VenusLocker ransomware removal instructions
What is VenusLocker?
VenusLocker is a new ransomware-type virus that encrypts files using asymmetric cryptography. VenusLocker appends the name of each encrypted file with the ".Venusf" or "Venusp" extension (some newer variants add .VenusLp and .VenusLf). Therefore, it is straightforward to determine which files are compromised. Following successful encryption, VenusLocker modifies the wallpaper image and opens a window containing a ransom-demand message.
Users are informed of the encryption and encouraged to pay a ransom to restore their files. VenusLocker uses an asymmetric encryption algorithm. Thus, public (encryption) and private (decryption) keys are generated during the encryption process. Cyber criminals store the private key on remote Command and Control (C&C) servers. Decryption without this key is impossible. Therefore, victims are encouraged to purchase it for $100. It is also stated that victims have just 72 hours to pay - after this period, private keys are permanently deleted and decryption becomes impossible. The ransom must be paid in the Bitcoin currency. Cyber criminals choose this this payment method, since it allows them to remain anonymous. The message also provides step-by-step payment instructions, however, cyber criminals often ignore victims despite payments made. Therefore, you are strongly advised to ignore all requests to pay/contact these people. There is a high probability that payment will not deliver any positive result. Unfortunately, currently there are no tools capable of restoring files encrypted using asymmetric cryptography. Therefore, you can only restore your files/system from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to contact the developers of VenusLocker ransomware to decrypt their compromised data:
Screenshot of VenusLocker pop-up on victim's desktop:
VenusLocker shares many similarities with hundreds of other malware such as Zepto, Chimera, R980, Cerber, and CTB-Locker. Be aware that all ransomware encrypts files and makes ransom demands. The only major difference is size of ransom (which usually fluctuates between 0.5 and 1.5 Bitcoin). These viruses are often distributed using trojans, fake software updaters, malicious files attached to spam emails, and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. Therefore, have a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed on your computer. Furthermore, keep your installed applications up-to-date, since cyber criminals can misuse software flaws/bugs to infiltrate the system. In addition, never open files sent from unrecognized/suspicious email addresses and, if possible, download your files/programs from trusted sources (for example, official download websites) without using any third party downloaders/installers. The key to computer safety is caution.
Screenshot of VenusLocker ransom-demand message:
Unfortunately, you are hacked.
1. What happened to my files?
Your personal files, including your photos, documents, videos and other important files on this computer, have been encrypted
with RSA-4096, a strong encryption algorithm. RSA algorithm generates a public key and a private key for your computer. The
public key was used to encrypt your files a moment ago. The private key is necessary for you to decrypt and recover your files.
Now, your private key is stored on our secret Internet server. And there is no doubt that no one can recover your files without
your private key.
For further information about RSA algorithm, please refer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)
2. How to decrypt my files?
To decrypt and recover your files, you have to pay 100 US Dollars for the private key and decryption service. Please note that
you have ONLY 72 HOURS to complete your payment. If your peyment do not be completed within time limit, your private key will be
deleted automatically by our server. All your files will be permanently encrypted and nobody can recover them. Therefore, it is
advised that you'd better not waste your time, because there is no other way to recover your files except making a payment.
3. How to pay for my private key?
There are three steps to make a payment and recover your files:
1). For the security of transactions, all the payments must be completed via Bitcoin network. Thus, you need to exchange 100 US dollars
(or equivalent local currencies) to Bitcoins, and then send these Bitcoins (about 0.15 BTC) to the following address.
2). Send your personal ID to our official email: VenusLocker@mail2tor.com (email@example.com)
Your personal ID is -
3). You will receive a decryptor and your private key to recover all your files within one working day.
4. What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is an innovative payment network and a new kind of money. It is based on an open-source cryptographic protocol that is
independent of any central authority. Bitcoins can be transferred through a computer or a smartphone withour an intermediate
5. How to make a payment with Bitcoin?
You can make a payment with Bitcoin based on Bitcoin Wallet or Based on Perfect Money. You can choose the way that is more convenient for you.
About Based on Bitcoin Wallet
1) Create a Bitcoin Wallet. We recommend Blockchain.info (https://blockchain.info/)
2) Buy necessary amount of Bitcoins. Our recommendations are as follows.
LocalBitcoins.com -- the fastest and easiest way to buy and sell Bitcoins.
CoinCafe.com -- the simplest and fastest way to buy, sell and use Bitcoins.
BTCDirect.eu -- the best for Europe.
CEX.IO -- Visa / MasterCard
CoinMama.com -- Visa / MasterCard
HowToBuyBitcoins.info -- discover quickly how to buy and sell Bitcoins in your local currency.
3) As mentioned above, send about 0.15 BTC (equivalent to 100 USD) to our Bitcoin receiving address.
4) As mentioned above, and then, send us your personal ID via email, you will receive your private key soon.
About Based on Perfect Money
1) Create a Perfect Money account. (https://perfectmoney.is)
2) Visit to PMBitcoin.com. (https://pmbitcoin.com/btc)
input our Bitcoin receiving address in the "Bitcoin Wallet" textbox.
input 100 in the "Amount" textbox, the amount of Bitcoin will be calculated automatically.
click "PAY" button, then you can complete you payment with your Perfect Money account and local debit card.
6. If you have any problem, please feel free to contact us via official email.
Screenshot of files encrypted by VenusLocker (.venusf extension):
VenusLocker ransomware removal:
- What is VenusLocker?
- STEP 1. VenusLocker virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. VenusLocker ransomware removal using System Restore.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the VenusLocker 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.
Download remover for VenusLocker virus
1) Download and install 2) Run system scan 3) Enjoy your clean computer!
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.
2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window, click "Next".
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 VenusLocker ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).
6. In the opened window, click "Yes".
7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining VenusLocker 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 VenusLocker 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.
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 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 VenusLocker ransomware.)
HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user intervention:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- 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 VenusLocker ransomware: