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

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

AdamLocker – ransomware virus that keeps evolving in 2018

The picture of AdamLocker ransomware virus

AdamLocker ransomware is also known as RW.adm_64 virus. The developers of the ransomware[1] viruses are rarely known; however, this time we know that puff69 is responsible for creating this cyber infection. Usually, it is distributed via spam email, which contains a Word file, which once opened, launches the AdamLocker virus executable file named run.exe. After successfull infiltration to %ALLUSERSPROFILE%, the virus locks the .txt, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .zip, .rar, .7z, .sql, .pdf, .tar, .mp3, .mp4, .flv, and many others file types by appening the .adam file extension to each of them. 

To inform the victim what has happened, the virus generates a ransom note, which says:

ADAM LOCKER
Your computer has been infected by Adam! Random documents and files have been encrypted and a key generated to prevent further actions. To prevent this, please follow this link to get your unlock key.
Exiting This windows WILL cause the key to be destroyed!!!' 

Victims are asked to pay a particular amount of money. According to ransomware researchers, the size of the ransom depends of the amount of encrypted files. Usually, the extortionists ask to transfer from 1 to 3 Bitcoins; however, there are some cases where victims were demanded to pay even more.

AdamLocker virus is circulating on the Internet since 2016. Up until now, there were no updates regarding this pest. However, at the beginning of February 2018, a new version of AdamLocker has been found. It's very similar to the ancestor, except that it's available in Korean language only. The newcomer is currently under investigation, so the information about it is rather limited. What is clear that it uses exploit kits and spam email to infiltrate PCs and attaches .adam extensions to render the files useless. 

If you got infected with aby AdamLocker virus version, we do not recommend following hacker’s instructions. No one can guarantee that after transferring the Bitcoins hackers will send you a unique decryption key. Everything might turn out not like you are expecting[2]. The hacker might disappear, provide you inactive decryption tool or infect your PC with even more malware.

To prevent unwanted consequences, you should remove AdamLocker from your PC. Although it's not yet clear whether the files encrypted by this ransomware are decryptable, there's a handful of methods, including the usage of professional data recovery tool, Windows Previous Version, Volume Shadow Copies, etc. that can help you unlock at least the most important files. 

Questions about AdamLocker ransomware virus

Keep in mind that every received Bitcoin motivates cyber-criminals for future crimes. Therefore, your money might be necessary for developing and spreading other ransomware viruses, and you will definitely be on the target list. If you paid once, you are probably going to pay twice. To prevent this from happening, execute AdamLocker removal with the help of professional antivirus. Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Reimage are the tools that can help you. 

Do not open Word files attached to suspicious emails

This ransomware usually spreads via spam. Extortionists send emails that pretend to be generated by authorities or other reliable sources to millions or randomly chosen email addresses. These email messages always contain a Word file, which supposedly contains some important pieces of information. In some of the cases, instead of Microsoft Word document, criminals may spread photo, audio or video attachments. Nevertheless, all of them usually demands the victim to enable macros to read its content. 

If the user enables macros, the run.exe file, which is an executable of the ransomware, is enabled. After that, the script installs the virus. Consequently, it modified registry entries, locks files, disables Task Manager and initiates a bunch of other system's modifications that prevents the user both from accessing files and detecting the virus easily. 

Ransomware viruses are tricky ones and might seem to be hard to avoid[3]. Indeed, no one can be fully protected from this cyber infection, but everyone can minimize the risk of the attack. The most important tips for malware prevention[4] are to stay away from spam emails, avoid clicking suspicious URLs and ads. Malicious advertisements[5] might be displayed even on legitimate websites, so stay vigilant and do not trust offers that seem too good to be true, suggest updating or downloading programs. For software installation always choose trustful and legitimate sources, and monitor the installation process carefully. Lastly, keeping programs updated and using professional, up-to-date antivirus program help to protect the computer.

AdamLocker removal instructions

Many computer users start panicking that they have lost important personal files permanently. However, it should not be the main concern. AdamLocker removal should be the priority because while malware is inside, data recovery might be a Sisyphus work. During ransomware elimination, you have to scan the computer with the updated antivirus or anti-malware program (e.g. Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus). Malware might not be willing to give up and prevent you from accessing security tools. In this case, follow our instructions below that will help to remove AdamLocker.

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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 AdamLocker 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 AdamLocker virus Removal Guide:

Remove AdamLocker using 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 AdamLocker

    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 AdamLocker removal.

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

Remove AdamLocker using System Restore

  • 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 AdamLocker. 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 AdamLocker removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

At the moment, the only safe and effective way to restore your files is to use data backups. After virus elimination, plugging the external device to the computer and copy your documents, pictures and other data. If you do not have data backups, try our suggested additional recovery methods. They might not be effective 100%, but we believe you should give them a try. Lastly, you can always store encrypted files on the external device and wait for the free decryption tool that might be created soon.

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

Use Data Recovery Pro for file decryption

Originally, Data Recovery Pro has been created for restoring damaged and lost files. When ransomware attacks have increased, the developers improved this tool, and now it can be used to decrypt files encoded by file-encrypting viruses. Therefore, if you do not have data backups, this tool might be your solution to get back your files. Please, follow these steps:

Try Windows Previous Versions feature for data recovery

Before explaining how to restore files using this method, we have to mention that it is only possible if System Restore function has been enabled before Adam Locker ransomware infiltration. Besides, this method allows restoring only individual files, so you have to chance to rescue the most important documents.

  • 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 – another way for retrieving files encrypted by AdamLocker

If malware hasn't deleted Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files, you have a chance to restore data using ShadowExplorer tool. Follow these steps and recover your 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.

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

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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