CryptoLuck virus Removal Guide
What is CryptoLuck ransomware virus?
What are the worst qualities of the CryptoLuck ransomware?
CryptoLuck virus attack or any other ransomware infection is probably the worst thing that can happen to your computer and personal files stored on it. Such viruses lock data on the infected computers using military-grade AES and RSA algorithms. This means that while files are encrypted using the public key, they can only be decrypted with a private one. Like most crypto-ransomware, CryptoLuck keeps this key on a remote server and demands the locked computer owner to pay for the renewed access to his/her data. Frankly, there is no luck in getting your computer compromised by this fraudulent virus. Thus, you must react immediately after you notice some signs indicating the infection and remove CryptoLuck from your computer before it triggers any more damage. Of course, we do not recommend fighting the virus on your own. Instead, we highly suggest obtaining a professional antivirus utility, for instance ReimageIntego, and using it to scan the infected system automatically. This powerful anti-malware tool should locate all of the virus components and delete them from your computer.
CryptoLuck (alternatively known simply as Luck) is, in fact, a family of viruses which involves a number of other ransom-based parasites, including the latest Luck virus version, YafunnLocker. Looking at the initial setup of the CryptoLuck ransomware itself you cannot overlook its close resemblance to the already defunct ransomware giant CryptoLocker. The ransom note and the warning that is placed on the desktop are almost identical. Naturally, there are some alterations in the content of the message that the hackers choose to deliver. The title of the ransom note is also different. Now, it is titled as @WARNING_FILES_ARE_ENCRYPTED.[victim_id].txt and features the infected computer’s identification number using which, the encrypted data should supposedly be decrypted. In the note itself, virus developers demand 2.1 bitcoin (1,500 USD) to be paid within 3 days after receiving the ransom note. They also claim that after the given time runs out, the private data decryption key will be destroyed and the data will remain permanently encrypted. The example of this ransom note can be seen below:
A T T E N T I O N !
YOUR PERSONAL FILES ARE ENCRYPTED!
PERSONAL ID: [random_string_of_characters]
Your important files encryption produced on this computer: photos, videos, documents, etc. Encryption was produced using a unique public key RSA-2048 generated for this computer. To decrypt files you need to obtain the private key.
If you see this text but don’t see Decryptor Wizard window – please, disable any Firewalls and antivirus products, and download Decryptor Wizard on this URL:
You have 72 hours for payment.
After this time the private key will be destroyed.
For more info and support, please, contact us at this email address:
What the hackers don’t mention in the note is that the encrypted files on the computer will also be appended with the the .[victim_id]_luck extension. This way, the affected documents, archives, pictures and other files can be easily distinguished from the unaffected ones. By their insisting manner, the hackers also want to conceal the fact that you have other options and not necessarily have to pay for the locked files. In fact, you can carry out CryptoLuck removal and recover some of the encrypted data using alternative data recovery techniques which we introduce just below the article.
Ransomware distribution techniques and prevention
CryptoLuck is malvaretised through the RIG-E exploit kit which is growing in popularity and is adopted by such major players as Locky virus. Usually, the users get hooked on malicious virus-carrying ads that are displayed on some unreputable websites. Such ads allow the malicious payload to be automatically downloaded to the computer. It is especially concerning that CryptoLuck can also infect victims by corrupting the legitimate Google Updates and by hijacking DLL networks. The techniques ransomware developers use to infect our devices will only advance. So, it probably more important to concentrate not on fighting them off, but on securing our personal data. For this purpose, you should keep backups of your important files and renew them regularly.
CryptoLuck ransomware virus removal guide:
If you are still considering whether to pay the hackers or not, do not hesitate any longer. Refuse their vile offer and head straight to the CryptoLuck removal. In order to do that, scan your device with ReimageIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. Do not worry if you cannot get your antivirus utility running — it is just a trick CryptoLuck virus uses to remain on your computer longer. This resistance can be curbed with the use of instructions we provide below. After completing these steps, you should be able to remove CryptoLuck successfully.
Getting rid of CryptoLuck virus. Follow these steps
Manual removal using Safe Mode
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
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- 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.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
- Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
- On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
- Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Press Restart.
- Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
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:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Click on More details.
- Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
- Right-click and select Open file location.
- Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
- Delete the contents of the malicious folder.
Step 3. Check program Startup
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Go to Startup tab.
- Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
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:
- Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
- 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).
- Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:
Temporary Internet Files
- Pick Clean up system files.
- You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):
After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.
Remove CryptoLuck using System Restore
Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Command Prompt from the list
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
- Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
- Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window.
Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
- Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.
- Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again..
- When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of CryptoLuck. After doing that, click Next.
- Now click Yes to start system restore.
Bonus: Recover your dataGuide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove CryptoLuck from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.
If your files are encrypted by CryptoLuck, you can use several methods to restore them:
Data Recovery Pro technique
Data Recovery Pro is a professional tool which can be used to recover data encrypted by ransomware infections, accidentally deleted or corrupted in some other way. This techniques does not require any additional preparation, so you only have to obtain the software and run it. Brief guidelines below will explain how to do it.
- 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 CryptoLuck ransomware;
- Restore them.
Windows Previous Versions feature technique
Windows Previous Versions feature only works if System Restore function has been enabled before CryptoLuck appeared on your computer. It will also not recover your whole system. But if you are trying to retrieve a couple of your most important documents, Windows Previous Versions feature might be exactly what you are looking for.
- 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 is a software that can be used if the virus has not destroyed Volume Shadow Copies on your computer yet. Steps below show how to use this software properly.
- 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 CryptoLuck 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.