LittleFinger Ransomware

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

LittleFinger ransomware removal instructions

What is LittleFinger?

Discovered by MalwareHunterTeam, LittleFinger is a ransomware-type virus that stealthily infiltrates systems and encrypts stored files. Note that, unlike other ransomware, LittleFinger does not rename files or add any extension. Despite this, files still become unusable. Immediately after encryption, LittleFinger opens a console window and displays a ransom-demand message. This is also unusual - most ransomware viruses provide this information using text or HTML files.

The message informs victims of the encryption and encourages them to purchase a decryption tool. No other information is provided. Therefore, it is currently unknown which cryptography (symmetric or asymmetric) LittleFinger uses. In any case, decryption requires a unique key generated individually for each victim. Furthermore, all keys are stored on a remote server controlled by LittleFinger's developers. To retrieve their keys (or rather, decryption tools with keys embedded within), victims are encouraged to pay a ransom of .01 Bitcoin (currently equivalent to ~$75). Bear in mind, however, that although the cost is rather low (some cyber criminals demand hundreds or even thousands of dollars), it should never be paid. Research shows that ransomware developers are likely to ignore victims after payments are submitted. Paying gives no positive result and users will be scammed. Therefore, never attempt to contact these people and certainly do not submit any payments. Unfortunately, there is no tool capable of restoring data compromised by LittleFinger free of charge. Therefore, there is only one solution: to restore everything from a backup.

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

LittleFinger decrypt instructions

There are dozens of ransomware-type viruses that have similar characteristics to LittleFinger. Aurora, .BACKUP, and Embrace are just some examples from many. Research shows that although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, their behavior is identical. All encrypt data and make ransom demands. There are typically just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Most use algorithms that generate unique decryption keys (e.g., RSA, AES, and similar). Therefore, in most cases, decrypting data without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. The only possible scenarios are ransomware not being fully developed or having certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally or similar). Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backup, however, backups must be stored on an unplugged storage device or remote server, otherwise ransomware encrypts them together with regular files.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

To proliferate ransomware, developers often employ fake software updaters, trojans, P2P (peer-to-peer) networks, unofficial software download sources, and spam emails. Fake updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updating software. Trojans are simpler - they merely open "backdoors" for other viruses to infiltrate the system. P2P networks (torrents, eMule, and similar) and other third party download sources (free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, etc.) present malicious executables as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into downloading and installing malware. Spam emails are delivered with malicious attachments (e.g., MS Office documents, JavaScript files, etc.) that, once opened, stealthily download and install malware.

Threat Summary:
NameLittleFinger 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 LittleFinger 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, to prevent ransomware infections, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Never open any email attachment that seems irrelevant or has been received from a suspicious email address. These emails should be deleted immediately, without reading. You are also advised to download your applications from official sources only (via direct download links), rather than using third party downloaders/installers. These tools often proliferate rogue software, and thus should never be used. The same rule applies to software updating. It is very important to keep installed programs updated. To achieve this, however, use implemented functionality or tools provided by the official developer only. We also strongly recommend that you use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite.

Text presented in LittleFinger ransomware console window:


SEND 0.01 BTC to address xxxxxxxxxx



Screenshot of files encrypted by LittleFinger (no extension):

Files encrypted by LittleFinger

LittleFinger ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of LittleFinger 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 LittleFinger 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 LittleFinger 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 LittleFinger 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 LittleFinger 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 LittleFinger 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 LittleFinger, 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 LittleFinger 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 LittleFinger 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
LittleFinger 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 LittleFinger virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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