Lanset Ransomware

Also Known As: Lanset virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

Lanset ransomware removal instructions

What is Lanset?

Lanset is a typical ransomware-type program that prevents users of an infected computer from accessing their files. It encrypts (locks) them and victims cannot use them unless a ransom is paid. This malicious program belongs to the Djvu ransomware family, the person who discovered it is Michael Gillespie. As a rule, ransomware-type programs rename encrypted files by adding some extension to their filenames. In this case Lanset adds the ".lanset" extension. For example, it renames a file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.lanset" and so on. It also creates a text file, a ransom note that is named "_readme.txt". This file can be found in folders that contain encrypted data/files.

The ransom note is created to explain victims how to get access to their files back. To do so, they have to buy a decryption tool that costs $980. To buy it, victims must contact Lanset's developers via stoneland@firemail.cc or gorentos@bitmessage.ch email address, or via @datarestore account on Telegram. It is mentioned that people who will contact them in the first 72 hours after encryption will get a 50% discount. In other words, they will be able to purchase the decryption tool/key for $490. As stated in the ransom note, it is impossible to decrypt files using any other tools. Simply said, the only way to recover files is to pay the ransom to cyber criminals who designed Lanset. However, there is a possibility that files encrypted by this ransomware can be decrypted using an offline decryption tool. Unfortunately, it is possible only if there was no Internet connection during the encryption (or the remote server that cyber criminals use was not responding). In other case, the only way to get access lost files is to restore them from a data backup. Most ransomware-type programs use algorithms that cause 'uncrackable' encryptions. Simply said, in most cases cyber criminals are the only ones who have tools that can decrypt encrypted files. However, very often they do not send them to their victims, even if their demands to pay a ransom are met. For this reason we do not recommend to pay Lanset's or any other ransomware's developers.

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

Lanset decrypt instructions

Very often these programs are virtually identical, here are couple examples of other similar ransomware: Stone, Homework, ERIS. Their developers create them to serve two main purposes: to encrypt files and to encourage victims to buy a decryption tool. Main differences usually are the price of a decryption tool/key and encryption algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that is used to encrypt files. Typically, these programs cause encryptions that can be decrypted with tools that only ransomware-type program's developers have. Sometimes their encryption can be 'cracked', however, usually it is possible only if the program is not finished (has bugs, flaws). That is why it is important to have data backup. Besides, it is recommended to store it on a remote server or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Malicious programs can be distributed in various ways. Most popular way to achieve it are through trojans, spam campaigns, untrustworthy software download channels, unofficial updating tools and various third party software activation tools. Trojans are malicious programs that cannot do any damage if they are not installed. However, if there is trojan-type program installed, then it is very likely that it will download and install some high-risk malware. Spam campaigns are used to proliferate malicious programs through files that are attached to emails. Cyber criminals send emails that contain files like Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, archive files (ZIP, RAR or others), .exe or other executable files, JavaScript files and so on. When opened, they download and install ransomware or other malicious software. Untrustworthy, questionable software/file download sources such as freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule and so on) are used to spread viruses too. Cyber criminals present malicious files as legitimate and try to trick people into downloading and opening them. When opened/executed, these files infect computers. Fake software updating tools cause damage by downloading malware instead of the fixes, updates, or by exploiting bugs, flaws of installed and outdated software. Attempts to activate software with 'cracking' tools often leads in having computers infected too. Quite often people behind such tools are cyber criminals who design them to cause downloads/installations of malicious software.

Threat Summary:
Name Lanset virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Ursu.467292), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.GTPU), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Scar.scpx), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Encrypted Files Extension .lanset
Ransom Demanding Message _readme.txt text file
Ransom Amount $980/$490
Cyber Criminal Contact stoneland@firemail.cc, gorentos@bitmessage.ch, @datarestore (telegram)
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.
Additional Information This malware is designed to show fake Windows Update window, modify Windows "hosts" file (to prevent users from accessing cyber security websites) and inject AZORult trojan into the system.
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 Lanset 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?

We recommend to download, install, update, activate software and browse the web with care. Avoid using various third party software downloaders/installers and other download tools that we mentioned above. The best and safest way to download software is using official and trustworthy websites. Furthermore, it is important to update installed software with implemented functions and/or tools that are provided by official software developers. Do not open attachments that are presented in emails received from unknown/suspicious email addresses. Especially if these emails are irrelevant. Do not activate software using illegal ('cracking') tools, it is very likely that they often damage systems by downloading and installing malware. One more important thing is to have a reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed and to perform virus scans regularly. If your computer is already infected with Lanset, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Lanset ransomware's text file ("_readme.txt") :

ATTENTION!
 
Don't worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
hxxps://we.tl/t-7AKxZTQTdy
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $490.
Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail "Spam" or "Junk" folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.
 
 
To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
stoneland@firemail.cc
 
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
gorentos@bitmessage.ch
 
Our Telegram account:
@datarestore
 
Your personal ID:

Screenshot of files encrypted by Lanset (".lanset" extension):

files encrypted by Lanset ransomware

Malware researcher Michael Gillespie has developed a decryption tool that might restore your data if it was encrypted using an "offline key". As we've already mentioned, each victim gets a unique decryption key and all of them are stored in remote servers controlled by cyber criminals. These are categorized as "online keys". However, there are cases when the infected machine has no Internet connection or the server is timing out/not responding. If that is the case, Lanset will use an "offline encryption key", which is hard-coded. Now it is worth mentioning that cyber criminals change offline keys every now and again. This is being done to prevent multiple encryptions with the same key. Meanwhile, Michael Gillespie continually gathers offline keys and updates the decrypter. However, the chances of successful decryption are still very low, since only a very small portion of "offline keys" has been gathered. You can download the decrypter by clicking this link (note that the download link remains the same, despite the fact that decrypter is being continually updated). Your files will be restored only if the list of gathered keys will include the one that was used to encrypt your data.

Screenshot of STOP/Djvu decrypter by Michael Gillespie:

STOP/Djvu ransomware decrypter by Michael Gillespie

As with most of ransomware from Djvu family, Lanset also displays a fake Windows update pop-up during the encryption:

Djvu ransomware family fake update

IMPORTANT NOTE! - Aside from encrypting data, ransomware-type infections from Djvu malware family also installs a trojan-type virus called AZORult, which is designed to steal various account credentials. Moreover, this malware family is designed to add a number of entries to the Windows hosts file. The entries contain URLs of various websites, most of which are related to malware removal. This is carried out with the intention of making users unable to access malware security websites and seek help. Our website (PCrisk.com) is also on the list. Removing these entries, however, is simple - you can find detailed instructions in this article (note that, although the steps are shown in the Windows 10 environment, the process is virtually identical on all versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system).

Screenshot of websites added to Windows hosts file:Tro Ransomware adding websites to Windows Hosts file

Lanset ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Lanset 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 Lanset 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 Lanset 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 Lanset 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 Lanset 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 Lanset 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 Lanset, 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 Lanset 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.

Controll Folder Access

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:

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 Lanset 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
Lanset virus QR code
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