts are sure to pop up in the near future. You can see a sample with one such script file on the VirusTotal service below:

Below you can see the domains spreading this variant of the ransomware:

List with some of the payload download sites

Notice! The above list with domains is for purely informational purposes and it is strongly advised against the opening of any of them, because they will download the virus onto your computer.

Before opening any file from the Internet, always perform a scan with a security program. You should read the ransomware preventing tips in our forum to inform yourself better about methods for fighting such malware threats.

.Ykcol File Virus – Technical Details

The .Ykcol File Virus is the newest Locky ransomware version. The extension .Ykcol is placed to all encrypted files. Ykcol is the name “Locky” spelled backwards. This version of the notorious cryptovirus has been spreading alongside the TrickBot Banking Trojan via the Necurs Botnet.

The Locky ransomware also makes entries in the Windows Registry to achieve a higher level of persistence. Registry entries of that caliber are typically designed to start the virus automatically with every launch of the Windows Operating System or even repress and tamper with processes.

The message with the ransom payment instructions appears to have only some symbols changed, leaving the core of the ransom note intact and is once more stored in two files. Those files are with a .bmp and a .htm extension. You can preview the image that replaces your Desktop background right down here:

The ransom message reads the following:

$.*-+|$*$
*$*$-= _ *_+
=|.=|=|*_*
=++_+*

!!! IMPORTANT INFORMATION !!!!

All of your files are encrypted with RSA-2048 and AES-128 ciphers.

More information about the RSA and AES can be found here:
http://en.wildpedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Encryption_Standard

Decrypting of your files is only possible with the private key and decrypt program, which is on our secret server.

To receive your private key follow one of the links:

If all of this addresses are not available, follow these steps:

1. Download and install Tor Browser: https://www.torproject.org/downIoad/download-easy.html
2. After a successful installation, run the browser and wait for initialization.

3. Type in the address bar: g46mbrrzpfszonuk.onion

4. Follow the instructions on the site.

!!! Your personal identification ID: !!!

– =.-+* =
*_|+*|_-.$.|+**

You can preview the .html version of that note in the picture down here:

Here is how the TOR payment page looks like:

Here is what it says on the TOR payment page:

Languages: English

Locky Decryptor™

We present a special software – Locky Decryptor™ –
which allows to decrypt and return control to all your encrypted files.

How to buy Locky Decryptor™?
You can make a payment with BitCoins, there are many methods to get them.

You should register BitCoin wallet:

Simplest online wallet or Some other methods of creating wallet

Purchasing Bitcoins, although it’s not yet easy to buy bitcoins, it’s getting simpler every day.

Here are our recommendations:

localbitcoins.com (WU) Buy Bitcoins with Western Union.
coincafe.com Recommended for fast, simple service.
Payment Methods: Western Union, Bank of America, Cash by FedEx, Moneygram, Money Order. In NYC: Bitcoin ATM, in person.
localbitcoins.com Service allows you to search for people in your community willing to sell bitcoins to you directly.
cex.io Buy Bitcoins with VISA/MASTERCARD or wire transfer.
btcdirect.eu The best for Europe.
bitquick.co Buy Bitcoins instantly for cash.
howtobuybitcoins.info An international directory of bitcoin exchanges.
cashintocoins.com Bitcoin for cash.
coinjar.com CoinJar allows direct bitcoin purchases on their site.
anxpro.com
bittylicious.com

Send 0.25 BTC to Bitcoin address:

Note: Payment pending up to 30 mins or more for transaction confirmation, please be patient…

Date Amount BTC Transaction ID Confirmations
not found

Refresh the page and download decryptor.

When Bitcoin transactions will receive one confirmation, you will be redirected to the page for downloading the decryptor.

As you can see from the TOR payment page above, the .Ykcol file virus wants you to pay 0.25 Bitcoin, which equates to around 985 US dollars at the moment of writing. However, you should NOT under any circumstances pay anything to these cybercriminals. Nobody can guarantee that you will recover your data upon paying, or that you won’t get your files infected again in the near future. Adding to that, giving money to cybercriminals could be interpreted as supporting them financially, and could also motivate them to keep creating more ransomware viruses. Apparently, the latter is true as new variants of Locky ransomware keep showing up.

.Ykcol File Virus – Encryption Process

The .Ykcol File Virus appends the .Ykcol extension to all encrypted files, which is actually “Locky ” spelled backwards. As malware researchers have confirmed that it is indeed a new variant of the Locky Ransomware, it is most likely seeking to encrypt files with extensions such as its previous versions:

