LockerGoga ransomware removal instructions
What is LockerGoga?
Discovered by Cyber Security, LockerGoga is a malicious program categorized as ransomware. Cyber criminals who designed this computer infection use it to encrypt data stored on computers and blackmail users by demanding ransom payments in return for decryption tools. LockerGoga adds the ".locked!?" or ".locked" extension to each encrypted file. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.locked!?" or "1.jpg.locked". It also generates the "README-NOW.txt" file, which contains a ransom-demand message.
In the "README-NOW.txt" file, LockerGoga developers state that they have exploited a significant flaw in the system's security and encrypted all data using RSA-4096 and AES-256 cryptography algorithms. They explain that decryption without a specific decryption tool is impossible. Furthermore, they warn that any attempts to decrypt data using other tools (such as Photorec, RannohDecryptor, etc.) will cause permanent data loss. They urge victims not to restart/shut down their computers or to move/rename any encrypted files. As 'proof' that they can be trusted and have a tool capable of decryption, they invite victims to send two or three files for free decryption. This should be done by sending the files to the cottleAkela@protonmail.com or qyavauZehyco1994@o2.pl email address. These addresses are also used to receive information regarding cost of the decryption tool and other payment details. They state that the cost of the tool depends on how quickly they are contacted. Regardless of the cost, the ransom must be paid in a cryptocurrency (Bitcoins). LockerGoga developers promise to send a decryption tool to victims as soon as they receive the ransom payment (transfer). Decryption without the use of a specific decryption key/tool (supposedly in LockerGoga developer's possession) is impossible. Most cyber criminals use cryptographies that generate unique decryption keys and store them on remote servers that can be accessed only by them. Furthermore, there are no tools capable of decrypting LockerGoga encryption free of charge (at least, not at time of writing). Therefore, people with computers infected by LockerGoga are encouraged to contact the developers. Despite this, do not pay any ransoms - ransomware developers often ignore victims once they receive payment. If you have a data backup created, use it to restore all files - this is the best option.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
LockerGoga is identical to another ransomware-type program called CottleAkela, however, there are many other similar examples such as Gorgon, GEFEST 3.0, and so on. Most computer infections of this type have two main factors in common: they are used to encrypt data and attempt to blackmail people (make ransom demands). Common variables are cost of decryption tool and cryptography algorithm used for encryption. Unfortunately, cyber criminals typically use cryptographies that use unique keys to encrypt files, so it is impossible to decrypt them without using a specific decryption tool. To avoid data/financial loss, we recommend that you create regular backups and store them on a remote server or unplugged storage device.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
It is not known how LockerGoga developers proliferate this computer infection, however, there are several common ways such as spam email campaigns, Trojans, untrustworthy software download channels, fake software updaters and software cracking tools. They use spam campaigns by sending out many emails that include a malicious attachment. The attachment might be a Microsoft Office document, executable file (.exe), archive file (such as RAR, ZIP), PDF documents, and so on. The email might also contain a website link that leads to such a file. Computers become infected when these malicious attachments are opened. By opening them, people give permission to download/install certain malware. Free file hosting, freeware download websites, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and other untrustworthy software download sources are used to present malicious files as legitimate. Using these tools, people are tricked into downloading and installing computer infections. Trojans are malicious programs that distribute other computer infections. Having a Trojan installed puts systems at risk of additional downloads/installations of other threats. Fake software updaters cause damage by downloading viruses rather than the updates or by exploiting bugs/flaws of installed and outdated software. Software cracking tools operate in a similar way. These tools are usually designed to bypass activation of software or operating systems, however, cyber criminals also use them to infect computers. Using these tools risks installation of malicious programs rather than cracking any software.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
To prevent computer infection by ransomware-type (or other) high-risk infections, browse the web, install, download and update software with care. Do not not open attachments that are included in emails received from unknown/untrustworthy or suspicious addresses. If you suspect that the received email is irrelevant, the best option is to ignore it. Furthermore, update installed software (or the operating system itself), using implemented functions or tools provided by official developers. Avoid downloading software using untrustworthy, unofficial websites, third party downloaders or other tools of this kind. Third party download or installation set-ups can include rogue applications that might cause computer infections (or other problems). Do not use software cracking tools, since using them is committing cyber crime. Furthermore, they put computers at risk of various infections. Have a reputable anti-spyware/anti-virus suite installed. These tools often detect and eliminate various threats (infections) before they can harm computers in any way. If your computer is already infected with LockerGoga, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in LockerGoga ransomware text file :
There was a significant flaw in the security system of your company.
You should be thankful that the flaw was exploited by serious people and not some rookies.
They would have damaged all of your data by mistake or for fun.
Your files are encrypted with the strongest military algorithms RSA4096 and AES-256.
Without our special decoder it is impossible to restore the data.
Attempts to restore your data with third party software as Photorec, RannohDecryptor etc.
will lead to irreversible destruction of your data.
To confirm our honest intentions.
Send us 2-3 different random files and you will get them decrypted.
It can be from different computers on your network to be sure that our decoder decrypts everything.
Sample files we unlock for free (files should not be related to any kind of backups).
We exclusively have decryption software for your situation
DO NOT RESET OR SHUTDOWN - files may be damaged.
DO NOT RENAME the encrypted files.
DO NOT MOVE the encrypted files.
This may lead to the impossibility of recovery of the certain files.
To get information on the price of the decoder contact us at:
The payment has to be made in Bitcoins.
The final price depends on how fast you contact us.
As soon as we receive the payment you will get the decryption tool and
instructions on how to improve your systems security
Screenshot of files encrypted by LockerGoga (".locked" extension, could be ".locked!?" as well):
Update 19 March, 2019 - Security researchers and Norwegian state media are reporting that a company Norsk Hydro has been affected by this ransomware.
Here's what is known so far:
Update on cyber-attack against Hydro:
Hydro became subject to an extensive cyber-attack late Monday evening CET
The attacks have not affected people safety. Hydro’s main priority now is to limit the effects of the attack and to ensure continued people safety.
The attack has impacted operations in several of the company’s business areas globally. IT systems in most business areas are impacted and Hydro is switching to manual operations where possible. Hydro’s power plants are running normally on isolated IT systems.
*It is too early to assess the full impact of the situation.
*It is too early to assess the impact on customers.
We have established dialogue with all relevant authorities.
Hydro has established Facebook as our main external communication channel. We will give updates as soon as possible.
You can follow news regarding this cyber attack HERE.
LockerGoga ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of LockerGoga 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 LockerGoga virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is LockerGoga?
- STEP 1. LockerGoga virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. LockerGoga 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 LockerGoga 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 LockerGoga 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 LockerGoga 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 LockerGoga 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 LockerGoga 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 LockerGoga ransomware: