How to unlock screens locked by FBI screenlocker
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is FBI screenlocker?
The rogue program was discovered by MalwareHunterTeam. As its name suggests, screen-locker ransomware is a type of malware that prevents victims from accessing the operating system by locking the screen. It then demands payment to unlock the screen.
This particular screen locker displays a full-screen message stating that the computer has been locked by the FBI because it was used for illegal activities/purposes.
FBI screenlocker overview
FBI screen locker displays a ransom message stating that the computer has been locked because it was used to send spam messages relating to terrorism, fascist propaganda, and to download child pornography and sell drugs. It can be unlocked by paying a "fine" of USD$150 equivalent in Bitcoins to the provided BTC wallet.
After payment, users must supposedly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and then wait for a key that will unlock the screen.
Users who have computers infected with this FBI screen locker can unlock screen with this key: W269N-WFGWX-YVC9B-4J6C9-T83GX. Note that it may be necessary to restart the computer for the key to work.
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Ransom Demand Message||Locked screen|
|Ransom Amount||USD$150 equivalent in Bitcoins|
|BTC Wallet Address||12t9YDPgwueZ9NyMgw519p7AA8isjr6SMw|
|Cyber Criminal Contactemail@example.com|
|Detection Names||Alibaba (Trojan:MSIL/LockScreen.574a1783), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.35842219), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/LockScreen.AIQ), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.MSIL.Agent.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Ymacco.AA6F), 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 the desktop. Cyber criminals demand a ransom payment (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.|
|Additional Information||You may need to restart the computer for the provided key to work.|
|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 Combo Cleaner.
Screenlocker-type malware examples
More examples of screen lockers are XinFrams, BlackKnight2020, and SSHBOT. Malware of this type locks the screen and displays a ransom message with instructions about how to contact the developers, pay the ransom, and other information.
Screen lockers do not generally encrypt users' files - they are classified as non-encrypting malware. Despite this, be aware that some do encrypt files and lock the screen.
How did ransomware install on my computer?
Malware (including ransomware) is usually distributed via malspam campaigns, unofficial software activation ('cracking') tools, Trojans, dubious file/software download sources, and fake software updating tools.
When cyber criminals attempt to distribute malware via malspam campaigns, they send emails that contain malicious attachments or download links for malicious files. Typically, they disguise their emails as official and important. If recipients open the attached file (or a file downloaded via a website link), they cause installation of malicious software.
Trojans are other rogue programs that can cause chain infections. I.e., when a Trojan is installed on the operating system, it can install additional malware.
Free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, and third party downloaders are examples of other sources that are used to distribute malware. Cyber criminals disguise malicious files as legitimate and regular. When users download and open them, they inadvertently infect their computers with malware.
Fake software updating tools install malicious software rather than updates/fixes for installed programs, or they exploit bugs/flaws of outdated software that is installed on the operating system.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Download software and files from official websites and via direct links. It is not safe to use torrent clients, eMule (or other Peer-to-Peer networks), third party downloaders, unofficial websites or other sources of this kind.
Avoid third party installers. Check "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings, and decline offers to download or install unwanted software. Do not click ads that are displayed on dubious websites, since they can open other untrusted websites or even cause unwanted downloads and installations.
Remove any unwanted, suspicious applications (extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins) that are installed on the browser. The same should be applied to programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system.
Regularly scan your computer with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and keep this software 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.
Ransom message text:
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN LOCKED
After scanning your files ind ip address, we detected the following violations:
1.Sending spam messages containing terrorist motives
2.Propagation of fascism
3.Downloading child pornography
You will have pay a fine of $150 in BitCoin in return for unlocking the computer
Send $150 to this bitcoin address: 12t9YDPgwueZ9NyMgw519p7AA8isjr6SMw
Once you have paid, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and give us your ID.
We will give you unlock key to unlock your computer.
Your ID: -
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 FBI screenlocker?
- STEP 1. FBI screenlocker removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. FBI screenlocker removal using System Restore.
FBI screenlocker 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 "XinFrams" 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 "XinFrams" 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 "XinFrams" 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 its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.
After removing the "XinFrams" 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:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is FBI screenlocker?
FBI screenlocker is a screen-locking ransomware. This malicious program denies users access/use to their devices by locking them with a screen. The message on it impersonates FBI and makes fake accusations that can be absolved by paying a "fine". It must be emphasized that all the claims made by FBI screenlocker are false and created by cyber criminals seeking to generate revenue.
What are the biggest issues that FBI screenlocker can cause?
FBI screenlocker seeks to obtain ransoms from victims; hence, the primary threats these infections pose are financial losses and other issues associated with the forced access restriction.
How can I unlock a computer infected with FBI screenlocker?
FBI screenlocker can be unlocked by entering the W269N-WFGWX-YVC9B-4J6C9-T83GX key into the appropriate field on the lock screen. Note that it may be necessary to restart the device for the key to work.
How did FBI screenlocker malware infiltrate my computer?
Malware is primarily distributed via drive-by downloads, online scams, spam emails and messages, untrustworthy download sources (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.), illegal software activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Furthermore, some malicious programs are capable of self-spreading through local networks and removable storage devices (e.g., external hard drives, USB flash drives, etc.).
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and remove threats. It can detect and eliminate practically all known malware infections. Keep in mind that running a complete system scan is crucial - since sophisticated malicious software usually hides deep within systems.
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