Remove LockBit ransomware from the operating system

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

LockBit ransomware removal instructions

What is LockBit?

Discovered by MalwareHunterTeam, LockBit is a ransomware program. Malicious software under this classification is designed to encrypt data. The cyber criminals behind the infection demand ransom payments for decryption tools/software. During the encryption process, LockBit renames files with the ".abcd" extension. After this process, a text file ("Restore-My-Files.txt") is dropped into every affected folder.

The text file contains the ransom message, which informs victims that their data has been encrypted and provides instructions about how to restore it to its original state. The message within "Restore-My-Files.txt" states that people must contact the developers of LockBit via the email addresses provided (identical messages must be sent to all of these addresses). The message (and copies) must contain users' personal IDs (provided in the text files and individually generated for each victim). One encrypted file can be attached to the email, which the criminals will decrypt as 'proof' that recovery is possible. This test file is decrypted free of charge, however, it cannot be larger than 1 MB. After decryption of this file is verified, the ransom must be paid (in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency) and decryption tools/software will supposedly be received. The message ends with warnings and instructing victims not to rename encrypted files or attempt manual decryption with third party software - this risks permanent data loss. In most cases of ransomware infections, decryption is impossible without the involvement of the malware developers, unless the ransomware is still in development and/or has certain flaws/bugs. To prevent LockBit from further encryption, it must be removed. Unfortunately, removal will not restore already compromised data. The only viable solution is to recover files from a backup, if one was made prior to the infection and was stored in a separate location.

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

LockBit decrypt instructions

BigBossRossMapo, and SaveTheQueen are some examples of other ransomware-type programs. All ransomware encrypts data and demands payment for decryption. Crucial differences are cryptographic algorithm used (symmetric or asymmetric) and ransom size. The latter usually varies between three-digit and four-digit sums (in USD). Digital currencies (primarily, cryptocurrencies) are preferred by cyber criminals, as these transactions are difficult/impossible to trace. To protect data against such infections, keep backups on unplugged storage devices and/or remote servers. It is best to store several backup copies in different locations.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Malicious content (ransomware and other malware) mainly proliferates via trojans, spam campaigns, illegal software activation ("cracking") tools, fake updaters and untrusted download channels. Trojans are malicious programs designed to cause chain infections (i.e. download/install additional malware). Large scale spam campaigns are used to send out emails containing dangerous files (or links leading to them). These deceptive messages are typically highlighted as "official", "important", "urgent" or as similar priority mail. The infectious attachments come in various formats, such as archive (ZIP, RAR) and executable (.exe, .run) files, Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc. When the files are executed, run or otherwise opened, the infection is initiated. Illegal activation tools ("cracks") can download/install malware, rather than activate your chosen product. Fake updaters infect systems by exploiting weaknesses of outdated software and/or simply installing malicious programs, rather than the promised updates. Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), unofficial and free file-hosting sites, third party downloaders and similar sources are untrusted. Therefore, they are more likely to offer malicious content for downloading (usually, disguised as normal products and/or bundled with them).

Threat Summary:
Name LockBit virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension .abcd, lockbit
Ransom Demanding Message Restore-My-Files.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact goodmen@countermail.com and goodmen@cock.li email addresses, chat in Tor website
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Heur.Ransom.Imps.3), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.NXQ), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.DelShad.bqj), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (updated variant) Avast (Win32:Fraudo [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Heur.Ransom.Imps.1), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.NXQ), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.DelShad.chy), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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.
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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections

Irrelevant and/or suspicious emails should not be opened. All attachments (or links) found in suspect mail must never be opened, as doing so can trigger them to begin downloading/installing malware. You are advised to use only official and verified download channels. Program activation and updating should be done with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters are high-risk. Have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. Additionally, this software should be used to perform regular system scans and for the removal of potential threats. If your computer is already infected with LockBit, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in LockBit ransomware text file ("Restore-My-Files.txt"):

All your important files are encrypted!
There is  only one way to get your files back:
1. Contact with us
2. Send us 1 any encrypted your file and your personal key
3. We will decrypt 1 file for test(maximum file size - 1 MB), its guarantee what we can decrypt your files
4. Pay
5. We send for you decryptor software

We accept Bitcoin

Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt 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)

Contact information: goodmen@countermail.com

Be sure to duplicate your message on the e-mail: goodmen@cock.li

Your personal id:
-

Screenshot of files encrypted by LockBit (".abcd" extension):

Files encrypted by LockBit

Update 4 February 2020 - Criminals have recently released yet another variant of LockBit ransomware, which now appends the ".lockbit" extension, creates a different ransom message file ("Restore-My-Files.txt") and provides users with a Tor website.

