Evil Locker ransomware removal instructions
What is Evil Locker?
Evil Locker is a ransomware-type virus discovered by malware security researcher, Jakub Kroustek. After stealthily infiltrating the system, Evil Locker encrypts most stored files and appends filenames with the ".[firstname.lastname@example.org].EVIL" extension. For example, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.[email@example.com].EVIL". Once compromised, data immediately becomes unusable. Following successful encryption, Evil Locker generates a text file ("!_HOW_RECOVERY_FILES_!.txt") and places a copy in all existing folders.
As with most ransomware, Evil Locker's text file contains a message stating that data is encrypted and can only be restored using a certain decryption tool. To receive it, victims must contact Evil Locker's developers via an email address provided. Furthermore, they are permitted to attach up to three encrypted files, which are restored and returned as a 'guarantee' that decryption is possible. The text file gives no additional information and, therefore, it is currently unknown which cryptography (symmetric or asymmetric) Evil Locker uses. Nevertheless, decryption requires a unique key (generated individually for each victim). All keys are stored on a remote server controlled by Evil Locker's developers. To receive the key (or rather, a decryption tool with key embedded within), victims must pay a ransom. All information regarding payment is provided via the email. Therefore, we cannot ascertain the exact cost. In most cases, however, the size of ransoms fluctuates between $500 and $1500 in a type of cryptocurrency (Bitcoins, Monero, or other). No matter what the cost, do not pay. Cyber criminals often ignore victims after payments are submitted. Therefore, these people can never be trusted - never attempt to contact them and certainly do not pay any ransoms. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking Evil Locker's encryption and restoring data 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:
Evil Locker is virtually identical to ANIMUS, BitPaymer, Nozelesn, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. All are developed by different cyber criminals, and yet their behavior is identical - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. There are just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Most of these viruses employ algorithms such as RSA, AES, and others, that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is still in development or has certain bugs/flaws, restoring data manually without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. Ransomware is one of the main reasons why you should maintain regular data backups, however, store them on an unplugged storage device (Flash drive, external hard drive, or other) or remote server (i.e., Cloud), otherwise backups are encrypted with regular data.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
|Name||Evil Locker virus|
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Symptoms||Can'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 methods||Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.|
|Damage||All 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.
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 downloading/installing/updating software. Carefully analyze all received email attachments. Files that seem irrelevant or have been received from a suspicious/unrecognizable email address should never be opened. Download your programs from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party download/installation tools should never be used, since developers monetize them by promoting rogue applications. In addition, keep installed apps up-to-date. To achieve this, however, use implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also essential. If your computer is already infected with Evil Locker, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in Evil Locker ransomware text file :
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> EVIL LOCKER <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
HELLO, DEAR FRIEND!
1. [ ALL YOUR FILES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED! ]
Your files are NOT damaged! Your files are modified only. This modification is reversible.
The only 1 way to decrypt your files is to receive the decryption program.
2. [ HOW TO RECOVERY FILES? ]
To receive the decryption program write on our e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
And in subject write your ID: ID-9f5e6b
We send you full instruction how to decrypt all your files.
3. [ FREE DECRYPTION! ]
Free decryption as guarantee.
We guarantee the receipt of the decryption program after payment.
To believe, you can give us up to 3 files that we decrypt for free.
Files should not be important to you! (databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> EVIL LOCKER <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Screenshot of files encrypted by Evil Locker (".[firstname.lastname@example.org].EVIL" extension):
Evil 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:
- What is Evil Locker?
- STEP 1. Evil Locker virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Evil Locker 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 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.
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 Locker 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 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 Evil 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.
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 EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Evil Locker 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.
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:
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 Locker ransomware: