Lapoi ransomware removal instructions
What is Lapoi?
First discovered by Michael Gillespie and belonging to the Djvu ransomware family, Lapoi is yet another ransomware-type infection that stealthily infiltrates computers and encrypts stored data. In doing so, Lapoi appends each filename with the ".lapoi" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" becomes "sample.jpg.lapoi"). Additionally, Lapoi generates a text file called "_readme.txt", which contains a ransom-demand message.
Most Djvu viruses deliver an identical ransom-demand message, and Lapoi is no exception. The message states that files are encrypted and that victims must purchase a decryption key necessary to restore data. Unfortunately this information is accurate. Each victim gets a unique decryption key, however, victims cannot access their keys, since cyber criminals hide them on a remote server. They do this to blackmail victims - to receive a key, each victim must pay a ransom. The cost of a key is $980, however, criminals offer a 50% discount if users contact cyber criminals within 72 hours of encryption. Additionally, victims are permitted to send one selected file, which is restored and returned as 'proof' that Lapoi's developers are capable of restoring data and that victims can trust them. In fact, cyber criminals often ignore victims once payments are submitted, and thus we strongly advise that you ignore all requests to submit payments or even contact these people. Note that Lapoi encrypts data using a so-called "offline key" whenever the system is not connected to the internet or the server is not responding. Therefore, try to restore data with Michael Gillespie's decryption tool. If that does not work, the only other possible solution is to restore everything from a backup, if one has been created.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
The internet is full of ransomware-type infections that share similarities with Lapoi. The list of examples includes 1BTC, Ims00ry, and Beets. Most ransomware compromises data (typically by encryption) so that developers can make ransom demands. There are typically just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, encryptions are usually performed using high-end cryptographies such as RSA, AES, and similar, that generate unique decryption keys for each victim. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to restore data without the involvement of the developers (not recommended). The only solution is to restore everything from a backup, if one has been created. The only possible scenarios are ransomware not being fully developed and/or having certain bugs/flaws. Infections such as Lapoi present a strong case for maintaining regular backups, however, store them on a remote server or unplugged storage device, since locally stored backups are compromised together with regular data. Additionally, have multiple backup copies stored in different locations, since there is always a chance that servers or storage devices can be damaged.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
Cyber criminals often proliferate ransomware using unofficial software download sources (e.g., free file hosting/freeware download websites, Peer-to-Peer [P2P] networks, and similar), spam email campaigns, trojans, and fake software updaters and 'cracks'. Third party download sources are used to present malicious executables as legitimate software. In this way, users are tricked into manually downloading and installing malware. Criminals employ spam campaigns to send hundreds of thousands of deceptive emails containing malicious attachments (links/files) and deceptive messages encouraging recipients to open them. To give the impression of legitimacy and increase the chance of tricking recipients, criminals often present malicious attachments as 'important documents' (e.g., invoices, bills, receipts, etc.). Trojans are malicious lightweight applications that stealthily infiltrate computers and cause "chain infections" by injecting additional malware. Fake software updaters typically infect computers by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. Trojans also work in a similar manner - they inject malware rather than providing access to paid features. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge of these threats and careless behavior.
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.32177615), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.GUVC), Kaspersky (Trojan-PSW.Win32.Coins.tsu), Full List (VirusTotal)|
|Encrypted Files Extension||.lapoi|
|Ransom Demanding Message||_readme.txt|
|Cyber Criminal Contactemail@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, @datarestore (Telegram)|
|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.|
|Additional Information||This malware is designed to show fake a Windows Update window, modify the 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.|
To eliminate Lapoi virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
To prevent this situation, be very cautious during the download/installation/update processes and when browsing the Internet in general. Your software should be downloaded from official sources only, preferably using direct download links. Proper software maintenance is also paramount. Keep installed applications up-to-date, however, use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Be aware that software piracy is a cyber crime and most cracking tools are fake and lead to system infections. Therefore, cracking installed applications should never be considered. It is very important to handle all email attachments with care. If the received file is irrelevant or the sender seems suspicious/unrecognizable, do not open anything and delete the emails immediately. Have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running. This software detects and eliminates malware before the system is harmed. If your computer is already infected with Lapoi, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in Lapoi ransomware text file ("_readme.txt"):
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:
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:
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
Our Telegram account:
Mark Data Restore
Your personal ID:
Screenshot of files encrypted by Lapoi (".lapoi" extension):
Malware researcher Michael Gillespie has developed a decryption tool that might restore your data if it was encrypted using an "offline key". As mentioned, each victim gets a unique decryption key, all of which are stored on remote servers controlled by cyber criminals. These are categorized as "online keys", however, there are cases whereby the infected machine has no Internet connection or the server is timing out/not responding. If this is the case, Lapoi will use an "offline encryption key", which is hard-coded. Cyber criminals change offline keys periodically to prevent multiple encryptions with the same key. 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 proportion of "offline keys" have so far been gathered. You can download the decrypter by clicking this link (note that the download link remains identical, even though the 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:
As with most ransomware from the Djvu family, Lapoi also displays a fake Windows update pop-up during the encryption:
IMPORTANT NOTE! - As well as encrypting data, ransomware-type infections from the Djvu malware family also install 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 the URLs of various websites, most of which are related to malware removal. This is done to prevent users from accessing malware security websites and seeking 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:
Lapoi ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of Lapoi 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 Lapoi virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Lapoi?
- STEP 1. Lapoi virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Lapoi 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 Lapoi 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 Lapoi 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 Lapoi 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 Lapoi 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 Lapoi 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 Lapoi ransomware: