How to remove Rubly screenlocker from the operating system?

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

Rubly virus removal guide

What is the Rubly screenlocker?

Rubly is a screenlocker malware. It operates by locking the screen (i.e. displays a full-screen window) and damages the Master Boot Record (MBR) - for the purpose of demanding payment. Rubly also claims to have encrypted the data stored on the infected system, which is the usual modus operandi of ransomware-type malicious programs. The discovery of Rubly is credited to malware analyst Karsten Hahn.

Screen locked by Rubly

The text presented on the locked screen states that all of the victims' important files have been encrypted. To receive more information on how to get the decryption key, users are instructed to write to the email address provided. When the system is restarted/rebooted, the damaged MBR displays another message. It informs victims that their device has been infected by the Rubly trojan. Additionally, the note claims that all of the data has been encrypted. The users are told that they three attempts to type the correct decryption key. This message repeats that to receive the key, victims are to establish contact using the mail addresses provided. It is expressly advised against communicating with and/or meeting their ransom demands of cyber criminals. Since often, they do not uphold their end of the bargain, despite being paid. It is noteworthy, that the provided email addresses are from public email service provides (gmail, Furthermore, one of the mails is from a German provider, which possibly means that the criminals themselves are located/based in Germany. Such sloppy attempts at ensuring anonymity on their part may be due to the cyber criminals being amateurs. Whatever the case, Rubly screenlocker is deemed to be a high-risk malware and it must be removed without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Rubly virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Cyber Criminal Contact and
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Ulise.100359), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/KillMBR.NDS), Kaspersky (, Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Can't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay 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)

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"McAfee has Blocked your Windows", "Your Windows has been banned", "CRITICAL WARNING!" and "StalinLocker" are a couple different screenlockers. Malware of this type often incorporates various fake claims, for example - to trick users into believing that they are communicating with technical support or law enforcement. To elaborate, it may be claimed that the device's screen has been locked by the operating system itself or an anti-virus product (e.g. Windows or McAfee, like in the provided examples), due to some sort of serious threat/issue. This scam model is commonly used to push users into calling expensive fake tech support numbers and/or to request payment for "services rendered". Another model states that access to the device has been blocked by local law authorities, due to illegal material detected on the system. The ransom for unlocking in such scams is disguised as a fine for possession of illicit content. Regardless of what this malware claims and/or how it operates, the end-goal is the same - to generate revenue for the cyber criminals behind it.

How did ransomware install on my computer?

The most common proliferation methods of malware are via trojans, spam campaigns, illegal activation ("cracking") tools, illegitimate updates and untrustworthy download channels. Trojans are a type of malware that has various abilities, which can include the ability to cause chain infections (i.e. download/installation of additional malware). Spam campaigns are used to distribute deceptive/scam emails on a large scale. These letters have infectious files attached to them or alternatively, they can contain download links of malicious content. Virulent files come in a variety of formats (e.g. Microsoft Office and PDF files, archive and executable files, JavaScript, etc.) and when they are executed, run or otherwise opened - it triggers the infection process. Rather than activate licensed product, illegal activation tools ("cracks") can download/install malware. Fake updaters infect the system by exploiting flaws of outdated products and/or by simply installing malicious programs instead of the promised updates. Untrustworthy download sources, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.) and other third party downloaders - can offer malware, disguised as and/or bundled with ordinary products.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is advised against opening suspicious and/or irrelevant emails, especially any attachments or links present in such - as that can result in a high-risk infection. Only official and verified download channels should be used. It is also recommended to activate and update products with tools/functions, provided by genuine developers. Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters should not be used, since they are often used to spread malware. To protect device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to have an anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. This software is to be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in the screen locked by Rubly:

Oops your importent files are encrypted

If you want to have your decryption key send an e-mail to 

Screenshot of the screen-encompassing message, displayed during system reboot:

Rubly screenlocker ransom note

Text presented in this message:

Your PC have been f***ked by the Rubly Trojan.
All your importent files are encrypted.

Note: After you have fixed the MBR your files are encrypted
you have 3 attempts to type the right key.

For the key please contact: or 

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Quick menu:

"Rubly" virus removal:

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 starting process press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, 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: Go to the Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click on Advanced Startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window select Advanced Startup. Click on the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into "Advanced Startup options menu". Click on the "Troubleshoot" button, then click on "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen click on "Startup settings". Click on the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press "5" to boot in Safe Mode with Networking Prompt.

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 "Rubly" 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 viruses using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer starting 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 "Rubly" 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 remnants of the "Rubly" virus.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some viruses disable Safe Mode making it's removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer. After removing "Rubly" virus from your PC, restart your computer and scan it with legitimate anti-spyware software to remove any possible remnants of this security infection.

Other tools known to remove this scam:

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 since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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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
Rubly 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 Rubly virus on your mobile device.
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