AutoLocky (Improved Guide)

AutoLocky Removal Guide

What is AutoLocky?

What is AutoLocky virus and how should you deal with it?

It seems that the growth of new ransomware variants is not going to stop anytime soon. A new virus was released, and it is called AutoLocky ransomware. It seems that this computer threat attempted to use the infamous Locky virus name to appear to be very scary; fortunately, the research has revealed that it is just a less sophisticated virus. Unlike the severe computer viruses, this one is programmed in AutoIt language. Not surprisingly, it didn’t take a long time for computer experts to crack it and create AutoLocky decryption tool.

This virus is designed to act similar like Locky virus. Once it manages to slither into victim’s computer, it encrypts victim’s personal files using AES-128 encryption algorythm. Just like Locky, AutoLocky malware appends encrypted file with .locky file extension. This malicious virus can affect a wide range of file types, including .doc, .txt, .xls, .docx, .doxm, .rar, .jpeg, and many other file types. If you did not know this yet, encrypted files become inaccessible, which means you cannot open them. Therefore, cyber criminals who work behind AutoLocky provide a solution – you can buy your files out for a certain price , or, in other words, you have to pay a ransom if you want to get your files back. This virus demands 0.75 Bitcoin, which is approximately around 325 USD. However, no matter how important your files are to you, you should not rush to pay up.

AutoLocky virus

So when all files are encrypted, AutoLocky virus creates two files – Info.txt and Info.html, which provide instructions how to transfer money to cyber criminals. At the same time, this virus removes decryption keys from the computer and sends them to its command and control servers. Now, there is something that you should know about this virus. Unlike Locky, AutoLocky ransomware CAN be decrypted. It only conceals itself behind Locky’s name so that computer users would get scared after searching its name on the web. You can find a link to download AutoLocky decryption tool on the page 2. However, you have to remove AutoLocky virus before you try to decrypt your files using the decryption tool. More or less dangerous, ransomware is a complicated, and we do not recommend you to try to remove it manually. To delete this virus from your system, you should use a powerful anti-malware software, for example, ReimageIntego.

How does AutoLocky virus spreads?

Although there is no exact information on how this virus spreads, the fact that it reaches victims’ computer disguised as a PDF file is a reasonable argument to believe that it spreads the same way like the majority of ransomware viruses do. We assume that it spreads via spam emails, and all you need to do to prevent AutoLocky’s attack is to avoid opening suspicious emails sent by unknown individuals or companies. Especially avoid opening files attached to such emails and also refrain yourself from opening emails that fall into Spam or Junk email folders.

To find out how to decrypt your files and to find detailed AutoLocky removal instructions, please navigate to page 2.

Remove AutoLocky ransomware and decrypt your files

Luckily, computer experts managed to find a flaw in AutoLocky virus which helped them to create a decryption tool. Therefore, victims who have their files locked by AutoLocky can now safely decrypt their data. You can download AutoLocky decryption tool here. Please remember that before you attempt to download this decryption tool and recover your files, you MUST entirely uninstall AutoLocky malware and all of its components to ensure that its remains will not pose a threat to your computer in the future. If you are an advanced computer user, you can attempt to uninstall this virus by following manual AutoLocky removal instructions given below. However, we strongly recommend you to opt for a better and safer automatic removal option. For that, we recommend you to install ReimageIntego anti-spyware software, run a full system scan with it and then remove all malicious files on your system just with a few clicks. Then you can safely recover your files using the decryption tool. Good luck!

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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 AutoLocky. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

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 AutoLocky 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 AutoLocky. 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 AutoLocky removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from AutoLocky and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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