How to Protect PC from Lulz Ransomware Attack?
Lulz Ransomware is a data-encrypting malware that uses powerful AES-256 encryption algorithm in order to lock the targeted files. It does couple of perilous activities such as locking the personal files of users, changing the wallpaper with ransom note, exploiting the security vulnerabilities and bringing additional password stealing Trojans, showing threatening ransom note on the screen and so on. You will notice .lulz extension name on every files that it encrypt. For example, an image named as sample.jpg will get changed to sample.jpg.lulz once they get encrypted. After successful encryption, it drops a ransom note file namely “Fu_ck.txt” in every folder containing the locked data.
Unlike other reputed data-encrypting malware, Lulz Ransomware uses Raas (Ransomware-as-a-service) called “Project Root” for promotion. With the help of this service, the cyber-criminals don’t have to struggle anything related to development and a powerful ransomware can be created with any manual interference of programming skills. They just have to pay for the service and download the ransomware executable and spread them. “Project Root” are available in two variants, “standard and Pro” versions.
“Project Code” builder is very easy to use. It offers features like choosing the system’s architecture, Windows or Linux OS, enter the email ID that is to be used to contact you by the victims, and enter a recovery code. When you choose the “Pro” code, you are provided the source code as well. As stated earlier, the fully developed Lulz Ransomware (developed through “Project code”) is extremely dangerous. It locks almost all types of files including images, videos, MS Office docs, PDF files and so on. After successful encryption, it changes the wallpaper and store a ransom note in every folder containing the encrypted files.
Through ransom note, you are asked to contact the developer via provided email Id and write the appointed victim IDs on the title or subject. Technically, the recovery of the files is possible but only through the decryption tool which is available with the cyber-criminals. If you have created backup in some external storage device before the ransomware attack then it will be very helpful in files restoration.
Should I Pay the Ransom Money?
This is a very genuine question that most of the victims ask. After all, your important data has been encrypted and you want it back at any cost. However, the cyber-criminals could not be trusted because they don’t provide the original decryption key even after receiving the money. In order to manipulate you and win your trust that the free decryption tool really works, it offers to decrypt 2-3 encrypted files for free. The file should not contain any important data such as username, password, excel sheet etc. and should not be more than 2 MB in size. Again, this is a trick to cheat you. Though they decrypt these demo files for free but the decryption tool that they provide after ransom payment doesn’t works.
Don’t think of paying the ransom money. Instead you should try to remove Worm ransomware from the work-station so that other files and data remain protected. Removing the malware doesn’t means that encrypted files will get restored. The easiest way to recover the locked files is to use the backup files that you created before the malware attack. This backup files should be stored in some external storage device. You can also search for the “Volume Shadow Copies” which is a temporary backup file created by the OS. Unfortunately, there is high possibility that this ransomware deletes the “Shadow Volume Copies” as well. The last option is to use a data recovery tool. Since the cases of data loss through ransomware is increasing rapidly, the data recovery software these days are offering special feature to retrieve the lost data damaged or corrupted by ransomware.
The Ransom note of Lulz Ransomware Says:
You are hacked
your all files have been encrypted
if you want you files back
email us here : *********@protonmail.com with your unique id => –
A Quick Glance on Lulz Ransomware:
Type: Crypto-virus, File Locker
Ransom note: “Fu_ck.txt (without the “_” symbol)
Contact details of developer: they provide random email ID which ever they want
Build: This ransomware has been built using “Project Root”
Symptoms: Most of the files stored in the hard-disk become inaccessible. A special extension name is added in every encrypted file. A ransom demanding message is triggered on the screen randomly
Damage: Personal files get encrypted and you are asked to pay ransom money to get decryption key. The cyber-criminals don’t give the key even after receiving the complete payment. There is a high probability of severe data loss
Removal and Data Recovery: It is advised to scan the PC with a powerful anti-malware tool. Once the malware is removed, you can use the backup files to restore the encrypted files. In case, if the backup is not available then you can try using a data recovery software having strong scanning algorithm and programming logics
How to Protect PC from Ransomware Attack:
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.