→.001, .002, .003, .004, .005, .006, .007, .008, .009, .010, .011, .123, .1cd, .3dm, .3ds, .3fr, .3g2, .3gp, .3pr, .602, .7z, .7zip, .ARC, .CSV, .DOC, .DOT, .MYD, .MYI, .NEF, .PAQ, .PPT, .RTF, .SQLITE3, .SQLITEDB, .XLS, .aac, .ab4, .accdb, .accde, .accdr, .accdt, .ach, .acr, .act, .adb, .adp, .ads, .aes, .agdl, .ai, .aiff, .ait, .al, .aoi, .apj, .apk, .arw, .asc, .asf, .asm, .asp, .aspx, .asset, .asx, .avi, .awg, .back, .backup, .backupdb, .bak, .bank, .bat, .bay, .bdb, .bgt, .bik, .bin, .bkp, .blend, .bmp, .bpw, .brd, .bsa, .cdf, .cdr, .cdr3, .cdr4, .cdr5, .cdr6, .cdrw, .cdx, .ce1, .ce2, .cer, .cfg, .cgm, .cib, .class, .cls, .cmd, .cmt, .config, .contact, .cpi, .cpp, .cr2, .craw, .crt, .crw, .cs, .csh, .csl, .csr, .css, .csv, .d3dbsp, .dac, .das, .dat, .db, .db3, .db_journal, .dbf, .dbx, .dc2, .dch, .dcr, .dcs, .ddd, .ddoc, .ddrw, .dds, .der, .des, .design, .dgc, .dif, .dip, .dit, .djv, .djvu, .dng, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .drf, .drw, .dtd, .dwg, .dxb, .dxf, .dxg, .edb, .eml, .eps, .erbsql, .erf, .exf, .fdb, .ffd, .fff, .fh, .fhd, .fla, .flac, .flf, .flv, .flvv, .forge, .fpx, .frm, .fxg, .gif, .gpg, .gray, .grey, .groups, .gry, .gz, .hbk, .hdd, .hpp, .html, .hwp, .ibank, .ibd, .ibz, .idx, .iif, .iiq, .incpas, .indd, .iwi, .jar, .java, .jnt, .jpe, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .kc2, .kdbx, .kdc, .key, .kpdx, .kwm, .laccdb, .lay, .lay6, .lbf, .ldf, .lit, .litemod, .litesql, .log, .ltx, .lua, .m2ts, .m3u, .m4a, .m4p, .m4u, .m4v, .mapimail, .max, .mbx, .md, .mdb, .mdc, .mdf, .mef, .mfw, .mid, .mkv, .mlb, .mml, .mmw, .mny, .moneywell, .mos, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .mrw, .ms11, .msg, .myd, .n64, .nd, .ndd, .ndf, .nef, .nk2, .nop, .nrw, .ns2, .ns3, .ns4, .nsd, .nsf, .nsg, .nsh, .nvram, .nwb, .nx2, .nxl, .nyf, .oab, .obj, .odb, .odc, .odf, .odg, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt, .ogg, .oil, .onetoc2, .orf, .ost, .otg, .oth, .otp, .ots, .ott, .p12, .p7b, .p7c, .pab, .pages, .pas, .pat, .pcd, .pct, .pdb, .pdd, .pdf, .pef, .pem, .pfx, .php, .pif, .pl, .plc, .plus_muhd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prf, .ps, .psafe3, .psd, .pspimage, .pst, .ptx, .pwm, .py, .qba, .qbb, .qbm, .qbr, .qbw, .qbx, .qby, .qcow, .qcow2, .qed, .r3d, .raf, .rar, .rat, .raw, .rb, .rdb, .re4, .rm, .rtf, .rvt, .rw2, .rwl, .rwz, .s3db, .safe, .sas7bdat, .sav, .save, .say, .sch, .sd0, .sda, .sdf, .sh, .sldm, .sldx, .slk, .sql, .sqlite, .sqlite3, .sqlitedb, .sr2, .srf, .srt, .srw, .st4, .st5, .st6, .st7, .st8, .stc, .std, .sti, .stm, .stw, .stx, .svg, .swf, .sxc, .sxd, .sxg, .sxi, .sxm, .sxw, .tar, .tar.bz2, .tbk, .tex, .tga, .tgz, .thm, .tif, .tiff, .tlg, .txt, .uop, .uot, .upk, .vb, .vbox, .vbs, .vdi, .vhd, .vhdx, .vmdk, .vmsd, .vmx, .vmxf, .vob, .wab, .wad, .wallet, .wav, .wb2, .wk1, .wks, .wma, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .x11, .x3f, .xis, .xla, .xlam, .xlc, .xlk, .xlm, .xlr, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .ycbcra, .yuv, .zip

The encryption algorithm that is claimed to be used by Locky in all of its ransom notes is RSA-2048 with AES 128-bit ciphers. A file will be renamed and receive the new extension and its name will be something in the vicinity of 7d0f1033-1bgy-Hja224b-791ea9d1-80e2bb7af.ykcol. The length will always be the same, due to how the cryptovirus has been coded.

The Locky cryptovirus has a highly probability to delete the Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows Operating System by executing the following command:

→vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet

That command eliminates one of the proper ways for restoring your computer system along with its files to a previous state. If the command is run, the encryption process of the virus will become quite more effective.

Remove .Ykcol File Virus and Restore Your Files

If your computer got infected with the .Ykcol File 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 computer systems. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.

Manually delete .Ykcol File Virus from your computer

Note! Substantial notification about the .Ykcol File Virus threat: Manual removal of .Ykcol File Virus requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .Ykcol File Virus files and objects
2. Find malicious files created by .Ykcol File Virus on your PC

Automatically remove .Ykcol File Virus by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

1. Remove .Ykcol File Virus with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool and back up your data
2. Restore files encrypted by .Ykcol File Virus
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Berta Bilbao

Berta is the Editor-in-Chief of SensorsTechForum. She is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space.

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