Screenshot of the updated LockBit ransomware text file ("Restore-My-Files.txt"):

Updated LockBit ransomware text note (Restore-My-Files.txt)

Text presented within this file:

All your important files are encrypted!
Any attempts to restore your files with the thrid-party software will be fatal for your files!
RESTORE YOU DATA POSIBLE ONLY BUYING private key from us.
There is only one way to get your files back:

| 1. Download Tor browser - hxxps://www.torproject.org/ and install it.
| 2. Open link in TOR browser - hxxp://lockbitks2tvnmwk.onion/?D0407AC9D97C78CB9C256CA4731DB5D5
This link only works in Tor Browser!
| 3. Follow the instructions on this page


 ###  Attention! ###
 # Do not rename encrypted files.
 # Do not try to decrypt 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)
 # Tor Browser may be blocked in your country or corporate network. Use hxxps://bridges.torproject.org
 # Tor Browser user manual hxxps://tb-manual.torproject.org/about

Screenshot of the updated LockBit ransomware Tor website:

Updated LockBit ransomware Tor website

Text presented within this site:

Your files are encrypted by LockBit
What happpend?

Many of your documents, databases, videos and other important files are no longer accessible because they have ben encrypted. Maybe you are busy locking for a way to recover your files, but do not waste your time. Nobody can recover your files without our decryption service. LockBit Ransomware use AES and RSA cryptography algorithms.
How to recover my files?

We guarantee that you can recover all your files safely and easily.
You can decrypt a single file for warranty - we can do it. But if you want to decrypt all your files, you need to pay.
Write to support if you want to buy decryptor.
Trial decrypt

You can decrypt a single file for warranty - we can do it.
Attention! Decryption is available once for you

    Find a *.lockbit file on your computer
    Upload and get the original


Maximum file size 256 Kb
Chat with support

Appearance of this Tor website:

Updated LockBit ransomware Tor website appearance

Screenshot of files encrypted by the updated LockBit ransomware (".lockbit" extension):

Files encrypted by the updated LockBit ransomware (.lockbit extension)

Update 09 March 2020 - Criminals have released yet another variant of LockBit ransomware. Although it has no major changes, it now changes the victim's desktop wallpaper:

Updated LockBit ransomware changing the desktop wallpaper

Text presented within this image:

All your files are encrypted by LockBit

for more information see Restore-My-Files.txt that is located in every encrypted folder

Update 05 May 2020 - LockBit has a new feature which allows it to spread itself from one computer to all the other computers that are connected to the same network. It does it by looking for devices on a network and attempting to connect to them over the Server Message Block protocol. After successful connection LockBit runs a PowerShell command that downloads and executes the ransomware. It is worthwhile to mention that the more computers on a network are infected with LockBit the faster it can spread itself further. This feature allows for cyber criminals to perform more successful attacks, especially for the less skilled ones.

Update May 13, 2020 - Crooks have recently released yet another version of LockBit ransomware. The appended extension and desktop wallpaper remains the same. However, the text file (ransom note) has been slightly modified. The website has also been completely changed.

Screenshot of this LockBit ransomware's text file ("Restore-My-Files.txt"):

LockBit ransomware updated text file

Text presented within:

All your important files are encrypted!
Any attempts to restore your files with the thrid-party software will be fatal for your files!
RESTORE YOU DATA POSIBLE ONLY BUYING private key from us.
There is only one way to get your files back:

1) Through a standard browser(FireFox, Chrome, Edge, Opera)
| 1. Open link hxxp://lockbit-decryptor.com/?AC4DC189B13E73EFE1FAD19811697C6F
| 2. Follow the instructions on this page


2) Through a Tor Browser - recommended
| 1. Download Tor browser - hxxps://www.torproject.org/ and install it.
| 2. Open link in TOR browser - hxxp://lockbitks2tvnmwk.onion/?AC4DC189B13E73EFE1FAD19811697C6F
     This link only works in Tor Browser!
| 3. Follow the instructions on this page


 ###  Attention! ###
 # lockbit-decryptor.com may be blocked. We recommend using a Tor browser to access the site
 # Do not rename encrypted files.
 # Do not try to decrypt 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).
 # Tor Browser may be blocked in your country or corporate network. Use hxxps://bridges.torproject.org or use Tor Browser over VPN.
 # Tor Browser user manual hxxps://tb-manual.torproject.org/about

Appearance of the updated LockBit ransomware's website (GIF):

LockBit ransomware updated website

Text presented within:

YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED BY LOCKBIT
What happpend?
Many of your documents, databases, videos and other important files are no longer accessible because they have ben encrypted. Maybe you are busy locking for a way to recover your files, but do not waste your time. Nobody can recover your files without our decryption service.

LockBit Ransomware use AES and RSA cryptography algorithms.
How to recover my files?
We guarantee that you can recover all your files safely and easily. You can decrypt a single file for warranty - we can do it. But if you want to decrypt all your files, you need to pay.

Write to support if you want to buy decryptor.
Trial decrypt

You can decrypt a single file for warranty - we can do it.
ATTENTION! Decryption is available
once for you Upload the encrypted file max. 256 kb
Chat with Support

Update June 10, 2020 - The developers of Maze ransomware continue to leak data stolen from victims that do not agree to pay. They threaten huge companies as the profits are way higher than targeting a regular home user. However, what's worth mentioning is that Maze started cooperating with two other ransomware - LockBit and Ragnar Locker. This created a so-called "Maze Cartel". The website designed to leak Maze victims' now also contains files and other information stolen by both LockBit and Ragnar Locker infections.

LockBit 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:
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Quick menu:

Isolating the infected device:

Some ransomware-type infections are designed to encrypt files within external storage devices, infect them, and even spread throughout the entire local network. For this reason, it is very important to isolate the infected device (computer) as soon as possible.

Step 1: Disconnect from the internet.

The easiest way to disconnect a computer from the internet is to unplug the Ethernet cable from the motherboard, however, some devices are connected via a wireless network and for some users (especially those who are not particularly tech-savvy), disconnecting cables may seem troublesome. Therefore, you can also disconnect the system manually via Control Panel:

  • Navigate to the "Control Panel", click the search bar in the upper-right corner of the screen, enter "Network and Sharing Center" and select search result:

Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 1)

  • Click the "Change adapter settings" option in the upper-left corner of the window:

Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 2)

  • Right-click on each connection point and select "Disable". Once disabled, the system will no longer be connected to the internet. To re-enable the connection points, simply right-click again and select "Enable".

Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 3)

Step 2: Unplug all storage devices.

As mentioned above, ransomware might encrypt data and infiltrate all storage devices that are connected to the computer. For this reason, all external storage devices (flash drives, portable hard drives, etc.) should be disconnected immediately, however, we strongly advise you to eject each device before disconnecting to prevent data corruption:

  • Navigate to "My Computer", right-click on each connected device and select "Eject":

Ejecting external storage devices

Step 3: Log-out of cloud storage accounts.

Some ransomware-type might be able to hijack software that handles data stored within "the Cloud". Therefore, the data could be corrupted/encrypted. For this reason, you should log-out of all cloud storage accounts within browsers and other related software. You should also consider temporarily uninstalling the cloud-management software until the infection is completely removed.

Identify the ransomware infection:

To properly handle an infection, one must first identify it. Some ransomware infections use ransom-demand messages as an introduction (see the WALDO ransomware text file below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 1)

This, however, is rare. In most cases, ransomware infections deliver more direct messages simply stating that data is encrypted and that victims must pay some sort of ransom. Note that ransomware-type infections typically generate messages with different file names (for example, "_readme.txt", "READ-ME.txt", "DECRYPTION_INSTRUCTIONS.txt", "DECRYPT_FILES.html", etc.). Therefore, using the name of a ransom message may seem like a good way to identify the infection. The problem is that most of these names are generic and some infections use the same names, even though the delivered messages are different and the infections themselves are unrelated. Therefore, using the message filename alone can be ineffective and even lead to permanent data loss (for example, by attempting to decrypt data using tools designed for different ransomware infections, users are likely to end up permanently damaging files and decryption will no longer be possible even with the correct tool).

Another way to identify a ransomware infection is to check the file extension, which is appended to each encrypted file. Ransomware infections are often named by the extensions they append (see files encrypted by Qewe ransomware below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 2)

This method is only effective, however, when the appended extension is unique - many ransomware infections append a generic extension (for example, ".encrypted", ".enc", ".crypted", ".locked", etc.). In these cases, identifying ransomware by its appended extension becomes impossible.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to identify a ransomware infection is to use the ID Ransomware website. This service supports most existing ransomware infections. Victims simply upload a ransom message and/or one encrypted file (we advise you to upload both if possible).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 3)

The ransomware will be identified within seconds and you will be provided with various details, such as the name of the malware family to which the infection belongs, whether it is decryptable, and so on.

Example 1 (Qewe [Stop/Djvu] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 4)

Example 2 (.iso [Phobos] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 5)

If your data happens to be encrypted by a ransomware that is not supported by ID Ransomware, you can always try searching the internet by using certain keywords (for example, ransom message title, file extension, provided contact emails, cryptowallet addresses, etc.).

Search for ransomware decryption tools:

Encryption algorithms used by most ransomware-type infections are extremely sophisticated and, if the encryption is performed properly, only the developer is capable of restoring data. This is because decryption requires a specific key, which is generated during the encryption. Restoring data without the key is impossible. In most cases, cyber criminals store keys on a remote server, rather than using the infected machine as a host. Dharma (CrySis), Phobos, and other families of high-end ransomware infections are virtually flawless, and thus restoring data encrypted without the developers' involvement is simply impossible. Despite this, there are dozens of ransomware-type infections that are poorly developed and contain a number of flaws (for example, the use of identical encryption/decryption keys for each victim, keys stored locally, etc.). Therefore, always check for available decryption tools for any ransomware that infiltrates your computer.

Finding the correct decryption tool on the internet can be very frustrating. For this reason, we recommend that you use the No More Ransom Project and this is where identifying the ransomware infection is useful. The No More Ransom Project website contains a "Decryption Tools" section with a search bar. Enter the name of the identified ransomware, and all available decryptors (if there are any) will be listed.

Searching for ransomware decryption tools in nomoreransom.org website

Restore files with data recovery tools:

Depending on the situation (quality of ransomware infection, type of encryption algorithm used, etc.), restoring data with certain third-party tools might be possible. Therefore, we advise you to use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro. This tool supports over a thousand data types (graphics, video, audio, documents, etc.) and it is very intuitive (little knowledge is necessary to recover data).

▼ Download
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro

By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Trial version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is capable of scanning drives and listing recoverable files - to restore them, you must purchase a license.

Step 1: Perform a scan.

  • Hover your mouse over the partition you wish to scan and select "Scan". You can also select a specific folder, or click shortcut icons to scan the Desktop or Recycle Bin:

Scanning the storage drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard PRO (step 1)

  • Wait for EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro to complete the scan. The scanning duration depends on the volume of files (both in quantity and size) that you are scanning (for example, several hundreds gigabytes could take over an hour to scan). Therefore, be patient during the scanning process. We also advise against modifying or deleting existing files, since this might interfere with the scan. If you add additional data (for example, downloading files/content) while scanning, this will prolong the process:

Scanning the storage drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard PRO (step 2)

Step 2: Recover data.

  • Once the process is complete, select the folders/files you wish to restore and simply click "Recover". Note that some free space on your storage drive is necessary to restore data. Note also that the trial version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is only capable of scanning drives and listing recoverable files - to restore them, you must purchase a license:

Recovering data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro

Step 3: Save the scan session (optional).

