FilesLocker ransomware removal instructions
What is FilesLocker?
FilesLocker (also known as FilesL0cker RAN$OMWARE) is a ransoware-type virus that was first discovered by MalwareHunterTeam. Once this virus has encrypted files, it adds the ".locked" appendix to each affected file. For example, "1.jpg" is named "1.jpg.locked" after encryption. Furthermore, FilesLocker also places "#解密我的文件#.txt" and "#DECRYPT MY FILES#.txt" text files in every folder containing encrypted files.
The text files (in English and Chinese) contain a message stating that all important files (documents, images, videos, music, etc.) are encrypted, and to retrieve/decrypt them, users must send 0.18 Bitcoins to the Bitcoin wallet address provided. Users are then encouraged to contact cyber criminals (FilesLocker developers) and send their IDs (provided in the English and Chinese .txt files), and then FileLocker developers will create and return a decryption key so that the files can be decrypted. It is not known whether FileLocker developers use a symmetric or asymmetric cryptography (there is no information about any time limit to pay the ransom), however, cyber criminals usually ignore victims even if they receive ransom payments. Therefore, do not contact them or pay any ransom. In most cases, it is impossible to decrypt files free of charge and they can only be restored using existing backups.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
There are many ransomware-type viruses similar to FileLocker. Examples include Katyusha, Disctrict, and GANDCRAB 5.0.4. These are developed by different cyber criminals, but most are very similar - they encrypt files and make ransom demands. The most common differences between ransomware-type viruses are the type of cryptography used and amount and cost of decryption. Encrypted files can be only decrypted using unique decryption keys. Unless the virus has bugs or it is not fully developed, it is impossible to restore data without involvement of cyber criminals. Therefore, we strongly recommended that you maintain regular data backups and store them on a remote server (such as Cloud) or unplugged storage devices, otherwise cyber criminals are able to encrypt these backups with other regular data.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
The most popular ways to proliferate ransomware-type viruses are using trojans (other viruses), peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, spam email campaigns, third party software download sources and various fake software updaters (update tools). Trojan viruses cause chain infections. Therefore, if a trojan is present on your system, it might cause other ransomware-type infections. Spam email campaigns usually proliferate malicious attachments that, once opened, infect computers with viruses. Peer-to- peer networks (such as torrents, eMule, and other similar networks) tend to present malicious executables as legitimate software and users are tricked into downloading and installing viruses without their knowledge. Fake software updaters usually infect computers when they display false statements about outdated software or bugs in the system. When run, they do not update software or fix issues - they simply download and install malware.
|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.|
To eliminate FilesLocker virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
To prevent ransomware-type virus (and other) infections, be very cautious when browsing the web and updating, downloading, and installing software. Study each email attachment received and bear in mind that unexpected/irrelevant files received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses/senders should never be opened. Keep your software updated and use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Download software from official sources only and using direct download links. Do not use third party software downloaders, torrents, or other similar channels. Finally, have reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed and keep it enabled at all times. If your computer is already infected with FilesLocker, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Screenshot of the "#DECRYPT MY FILES#.txt" message in English encouraging users to pay a ransom:
Text presented within this file:
All your important files(database,documents,images,videos,music,etc.)have been encrypted!and only we can decrypt!
To decrypt your files,follow these steps:
1.Buy 0.18 Bitcoin
2.Send 0.18 Bitcoin to the payment address
3.Email your ID to us,after verification,we will create a decryption tool for you.
Your ID: -
Screenshot of the "#解密我的文件#.txt" message in Chinese encouraging users to pay a ransom:
Text presented within this file:
1.购买 0.18 比特币
2.将 0.18 比特币发送到付款地址
Screenshot of FilesLocker pop-up window in English:
Screenshot of FilesLocker pop-up window in Chinese:
Screenshot of files encrypted by FilesLocker (".locked" extension):
Update 26 October, 2018 - On initial release, FilesLocker had very little distribution, however, developers now promote this Ransomware virus as a Service (RaaS). Therefore, anyone who wishes to generate revenue in a deceptive way, can download and start distributing FileLocker's executable. In return, ransomware developers take 40% of submitted ransom payments. If the affiliate is successful enough to receive a large number of payments, FileLocker's developers will take only 25% of generated revenue. The entire affiliate program is promoted on a Chinese hacking/ransomware forum located on the Tor network. There are, however, three requirements that must be met by the affiliate: 1) must have some experience distributing malware; 2) must infect at least 10 systems per day, and; 3) malicious executable must not be submitted to a mass anti-virus scanning service.
The list of FileLocker features promoted on the Chinese forum (translated to English):
- Can be properly encrypted in a broken network environment, but cannot send statistics to the panel
- Chinese and English blackmail and dual language interface
- Create a bilingual blackmail message on the desktop and on each disk
- Encrypt files with RSA 2048+AES algorithm, no one can crack around the world
- Execute vssadmin.exe to delete all shadow copies
- Intuitive background statistics - you can view countries, systems, browsers, etc.
- No server required
- Perfect operation on Windows XP~Windows 10 with NET 4.0, 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Server
- Ransom windows cannot be closed unless third-party tools are used
- Written in C#, the executable size is about 212kb
FilesLocker ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of FilesLocker 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 FilesLocker virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is FilesLocker?
- STEP 1. FilesLocker virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. FilesLocker 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 FilesLocker 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 FilesLocker 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 FilesLocker 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 FilesLocker 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 FilesLocker 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 FilesLocker ransomware: