8lock8 Ransomware

Also Known As: 8lock8 virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

8lock8 ransomware removal instructions

What is 8lock8?

8lock8 is ransomware-type virus based on HiddenTear (an educational open-source ransomware released in August, 2015). After system infiltration, 8lock8 uses AES-256 (an asymmetric encryption algorithm) to encrypt various files stored in victims' computers. During encryption, this ransomware appends the name of each encrypted file with the .8lock8 extension, making it straightforward to recognize compromised files. Following successful encryption, 8lock8 creates a 'READ_IT.txt' file and places it in each folder that contains encrypted files.

This text file contains a message informing victims of the encryption, and that to restore compromised files, they must contact cyber criminals via an email address provided. Victims will then supposedly receive further instructions. Public and private keys are generated when encrypting files using asymmetric algorithm - public key to encrypt, and private to decrypt. The private key is stored on Cyber & Control (C&C) servers controlled by cyber criminals. Therefore, cyber criminals will probably demand a ransom in exchange for this key. Fortunately, Demonslay335 has developed tools to bruteforce the private key and decrypt compromised files. Therefore, there is no need to contact cyber criminals. In fact, developers of ransomware-type viruses often ignore victims even if they pay the ransom. By paying thousands of dollars for the private key, you will not only lose your money, but also support the malicious businesses of cyber criminals. Therefore, you are strongly advised to never attempt to contact these criminals or pay the ransom. To decrypt files compromised by 8lock8, follow the instructions below.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to contact the developers of 8lock8 ransomware to decrypt their compromised data:

8lock8 decrypt instructions

8lock8 shares many similarities with CryptXXX, Cerber, SeginChile, Locky, and dozens of other ransomware infections. As with 8lock8, all ransomware-type viruses infiltrate the system, encrypt files, and demand a ransom payment. Not all use same encryption type. The two main differences are size of ransom and type of algorithm used to encrypt files. Research also shows that viruses such as 8lock8 are often distributed using peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, infectious email attachments (for example, fake job application forms), fake software updates, and/or trojans. For this reason, it is important to use a legitimate anti-virus suite. Furthermore, download files only from trusted sources and avoid opening file attachments sent from unrecognized/suspicious addresses. Finally, keeping your installed software up-to-date is paramount.

Text presented in the READ_IT.txt file:

Files have been encrypted!Файлы были зашифрованы
It uses cryptographically strong algorithm!Используется криптостойкий алгоритм
contact by e-mail: d1d81238(@)tuta.io or d1d81238(@)india.com
to identify , use lower hash!для идентификации используйте нижний хэш
[UNIQUE HASH CODE]

To decrypt their files, victims of this ransomware should follow these steps:

1. Download and run “HiddenTear Bruteforcer” (download link). Click “Browse Sample” and select one encrypted .png file (only .png files are accepted). Select “EightLockEight” mode and click “Start Bruteforce”:

8lock8 Bruteforcer

2. Select the found key from the “HiddenTear Bruteforcer” and paste it to “HiddenTear Decrypter” (download link):

8lock8 ransomware decrypter

3. After pasting the key, type “.8lock8” in the “Extension” field and click “Decrypt My Files”.

Update 1 February 2017 - Security researchers from Avast have released a decrypter that works for most of HiddenTear ransomware variants. You can download it HERE.

hiddentear ransomware decrypter by avast

8lock8 ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of 8lock8 virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of 8lock8 virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the 8lock8 virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the 8lock8 ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining 8lock8 ransomware files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of 8lock8 are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.

To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by 8lock8, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

 To protect your computer from file encrypting ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as 8lock8 ransomware.)

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user intervention:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.

Other tools known to remove 8lock8 ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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Platform: Windows

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