Despite the impossibility to get around the encryption algorithm used by Crypt0L0cker ransomware, the infected users are not necessarily doomed to pay up.
Computer crime has made a sweeping move towards the conceptual framework where end users are bound to buy services sold by the black hat actors on this arena. File encrypting malware is what demonstrates this drastic change, literally compelling its victims to submit money so they can regain access to the things that belong to them in the first place. It targets one’s personal files, treating this sort of data as low hanging fruit in disgusting cyber blackmailing schemes. The name of one such program, Crypt0L0cker, reflects its effect based on distorting the order of 1s and 0s on the contaminated hard disk. Given its tech features and a number of unique infrastructural markers, this infection is believed to be a descendant of the TorrentLocker virus that vanished from the malicious software scene months ago.
Most of the time, Crypt0L0cker will not end up inside a Windows machine unless the user inadvertently commits an action that triggers the bad routine. The scammers in charge have been running a massive phishing campaign, sending out emails that are disguised as legal notices, delivery tracking details, CVs, payrolls and the like. The peril lurks in the attachments to these messages, which can look like PDF documents or ZIP archives. As soon as the user clicks on this file, the ransomware gets inconspicuously dropped in the system and instantly downloads the components it needs for deploying the extortion. While scanning the HDD, mapped drives and removal hardware, which is what the trojan does at the beginning of the attack, it detects all files that are likely to be important to the user. Interestingly, Crypt0L0cker has a file exclusions list, unlike most ransomware specimens out there. It therefore skips the items that are required for normal operation of the system.
In the meantime, the ‘right’ files get encrypted with asymmetric algorithm, where the private key is mandatory for decryption along with the paired public key. Since the former isn’t stored on the PC, it is essentially the main object of manipulation. In order to get it, the user has to pay 2.2 Bitcoins. The respective directions are all provided in a file named DECRYPT_INSTRUCTIONS, which is available in HTML and TXT formats. By adding a system.pif file to the startup preset, the virus makes this document automatically open right after the computer is booted up. The entirety of communication with the malicious C2 server is tunneled via The Onion Router, so it’s hard for the law enforcement agencies to monitor this traffic. The infected people are also being pressured by a deadline to pay the money, which is 96 hours, otherwise the sum will be increased.
In the event you’ve been attacked by this vicious malware, be sure to make some attempts to restore the files before surrendering to what the criminals want. To this end, review the part below and try the steps listed.
Automated removal of Crypt0L0cker ransomware
Owing to an up-to-date database of malware signatures and intelligent behavioral detection, the recommended software can quickly locate the infection, eradicate it and remediate all harmful changes. So go ahead and do the following:
1. Download and install the antimalware tool. Open the solution and have it check your PC for PUPs and other types of malicious software by clicking the Start Computer Scan button
2. Rest assured the scan report will list all items that may harm your operating system. Select the detected entries and click Fix Threats to get the troubleshooting completed.
Ways of non-ransom recovery of Crypt0L0cker encrypted data
Cracking the crypto used by this ransom trojan is more of a science fiction thing rather than an attainable prospect for the masses. This is why the troubleshooting in predicaments of this sort is a matter of two approaches: one is to pay the ransom, which isn’t an option for many victims; and the other is to apply instruments that take advantage of the ransomware’s possible weaknesses. If the latter is your pick, the advice below is a must-try.
Backups can make your day
Not only are you a lucky person in case you’ve been backing up your most important files, but you’re also a wise and prudent user. This isn’t necessarily a resource-heavy activity these days – in fact, some providers of online services are allocating a sufficient size of cloud storage space for free so that every customer can easily upload their critical data without paying a penny. Having removed Crypt0L0cker, therefore, all you have to do is download your stuff from the remote server or transfer it all from an external piece of hardware if that’s the case.
Restore previous versions of encrypted files
A positive upshot of using this technique depends on whether or not the ransomware has erased the Volume Shadow Copies of the files on your PC. This is a Windows feature that automatically makes and keeps the backups of data elements on the hard drive as long as System Restore is enabled. The cryptoware in question is programmed to switch off the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), but it has reportedly failed to in some cases. Checking one’s options regarding this workaround is doable in two ways: through the Properties menu of each file or by means of the remarkable open-source tool called Shadow Explorer. We recommend the software-based way because it’s automated, hence faster and easier. Just install the app and use its intuitive controls to get previous versions of the encrypted objects reinstated.
Data recovery toolkit to the rescue
Some strains of ransomware are known to delete the original files after the encryption routine has been completed. As hostile as this activity appears, it can play into your hands. There are applications designed to revive the information that was obliterated because of malfunctioning hardware or due to accidental removal. The tool called Data Recovery Pro by ParetoLogic features this type of capability therefore it can be applied in ransom attack scenarios to at least get the most important files back. So download and install the program, run a scan and let it do its job.
Revise your security status
Post-factum assessment of the accuracy component in malware removal scenarios is a great habit that prevents the comeback of harmful code or replication of its unattended fractions. Make sure you are good to go by running an additional safety checkup.