Easy LOCKEDS Ransomware removal guide
LOCKEDS Ransomware is a new variant of DCRTR-WDM ransomware family. It encrypts stored files using a cipher encryption algorithm and appends their filenames with .LOCKEDS extension. For example, a file name 1.jpg becomes 1.jpg.LOCKEDS and inaccessible, of no use. After completing the encryption process, the ransomware creates two files HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.hta and HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt and drops it on each compromised folder.
The text file informs that the data has been encrypted with a unique key. To decrypt it, users must have to contact the ransomware developers via provided email address. Further, it says attaching provided unique ID number on the email that they write for the contact. The .txt file ends with warning that any delaying in contacting may end the possibility of files decryption. The HTML file contains detailed information. It tells about the size of ransom that users have to pay which depends on how fast they make the contact. On paying the ransom, a decryption tool will be provided that helps in files decryption. As a proof the ability of the tool of files decryption, users are provided free decryption of 1 encrypted file that must not have more than 1MB in size and should not contain any personal or valuable information. Changing the name of the files and manually trying to files decryption can cause permanent loss of the files or the last hope for the data recovery.
Should I go with ransom note instructions?
Ransomware type of viruses is distributed by developers for the only purpose to extort ransom from novice users. Such viruses have feature to encrypt files and in the process allow their developers to create a unique key/tool with each victim individually. They hide the keys on remote server and ask for ransom for the exchange from victims. Paying them the ransom, it does not matter how much the money they demand, is not recommend as this will increase their designing more such threats. Also, reports say paying ransom is risky as in many cases users do not receive any decryption tool even if they fulfill all the demands. So, in this case, rather paying ransom to the bad actors behind the threat and waiting for the decryption tool that they provide you should try some alternate, trustworthy and reliable method for the files retrieval.
We recommend not think much about the files retrieval. Since, much important is the PC protection. LOCKEDS Ransomware has a series of modules inbuilt in it to perform various malicious tasks before starting encryption process, appending files and showing ransom payment notes. These modules could be for gathering data, injecting other malicious malware or modifying registry entries that could be a serious issue on the PC later on the future. To avoid such risks, remove LOCKEDS Ransomware from the system as soon as possible, After LOCKEDS removal, restore the files using existing backup and hope that Cyber experts crack the codes of the ransomware and soon the official decryption software of the threat is available.
Common ransomware distribution sources
Vulnerable RDPs which have weak or no password at all are major target of Hackers. They misuse the host and connect the computer remotely to plant malicious payload. Some Cybercriminals use email spam campaigns for the ransomware distribution. In the campaign, spam emails are designed to be appearing like they are coming from reliable shipping companies or reputable banking organizations, healthcare and firms etc. These people attach the malicious payload on an attachment (such as files or links) on them. Short text message on the pages convinces users to click the link or open the file. If followed the instructions, recipients initiate the malicious payload on it. This payload runs malicious scripts and downloads/installs malware in the system. Furthermore, malware can get inside through P2P networks, fake software updates, various software cracks, and infected hyperlinks/advertisements and exploit keys and etc.
Text presented on .txt file:
All your documents, databases, photos, videos and staff were encrypted with a unique key.
If you want to return all your files, so write to us by mail: [email protected]
In the message attach your unique ID: –
Do not waste your time! You risk losing all your files!
The HTML format file shows the following message:
All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail: [email protected]
Write this ID in the title of your message –
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click ‘Buy bitcoins’, and select the seller by payment method and price.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.
Remove LOCKEDS Ransomware
Manual malware removal instructions are provided below. Follow it so that you will find no any trouble during the virus removal process. You can use some reputable antivirus tool to automatically remove LOCKEDS Ransomware from the system.
How to turn your encrypted files working once again?
Well, through the above explanations mentioned, you might have learned actually what happened to your files after encryption. Since the malware that has affected your files is now removed with suggested scanner, you would still require to turn your files working. And we are now going to discuss how to accomplish this task. Based on expert’s researches and their findings, there’s a number of possible methods or ways which a user can get through to restore their encrypted files to work. Even many of victimized users have tried these methods with their own infected computer and success rate is almost 95 percent. So, you can hope to have your files back, and in order to accomplish complete restore of your infected data, we suggest you check out some suggested methods here:
Methods 1: Restore encrypted files using a powerful data recovery software
Before you start to read the steps, you should know this method is appropriate to those users who have found no solutions to decrypt their files affected by ransomware. But still they are able to utilize their system and can install a software. According to experts, this method has very low difficulty level as it utilizes a program to do so.
