What is BlackKnight2020 screenlocker?
This screen locker was discovered by xiaopao. BlackKnight2020 is malware that prevents victims from using the infected computer by locking the screen. It also displays a ransom message with instructions about how to pay for the code, which will supposedly unlock the screen.
After installation, BlackKnight2020 displays a ransom message stating that the computer was infected through a malicious file or website. To unlock the screen, victims must use a code, which can be purchased for US$100 equivalent in Bitcoins, or by sending this sum via the Perfect Money online payment system.
Victims are warned that they must pay the ransom within two hours. After this, all of their files will be deleted (wiped). Fortunately, the screen can be unlocked free of charge with the "BlackKnight2020" (case sensitive) code.
Note that cyber criminals behind screen lockers often do not send any codes or passwords that will supposedly unlock the screen locked by their malware. Victims of such attacks should never pay the ransom. Typically, access to data can be regained by uninstalling malware from the operating system or by restoring files from a backup. Instructions are provided below.
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.|
|Ransom Demand Message||Locked screen.|
|Payment Channels||Perfect Money (U24482992), Bitcoin wallet address.|
|Cyber Criminal Contactemail@example.com|
|Detection Names||AVG (Win32:Trojan-gen), ESET-NOD32 (MSIL/LockScreen.AIW), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Ransom.MSIL.Agent.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal).|
|Unlock Code||BlackKnight2020 (case sensitive)|
|Symptoms||Cannot access the oprating system. A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand payment of a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock the screen.|
|Distribution methods||Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.|
|Damage||Operating system cannot be accessed 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 Combo Cleaner.
More examples of other malware designed to lock screens include ComputerDestroyer, Rubly and StalinLocker. Generally, programs of this type block access to the computer and display ransom messages. Most screen lockers do not use encryption algorithms (do not encrypt files) and are classified as non-encrypting malware.
Note, however, that some ransomware-type programs are designed to encrypt files and also to lock the screen.
How did ransomware install on my computer?
Malware is often spread through unofficial software activation ('cracking') tools, malspam campaigns, Trojans, third party software updating tools and various dubious software download channels.
People who use software 'cracking' (unofficial activation) tools to bypass activation of licensed software often infect their computers with malware - the tools are often designed by cyber criminals who seek to trick users into installing malware. Spam campaigns can cause damage through malicious attachments or website links designed to download malicious files.
Trojans are malicious programs that infect systems with other malware. When installed, they cause chain infections. Fake, unofficial software updaters infect systems by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws, or by installing malware rather than fixes/updates.
Users can open malicious files downloaded through untrusted software download channels. Examples are Peer-to-peer networks (torrent clients, eMule), freeware download websites, free file hosting pages, third party downloaders, and unofficial pages. Commonly, the malicious files are disguised as regular, harmless, and legitimate.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
Do not open links or attachments in irrelevant emails, especially if they are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Software should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct links. Unofficial pages, third party downloaders and installers, and other channels and sources (mentioned above) should not be trusted.
Furthermore, it is important to update and activate software properly, using implemented functions/tools designed by official developers. Other tools are commonly used to distribute malware. Furthermore, it is illegal to activate licensed software with unofficial, third party tools.
Finally, your computer should be regularly scanned with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software, which should be kept up to date. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Text in a ransom message:
Your Computer has been locked !
Your Computer has been locked and functions disabled, this is because you accessed
a bad file or you accessed a bad link. Which ever be the case click
the button "Get me Outta Here"
[Get me Outta Here]
Getting Out is Pretty Easy....
-- Make a payment of $100 using any of the mentioned payment portal
** Perfect Money (U24482992)
** BTC CONTACT US (firstname.lastname@example.org)
-- Send payment confirmation to email email@example.com
-- After confirmation the unlock code will be sent to you
DONT BE A SMART A**. The lockscreen has a timer and this is set to drive wipe after 2 hours.
As it stands your drive is currently unaccessible.
Enter the code you received from us [Unlock]
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is "BlackKnight2020"?
- STEP 1. "BlackKnight2020" virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. "BlackKnight2020" virus removal using System Restore.
"BlackKnight2020" virus removal:
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.
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.
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 "BlackKnight2020" 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.
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 "BlackKnight2020" 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 remnants of the "BlackKnight2020" 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 "BlackKnight2020" 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: