Lime Ransomware

Also Known As: Lime virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

Lime ransomware removal instructions

What is Lime?

Lime is a ransomware-type virus discovered by malware security researcher, Leo. Immediately after infiltration, Lime encrypts most data and appends filenames with the ".Lime" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed "sample.jpg.Lime"). Once files are encrypted, they become unusable. After successfully encrypting data, Lime places two files on the desktop: 1) "#BackGround.png" [also set as the desktop wallpaper], and; 2) "#Decryptor.exe" [opens a file decryption tool].

The new files contain ransom-demand messages that inform victims of the encryption and encourage them to pay a ransom of $100 (in Bitcoins) in exchange for file decryption. It is currently unknown which cryptography (symmetric or asymmetric) Lime uses - this information is not provided. In any case, decryption requires a unique key. Criminals hide these keys on a remote server. To retrieve them (and restore their data), users must submit ransom payments. It is also stated that ransoms must be paid within 30 days, otherwise the files will (supposedly) be permanently deleted. Despite these threats, cyber criminals can never be trusted. Research shows that developers of ransomware-type viruses often ignore victims, once the payments are submitted. Therefore, paying will probably deliver no positive result and you will be scammed. For these reasons, you are strongly advised to ignore all requests to contact these people or pay any ransom. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking Lime's encryption and restoring files free of charge. The only solution is to restore everything from a backup.

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

Lime decrypt instructions

Lime is a regular ransomware and, therefore, has very similar characteristics to MoneroPay, GHOST ARMY, PLANETARY, Krypton, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. Although these viruses are developed by different parties, they have identical behavior - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. In most cases, these viruses have just two major differences: 1) cost of decryption, and; 2 type of cryptography used. Research shows that, unfortunately, most of these viruses employ algorithms (for instance, AES, RSA, and so on) that generate unique decryption keys. In these cases, file decryption manually without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible, unless the malware is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally, or similar). Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, backup files must be stored on a remote server (for example, Cloud) or an unplugged external storage, otherwise they will be encrypted along with other regular files.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

To proliferate ransomware-type viruses, criminals typically employ spam emails (malicious attachments), peer-to-peer (P2P) networks (eMule, torrents, and so on) and other third party download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, etc.), fake software update tools, and trojans. Infectious attachments often come in the format of JavaScript files or MS Office documents. Once opened, these files stealthily download and install malware. P2P networks and other unofficial download sources present malicious executables as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into downloading and installing malware, whilst fake updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws. Trojans are the simplest of all - they merely open "backdoors" for malware to infiltrate the system.

Threat Summary:
NameLime 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.

To eliminate Lime virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and never open files received from suspicious email addresses. Delete these emails immediately, without reading. Furthermore, download your applications only from official sources and use direct download links (third party downloaders/installers often include unwanted programs). Keep installed applications updated, however, since criminals proliferate malware via fake updaters, use implemented update features or tools provided by the official developer. Using a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite is also essential.

Screenshot of Lime desktop wallpaper:

Lime wallpaper

Text presented in Lime ransomware desktop wallpaper and decrypter:

All your files have been encrypted

But You can still recover your files
Just send us 100$ Bitcoin, And we will give a key to unlock your files

After you pay us, send us email
include your transaction number

This is Ransomware, It's not a joke

Send 100$ to this bitcoin address:


Screenshot of files encrypted by Lime (".Lime" extension):

Files encrypted by Lime

Lime ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Lime 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 Lime 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":

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 Lime 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 Lime 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 Lime 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 Lime 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 Lime, 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 Lime ransomware.

Note that 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 Lime 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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Lime 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 Lime virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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