How to remove LIVE ransomware and prevent it from further encryptions?

Also Known As: LIVE virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

LIVE ransomware removal instructions

What is LIVE?

LIVE is the title of a malicious program, belonging to the Dharma ransomware family. Systems infected with it - have their data encrypted and receive ransom demands for the decryption tools/software. As this ransomware encrypts, all filenames are appended with a unique ID, developers' email address and the ".LIVE" extension. For example, a file originally titled "1.jpg" would appear as something similar to "1.jpg.id-1E857D00.[cryptlive@aol.com].LIVE". Following the end of this process, a text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt") is dropped onto the desktop and a pop-up window is displayed. Both of them contain ransom notes.

The note in the text file is short. It informs victims that their data has been "locked" and if they wish to recover it - they are to write to the email address provided. The message within the pop-up clarifies that the files have been encrypted and reassures them that it can be decrypted. To do so, users are instructed to write to the mail address and list the ID assigned to them in the letter. Should no response from the ransomware's developers arrive within twelve hours, victims are told to use the alternative email address. Neither the ransom size nor the desired currency are stated. The note ends with warnings. Users are alerted not to rename the encrypted files and/or try decrypting them with third party software - as that can result in permanent data loss. Additionally, victims are warned that seeking outside aid can result in financial loss - as it is implied that they will not be able to recover the data and/or are simply scammers that do not even intend to. Unfortunately, it is true that in most cases of ransomware infections - decryption is impossible, without the involvement of cyber criminals responsible. Manual decryption might be possible, if the ransomware is still in development and/or has bugs (flaws). Whatever the case, it is expressly advised against contacting and/or paying the criminals. These individuals are not to be trusted and there are no guarantees that they will withhold their end of the bargain. Frequently, despite paying - victims do not receive the promised decryption tools/software. Hence, their data remains encrypted and they experience financial losses. To prevent LIVE from further encryptions - it has to be removed from the operating system. However, removal will not restore already affected files. The only solution is recovering the data from a backup, if one was created prior to the infection and was stored in a different location.

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

LIVE decrypt instructions (pop-up)

RehaTopiKristina (OnyxLocker)Cuba are examples of other malicious programs within this classification. Ransomware is designed to encrypt files and demand payment for the decryption. However, there are some significant differences in-between - the cryptographic algorithm used (symmetric or asymmetric) and the ransom size. These payments typically vary between three and four digits (in USD). Digital currencies (mainly, cryptocurrencies) are usually used for ransoms, as transactions of them are difficult/impossible to trace. To ensure data safety, it is recommended to keep backups in unplugged storage devices and/or remote servers (ideally, in multiple separate locations).

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware primarily proliferate via trojans, spam campaigns, illegal activation ("cracking") tools, fake software updates and untrustworthy 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 thousands of deceptive/scam emails. These letters are often disguised as "official", "priority", "important" and so on. They have virulent files attached to (or linked inside) them. These attachments can be in various formats (e.g. executable and archive files, Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc.); when they are executed, run or otherwise opened - it jumpstarts the infection process. Instead of activating licensed product, illegal activation tool ("cracks") can download/install malicious software. Fake updaters infect systems by abusing the flaws of outdated programs and/or by installing malware rather than the promised updates. Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.), unofficial and free file-hosting websites, third party downloaders and similar untrustworthy sources can offer malware (e.g. presented as ordinary content and/or bundled with it).

Threat Summary:
Name LIVE virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .LIVE (files are also appended with a unique ID and cyber criminals' email address)
Ransom Demanding Message FILES ENCRYPTED.txt and text presented in the pop-up window
Cyber Criminal Contact cryptlive@aol.com
Detection Names Avast (Win32:RansomX-gen [Ransom]), BitDefender (Trojan.Ransom.Crysis.E), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Crysis.P), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Crusis.to), 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.
Removal

To eliminate LIVE 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?

Suspicious and/or irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially any files or links present in such. Opening an infectious file - will trigger it to begin downloading/installing malware. It is recommended to only use official and verified download channels. Programs should be activated and updated using functions/tools provided by legitimate developers, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters can cause an infection. It is strongly advised to have a dependable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. This software should be used for regular system scans and removal of detected/potential threats. If your computer is already infected with LIVE, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in LIVE ransomware's pop-up window:

YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED
Don't worry,you can return all your files!

If you want to restore them, follow this link:email cryptlive@aol.com YOUR ID 1E857D00
If you have not been answered via the link within 12 hours, write to us by e-mail:cryptlive@aol.com
Attention!
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 LIVE's text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):

LIVE ransomware text file (FILES ENCRYPTED.txt)

Text presented in this file:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email cryptlive@aol.com 

Screenshot of files encrypted by LIVE (".LIVE" extension):

Files encrypted by LIVE ransomware (.LIVE extension)

LIVE ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of LIVE 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 LIVE 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 LIVE 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 LIVE 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 LIVE 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 LIVE 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 LIVE, 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 LIVE 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.

Controll Folder Access

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:

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 LIVE 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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
LIVE 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 LIVE virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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