LOCKEDS ransomware removal instructions
What is LOCKEDS?
Belonging to the DCRTR-WDM malware family, LOCKEDS is malicious software classified as ransomware. LOCKEDS encrypts data and keeps it locked until a ransom is paid. During the encryption process, all affected files are renamed with the ".LOCKEDS" extension. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.LOCKEDS". After this process is complete, the "HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.hta" and "HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt" files are stored in each compromised folder.
The HTML application and text file both contain ransom messages. The text file informs victims that all data has been encrypted with a unique key. To retrieve it, they must contact the developers of LOCKEDS via the email address listed. The user's personal ID number (detailed in the message) must be copied into the email subject/title. The text file ends with warnings against any delays in making contact, since this might prevent the possibility of decryption. The message within the HTML application is more detailed and states that the size of ransom will depend on how quickly victims establish contact. Payment must be made in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency (instructions about how to procure Bitcoins are also given). To 'prove' their ability to decrypt data, the criminals offer to decrypt one file free of charge. The test file must not exceed 1 MB (non-archived) and contain no valuable information, such as databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc. Attempts to change filenames and decrypt affected files with third party software will apparently result in permanent data loss. Only the software used for the original encryption can recover the data. Despite this, you are strongly against meeting the ransom demands. Cyber criminals can never be trusted and there are no guarantees that these individuals will honor any deal. Victims often receive none of the promised decryption tools/keys, even if they pay. In such cases, the data remains encrypted and essentially useless. Further encryption can be prevented by removing the ransomware, but removal will not restore already compromised data. Files can be recovered from a backup, if one was made prior to the infection and stored separately.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
Hakbit, 2Hamlampampom, ABAT are just some examples of other ransomware infections. Malicious software of this kind encrypts files and requests payment for decryption. There are some crucial differences, such as cryptographic algorithm used (symmetric or asymmetric) andransom size. The latter varies between three-digit and four-digit sums. Digital currencies are preferred by cyber criminals (with cryptocurrencies being the most popular), since these transactions are difficult/impossible to trace. Manual decryption (without the involvement of the cyber criminals behind the infection) is impossible, unless ransomware has flaws/bugs or is still in development. To protect data against encryption/damaging attacks, backups should be kept on remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices. It is best to store multiple backups in different locations.
How did ransomware infect my computer
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.|
|Encrypted Files Extension||.LOCKEDS|
|Ransom Demanding Message||HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.hta and HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt|
|Cyber Criminal Contactfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|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.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections
Do not open suspicious, irrelevant emails or any attachments or links found in them, since this is the origin of potential infections. Use only official and verified download channels. Software activation and updating should be performed with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. Illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters are high-risk. Have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. These programs should be used for regular system scans and removal of detected threats/issues. If your computer is already infected with LOCKEDS, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in LOCKEDS ransomware HTML application ("HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.hta"):
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 -
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 LOCKEDS text file ("HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt"):
Text presented in this file:
All your documents, databases, photos, videos and staff were encrypted with a unique key.
If you want to return all your files, so write to us by mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the message attach your unique ID: -
Do not waste your time! You risk losing all your files!
Screenshot of files encrypted by LOCKEDS (".LOCKEDS" extension):
LOCKEDS ransomware removal:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is LOCKEDS?
- STEP 1. LOCKEDS virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. LOCKEDS 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 LOCKEDS 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 LOCKEDS 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 LOCKEDS 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 LOCKEDS 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 LOCKEDS 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, and 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 LOCKEDS ransomware: