How to uninstall the ComputerDestroyer screenlocker

Also Known As: ComputerDestroyer malware
Damage level: Severe

What is ComputerDestroyer?

Discovered by S!Ri, ComputerDestroyer is a form of malware that locks the infected computer. In this way, it prevents victims from accessing and using their data. It also changes the desktop wallpaper, displays a pop-up window asking users to enter a 'decryption code', and plays an audio message repeatedly stating the word "coronavirus".

ComputerDestroyer displays two pop-up windows: the first with the computertricks2018@gmail.com email address and a message stating that the computer is infected with coronavirus before victims log into account, and; the second with the computerdestroyer0108@gmail.com address and stating that all files have been encrypted and recovery of them without a decryption code is impossible.

Note that the changed desktop wallpaper has a third email address, which is systemdestroyer0108@gmail.com. The main purpose of ComputerDestroyer is to prevent victims from accessing their data (by locking the screen) and then encourage them to purchase a decryption code from the developers.

To do this, they are urged to send an email to one of the provided addresses. It is unknown whether ComputerDestroyer actually encrypts files. In any case, you are advised against contacting ComputerDestroyer's developers. More importantly, do not pay them.

Cyber criminals commonly do not help victims to decrypt or restore their files, even if they are paid. ComputerDestroyer can be uninstalled by following the steps provided below. If this malware does encrypt files, the only free way to recover them is from a backup.

Screenshot of a pop-up window which appears before login:

computerdestroyer displays pop-up message before login

Some examples of other malware infections that lock screens are Rubly and StalinLocker. Generally, programs of this type restrict login or file access, and then urge victims to pay ransoms. Screenlockers do not use encryption algorithms, as is the case with ransomware-type programs, and, therefore, they are categorized as non-encrypting malware.

How did screenlocker infect my computer?

Most users infect computers with malware through emails (spam campaigns), Trojans, untrusted download channels, fake software updaters and unofficial activation ('cracking') tools. Cyber criminals commonly send emails that contain malicious attachments or website links designed to download malicious files.

When users open the malicious file, they cause installation of a malicious program. Examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are PDF, Microsoft Office documents, executable files (.exe), JavaScript files and archive files such as RAR, ZIP. Trojans can infect systems with other malware only when they are already installed on computers.

When installed, they can open 'backdoors' for other malware (i.e., cause chain infections). Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), free file hosting, freeware download websites, unofficial pages, third party downloaders, etc. are examples of untrusted download channels that are used by cyber criminals to host malicious files.

When downloaded and opened, the files infect systems with malware. Fake software updating tools cause damage by installing malicious software rather than updates/fixes, or by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software that is installed on the operating system.

Software 'cracking' tools are used by people who seek to activate licensed software free of charge. In fact, these tools do not bypass any software activation and simply cause installation of malicious programs instead.

Threat Summary:
Name ComputerDestroyer malware
Threat Type Files locker, screen locker.
Ransom Demanding Message Pop-up windows and desktop wallpaper.
Cyber Criminal Contact computertricks2018@gmail.com, computerdestroyer0108@gmail.com, systemdestroyer0108@gmail.com
Detection Names Arcabit (Trojan.Generic.D201C305), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.33669893), ESET-NOD32 (REG/Disabler.A Potentially Unwanted), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Diztakun.bpky), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, a ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand payment of a ransom (usually in Bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Additional Information It is unknown whether this malware actually encrypts data.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
Damage This malware prevents victims from accessing their accounts and data.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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How to protect yourself from malware infections

It is not safe to open attachments or web links within irrelevant emails, especially if the emails are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. Note that cyber criminals often disguise their emails as legitimate, official, and important. Installed software must be updated through implemented functions and tools that are designed only by official developers.

Third party updaters can infect computers with malware. The same applies to third party, unofficial activation tools. Furthermore, it is illegal to use these to activate licensed software. All files should be downloaded from official and trustworthy websites, and via direct links.

Other tools (examples are mentioned above) should not be trusted, since they can proliferate malicious programs. Operating systems should be regularly scanned for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite.

Keep this software up to date. If your computer is already infected with ComputerDestroyer, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this malware.

Text presented in ComputerDestroyer pop-up window, which appears before login:

you are infected of corona virus..

ComputerDestroyer pop-up window, which appears on a locked screen:

computerdestroyer pop-up displayed when the screen is locked

Text in this pop-up:

All your files has been encrypted by corona virus.
No one can recover your files without my decryption code.


Code to Decrypt

Screenshot of ComputerDestroyer desktop wallpaper:

ComputerDestroyer screenlocker wallpaper

Text in this wallpaper:

c     o      r      o      n      a




ComputerDestroyer screenlocker removal:

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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 ComputerDestroyer 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 screenlocker 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 ComputerDestroyer 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 ComputerDestroyer screenlocker files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this screenlocker, 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 ComputerDestroyer 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 screenlockers disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by ComputerDestroyer, 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 screenlocker 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 ComputerDestroyer screenlocker.

Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks screenlocker 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 screenlocker attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from screenlocker 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 screenlocker 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 ComputerDestroyer screenlocker:

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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.

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