VegaLocker ransomware removal instructions
What is VegaLocker?
First discovered by Amigo-A, VegaLocker is a ransomware-type virus that, once infiltrated, encrypts most stored data. Unlike other viruses of this type, however, VegaLocker does not append any extension or rename files in any other way. Following successful encryption, VegaLocker generates a text file ("ABOUT YOUR FILES.TXT") and places a copy in every existing folder.
The new text file contains a message informing victims of the encryption and encouraging them to pay a ransom if they want to restore their files. The entire message is in Russian, thus indicating that developers are from Russia and/or target users who live in this country. It is stated that data can only be decrypted with a unique key and, unfortunately, this information is accurate. It is currently unknown which algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) is used. In any case, decryption requires a unique key generated individually for each victim. Criminals store all keys on a remote server. Therefore, to receive their key and decrypt data, each victim must pay a ransom. The cost is not specified within the text file - these details are provided via email, when victims contact cyber criminals. It is also stated that victims have 72 hours to make contact, otherwise decryption becomes impossible (criminals will probably delete the key). Despite these threats, you should never attempt to contact these people. Research shows that ransomware developers often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Victims who do submit payments receive nothing in return. Therefore, we strongly advise you to ignore all requests to contact these people or send any money. There are no tools capable of cracking VegaLocker encryption and restoring files free of charge. The only way to restore data is to use backups.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
There are many ransomware-type infections that share similarities with VegaLocker. KARLS, DESYNC, and Cryptotes are just some examples. As with VegaLocker, these viruses also encrypt data and make ransom demands. In most cases, ransomware-type infections have just two major differences: 1) type of encryption algorithm used, and; 2) cost of decryption. Unfortunately, these viruses usually employ algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws, restoring data without the involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular backups, however, store them on a remote server or an unplugged storage device, since ransomware can encrypt backups together with regular data.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
It is currently not known exactly how developers proliferate VegaLocker, however, these viruses are typically distributed using spam email campaigns, third party software download sources, fake software updaters, cracks, and trojans. Spam campaigns deliver malware via malicious attachments. Criminals send deceptive messages encouraging users to open attached links/files, which results in computer infections. Unofficial download sources are used to present malware as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into downloading and installing viruses. Fake update tools infect computers by exploiting old software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than the updates. Cracking tools bypass paid software activation, however, criminals often use them to proliferate malware. Rather than gaining access to paid features, users install malicious programs. Finally, trojans are malicious apps that cause "chain infections". Following infiltration, they continually inject additional malware into the system.
|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 VegaLocker virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the internet and downloading, installing, and updating software. Be cautious when opening email attachments. If the file/link is received from a suspicious/unrecognizable email address or if it seems suspicious, do not open anything. Download apps from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus these tools should not be used. The same applies to software updates. It is important to keep installed applications and operating system up-to-date, however, use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developers. Do not use software cracking tools for the following reasons: 1) software piracy is considered cyber crime, and; 2) using these tools often leads to various computer infections. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount - these programs can detect and remove malware before it harms the system. If your computer is already infected with VegaLocker, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Russian text presented in VegaLocker ransomware text file ("ABOUT YOUR FILES.TXT"):
ВНИМАНИЕ, ВАШИ ФАЙЛЫ ЗАШИФРОВАНЫ!
Ваши документы, фотографии, базы данных, сохранения в играх и другие
важные данные были зашифрованы уникальным ключем, который находится
только у нас. Для восстановления данных необходим дешифровщик.
Восстановить файлы Вы можете, написав нам на почту:
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
* резервный e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Пришлите Ваш идентификатор TOKEN и 1-2 файла, размером до 1 Мб каждый.
Мы их восстановим, в доказательство возможности расшифровки.
После демонстрации вы получите инструкцию по оплате, а после оплаты
Вам будет отправлена программа-дешифратор, которая полностью восстановит
все заблокированные файлы без потерь.
Если связаться через почту не получается:
* Перейдите по ссылке: hxxps://bitmessage.org/wiki/Main_Page и скачайте
почтовый клиент. Установите почтовый клиент и создайте себе новый адрес
для отправки сообщений.
* Напишите нам письмо на адрес: BM-2cVK1UBcUGmSPDVMo8TN7eh7BJG9jUVrdG
(с указанием Вашей почты) и мы свяжемся с Вами.
* Расшифровка гарантируется, если Вы свяжетесь с нами в течении 72 часов.
* Выключение или перезагрузка компьютера может привести к потере Ваших файлов.
* Не пытайтесь удалить программу или запускать антивирусные средства.
* Попытки самостоятельной расшифровки файлов приведут к потере Ваших данных.
* Дешифраторы других пользователей несовместимы с Вашими данными,
так как у каждого пользователя уникальный ключ шифрования.
Убедительная просьба писать людям, которые действительно заинтересованы
в восстановлении файлов. Не следует угрожать и требовать дешифратор.
Жалобами заблокировав e-mail, Вы лишаете возможности расшифровать свои
VegaLocker ransomware process ("Master Blankov") in Windows Task Manager:
Screenshot of files encrypted by VegaLocker (no extension):
VegaLocker ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of VegaLocker 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 VegaLocker virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is VegaLocker?
- STEP 1. VegaLocker virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. VegaLocker 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 VegaLocker 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 VegaLocker 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 VegaLocker 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 VegaLocker 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 VegaLocker 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 VegaLocker ransomware: