SEED LOCKER Ransomware

Also Known As: SEED LOCKER virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

SEED LOCKER ransomware removal instructions

What is SEED LOCKER?

This ransomware was discovered by Emmanuel_ADC-Soft. SEED LOCKER is a malicious program that belongs to the Everbe ransomware family. Like most ransomware-type programs, it is used to encrypt data (make it unusable) and make ransom demands. After encryption, files affected by this ransomware have a new, additional extension (".seed"). For example, a file named "1.jpg" is renamed by SEED LOCKER to "1.jpg.seed". The program also generates a ransom message within the "!#_How_to_decrypt_files_#!" text file.

In the ransom message, SEED LOCKER's developers state that this ransomware has encrypted all files, however, the encrypted data is modified and not damaged or corrupted. Cyber criminals claim that the only way to decrypt files is using a specific decryption program (tool). To obtain it, victims must contact the developers via the seed@firemail.cc or backupseed@tuta.io email address and provide the assigned ID (a unique number). Note, however, that in most cases these tools are not free. In exchange for a decryption tool, ransomware developers demand payment of a specific sum in a cryptocurrency. It is likely that they will state the cost and provide the cryptocurrency wallet address when they are contacted. Before making the transaction, SEED LOCKER's victims are offered free decryption of up to three files as 'proof' that the developers can be trusted and have a tool capable of decryption. In fact, it is not safe to pay these people for the promised tool. Most cyber criminals ignore victims once they receive ransom payments. Therefore, do not contact SEED LOCKER's developers or make any transactions, otherwise you are likely to become the victim of a scam. Unfortunately, ransomware developers employ cryptography algorithms (symmetric or asymmetric) that make decryption impossible without using a specific tool (or key). Therefore, in most cases, only ransomware developers can provide decryption tools/keys. Typically, no other programs can perform a successful decryption. The best, free option for people who become victims of ransomware-type programs is to use a data backup that was created before encryption and restore everything from there.

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

SEED LOCKER decrypt instructions

Development of ransomware-type programs is now popular and there are many programs similar to SEED LOCKER including, for example, GANDCRAB 5.2, Cammora, and Heets. These malicious programs have two main goals: to encrypt data and to allow developers to blackmail victims by making ransom demands. Major differences are usually cost of decryption tool/key and cryptography algorithm used for encryption. Unfortunately, encryptions caused by ransomware cannot be decrypted free of charge (without the involvement of cyber criminals), unless the program is still in development, contains bugs/flaws, etc. Therefore, we recommend that you maintain regular backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices. Otherwise your files might be encrypted together with other data that is stored on the computer.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is not known exactly how SEED LOCKER's developers distribute this ransomware program, however, cyber criminals often use emails (spam campaigns). They send emails that contain malicious attachments such as Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, executables (.exe), PDFs, archives (ZIP, RAR, and other files), and so on. If opened, these attachments download and install ransomware (or other high-risk infections). Another way to proliferate ransomware-type programs is through untrustworthy software download sources. Some examples of dubious channels to download software are: freeware and free file hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, and so on), third party software downloaders, and other similar tools. Cyber criminals present their malicious files as legitimate, however, by executing them, many people cause computer infections. Unofficial (fake) software updaters can also be used to distribute ransomware. These tools download and install malicious programs rather than the expected software updates or fixes. They might also be used to exploit bugs, flaws of outdated software. Software cracking tools operate in a similar manner. People use them to activate operating systems or software free of charge, however, these tools are often employed by cyber criminals to install malware. Computers are also infected through Trojans, malicious programs that proliferate other programs of this type (they cause chain infections). Note, however, that to be able to install malicious programs, a trojan must first be installed.

Threat Summary:
NameSEED LOCKER 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.
Removal

To eliminate SEED LOCKER 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?

To keep computers safe from these infections, be cautious when browsing the web, downloading, installing and updating software. Various links or attachments presented in emails received from unknown/suspicious addresses should never be opened or clicked. Software should be downloaded via official and trustworthy sources only, and not third party downloaders, unofficial sites, torrent clients, or other sources mentioned earlier. Keep installed software updated, however, this should be done using implemented functions or tools provided by official developers only. Paid software should not be activated using cracking tools. These are illegal (people who use them commit cyber crime) and are often the reason behind various computer infections. Have reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed and keep it enabled at all times. Software of this type often detects malicious attacks and eliminates threats before it is too late. If your computer is already infected with SEED LOCKER, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in SEED LOCKER ransomware text file "!#_How_to_decrypt_files_#!":

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> SEED 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 in our e-mail: seed@firemail.cc or backupseed@tuta.io And in subject write your ID: -

 

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.)

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> SEED LOCKER <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Screenshot of files encrypted by SEED LOCKER (".seed" extension):

Files encrypted by SEED LOCKER

SEED LOCKER ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of SEED LOCKER 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 SEED LOCKER 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 SEED 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.

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 SEED LOCKER 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 SEED 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 SEED 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.

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 SEED LOCKER, 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 SEED 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.

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 SEED LOCKER 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 pcrisk.com 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
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
SEED LOCKER 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 SEED LOCKER virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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