  • We recommend that you save the scanning session once you have completed recovery, in case you decide to recover additional files later. Simply click the "Save Scan Session" icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and choose the location for the file to be saved. This will save a lot of time, since you will not need to re-scan the storage drive the next time you wish to restore something. Bear in mind, however, that data removed after the scanning session has finished will not be listed:

Saving scan session in EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro

Create data backups:

Proper file management and creating backups is essential for data security. Therefore, always be very careful and think ahead.

Partition management: We recommend that you store your data in multiple partitions and avoid storing important files within the partition that contains the entire operating system. If you fall into a situation whereby you cannot boot the system and are forced to format the disk on which the operating system is installed (in most cases, this is where malware infections hide), you will lose all data stored within that drive. This is the advantage of having multiple partitions: if you have the entire storage device assigned to a single partition, you will be forced to delete everything, however, creating multiple partitions and allocating the data properly allows you to prevent such problems. You can easily format a single partition without affecting the others - therefore, one will be cleaned and the others will remain untouched, and your data will be saved. Managing partitions is quite simple and you can find all necessary information on Microsoft's documentation web page.

Data backups: The most reliable backup method is to use an external storage device and keep it unplugged. Copy your data to an external hard drive, flash (thumb) drive, SSD, HDD, or any other storage device, unplug it and store it in a dry place away from sun and extreme temperatures. This method is, however, quite inefficient, since data backups and updates need to be made regularly. You can also use a cloud service or remote server. Here, an internet connection is required and there is always the chance of a security breach. Therefore, you should consider using an application to create data backups locally.

▼ Download
EaseUS Todo Backup

By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for EaseUS Todo Backup. 30 days free trial available.

We recommend using the EaseUS Todo Backup application. The "Home" edition of EaseUS Todo Backup is usually more than adequate for regular users, however, the "Business" edition is more suitable for companies and large computer networks. The EaseUS Todo Backup application provides extensive data protection features. You can easily create backups, and encrypt and compress them for enhanced protection and storage saving purposes. It also allows you to set backup schedules, create bootable devices, and restore the system if a crash occurs. You can easily choose where to store the created backup: locally; uploaded to an external drive; FTP; cloud storage, or elsewhere. In summary, EaseUS Todo Backup is an all-in-one tool, which provides all features required to properly backup your data.

Creating a data backup:

The backup process is virtually identical regardless of the item (file, partition, entire system) you wish to backup. Taking the File Backup feature as an example:

Step 1: Choose which item to backup.

  • Click on the "Menu" icon in the upper-left corner of the screen to reveal the menu and select "File Backup":

Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 1)

  • Select the files you want to backup. You can also enter a name and description of the backup that will be created:

Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 2)

Step 2: Change the default settings.

The EaseUS Todo Backup application provides a variety of additional options that can be added/modified while creating the backup. For example, you can encrypt data (add a password), select the compression rate (how much the backup should be compressed), performance (how many system resources should be allocated), add an email notification (you receive an email once the process is complete) and so on.

  • To open the options window, click the "Backup options" button in the lower-left corner of the screen:

Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 3)

  • Select the settings you want to change and click "Save". You can also reset your changes by clicking "Reset to initial settings":

Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 4)

Step 3: Select the backup destination.

As mentioned above, EaseUS Todo Backup allows you to choose where backups are saved - locally or externally.

  • Click the "Browse..." button and select the location you want the backup to be saved:

Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 5)

Step 4: Safety measures and process completion.

Depending on the location you have chosen, there are a number of measures you should or should not take. If you are uploading to an internet-connected location (for example, Cloud storage, FTP, etc.), be sure to maintain your internet connection, otherwise you will have to start again. The same applies to external storage devices - do not unplug them until the process is complete.

  • The progress bar displays estimated time remaining until completion. Large backups (hundreds of gigabytes) can take hours to create (depending on storage device speed, internet connection, etc.). Therefore, the application also allows you to optionally choose what the system should do (shut down, sleep or hibernate) once the process has finished:

Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 6)

The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups.

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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
LockBit 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 LockBit virus on your mobile device.
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