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How to uninstall LegionLocker ransomware?

Also Known As: LegionLocker virus
Damage level: Severe

What is LegionLocker?

Ransomware is designed to encrypt files and demands a ransom payment. Ransomware victims cannot use encrypted files until they are decrypted with a specific decryption tool.

Quite often, malware of this type not only encrypts but also renames files - it appends its extension to the filenames of all encrypted files. LegionLocker appends the ".Legion" extension. For instance, it renames a file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.Legion", "2.jpg" to "2.jpg.Legion", and so on.

LegionLocker demands a ransom payment by displaying a ransom note in its pop-up window. This ransomware is another variant of the Cobra Locker ransomware.

At the time of the research LegionLocker encrypted system files when other ransomware variants skip those files to avoid damaging the entire operating system. Therefore, it is likely that LegionLocker has flaws.

Typically, a ransom note that ransomware creates contains instructions on how to contact the attackers, pay a ransom, and so on.

LegionLocker's ransom note informs victims that their files are no longer accessible because they are encrypted and cannot be recovered without a decryption service that can be provided only by the attackers.

It instructs victims to purchase the decryption key by sending $50 worth of Bitcoin to the provided cryptocurrency wallet address, and then to create Mail2Tor account and send their Bitcoin wallet ID using the created account to cobraLocker@mail2tor.com.

The ransom note also mentions that if the timer runs out, then all files will be deleted. Also, it warns victims not to restart a computer and uninstall any installed antivirus suite so it would not try to remove LegionLocker from the operating system.

Usually, cybercriminals behind ransomware attacks are the only ones who can help their victims to decrypt files. More precisely, victims of most ransomware attacks cannot decrypt encrypted files without the right decryption tool (software and, or key), and only the attackers have it.

A third-party decryption tool that could break LegionLocker's encryption does not exist as well, at least not at the current moment (sometimes victims can decrypt files with a tool downloaded from the Internet for free).

In cases like this, victims have two options: to decrypt files with a tool purchased from cybercriminals or restore files from a data backup (if such backup has been created prior to the ransomware attack).

It is strongly advisable against paying a ransom to any attackers. It is common that victims who pay a ransom do not receive a decryption tool. In other words, ransomware developers or distributors should never be trusted. As mentioned in the introduction paragraph, LegionLocker encrypts system files.

It means that the operating system remains damaged even after removing this ransomware. Although, LegionLocker should be uninstalled anyway. Otherwise, it may encrypt new files or spread itself over the network (infect computers on the same network).

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

LegionLocker decrypt instructions (pop-up window)

In conclusion, most ransomware variants block access to files (or the entire systems) and demand a ransom payment (generate a ransom note or multiple ransom notes).

Typically, the only main variables are the size of a ransom, and the cryptographic algorithm (symmetric, asymmetric) ransomware variants use to encrypt files. Sometimes victims can decrypt their files with a free decryption tool if one is available for download on the Internet, or the ransomware has some vulnerabilities.

However, most of the times, there is only one free data recovery option - to restore files from a backup. Therefore, it is recommended to create data backups on a regular basis and keep them on a remote server like Cloud or unplugged storage devices.

Examples of other ransomware variants are Wrui, CRYSTAL, and Hydra (VoidCrypt).

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Most cybercriminals use Trojans, emails, unreliable sources for downloading files, fake software updaters, and unofficial software activation ('cracking') tools as channels to distribute ransomware and other malware. A trojan is a type of malware that can be designed to install its payload.

Once a computer is infected with a Trojan of this type, it gets infected with additional malware. As a rule, Trojans are distributed by disguising them as legitimate programs. Emails are used to deliver malware through malicious files attached to them or via download links for malicious files included in them.

Cybercriminals use such emails to deceive recipients into downloading and opening malicious files designed to install malware. Typically, they use malicious Microsoft Office, PDF documents, JavaScript files, RAR, ZIP or other archive files, executable files (like .exe) in their malspam campaigns.

Furthermore, malware can be proliferated using untrustworthy channels for downloading files, programs. For example, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), unofficial websites, free file hosting, freeware download pages, third-party downloaders.

Users infect their computers with malware when they download malicious files through those channels and then open downloaded files. Typically, cybercriminals disguise their malicious files as legitimate, regular.

Third-party (unofficial) software updaters can be used to distribute my designing them to install malware in a regular way or by exploiting bugs, flaws of certain installed software that is out of date. Either way, fake updaters never install any fixes, updates.

Unofficial software activation tools (also known as 'cracking' tools) can be designed to install malware too. Users infect their computers when they try to illegally activate software with 'cracking' tools that are bundled with malware.

Threat Summary:
Name LegionLocker virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .Legion
Ransom Demanding Message Pop-up window
Ransom Amount $50 in Bitocoins
BTC Wallet Address 131fjhrB4wH8j6adZXudp1Wn23pR33tpAh
Cyber Criminal Contact cobralocker@mail2tor.com
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.36645382), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/TrojanDropper.Agent.FEH), Kaspersky (UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Woreflint.A!cl), 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.
Additional Information LegionLocker encrypts system files (it damages the operating system)
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?

Email attachments should not be opened if they are sent from unknown addresses, attached to irrelevant emails. The same applies to website links in emails of this kind. It is common that such emails are used as channels to deliver malware.

Files downloaded via third-party downloaders, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), free file hosting pages, etc., should not be opened as well. It is common that the aforementioned sources are used to distribute malware.

Files (and programs) should be downloaded from official pages and via direct links. Unofficial, fake software updaters or activation ('cracking) tools should never be used neither to update or activate any legitimate and (or) licensed software. It is very common that those tools do not update or activate the installed software.

On the contrary, they infect computers with malware. Moreover, it is not legal to activate licensed software with unofficial ('cracking') tools, or use hacked software.

Any installed software has to be updated and activated with implemented functions or tools that the official developers provide. Additionally, it is recommended to scan computers for threats on a regular basis. It is advisable to do it with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software.

If your computer is already infected with LegionLocker, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Appearance of the LegionLocker'a ransom note (GIF):

legionlocker ransomware ransom note in a gif

Text in the ransom note:

LegionLocker2.0

Ooops! All your important files are encrypted!

Your files will be lost in:

-

If you see this text, then your files are no longer accesible, because they have been encrypted. Perhaps you are busy looking for a way to recover your files, but don't waste your time. Nobody can recover your files without our decryption service.

We guarantee that you can recover all your files safely and easily. All you need to do is submit the payment and purchase the decryption key.

Please follow the instructions:

1.Send $50 worth of Bitcoin to following address:

131fjhrB4wH8j6adZXudp1Wn23pR33tpAh

2.Download Tor browser (hxxps://www.torproject.org/)

3.Create account on mail2tor (hxxp://mail2tor2zyjdctd.onion/)

4.Send your Bitcoin wallet ID to e-mail CobraLocker@mail2tor.com

Rules:

1.If timer runs out, your files will be deleted.

2.Do not restart your computer

3.Uninstall your antiviruses. They may try to remove this virus.

If you already purchased your key, please enter it below.

Key: [Submit]

Screenshot of files encrypted by LegionLocker (".Legion" extension):

Files encrypted by LegionLocker ransomware (.Legion extension)

Ransom note dropped by another variant of LegionLocker ransomware ("@LegionReadMe@.txt"):

LegionLocker ransomware text file (@LegionReadMe@.txt)

Text presented within:

Ooops! All your important files are encrypted!

What happend to my computer?

All your important files are encrypted. No one can help you to restore files without our special decryptor
Backups were either encrypted or deleted or backup disks were formatted. Shadow copies also removed.
If you want to restore some of your files for free write to email (contact is at the bottom of the sheet)
and attach 4-5 encrypted files.
You have to pay $120 in bitcoin to decrypt other files.

How to contact us?

1.Download Tor browser (hxxps://www.torproject.org/)
2.Create account on mail2tor (hxxp://mail2tor2zyjdctd.onion/)
3.Write email to us (CobraLocker@mail2tor.com)

What if i have already paid?

Send your Bitcoin wallet ID to e-mail provided above

Our bitcoin address 131fjhrB4wH8j6adZXudp1Wn23pR33tpAh

Pop-up window displayed by another variant of LegionLocker ransomware:

LegionLocker ransomware pop-up (2021-05-04)

Text presented within:

Ooops! All your important files are encrypted!

What happend to my computer?

All your important files are encrypted. No one can help you to restore files without our special decryptor
Backups were either encrypted or deleted or backup disks were formatted. Shadow copies also removed.
If you want to restore some of your files for free write to email (contact is at the bottom of the sheet) and attach 4-5 encrypted files.
To decrypt other files you have to pay $120 in bitcoin.

How to contact us?

1.Download Tor browser (hxxps://www.torproject.org/)
2.Create account on mail2tor (hxxp://mail2tor2zyjdctd.onion/)
3.Write email to us (CobraLocker@mail2tor.com)

What if i already paid?

Send your Bitcoin wallet ID to e-mail provided above
P.S.

Do not modify encrypted files

Do not restart your computer

Our bitcoin address 131fjhrB4wH8j6adZXudp1Wn23pR33tpAh

LegionLocker ransomware removal:

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:
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Video suggesting what steps should be taken in case of a ransomware infection:

Quick menu:

Reporting ransomware to authorities:

If you are a victim of a ransomware attack we recommend reporting this incident to authorities. By providing information to law enforcement agencies you will help track cybercrime and potentially assist in the prosecution of the attackers. Here's a list of authorities where you should report a ransomware attack. For the complete list of local cybersecurity centers and information on why you should report ransomware attacks, read this article.

List of local authorities where ransomware attacks should be reported (choose one depending on your residence address):

Isolating the infected device:

Some ransomware-type infections are designed to encrypt files within external storage devices, infect them, and even spread throughout the entire local network. For this reason, it is very important to isolate the infected device (computer) as soon as possible.

Step 1: Disconnect from the internet.

The easiest way to disconnect a computer from the internet is to unplug the Ethernet cable from the motherboard, however, some devices are connected via a wireless network and for some users (especially those who are not particularly tech-savvy), disconnecting cables may seem troublesome. Therefore, you can also disconnect the system manually via Control Panel:

Navigate to the "Control Panel", click the search bar in the upper-right corner of the screen, enter "Network and Sharing Center" and select search result: Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 1)

Click the "Change adapter settings" option in the upper-left corner of the window: Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 2)

Right-click on each connection point and select "Disable". Once disabled, the system will no longer be connected to the internet. To re-enable the connection points, simply right-click again and select "Enable". Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 3)

Step 2: Unplug all storage devices.

As mentioned above, ransomware might encrypt data and infiltrate all storage devices that are connected to the computer. For this reason, all external storage devices (flash drives, portable hard drives, etc.) should be disconnected immediately, however, we strongly advise you to eject each device before disconnecting to prevent data corruption:

Navigate to "My Computer", right-click on each connected device, and select "Eject": Ejecting external storage devices

Step 3: Log-out of cloud storage accounts.

Some ransomware-type might be able to hijack software that handles data stored within "the Cloud". Therefore, the data could be corrupted/encrypted. For this reason, you should log-out of all cloud storage accounts within browsers and other related software. You should also consider temporarily uninstalling the cloud-management software until the infection is completely removed.

Identify the ransomware infection:

To properly handle an infection, one must first identify it. Some ransomware infections use ransom-demand messages as an introduction (see the WALDO ransomware text file below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 1)

This, however, is rare. In most cases, ransomware infections deliver more direct messages simply stating that data is encrypted and that victims must pay some sort of ransom. Note that ransomware-type infections typically generate messages with different file names (for example, "_readme.txt", "READ-ME.txt", "DECRYPTION_INSTRUCTIONS.txt", "DECRYPT_FILES.html", etc.). Therefore, using the name of a ransom message may seem like a good way to identify the infection. The problem is that most of these names are generic and some infections use the same names, even though the delivered messages are different and the infections themselves are unrelated. Therefore, using the message filename alone can be ineffective and even lead to permanent data loss (for example, by attempting to decrypt data using tools designed for different ransomware infections, users are likely to end up permanently damaging files and decryption will no longer be possible even with the correct tool).

Another way to identify a ransomware infection is to check the file extension, which is appended to each encrypted file. Ransomware infections are often named by the extensions they append (see files encrypted by Qewe ransomware below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 2)

This method is only effective, however, when the appended extension is unique - many ransomware infections append a generic extension (for example, ".encrypted", ".enc", ".crypted", ".locked", etc.). In these cases, identifying ransomware by its appended extension becomes impossible.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to identify a ransomware infection is to use the ID Ransomware website. This service supports most existing ransomware infections. Victims simply upload a ransom message and/or one encrypted file (we advise you to upload both if possible).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 3)

The ransomware will be identified within seconds and you will be provided with various details, such as the name of the malware family to which the infection belongs, whether it is decryptable, and so on.

Example 1 (Qewe [Stop/Djvu] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 4)

Example 2 (.iso [Phobos] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 5)

If your data happens to be encrypted by ransomware that is not supported by ID Ransomware, you can always try searching the internet by using certain keywords (for example, a ransom message title, file extension, provided contact emails, crypto wallet addresses, etc.).

Search for ransomware decryption tools:

Encryption algorithms used by most ransomware-type infections are extremely sophisticated and, if the encryption is performed properly, only the developer is capable of restoring data. This is because decryption requires a specific key, which is generated during the encryption. Restoring data without the key is impossible. In most cases, cybercriminals store keys on a remote server, rather than using the infected machine as a host. Dharma (CrySis), Phobos, and other families of high-end ransomware infections are virtually flawless, and thus restoring data encrypted without the developers' involvement is simply impossible. Despite this, there are dozens of ransomware-type infections that are poorly developed and contain a number of flaws (for example, the use of identical encryption/decryption keys for each victim, keys stored locally, etc.). Therefore, always check for available decryption tools for any ransomware that infiltrates your computer.

Finding the correct decryption tool on the internet can be very frustrating. For this reason, we recommend that you use the No More Ransom Project and this is where identifying the ransomware infection is useful. The No More Ransom Project website contains a "Decryption Tools" section with a search bar. Enter the name of the identified ransomware, and all available decryptors (if there are any) will be listed.

Searching for ransomware decryption tools in nomoreransom.org website

Restore files with data recovery tools:

Depending on the situation (quality of ransomware infection, type of encryption algorithm used, etc.), restoring data with certain third-party tools might be possible. Therefore, we advise you to use the Recuva tool developed by CCleaner. This tool supports over a thousand data types (graphics, video, audio, documents, etc.) and it is very intuitive (little knowledge is necessary to recover data). In addition, the recovery feature is completely free.

Step 1: Perform a scan.

Run the Recuva application and follow the wizard. You will be prompted with several windows allowing you to choose what file types to look for, which locations should be scanned, etc. All you need to do is select the options you're looking for and start the scan. We advise you to enable the "Deep Scan" before starting, otherwise, the application's scanning capabilities will be restricted.

Recuva data recovery tool wizard

Wait for Recuva to complete the scan. The scanning duration depends on the volume of files (both in quantity and size) that you are scanning (for example, several hundred gigabytes could take over an hour to scan). Therefore, be patient during the scanning process. We also advise against modifying or deleting existing files, since this might interfere with the scan. If you add additional data (for example, downloading files/content) while scanning, this will prolong the process:

Recuva data recovery tool scan time

Step 2: Recover data.

Once the process is complete, select the folders/files you wish to restore and simply click "Recover". Note that some free space on your storage drive is necessary to restore data:

Recuva data recovery tool recovering data

Create data backups:

Proper file management and creating backups is essential for data security. Therefore, always be very careful and think ahead.

Partition management: We recommend that you store your data in multiple partitions and avoid storing important files within the partition that contains the entire operating system. If you fall into a situation whereby you cannot boot the system and are forced to format the disk on which the operating system is installed (in most cases, this is where malware infections hide), you will lose all data stored within that drive. This is the advantage of having multiple partitions: if you have the entire storage device assigned to a single partition, you will be forced to delete everything, however, creating multiple partitions and allocating the data properly allows you to prevent such problems. You can easily format a single partition without affecting the others - therefore, one will be cleaned and the others will remain untouched, and your data will be saved. Managing partitions is quite simple and you can find all the necessary information on Microsoft's documentation web page.

Data backups: One of the most reliable backup methods is to use an external storage device and keep it unplugged. Copy your data to an external hard drive, flash (thumb) drive, SSD, HDD, or any other storage device, unplug it and store it in a dry place away from the sun and extreme temperatures. This method is, however, quite inefficient, since data backups and updates need to be made regularly. You can also use a cloud service or remote server. Here, an internet connection is required and there is always the chance of a security breach, although it's a really rare occasion.

We recommend using Microsoft OneDrive for backing up your files. OneDrive lets you store your personal files and data in the cloud, sync files across computers and mobile devices, allowing you to access and edit your files from all of your Windows devices. OneDrive lets you save, share and preview files, access download history, move, delete, and rename files, as well as create new folders, and much more.

You can back up your most important folders and files on your PC (your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders). Some of OneDrive’s more notable features include file versioning, which keeps older versions of files for up to 30 days. OneDrive features a recycling bin in which all of your deleted files are stored for a limited time. Deleted files are not counted as part of the user’s allocation.

The service is built using HTML5 technologies and allows you to upload files up to 300 MB via drag and drop into the web browser or up to 10 GB via the OneDrive desktop application. With OneDrive, you can download entire folders as a single ZIP file with up to 10,000 files, although it can’t exceed 15 GB per single download.

OneDrive comes with 5 GB of free storage out of the box, with an additional 100 GB, 1 TB, and 6 TB storage options available for a subscription-based fee. You can get one of these storage plans by either purchasing additional storage separately or with Office 365 subscription.

Creating a data backup:

The backup process is the same for all file types and folders. Here’s how you can back up your files using Microsoft OneDrive

Step 1: Choose the files/folders you want to backup.

Click the OneDrive icon in the taskbar

Click the OneDrive cloud icon to open the OneDrive menu. While in this menu, you can customize your file backup settings.

Select Help & Settings and click Settings

Click Help & Settings and then select Settings from the drop-down menu.

Select the Backup tab and click Manage backup

Go to the Backup tab and click Manage backup.

Select folders to backup and click Start backup

In this menu, you can choose to backup the Desktop and all of the files on it, and Documents and Pictures folders, again, with all of the files in them. Click Start backup.

Now, when you add a file or folder in the Desktop and Documents and Pictures folders, they will be automatically backed up on OneDrive.

To add folders and files, not in the locations shown above, you have to add them manually.

Select a file manually and copy it

Open File Explorer and navigate to the location of the folder/file you want to backup. Select the item, right-click it, and click Copy.

Paste the copied file in the OneDrive folder to create a backup

Then, navigate to OneDrive, right-click anywhere in the window and click Paste. Alternatively, you can just drag and drop a file into OneDrive. OneDrive will automatically create a backup of the folder/file.

File statuses in OneDrive folder

All of the files added to the OneDrive folder are backed up in the cloud automatically. The green circle with the checkmark in it indicates that the file is available both locally and on OneDrive and that the file version is the same on both. The blue cloud icon indicates that the file has not been synced and is available only on OneDrive. The sync icon indicates that the file is currently syncing.

Click Help & Settings and click View Online

To access files only located on OneDrive online, go to the Help & Settings drop-down menu and select View online.

Click the Settings cog and click Options

Step 2: Restore corrupted files.

OneDrive makes sure that the files stay in sync, so the version of the file on the computer is the same version on the cloud. However, if ransomware has encrypted your files, you can take advantage of OneDrive’s Version history feature that will allow you to restore the file versions prior to encryption.

Microsoft 365 has a ransomware detection feature that notifies you when your OneDrive files have been attacked and guide you through the process of restoring your files. It must be noted, however, that if you don’t have a paid Microsoft 365 subscription, you only get one detection and file recovery for free.

If your OneDrive files get deleted, corrupted, or infected by malware, you can restore your entire OneDrive to a previous state. Here’s how you can restore your entire OneDrive:

restore-your-onedrive

1. If you're signed in with a personal account, click the Settings cog at the top of the page. Then, click Options and select Restore your OneDrive.

If you're signed in with a work or school account,  click the Settings cog at the top of the page. Then, click Restore your OneDrive.

2. On the Restore your OneDrive page, select a date from the drop-down list. Note that if you're restoring your files after automatic ransomware detection, a restore date will be selected for you.

3. After configuring all of the file restoration options, click Restore to undo all the activities you selected.

The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups.

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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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