In this article we are going to try and help you remove VirLocker Ransomware. Our instructions cover all Windows versions.
Where do you store your personal software data, such as pictures, text documents, videos, etc.? Our guess would be, the hard drive of your PC. Not many people have the habit of backing up their files on a separate device or by using a cloud service. However, did you know that this is an easily exploitable mistake that can potentially cause a lot of problems? Many hackers count on the user’s lack of backups to attack their computer and mess with the files that have been stored there. One notorious example of PC viruses that are specialized at targeting any personal data on the user’s PC are the so called Ransomware viruses. Here, we will be talking about one particular Ransomware variant that has been recently released under the name of VirLocker Ransomware and has already infected a big number of systems. Most Ransomware viruses encrypt your files instead of damaging them. If you have ended up reading this because your data has already been locked by the Ransomware encryption, we might be able to help you handle the situation. However, note that these viruses are getting more and more advanced with each new version. Our removal guide may help you, but there’s no guarantee. Still, it’s certainly worth the try and would not cost you anything.
Why most antivirus programs fail to recognize a Ransomware infection
When it comes to spotting the threat and taking counteraction, most users rely on their security programs. Unfortunately, when talking about Ransomware, antivirus software might prove to be utterly ineffective. The reason for that comes from the specific approach that is adapted by this particular type of viruses. As we already said earlier, malware the likes of VirLocker does not actually try to damage or corrupt your data files. Instead, it locks them by using a sophisticated encryption, the key to which is held by the hacker. What’s important about encryption in general is that it is not actually a malicious processes. As a matter of fact, it is quite commonly used by all sorts of legit and legal software for data protection. However, once the encryption is turned against you and aimed at your files without you having access to the key, you’re in trouble. Since, as we said, encryption processes are actually legit and not considered inherently harmful, the majority of security programs do not see them as a potential threat. This is what allows Ransomware viruses to remain under the radar during the time they’re locking your files. After the process is over, you’re left with a bunch of inaccessible files and a ransom demanded by the virus in exchange for the key that would enable you to access your files. Usually, the ransom demand is stated in a notification displayed by VirLocker itself along with detailed instruction on exactly how to make the money transfer. Most of the time, you’re instructed to use the Tor network and also make the payment in the form of bitcoins – this enables the hacker to remain fully anonymous since this cryptocurrency is extremely difficult to trace.
Symptoms of a Ransomware
In this paragraph, we will show you how you might be able to manually spot a Ransomware attack as long as you are observant and on the lookout for some typical symptoms. Know that the key to intercepting the virus is spotting the encryption process. Oftentimes, the encryption would take some time to be completed, because for your files to be locked, they first need to be copied. The copies that have been made are in fact the ones with the encryption on them. The original files are deleted after the copies have been made. Obviously, the more data you have on your machine, the more time all of that would require. Additionally, the process would also usually use substantial amounts of RAM, CPU and also free hard drive space for the copies, before the original files are deleted. Those are also the symptoms you should be looking for. If you notice any of the aforementioned signs, be quick to shut down and disconnect your machine from everything and then contact professional support. That way, you might be able to save at least some of your data.
Should the ransom be paid?
We always advice our readers against going for the ransom. The main reason for that is because they can never know if they aren’t going to be simply throwing away their money. After all, you’re dealing with a criminal that might or might not send you the key even if you pay them the money. Besides, if you decide to go for the ransom payment, one thing is for certain – you would greatly encourage the hacker to continue terrorizing more users with malicious and noxious viruses such as VirLocker.
Words of advice
Here are several tips, guidelines and general pieces of advice to help you protect your machine from any future Ransomware viruses that might be coming your way.
- Never download data from sites that you cannot fully trust. Shady and illegal download sources are a perfect place to land a nasty Ransomware virus.
- Prior to opening any new emails or links that get send to you via online messages, be sure to take a moment and decide whether the new message is not some form of potentially harmful spam in which case you should avoid interacting with it.
- None of your browsers should have the automatic downloads option enabled – every time a file is about to be downloaded, your browsers should notify you and ask for your permission.
- Never leave your PC without a reliable security program that has the latest updates. Even if your antivirus fails to detect a Ransomware, it can stop any backdoor viruses from getting onto your PC since those are commonly used for infecting people’s systems with Ransomware.
VirLocker Ransomware Removal
Enter Windows Safe mode.
- Win 7 Users: Restart your PC –> keep on clicking F8 –> In the subsequent Menu select Safe Mode with Networking.
- Win 8 Users: Start Button –> Control Panel –> System and Security –> Administrative Tools –> System Configuration –> In the subsequent Menu select Safe Boot –>
- Win 10 users: Start Menu –> Power Options Menu –> Hold down the SHIFT button while clicking on Restart –> Troubleshoot –> Advanced Options –> Startup Settings –> Restart –> In the subsequent Menu select Safe Mode with Networking.
Open Task Manager and locate any processes associated with VirLocker.
- Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC keys simultaneously –> Processes Tab –> Select a suspicious process (use Google or ask us in the comments if you are not sure about a process) –> Right Click and Open File Location –> End the suspicious process in Task Manager –> Delete the Folders containing the suspicious files.
Open the Registry Editor and search for VirLocker.
- Win 7 Users: Click Start and type regedit –> Enter –> Press CTRL + F buttons –> Type Cryp1 Virus in the search field.
- Win 8/10 users: Start Button –> Choose Run –> type regedit –> Enter Press CTRL + F buttons –> Type VirLocker in the search field.
Try to recover your files. First you will need System Restore.
- Win 7 Users: Start button –> Type Windows System Restore –> Enter –> Open System Restore –> Select a Restore Point and revert to it.
- Win 8 Users: Hold down the Windows key + Q –> Type Recovery –> Settings –> Choose the Recovery icon –> Open System Restore –> Select a Restore Point.
- Win 10 Users: Start Menu –> Power Options Menu –> Hold down the SHIFT button while clicking on Restart –> Troubleshoot –> Advanced Options –> System Restore –> Select a Restore Point and apply it.
Secondly use program that can access your Shadow Copies.
- Use Google to find the official website of such a program and download it.
- Use the program to select the file types and the hard drive locations you want the program to scan for.
- Start the scan and keep in mind that it might take a while.
- Once the scan has been completed just select the files you want to be recovered.
If you have questions or suggestions feel free to use our comments section!