I wrote this article to help you remove VirLocker Ransomware. This VirLocker Ransomware removal guide works for all Windows versions.
VirLocker ransomware is a win-locker virus which was first spotted in 2014. The infection belongs to an extensive family of ransomware programs. When VirLocker was first discovered, the ransomware family was called Operation Global III. A few name changes would follow, including VirLock and VirRansom. It took the cyber criminals a year to produce the current update. The previous update had been released in January of last year.
The name changes make sense, as the concept of VirLocker ransomware is to deceive users that they are being pursuit by the government. The clandestine program displays a fake message, stating that the user has been convicted of copyright infringement. The notification elaborates that unauthorized or pirated software has been discovered in your computer. The message quotes the copyright law and has the logos of several government institutions plastered.
The win-lockers which misrepresent law enforcement authorities are called police ransomware. The developers of VirLocker ransomware have chosen to use scare tactics. Their ransom note has been conceived to resemble a genuine notification. If you do not know how the legal authorities deal with cyber crimes, you could be deceived. In case you do not, we can elaborate. You will not be informed about a misdemeanor only through email. Furthermore, the notification will not ask you to complete a payment through an online platform. If a message makes this demand, it is a ransom note.
The creators of VirLocker ransomware have devised a sound strategy. The ransom note first lists the consequences of breaking the copyright law. Then, the message explains that a first-time offender can settle the case by paying a fine of $250 USD. It is stated that the perpetrator has three days to complete the payment. In the case that he fails to do so, he would be charged, fined, and convicted.
VirLocker ransomware gives two options for the payment. The first alternative is to pay via bitcoins. This is a cryptocurrency which most ransomware developers choose as the means of payment. The reason being that it protects their identity. Payments in bitcoins cannot be traced. The other option is unusual for a win-locker, but it has a purpose. It makes the message seem genuine. The ransom note says that you can go to your local courthouse and pay the fine at the cashiers window. If the user chooses the latter, the truth about VirLocker ransomware would be revealed. However, most people would not want to confront the issue in person. They would prefer to make an anonymous settlement.
After you make the payment, you should receive a decryption key. It is referred to as a ‘transfer ID’, since it attests that the ‘fine’ has been paid. According to the message, it will be sent within 4-5 days. When you have received the key, you have to enter it into the designated field and click the ‘pay fine’ button. This should start the decryption process. Of course, you need to keep in mind that the people behind VirLocker ransomware are cyber crooks. You cannot trust them to provide the decryption key.
The good news is that you do not need to pay the ransom in order to recover your files. Experts have discovered a flaw in the code scheme of VirLocker ransomware. There is a universal key which tricks the nefarious program. If you submit 64 zeroes into the field, the win-locker will decrypt your files. Though this is a way to regain your data, it is not a solution against the virus itself. Using the custom key will only affect your files. At the same time, VirLocker ransomware will remain on your machine.
The worst part about the encryption process is that VirLocker ransomware creates multiple backups. The insidious program packs each file into an executable which includes a copy of its payload. When you use the 64-zero code, you will gain access to your files. We advise you to extract them and save them onto a separate device. To extract a file from an executable, double-click on it. Once you have restored and saved your data, you need to format your hard drive and reinstall your operating system. This is the only way to remove VirLocker ransomware for certain.
To prevent infections from penetrating your computer, you need to take certain measures. Like most win-lockers, VirLocker ransomware is distributed through spam emails. The secluded program hides behind attachments, listed as important documentation. The sender behind the bogus message can introduce himself as a representative of a legitimate entity, like a courier firm, a bank, an e-commerce platform, a social network, the national post, or the local police department. Be advised that opening the containing file can be enough to unleash the win-locker into your computer. Before accessing an attachment, you need to make sure the letter is reliable. Check the sender’s contacts.
VirLocker Ransomware Removal
Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, VirLocker Ransomware deletes all shadow copies, stored in your computer. Luckily, the ransomware is not always able to delete the shadow copies. So your first try should be restoring the original files from shadow copies.
- Download ShadowExplorer from this link: http://www.shadowexplorer.com/downloads.html.
- Install ShadowExplorer
- Open ShadowExplorer and select C: drive on the left panel
- Choose at least a month ago date from the date field
- Navigate to the folder with encrypted files
- Right-click on the encrypted file
- Select “Export” and choose a destination for the original file
Method 2: Restore your encrypted files by using System Restore
- Go to Start –> All programs –> Accessories –> System tools –> System restore
- Click “Next“
- Choose a restore point, at least a month ago
- Click “Next“
- Choose Disk C: (should be selected by default)
- Click “Next“. Wait for a few minutes and the restore should be done.
Method 3: Restore your files using File Recovery Software
If none of the above method works, you should try to recover encrypted files by using File Recovery Software. Since VirLocker Ransomware first makes a copy of the original file, then encrypts it and deletes the original one, you can successfully restore the original, using a File Recovery Software. Here are a few free File Recovery Software programs: