A new version of TorrentLocker ransomware called Crypt0L0cker (Crypt0L0cker virus) has recently been released near the end of April in European and Asian countries, as well as Australia. Crypt0L0cker ransomware is Geo-Locked so that it will not infect US based computers. Crypt0L0cker ransomware, like most ransomware, will infect a computer system, encrypt personal files, and demand a fine using online currencies, such as BitCoin to recover encrypted files.
When Crypt0L0cker first infects a computer system it will connect to a Command & Control server and send the victim’s unique identifier and the campaign ID. The Command & Control server will then send back a HTML ransom note and the name of the file it should be saved as, which currently is DECRYPT_INSTRUCTIONS.html and text version DECRYPT_INSTRUCTIONS.txt.
Crypt0L0cker will then start to scan the infected computers hard drives for specific files. When a file is encrypted it will add the .encrypted extension to the file name. Once files are encrypted victims will not be able to access the content. It will also delete Shadow Volume Copies of files so that victims won’t be able to recover encrypted files. Unlike other versions of encryption type ransomware, Crypt0L0cker excludes several files with specific extensions. This includes avi, wav, mp3, gif, ico, png, bmp, txt, html, inf, manigest, url, dll, exe, and others.
When the Crypt0L0cker encryption process is done, it will create a file in every folder on your computer with a note and instructions to recover encrypted files and will configure itself to boot every time Windows is started with the ransomware note. It does this by adding afile to your Startup folder and an autorun to the Windows Registry.
The Crypt0L0cker ransom notes it creates in every folder contain personal links to the Buy Decryption site where you can get instructions on how to make a payment. The links it provides contain your personal ID and password so that you only have access to your own information.
Crypt0L0cker virus Example:
WARNING we have encrypted your files with Crypt0L0cker virus Your important files (including those on the network disks, USB, etc): photos, videos, documents, etc. were encrypted with our Crypt0L0cker virus. The only way to get your files back is to pay us. Otherwise, your files will be lost. Caution: Removing of Crypt0L0cker will not restore access to your encrypted files.
How does Crypt0L0cker virus get onto a computer?
Ransomware utilizes several methods to infect a computer system. Malicious files that spread Crypt0L0cker can be found in prohibited torrent files, malicious advertisements, and on websites that host malware. However, Crypt0L0cker ransomware in particular is usually distributed through fraudulent email messages that pretend to be traffic violations or other notices from the government.
How to remove Crypt0L0cker (Removal Instructions)
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1. Download and install the free or full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software. The full version enables real-time protection to block malware and unwanted programs from infecting your computer, while the free version is just a free scan and removal tool.
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2. Open the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware program.
3. Click the large Scan Now button or visit the “Scan” tab to manually run a scan.
4. Once the malware scan is complete, click the Remove Selected button and reboot your computer.
Ransomware usually infects 1 user account on Windows systems at a time. Here are some tips to remove ransomware by using different user accounts.
- Log into an account not affected by malware (with administrative rights) and perform a scan with reputable software to detect and remove malware.
- You can also delete the infected account.
- Other options include creating a new user account to remove malware if only 1 Window’s user account is present on the computer system.
Safe Mode With Networking can be used to access the Internet for updates, drivers, removal software, or other files if internet and network connectivity is compromised.