MegaLocker Ransomware

Also Known As: MegaLocker virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

MegaLocker ransomware removal instructions

What is MegaLocker?

MegaLocker ransomware is designed to prevent victims from accessing files/data by encryption. In most cases, programs of this type encrypt files stored on the computer, however, following infiltration, MegaLocker searches for connections to Samba servers and attempts to guess passwords used to connect to them. I.e., it initiates a 'brute-force attack'. After a successful attack, it encrypts files stored on the hacked servers. To decrypt locked data stored on Samba servers, victims are urged to pay a ransom to the cyber criminals. A ransom message can be found in a text file called "! DECRYPT_INSTRUCTION.TXT". MegaLocker places this file in each folder that contains encrypted data. It also adds the ".crypted" extension to each encrypted file. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.crypted".

As stated in the "! DECRYPT_INSTRUCTION.TXT" file, MegaLocker encrypts files using the AES cbc-128 cryptography algorithm. To decrypt their files, victims must purchase a decryption tool, which costs $250 or $1000 (the latter figure was recently updated, increasing from $800 to $1000). The lower price is for regular users, whilst the higher price is for companies. For details about how to make payment, victims must contact cyber criminals via alexshkipper@firemail.cc. It is stated that no other tool is capable of decrypting file encryption caused by MegaLocker ransomware. To pay for the tool, victims are encouraged to purchase cryptocurrency (Bitcoins) and transfer the sum to a Bitcoin wallet address provided. Furthermore, these cyber criminals offer free decryption of up to three files. Victims can send them via the aforementioned email address. Note, however, that even if MegaLocker's have a decryption tool (quite likely), they are unlikely send it even if their ransom demands are met. For this reason, we advise against contacting or trusting these people. Do not pay any cryptocurrency ransom. Since there is not tool capable of decrypting files encrypted by MegaLocker free of charge, use a data backup and restore everything from there. Generally, encryptions caused by ransomware-type programs are impossible to 'crack' without using tools held only by specific ransomware developers.

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

MegaLocker decrypt instructions

Spyhunter, Raldug, and Carcn are just some examples of malicious programs similar to MegaLocker. Typically, these programs encrypt data and demand ransom payments through ransom notes. Main differences are cost of decryption tool/key and cryptography algorithm used to encrypt victims' data. Despite any similarities or differences, most ransomware-type programs are impossible to 'break' without the involvement of cyber criminals. Decryption without using their tools is impossible unless the ransomware is not fully developed or contains bugs/flaws. Therefore, maintain regular backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged devices, otherwise they will be encrypted with other data stored on the computer.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Typically, cyber criminals proliferate ransomware (or other viruses) via spam campaigns, software cracking tools, untrustworthy software download sources, fake software updaters and other malicious programs called Trojans. When using spam campaigns, they send emails containing malicious attachments. Attached files are usually MS Office or PDF documents, JavaScript files, archives such as ZIP, RAR, executables (.exe files) and others. If opened, these download and install high-risk computer viruses such as ransomware. Software 'cracking' tools are programs that can be used to proliferate malicious programs. Rather than activating any software, they often download and install computer infections. Peer-to-Peer networks (eMule, torrent), third party downloaders, unofficial, freeware or free file hosting websites, and other such tools can be used to present malicious files as harmless and legitimate. By downloading and opening them, however, many people cause computer infections. Unofficial/fake software updating tools cause damage by exploiting outdated software flaws/bugs or by downloading, installing malicious programs rather than fixes or updates. If installed, Trojans proliferate computer infections and cause chain infections.

Threat Summary:
Name MegaLocker virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension .crypted
Ransom Demanding Message ! DECRYPT_INSTRUCTION.TXT text file.
Ransom Amount $250, $800
Cyber Criminal Contact alexshkipper@firemail.cc
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand payment of 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.
Removal

To eliminate MegaLocker 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 protect accounts and servers, use long, strong passwords that include random characters. They should not contain personal details (birthdays, names, and so on). Additionally, servers should be protected using two layers of protection/two different passwords. Furthermore, to avoid computer infections by viruses, browse the web, install, download and update all software with care. Do not open attachments or web links that are presented in emails received from unknown, suspicious addresses. These emails are usually presented as legitimate and official, however, in most cases, they are irrelevant. Furthermore, update installed software (and operating systems) using functions or tools provided by official developers. No other (unofficial) tools should be trusted or used. Avoid downloading software from untrustworthy and unofficial websites, using third party downloaders, or the other sources mentioned above. The safest way to download your software is using official websites and direct download links. Software cracking tools should not be used, since they often download and install malicious programs. Furthermore, using these tools is a cyber crime. Have reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed and keep it enabled (at all times). If your computer is already infected with MegaLocker, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in MegaLocker ransomware text file "! DECRYPT_INSTRUCTION.TXT":

What happened to your files?
All of your files were protected by AES cbc-128 using MegaLocker Virus.
What does this mean?
The files have been irrevocably changed,
read them or see them,
you can restore them.
If youíre on your computer, youíll be able to return your files.
What do I do?
You can buy a decryption of $ 800 for a private person.
But before you pay, you can make sure that you can decrypt any of your files.
Send us 1 random encrypted file to alexshkipper@firemail.cc , a maximum of 5 megabytes, we will decrypt them
and we will send you back. Do not forget your 23: -
You can check the decryption of more than one file, but no more than 3.
There should be only one file for each letter!
If you are a private person, then send your private photo (birthday, holidays, hobbies and so on),
you will pay $ 250 for decrypting files.
If you are not a private person, do not try to deceive us !!!
Do not complain about their email addresses!
After confirming the decryption, you must pay in bitcoins. We will send you a bitcoin wallet along with the decrypted file.
You can pay bitcoins online in many ways:
https://buy.blockexplorer.com/ - payment by bank card
https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/
https://localbitcoins.net
About Bitcoins:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin
If you have any questions, write to us at alexshkipper@firemail.cc

Screenshot of files encrypted by MegaLocker (".crypted" extension):

Files encrypted by MegaLocker

Update May 3rd, 2019 - Emsisoft cyber security company has released a decryption tool capable of restoring data encrypted by MegaLocker and NamPoHyu ransomware-type viruses. You can download the decryptor for free here.

Screenshot of Emsisoft's decryptor for MegaLocker and NamPoHyu :

MegaLocker and NamPoHuy ransomware decrypter

MegaLocker ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of MegaLocker 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 MegaLocker 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 MegaLocker 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 MegaLocker 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 MegaLocker 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 MegaLocker 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 MegaLocker, 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 MegaLocker 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 MegaLocker 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
MegaLocker 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 MegaLocker virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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