Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
Evil ransomware removal instructions
What is Evil?
The HTML file contains a message informing victims of the encryption and stating that they must purchase a decryption key. As mentioned above, Evil uses AES cryptography and, therefore, decryption without a unique key is impossible. Evil's developers store this key on a remote server and victims are encouraged to pay a ransom to receive it - they must contact cyber criminals via an email address ("firstname.lastname@example.org") provided. The cost of Evil decryption is currently unknown, however, developers of ransomware-type viruses usually demand the equivalent of between $500 and 1500 in Bitcoins. In any case, you should never trust these people. Research shows that cyber criminals often ignore victims, despite payments made. There is a high probability that you will be scammed and paying will not deliver any positive result. By paying you will simply support their malicious businesses. There are currently no tools capable of cracking AES cryptography and restoring files encrypted by Evil. Therefore, your files can only be restored from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
Evil has very similar characteristics to dozens of other ransomware-type viruses such as FireCrypt, Merry Christmas, Erebus, and OpenToYou. Research shows that most ransomware encrypts files and makes ransom demands. Therefore, the only major differences between these viruses are size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm used. Cyber criminals often proliferate ransomware via spam emails (infectious attachments), third party download sources (peer-to-peer networks, ftp, free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, etc.), malicious software update tools, and trojans. Therefore, be cautious when opening files received from suspicious emails and never download any software from unofficial sources. Using a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and keeping your installed applications up-to-date is also essential. Be aware, however, that cyber criminals are capable of exploiting software bugs/flaws to infect the system. Therefore, software should never be updated via third party tools.
You can read more about this ransomware here.
Update - 1 February, 2017: Cyber criminals have updated this ransomware. Now it adds .evillock extension to encrypted files. The ransom demanding message is also different. Now it reads like this:
Hello. As you can see some of your files have been encrypted! Encryption was made using a unique strongest AES key. If you want restore your files you need to BUY the key, it costs 0.3 BTC. Send me your ID to email@example.com Just google how to buy bitcoins in your country. You have only 3 days to deadline! After, your key will be deleted! List of encrypted files. P.S. I can decrypt one encrypted file as evidence that there is decrypt.
Text presented within Evil ransomware HTML file (old version):
Hello. Your UID: -
Its evil ransomware. As you can see some of your files have been encrypted! Encryption was made using a unique strongest AES key. If you want restore your files you need to BUY (sorry, nothing personal, its just business) the private key, send me your UID to firstname.lastname@example.org List of encrypted files.
Screenshot of files encrypted by Evil (".file0locked" extension):
Evil ransomware removal:
Quick menu: Quick solution to remove .file0locked virus
- What is Evil?
- STEP 1. Evil virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Evil 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":
Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the Evil 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.
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 Evil 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 Evil 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 Evil 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 encryption 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 Evil 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 Evil ransomware: