ABCLocker ransomware / virus (Recovery Instructions Included) - Simple Removal Guide

ABCLocker virus Removal Guide

What is ABCLocker ransomware virus?

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 ReimageIntego for ABCLocker removal. However, ransomware might prevent you from installing or accessing security software, so you might find removal instructions below the article handy.

The picture of ABCLocker ransomware virusABCLocker ransomware virus gives 5 days to pay the ransom and obtain decryption software; later the size of the ransom will double.

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 ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. 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 fix virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of ABCLocker virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

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

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
    Settings
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
    Reboot
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
    Startup

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Downloads
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

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 ReimageIntego 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.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by ABCLocker ransomware;
  • Restore them.

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 ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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