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ABCLocker ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware
12

ABCLocker ransomware might lock the majority of the files stored on your computer

Ransom note by ABCLocker ransomware

ABCLocker is a new crypto-malware that encrypts files with AES-256 cryptography. Following data encryption, malware delivers a ransom note where victims learn that they need to pay 0.5 Bitcoins within 5 days time in order to decrypt their files.

Authors of ABC Locker note the size of the ransom doubles if people do not pay in set time. After 5 days people will have to pay 1 Bitcoin. Criminals provide detailed instructions what people have to do:

  1. Buy the necessary amount of Bitcoins.
  2. Send them to the provided Bitcoin wallet address.
  3. Confirm the payment.
  4. Go to the provided address where victims can find decryption software.

It seems that crooks are willing to help victims. If they have some questions or need help, they can send an email to abchelper@sigaint.org. However, trusting the hackers is not recommended. Nevertheless, they claim to be the only ones who have a working decryption software; it may not be true. Thus, you should not risk losing few hundreds of dollars.

Therefore, you should remove ABCLocker instead of trying to recover your files with unknown decryption software. The information in the ransom note does not lie – antivirus programs won’t help to rescue encrypted data. However, it will help to clean the computer from malware and stop malicious processes running in the system.

ABCLocker virus is executed from the cloudsword.exe file. Thus, it might be related to CloudSword ransomware virus that has been spotted at the beginning of 2017 attacking English-speaking and Chinese[1] computer users.

After the infiltration, malware checks if a computer is protected with antivirus, and might disable it. It might also create new processes on the system, modifies proxy settings, queries sensitive IE security settings, delete particular files and install malicious files. Therefore, ABCLocker makes computer’s performance sluggish and Windows OS – vulnerable.

In order to use your computer normally again and try safe data recovery options, you have to get rid of the virus first. We recommend Reimage for ABCLocker removal. However, ransomware might prevent you from installing or accessing security software, so you might find removal instructions below the article handy.

Ransomware executable might be installed on the system after opening malicious email attachment

One of the main methods how ransomware spreads is malicious email attachments. Social engineering helps cyber criminals to craft letters that look like sent from governmental institutions, banks, delivery services or popular shops. Therefore, you should learn to identify phishing email:[2]

  1. Crooks usually make grammar, spelling or use of English mistakes. Thus, if the email is written poorly, it’s an obvious sign that it is not real.
  2. Check the sender’s address and compare it with organization's address.
  3. Urge to open an important document, such as invoice or statement, should make you suspicious too. Especially, if you did not expect to receive such email.
  4. Crooks often threatens to “delete the account” or informs about “compromised account” in order to encourage you to take an action. However, you should login to that account directly by opening new browser’s tab and typing website address yourself.

Keep in mind that you should open links or email attachments only if you can trust the sender. What is more, you should be careful when browsing the web too.[3] Avoid untrusted file-sharing sites, suspicious ads, and clickbait links. Of course, you should also keep your software and OS updated, and strengthen computer’s security by installing antivirus software.

Security tools helps to terminate ABCLocker virus

The only safe way to remove ABCLocker is to employ a powerful and professional malware elimination tool, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. As you already know, malware can install numerous malicious files or affect system processes in order to operate on the affected computer. It’s nearly impossible to detect and stop such activities manually.

Malware is expected to block access to security software or prevent from installing it. Therefore, you may need to take additional actions to remove ABCLocker automatically. You can find the instructions below.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall ABCLocker ransomware virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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Manual ABCLocker virus Removal Guide:

Remove ABCLocker using Safe Mode with Networking

In order to remove ABCLocker automatically, you might need to reboot the computer to Safe Mode with Networking:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove ABCLocker

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete ABCLocker removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove ABCLocker using System Restore

These instructions might also help to disable the virus and remove it with security software.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of ABCLocker. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that ABCLocker removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove ABCLocker from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

Paying the ransom should not be considered as a data recovery option. After virus removal, use backups. If you do not have them, you should try alternative recovery methods. They may not restore all encrypted files, but they might help to get back at least some of them.

If your files are encrypted by ABCLocker, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro helps to restore corrupted files

This professional software helps to recover corrupted, deleted and some of the encrypted files.

Windows Previous Versions feature might help to access individual files

If System Restore feature has been activated before ABCLocker attack, you should follow these steps and restore at least the most important files:

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

ShadowExplorer might be useful in data recovery too

If ransomware failed to delete Shadow Volume Copies that are necessary for the recovery, this tool should help to restore the majority of encrypted files.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

The official ABCLocker decryptor is not available yet.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from ABCLocker and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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References