LX ransomware removal instructions
What is LX?
LX is a piece of malicious software, belonging to the Crisis/Dharma ransomware family. Discovery is credited to Jakub Kroustek. It operates by encrypting the data of infected systems, in order to demand payment for the decryption tools/software. As this malware encrypts, all affected files are retitled according to this pattern: original filename, unique ID, cyber criminals' email address and the ".LX". For example, a file like "1.jpg" would appear as something similar to "1.jpg.id-1E857D00.[firstname.lastname@example.org].LX", and so on. Afterwards, a text file - "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" is created on the desktop and a pop-up window is displayed.
The ransom note in the text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt") informs victims that their data has been "locked" and to recover it, they are instructed to write to the email addresses of the cyber criminals behind the infection. The text presented in the pop-up window provides a bit more information. It clarifies that the victims' files have been encrypted, but it is possible to restore them. To recover the encrypted data, it is repeated that users must initiate communication via email. Their letter must contain the unique ID assigned to them. Should victims receive no response within 12 hours, they are to use the other email address. The note in the pop-up ends with warnings. Users are alerted that renaming the encrypted files and/or attempting to decrypt them with third party tools - may lead to permanent data loss. Unfortunately, in most cases of ransomware infections, without the involvement of the individuals responsible - decryption is impossible. It might be, if the malware is still in development and/or has bugs (flaws). Whatever the case, it is expressly advised against communicating with and/or meeting the ransom demands of cyber criminals. Since often, despite paying - victims do not receive the promised decryption tools/software. Hence, their files remain encrypted and they experience financial losses. To prevent LX ransomware from further encryptions - it must be removed from the operating system. However, removal will not restore already affected data. The only possible solution is recovering it from a backup, if ones was created before the infection and was stored in a different location.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
Tongda2000, R44s, DECP, Uzuvnkyh are a few examples of other ransomware-type programs. They are designed to encrypt data and demand payment for the decryption. There are some crucial differences in-between them: the cryptographic algorithm used for the encryption and the size of the demanded ransom. The latter range from three to four digit sums (in USD). Digital currencies (e.g. cryptocurrencies, pre-paid vouchers, etc.) are typically used for these payments, since transactions of them are difficult/impossible to trace. To avoid data loss, it is strongly recommended to keep backups in unplugged storage devices and/or remote servers (ideally, in several separate locations).
How did ransomware infect my computer?
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Encrypted Files Extension||.LX (files are also appended with a unique ID and cyber criminals' email address)|
|Ransom Demanding Message||Text presented in the pop-up window and FILES ENCRYPTED.txt|
|Cyber Criminal Contactemail@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org|
|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)|
|Distribution methods||Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
It is ill-advised to open suspicious and/or irrelevant emails, especially any attachments (or links) present in them - can result in a high-risk infection. All downloads should be done only from official and verified sources. It is just as important to activate and update software with tools/functions, provided by legitimate developers. Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters are often used to proliferate malware. To protect device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and kept updated. Furthermore, such programs should be used to run regular system scans and to remove all detected threats/issues. If your computer is already infected with LX, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in LX 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 email@example.com YOUR ID 1E857D00
If you have not been answered via the link within 12 hours, write to us by e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
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 LX's text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):
Text presented in this file:
Screenshot of files encrypted by LX (".LX" extension):
LX ransomware removal:
- What is LX?
- STEP 1. LX virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. LX ransomware removal using System Restore.
Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Video showing how to start Windows 8 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 LX 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.
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 LX 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 LX 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 LX are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.
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 LX 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.
Other tools known to remove LX ransomware: