LOVE ransomware removal instructions
What is LOVE?
Belonging to Dharma malware family, LOVE is a malicious program that cyber criminals (its developers) use to block victims from accessing their data. It is a ransomware-type program that is used to encrypt files and to prevent users from using it unless a ransom is paid. The person who discovered LOVE malware is Jakub Kroustek. This ransomware renames encrypted files by adding an extension which contains victim's ID, email address that should be used to contact cyber criminals and the name of ransomware. For example, it renames file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.id-1E857D00.[email@example.com].LOVE" and so on. It also creates a short ransom note, the "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" text file and displays extended version of it in a pop-up window.
To recover their files/data, victims are encouraged to contact LOVE's developers via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com email address. To get a decryption tool cheaper, victims are encouraged to email them as soon as possible, the email has to contain the appointed ID. Once contacted, they should provide a cryptocurrency wallet address and name the price of a decryption. Once their demands are met/ransom is paid, they promise to provide the decryption tool. Before paying them victims can send them one file that they will decrypt for free. They offer this free decryption as a guarantee that they have the tool that is capable of decrypting victim's data. Victims are warned that renaming locked files or trying to decrypt them using some other tools might cause permanent data loss. Simply said, people who developed LOVE inform victims that the only way to decrypt their files is to buy a decryption tool from them. It is known that most cyber criminals use cryptography algorithms (symmetric or asymmetric) that cause strong encryptions. As a rule, these encryptions are impossible to decrypt without using a particular tool (decryption tool or key). In other words, most victims are forced to contact cyber criminals and to make payments for decryption tools. However, we do not recommend to contact LOVE's (or any other ransomware's) developers. There is a high possibility that they will not send the decryption tool even if their victims will meet their demands/pay a ransom. Best and free way to recover encrypted files is to restore them from a data backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
There are many ransomware-type viruses that are very similar to LOVE. For example, MegaLocker, Langolier, Etols and a bunch of others. Most programs of this type share the same two main purposes - to encrypt victim's files and keep them locked unless a ransom is paid. Main differences usually are the cost of decryption and the cryptography algorithm that is used to encrypt files. Typically, it impossible to recover/decrypt the encrypted files manually, unless the program has some bugs, flaws, is not fully developed. For these reasons we recommend to create backups regularly and store them on some disconnected/unplugged storage device or remote server like Cloud.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
Ransomware-type (and other) infections usually are proliferated through spam campaigns (emails), Trojan viruses, third party, unreliable software download sources, fake software updaters and programs that allow users to bypass paid software activations. Cyber criminals send emails that contain attached files such as: MS Office documents, Java Script files, ZIP, RAR and other archives, executables (.exe files), PDFs and so on. If opened, these attachments download and install malicious software like ransomware. Peer-to-Peer networks, free file hosting websites, free software download sites, unofficial pages and other similar sources can be used to spread viruses too. Cyber criminals use them to present infected files as legitimate. By downloading and opening them people cause installations of malicious programs by themselves. Trojans are designed to cause chain infections, if there is one installed, then it starts spreading other viruses. Another way to get a computer infected is through fake software updaters. These tools usually download and install malicious software instead of updates, fixes and so on, or they exploit bugs, flaws of some installed, outdated software. Software 'cracking' tools work quite similarly. People use them to bypass paid software activations, however, quite often these tools download and install computer infections as well.
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Encrypted Files Extension||.[victim's_ID].[developer's_email].LOVE (e.g., .id-1E857D00.[firstname.lastname@example.org].LOVE)|
|Ransom Demanding Message||Pop-up window, FILES ENCRYPTED.txt text file|
|Cyber Criminal Contactemail@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Detection Names (11.exe)||Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Ransom.Troldesh.177), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of Win32/Packed.Themida.BHF), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Crusis.dhh), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|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 LOVE virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
Download software from official websites and use direct download links only. Do not open attachments or web links that are included in emails received from unknown, suspicious addresses. These emails are often presented as official and important, however, usually they are completely irrelevant too. Update installed software using official/implemented tools that are provided by official software developers. Any other (third party) tools cannot be trusted. Same applies to software 'cracking' tools, software should be activated properly. Besides, usage of programs of this type is a cyber crime. It is also important to have a credible anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and enabled. If your computer is already infected with LOVE, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in LOVE ransomware's pop-up window:
All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail email@example.com
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese e-mails:firstname.lastname@example.org
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.
Screenshot of LOVE's text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):
Text presented in LOVE ransomware's text file:
all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Screenshot of files encrypted by LOVE (".LOVE" extension):
LOVE ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of LOVE 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 LOVE virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is LOVE?
- STEP 1. LOVE virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. LOVE 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 LOVE 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 LOVE 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 LOVE 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 LOVE 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 LOVE ransomware.
Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default this feature automatically protects files stored in 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's more information on how to get this update and add 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 LOVE ransomware: