How to remove WastedLocker ransomware from your operating system?

Also Known As: WastedLocker virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

WastedLocker ransomware removal instructions

What is WastedLocker?

WastedLocker is the name of a malicious program, classified as ransomware. Systems infected with this malware experience data encryption and receive ransom demands for the decryption. There are multiple variants of this ransomware. During the encryption process, WastedLocker renames affected files by appending them with an extension. It consists of three letters that depend on the malware's variant and the word "wasted" (without a space between the three letters and the aforementioned word). The researched variants appended files with the ".bbawasted" extension, another with - ".rlhwasted". To elaborate, a file originally titled "1.jpg" would appear as "1.jpg.bbawasted", "1.jpg.rlhwasted" or something similar to the listed examples. After the encryption process is complete, WastedLocker creates a ransom note for each encrypted file. Ransom notes are named after the encrypted files (e.g. "1.jpg.bbawasted_info", "1.jpg.rlhwasted_info", etc.). The text presented in these ransom-demanding message is practically identical, throughout the ransomware's variants.

The ransom notes inform victims' that their network is encrypted. Users are instructed to establish contact with the cyber criminals via email and not to disclose the mail address to third parties. Through this communication, the message states that victims can learn the size of the ransom. The note warns not to rename or move the ransom-demanding message (e.g. [original_filename].bbawasted_info, [original_filename].rlhwasted_info, etc.). Users are also warned not to delete the encryption key, which is listed in the ransom notes. Unfortunately, in many cases of ransomware infections - decryption is impossible without interference of the criminals responsible. It might be, if the malicious program is still in development and/or has bugs (flaws). Whatever the case, it is expressly advised against communicating with and/or paying cyber criminals. Since often, despite meeting the ransom demands - victims do not receive the promised decryption tools/software. Therefore, they experience financial loss and their data remains encrypted. To prevent WastedLocker ransomware from further encryptions, it must be removed from the operating system. However, removal will not restore already compromised files. The only solution is recovering them from a backup, if one was created prior to the infection and was stored in a separate location (so as not to have been affected by WastedLocker).

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

WastedLocker decrypt instructions ([original_filename].bbawasted_info)

CredoFobPykw and Baraka Team are a few examples of other ransomware-type programs. They are designed to encrypt data and demand payment for the decryption tools/software. There are several key differences between these programs/infections - the cryptographic algorithms they use (symmetric or asymmetric) and the ransom size. The latter tend to range between three to four digits in USD. The payments are typically demanded to be paid in digital currencies (primarily, cryptocurrencies), due to transactions of them being difficult/impossible to trace. To avoid data loss, it is strongly recommended to keep backups in remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices. It is best to store backup copies in multiple different locations.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

The most common ransomware and other malware distribution methods are via trojans, spam campaigns, illegal activation ("cracking") tools, fake updaters and unreliable download channels. Trojans are malicious programs with a wide variety of functionalities that can include the ability to cause chain infections (i.e. download/install additional malware). The term "spam campaign" is used to describe a large scale operation, during which thousands of scam emails are sent. These letters are usually presented as "official", "urgent", "important" and similar. The deceptive emails contain download links of infectious files and/or the files are attached to the letters. Virulent files can be in various formats (e.g. PDF and Microsoft Office documents, archive and executable files, JavaScript, etc.). When they are executed, run or otherwise opened - the infection process is initiated. Rather than activate licensed product, illegal activation tools ("cracks") can download/install malware. Illegitimate updaters cause infections by exploiting flaws of outdated products and/or by simply installing malicious software instead of the promised updates. Untrustworthy download sources, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.) and other third party downloaders - can offer malware, disguised as or packed with ordinary content.

Threat Summary:
Name WastedLocker virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .bbawasted or .rlhwasted
Ransom Demanding Message [original_filename].bbawasted_info or [original_filename].rlhwasted
Detection Names Avast (Win32:DangerousSig [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.43266676), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Filecoder.WastedLocker.A), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.DelShad.dgw), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Rogue Process Name Launchy (process name may vary)
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)

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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Suspicious and/or irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially any attachments or links present in them - as that can result in a high-risk infection. It is recommended to only use official and verified download channels. Additionally, all products must be activated and updated with tools/functions, provided by genuine developers. Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters are advised against use, due to them being often employed to proliferate malware. It is especially important to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed and kept up-to-date. This software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats. If your computer is already infected with WastedLocker, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in WastedLocker ransomware's text file ("[original_filename].bbawasted_info"):

BBA Aviation











Screenshot of the ransom note created by another variant of WastedLocker ransomware ("[original_filename].rlhwasted"):

Ransom note of the second variant of WastedLocker ransomware

Text presented in this file:

RL Hudson











Screenshot of files encrypted by WastedLocker (".bbawasted" extension):

Files encrypted by WastedLocker ransomware (.bbawasted extension)

Screenshot of files encrypted by another variant of WastedLocker (".rlhwasted" extension):

Files encypted by second variant of WastedLocker ransomware

Screenshot of WastedLocker's process on Windows Task Manager ("Launchy" process name):

WastedLocker ransomware process on task manager (Launchy)

WastedLocker 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:
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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 WastedLocker 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 WastedLocker 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 WastedLocker 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 WastedLocker 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 WastedLocker, 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 WastedLocker 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 WastedLocker 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 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
WastedLocker 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 WastedLocker virus on your mobile device.
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