LockeR Ransomware

Also Known As: LockeR virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

LockeR ransomware removal instructions

What is LockeR?

First discovered by malware security researcher, Michael Gillespie, LockeR is a ransomware-type virus almost identical to SIGMA. Immediately after infiltration, LockeR encrypts most stored data using RSA-2048 and AES-256 cryptographies. From this point, files become unusable. During encryption, LockeR renames files using the "[random_letter].locked" pattern (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "a.jpg.locked"). Following successful encryption, LockeR places the "[HOW_TO_DECRYPT_FILES].html" file on the desktop.

The new HTML file contains a message informing victims of the current situation and telling them what to do next. As mentioned above, LockeR uses RSA and AES encryption algorithms. Thus, decryption requires two unique keys (one for each algorithm). Unfortunately, these keys are stored on a remote server controlled by LockeR's developers. To receive these keys (paired with a decryption tool), victims must follow instructions provided in one of LockeR's websites (links are given in the HTML file). These websites state that victims must pay a ransom of $400 in Bitcoins. It is also stated that the ransom must be paid within seven days, otherwise the cost will quadruple (increase to $1600). A quirk of this scam is that victims are supposedly allowed to negotiate with LockeR's developers. This is unusual to ransomware-type viruses. In addition, users are able to decrypt a single selected file (up to 10 MB) free of charge. This, supposedly to reassure users that their files can actually be restored. In any case, never trust cyber criminals. Research shows that these people commonly ignore victims, once the ransoms are paid. Therefore, paying does not guarantee that your files will ever be restored and there is a high probability that you will be scammed. We strongly advise you to ignore all requests to contact these people or pay any ransom. Unfortunately, there are currently no tools capable of restoring files compromised by LockeR and you can only restore files/system from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

LockeR decrypt instructions

LockeR shares many similarities with TBHRanso, Wana Die, RASTAKHIZ, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. Although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, their behavior is identical - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. These viruses typically have just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, most employ algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the malware is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally, etc.), restoring files manually without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. Therefore, LockeR and other ransomware-type viruses present a strong case for maintaining regular data backups. Note, however, that backup files must be stored on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or an external storage. If not, the backup files are also encrypted.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware-type viruses are proliferated in various ways, however, the most popular are spam emails, unofficial software download sources, fake software update tools, and trojans. Spam emails often contain various malicious attachments (e.g., JavaScript files, MS Office documents with macros, etc.) that, once opened, download and install malware. Third party software download sources (e.g., freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, peer-to-peer [P2P] networks, and so on) proliferate malware by presenting it as legitimate software - users are tricked into downloading and installing viruses. Fake software updaters exploit outdated software bugs/flaws to infect the system. Trojans are the simplest ones - they merely open "backdoors" for malware to infiltrate the system. Essentially, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior.

Threat Summary:
NameLockeR virus
Threat TypeRansomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
SymptomsCan't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methodsInfected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
DamageAll files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
▼ Download Malwarebytes
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To prevent ransomware infections, be very cautious when browsing the Internet. Never open files received from suspicious email addresses - these emails should be deleted without reading. Furthermore, download your software from official sources only and, preferably, using a direct download link. Keep installed applications up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite, however, bear in mind that criminals proliferate malware via fake updaters. Therefore, use either an implemented "Update" function or an updater provided by the official developer. The key to computer safety is caution.

Text presented in LockeR ransomware HTML file ("[HOW_TO_DECRYPT_FILES].html"):

What happened to my files ?

All of your important files were encrypted using a combination of RSA-2048 and AES-256.

What does this mean ?

This means that your files were modified in a way that makes working with them impossible, unless you have the keys to decrypt them.

Is it possible to recover my files ?

Yes, it possible to get your files back, you'll need a special program (decryptor) and the private key of the key pair used to encrypt them.

How can I get the decryptor and the private key ?

You can buy both of them in any of the links below. Just visit one of them and follow the instructions.


If you cannot access the site from any of the addresses above, you can follow the instructions below to access the site using the Tor Browser.

Download the Tor Browser Bundle here:
Execute the file you downloaded to extract the Tor Browser into a folder on your computer.
Then simply open the folder and click on "Start Tor Browser".
Copy and paste the onion address into the address bar: -

Screenshot of LockeR website:

Home page:

LockeR website

Do NOT use, they are replacing the bitcoin addresses with their own and stealing bitcoins. To be sure you're paying to the correct address, use Tor Browser.
You can still decrypt 1 file(s) for free by clicking here.
Your files have been encrypted, to recover them you need the private key of the key pair used to encrypt them and the decryptor. You can buy both of them for $400.00. However, if the payment is not made until 2017-12-06 08:49 UTC, the price for the decryptor and private key will increase to $1600.00.
If you think the current amount we're asking for is not fair or you want to extend the deadline, you can negotiate with us by clicking here.
06days 21hours 44minutes 58seconds
Register a bitcoin wallet.
Easiest online wallet or other wallets.
Purchase the required amount of bitcoins.
There are several ways you can buy bitcoins, you can use bitcoin exchanges, buy directly from people selling near you or using a bitcoin ATM.
Send exactly 0.03713334 BTC ($400.00) to the address:
1DZBdmtfwV8qWkWnhKbnJync5sdEMkz1tb The confirmation may take several minutes, please be patient.
Status: Awaiting payment...
Expires in: 54:03
1 BTC ˜ 10771.99 USD
The private key is stored in our server for two months.

Negotiation page:

LockeR Ransomware website negotiation page

Free decryption page:

LockeR ransomware website Free Decryption page

Text presented within this page:

Do NOT use, they are replacing the bitcoin addresses with their own and stealing bitcoins. To be sure you're paying to the correct address, use Tor Browser.
You can decrypt 1 file(s) for free. The file size must be lower than 10MB. The decrypted file will be available for 10 minutes for you to download.
*You must use Tor Browser to upload and download files.

Screenshot of files encrypted by LockeR ("[random_letter].locked" filename pattern):

Files encrypted by LockeR

LockeR ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

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":

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.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the LockeR 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 LockeR 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 LockeR 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 LockeR 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 LockeR, 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 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 EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as LockeR ransomware.

Note that the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.

Controll Folder Access

Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.

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 LockeR 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 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
LockeR virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of LockeR virus on your mobile device.
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