CovidWorldCry ransomware removal instructions
What is CovidWorldCry?
CovidWorldCry was discovered by nao_sec. Like most programs of this type, it prevents victims from accessing their files by encrypting them. Also, it renames all of them by appending its extension and creates a ransom note. CovidWorldCry appends the ".corona-lock" extension, for example, it renames a file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.corona-lock", "2.jpg" to "2.jpg.corona-lock" and so on. Instructions on how to contact cyber criminals about a decryption are provided in a ransom note, text file named "README_LOCK.TXT".
As stated in "README_LOCK.TXT" ransom note, victims can decrypt encrypted files with the RSA key which can be received only from CovidWorldCry's developers. To get instructions on how to purchase that key victims have to contact cyber criminals via the firstname.lastname@example.org email address and provide the assigned ID. Additionally, victims are warned not to use any third party decryption tools because they might damage data and make their recovery impossible. Simply said, CovidWorldCry's victims are instructed to contact its developers and wait for further instructions. As a rule, cyber criminals demand to be paid in cryptocurrency and promise to send a decryption tool and/or key after a payment. Although, it is common that victims who pay a ransom do not receive any decryption tools. In other words, they get scammed. That is the main reason why cyber criminals cannot be trusted. Unfortunately, in most cases they are the only ones who can provide tools that can decrypt files encrypted by ransomware. There are no other tools that could decrypt files encrypted by CovidWorldCry as well. Typically, victims of ransomware attack can recover their files for free only by restoring them from a backup. It is worthwhile to mention that ransomware can be prevented from causing any possible further encryptions by uninstalling it. However, files that are already encrypted remain inaccessible even after its uninstallation.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
As a rule, malware like CovidWorldCry is designed to encrypt data and keep it inaccessible unless it is decrypted with a tool (or tools) that can be purchased only from its developers. Another major similarity is that ransomware generates a ransom note. Two main and most common differences usually are price of a decryption (size of a ransom) and encryption algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that is used to encrypt files. Typically, it is possible to decrypt data without interference of cyber criminals only when ransomware is not finished, has some bugs, flaws. Since it happens rarely, it is important to always have data backed up and store it on some remote server like Cloud and/or unplugged storage device. A couple of examples of other ransomware-type programs are Covm, BANG and Black Kingdom.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Encrypted Files Extension||.corona-lock|
|Ransom Demanding Message||README_LOCK.TXT|
|Cyber Criminal Contactemail@example.com|
|Detection Names||Avast (FileRepMalware), BitDefenderTheta (Gen:NN.ZexaF.34122.CqW@a06ZjllG), Emsisoft (Trojan.Miner (A)), Kaspersky (UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic), 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.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
Files (attachments) in irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened. In most cases cyber criminals disguise their emails as official, important. Therefore, website links and attachments that are included in emails should be opened only when there is not reason to believe that it may cause installation of malware or other damage. All software (and files) should be downloaded only from official, trustworthy websites. Any other sources should not be trusted. Examples of unreliable download channel are mentioned in the previous paragraph. Furthermore, all installed software must be updated (and activated, if necessary) through tools and/or functions that are designed by official software developers, and not some third party, unofficial tools. Also, it is not legal to use various 'cracking' (unofficial activation) tools to activate any licensed software. And finally, it is important to regularly scan the operating system for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and always keep that software up to date. If your computer is already infected with CovidWorldCry, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in CovidWorldCry ransomware's text file ("README_LOCK.TXT"):
YOUR FILES WERE ENCRYPTED
AND MARKED BY EXTENSION .corona-lock
DON'T WORRY! YOUR FILES ARE SAFE! ONLY MODIFIED :: ChaCha + AES
WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND you NOT to use any Decryption Tools.
These tools can damage your data, making recover IMPOSSIBLE.
Also we recommend you not to contact data recovery companies.
They will just contact us, buy the key and sell it to you at a higher price.
If you want to decrypt your files, you have to get RSA private key.
To get RSA private key you have to contact us via email to:
---------------------------->> firstname.lastname@example.org <<
and send us your id: >> - <<
HOW to understand that we are NOT scammers?
You can ask SUPPORT for the TEST-decryption for ONE file!
LIST OF ENCRYPTED FILES
Screenshot of files encrypted by CovidWorldCry (".corona-lock" extension):
CovidWorldCry 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:
- What is CovidWorldCry?
- STEP 1. CovidWorldCry virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. CovidWorldCry ransomware removal using System Restore.
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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the CovidWorldCry 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.
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 CovidWorldCry 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 CovidWorldCry 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 CovidWorldCry 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.
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 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 CovidWorldCry 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.
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:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- 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 CovidWorldCry ransomware: