Danger level:  
  (99/100)

Locky virus. How to delete? (Removal tutorial)

removal by Jake Doevan - -   Also known as .locky file extension virus | Type: Ransomware
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Locky virus, a ransomware you need to look out for

Recently, the cyber community was shaken by a new wave of ransomware, dubbed Locky virus. Since then, this ransomware has already taken control over hundreds of thousands of computers all across the world. Locky spreads throughout all the continents. Europe, America, and Australia have been infected.

Interestingly enough, this virus does not work on the Russian operating systems, which suggests the cyber security experts that there is a great chance that it hails from this particular Eastern European country. In fact, identification of the computer’s operating system is one of the first processes that Locky ransomware carries out in the infiltrated computer.

Therefore, it may be presumed that the origin of the operational system is of high priority to the virus developers. Once the system is identified and it appears that it is Russian, the virus terminates its activity and eliminates itself from the computer, so you don't need to think about Locky removal. Otherwise, the ransomware begins its encryption of the hijacked computer’s contents.

The ransomware does not distinguish between private or public computers and attacks any system it can access. A more broad-scale event worth mentioning, to give you an idea of the perils of this virus, took place in one of the Hollywood’s hospitals, the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.

For over a week, the doctors and other medical workers were not capable of accessing the hospital’s inner system and networks since they were taken ‘hostage’ by the Locky virus.

It has been reported that the hospital administration decided to buy out their files and access to inner networks by paying the 40 Bitcoin (or around $17.000) ransom. The medical files and other data that was locked by the virus is without a doubt a vital information that the hospital authorities could not allow being lost.

However, if a virus attacks your computer, we do not recommend following this example because there is a high risk that you will not only lose your files but your money as well. It is advisable that you remove Locky from your computer as soon as possible, to protect yourself from being exposed to further threats this virus may impose on your system.

You will need a substantial antivirus tool to take care of the Locky removal. It is preferable you use Reimage for this purpose.

Workings of the virus: how it infiltrates your system and locks your files

As you are already familiar with the impact the appearance of Locky virus has made and is still making in the world, we can now discuss the more technical details of this virus’s workings. Essentially, there are 5 main goals of this malicious program are:

  1. To infiltrate the system and activate the virus;
  2. To determine your operating system type;
  3. To scan computer for files;
  4. To encrypt the victim’s files;
  5. To receive a ransom.

As you can see, there are a few steps between the actual infiltration of the system and paying the ransom to retrieve your files. We will talk about the ways this virus can infiltrate your system We can now elaborate on each of these steps individually.

1. System infiltration

Locky virus, similarly to other types of ransomware such as CTB Locker, Cryptowall, Cryptolocker or Teslacrypt, travels through infected spam email attachments. The cyber security experts estimate that Locky virus releases over 4 million infected emails a week, which is really a considerable number.

However, unlike less dangerous potentially unwanted programs, which can stealthily install into the computer through software packages, this virus requires more interaction on the behalf of the user. First, the infected email must be opened.

The developers of this ransomware make sure the user feels tempted to do that, by giving the email a gripping title. The letter itself also provides some deceptive information about the attached file, encouraging the user to download and open it.

Once the victim downloads attached archive, the containing Word or JavaScript files, need to be extracted and opened to activate the virus. The infected Word document runs on macros script which needs to be enabled in your Word settings to activate the virus.

So, if you accidentally open a suspicious email, featuring some unintelligible symbols you may be asked to enable Word macros to decrypt them. DO NOT enable it because the decrypted script will only activate the virus and lock all of your files. JavaScript file, however, overtakes the computer’s system much faster.

After it is extracted, it will begin the malicious processes on the infected computer immediately, so you should be even more cautious about these files.

2. System identification

As it was already mentioned in the introductory paragraph, it is important for the Locky virus to determine the operational system’s type. It does that by running a specifically designed script. It is important to note that the script is run in the newer versions of Locky virus, by the JavaScript file only, while the Word macros begins the encryption process as soon as it is activated.

3. Scanning for files

Now that the virus is activated, it initiates the scanning of the computer for files, including photo, video files, documents, archives, etc. A number of different file extensions can be encrypted.

4. File encryption
When Locky detects the required files, it encrypts them with a military-type AES algorithm, which is extremely complicated and impossible to decrypt without a personalized decryption key. The whole encryption process may range from several hours and to a few days to encrypt the data.

It is impossible to notice the virus at the encryption stage, yet, you may witness some slowing of the system’s performance, but it does not tend to be as significant to cause any concerns. After the virus is done encrypting the files, instead of the regular file extensions, the victim will see the unusual .locky extension.

5. Asking for ransom

When the ransomware finishes its dirty work, it creates a _Locky_recover_instructions.txt file in every folder containing the encrypted documents. The note usually explains what happened to the victim’s computer and offers a solution. The proposed solution is rather simple.

All you have to do is purchase a decryption key which will help you to unlock the files. At the given moment, the Locky decryptor’s reaches from 0,5 up to 4 Bitcoin, while the decryptor itself can be obtained through the anonymous Tor network. However, it is not advisable to make any transactions to these cyber criminals because you may not receive the key or it may not be functional at all.

Besides, think about whether you want to encourage these crooks to continue their felonious activities and to infect more computers with new malicious programs?

The only way to protect yourself from this virus is to take precautions yourself. Make a backup copy of your system and keep it in some external storage drive, and you won't need to think about Locky removal. Also, make sure not to open suspicious emails and, most importantly, do not download the attachments.

Nevertheless, it is also important to note that Locky virus does not limit itself to the computer files only. It may also target your external storage drives once you connected them to your device. Also, the network sharing websites are vulnerable to this virus, which can infiltrate and lock the files there as well.

What is more, the online storage, or the so-called clouds, are not a safe place to store your files either. Locky is an extremely ferocious virus, so we recommend you to remove Locky as soon as you suspect it may have hijacked your computer.

How to remove Locky virus?

Locky ransomware is a surprisingly well-structured malware. Sadly, but the experts around the world have not yet discovered a way to decrypt the files without having to pay the ransom. Of course, if you are already a victim of this virus, you can try to wait it out, until the decryption key is invented.

However, in the meanwhile, you should take care of the Locky removal from your computer. Since this program is rather complicated itself, it poses some difficulties regarding its removal as well. You may find that the virus is blocking your antivirus suite and cannot run a scan.

In such case, you can try disconnecting your computer from the network, because according to the cyber security experts, it may decrease some functionalities of this ransomware. If you are encountering any other problems, you can also use our virus removal manual, provided by our team of experts below.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Computer security experts recommend using Reimage to uninstall Locky virus. Reimage scans the entire computer system and checks whether it is infected with spyware/malware or not. If you want to remove computer threats and secure your computer system, you should consider buying the licensed version of Reimage.

Note: Manual assistance needed implies that one or all of removal tools have failed to remove the threat without manual intervention. In such scenario, please follow the manual removal guide, which is provided below.

You can find more details about this program in Reimage review.

You can find more details about this program in Reimage review.
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Press mentions on Reimage

Locky virus manual removal instructions

Remove these registry values:
HKCUSoftwareLocky

HKCUSoftwareLockyid

HKCUSoftwareLockypubkey

HKCUSoftwareLockypaytext

HKCUSoftwareLockycompleted 1

HKCUControl PanelDesktopWallpaper "%UserProfile%Desktop_Locky_recover_instructions.bmp"

Remove these files:
%UserpProfile%Desktop_Locky_recover_instructions.bmp

%UserpProfile%Desktop_Locky_recover_instructions.txt

%Temp%[random].exe

Manual Locky Virus Removal Instructions:

Eliminate Locky using Safe Mode with Networking

You can detect malware using Reimage.
You need to purchase a licensed version of it to remove threats.
More details about Reimage.

  • Step 1: Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Go to Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. As soon as your computer starts, start pressing F8 key repeatedly before the Windows logo shows up.
    3. Choose Safe Mode with Networking from the list Choose 'Safe Mode with Networking' option

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Click on the Power button at the Windows login screen, and then press and hold Shift key on your keyboard. Then click Restart.
    2. Then select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and click Restart.
    3. Once your computer starts, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking from the list of options in Startup Settings. Choose 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking' option
  • Step 2: Remove Locky

    Sign in to your account and launch any Internet browser. Download a legitimate anti-malware software, for instance, Reimage. Make sure you update it to the latest version and then run a full system scan with it to detect and eliminate all malicious components of the ransomware to remove Locky completely.

If your ransomware does not allow you to access Safe Mode with Networking, please follow the instructions provided below.

Eliminate Locky using System Restore

You can detect malware using Reimage.
You need to purchase a licensed version of it to remove threats.
More details about Reimage.

  • Step 1: Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Go to Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. As soon as your computer starts, start pressing F8 key repeatedly before the Windows logo shows up.
    3. Choose Command Prompt from the list Choose 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Click on the Power button at the Windows login screen, and then press and hold Shift key on your keyboard. Then click Restart.
    2. Then select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and click Restart.
    3. Once your computer starts, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of options in Startup Settings. Choose 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option
  • Step 2: Perform a system restore to recover files and settings
    1. When the Command Prompt window appears, type in cd restore and press Enter. Type 'cd restore' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    2. Then type rstrui.exe and hit Enter.. Type 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    3. In a new window that shows up, click the Next button and choose a restore point that was created before the infiltration of Locky and then click on the Next button again. When 'System Restore' wizard comes up, click 'Next'. Choose a preferable restore point and click 'Next'
    4. To start system restore, click Yes. Hit 'Yes' and start system restore
    After restoring the computer system to an antecedent date, install and check your computer with Reimage to uncover any remains of Locky.

It is strongly recommended to take precautions and secure your computer from malware attacks. To protect your PC from Locky and other dangerous viruses, you should install and keep a powerful malware removal tool, for instance, Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Jake Doevan - Do not waste your precious time dealing with computer virus infections alone

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Source: https://www.2-spyware.com/remove-locky-virus.html

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  • Oliver

    This virus looks terrible!!

  • Jack

    OMG I got infected by Lokcy!! Never thought it would happen to me….

  • Alfie4Viruses

    Ah, such a bummer. Locky’s in the UK now too

  • Marthaaa

    Do NOT purchase the Locky decryptor! It’s a scam!!!

  • Violet33

    This ransom inquiry is really dodgy… I would not pay these crooks a penny!