Although this method is called to be the safest way to recover encrypted files, it still have some limitations. Technically, the encrypted data recovery solution looks through your system and its partitions to recover original files which are actually deleted by virus to replace with the encrypted one. In many cases, the user tend to copy the encrypted files on some external drive and re-install Windows OS that actually declines the chances of data recovery through this method. So, after you have managed to clean your system against malware effects, leave the files as they are and get through the steps to restore your files using one of the top most data recovery app called Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery Software.
Step 1: At first, download the app on your system by clicking the download button below.
Step 2: Click on the downloaded file through your browser to execute its installer.
Step 3: In the license agreement page, click to accept the terms and click Next button. Further, follow on-screen instructions to complete the installation, and click on Finish button finally.
Step 4: After the installation is done, the program will run automatically. At the first interface, select the file types now that you intend to recovery followed by clicking Next.
Step 5: Select the drives over which you need the software to run over and perform the recovery of encrypted files. Done? Click on Scan button.
Step 6: The software will now scan all selected drive to complete the restore process, however it may take some time depending upon volume of drives and number of files or directories were there previously. After the scanning process ends, you will be shown with a file explorer with preview of your data which you want to recover. Just select those which you need to be restored.
Step 7: Browse a location where you want the restored data to be saved.
Method 2: Encrypted file recovery with a lately created Windows backup
This method is technically for those who have a lately created Windows backup saved somewhere and is not affected by the ransomware. Using inbuilt system recovery services, the backup can restore the files which are included under the backup. This method is considered easier as well and leaves no software, thus considered as a very popular method to fight against emergencies caused by infectious malware. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Hit Win + R key combination and to execute Run command line.
Step 2: In the Run text field, type ‘ms-settings:windowsupdate’ and hit the OK button.
Step 3: You will be shown Windows update settings, but you have actually to click Backup option as shown in picture, and located in left pane.
Step 4: Click on ‘More Options’ to open Backup Options panel.
Step 5: As shown in the image below, select or click on “Restore files from a current backup.”
Step 6: In the next shown window, locate the backup where you have saved it, and click on restore button below as marked in the image.
Methods 3: Using Shadow Explorer Application
This file recovery solution is recommended to those who have their backup but is currently not working, still the files under backup are not yet deleted. In this case, Shadow Explorer is an application that can help you restoring your files from those backup files which are active, but still disabled by ransomware somehow. Under this circumstance, inbuilt Windows Backup and Recovery option will not work for you, rather the software will do the magic easily. To accomplish file recovery in this case, get through the steps here mentioned:
Step 1: Click the button below to download Shadow Explorer on your computer.
Step 2: Browser the location where you have downloaded the file. Double click and extract the zip file.
Step 3: Click to open ShadowExplorerPortable directory and double click on the file as shown in the image below.
Step 4: A drop down menu will appear on screen, so just select a desired Date and time according to your requirements on the top left of Shadow Explorer app, and choose the files in given interface that you want to restore using the software. Once the selection is done, Click on the button Export..
Methods 4: Using other decryptors
Well, this method might sounds a bit weird as every ransomware identity basically uses different enciphers and methods to encrypt files on targeted computers. But when the a ransomware which has actually infected your machine comes from a ransomware family for which a decryptor is officially working and available as well, then this might work for you. Technically, this method is just based on luck and analysis, still many users have reported this worked for them. So, if you have seen a ransomware has infected your computer, the very first thing you should do is to identity what kind of virus has actually affected your machine. In most of the cases, ransomware attacks are irreversible, still those infections basically comes from a parent ransomware which might be cracked earlier. For an instance, Scarab ransomware or Hiddentear ransomware are some families which can be decrypted. To check your luck if the present ransomware that has affected your machine is decryptable or not. To do so, follow the guidelines below:
Step 1: Check the Ransomware Database Here and check if decryptor is available for the malware
Step 2: In case you find no results, you can check an open source project called NoMoreRansom to find the ransomware details and decryptor, which has affected your machine. If found, download the decryptor on your computer’s local drive. This page is being regularly updated by its officials once a ransomware is discovered in world.
Step 3: Before you proceed with the downlaoded decryptor, make sure you have backup all your important files.
Step 4: Execute the decryptor to scan and restore your files easily.