Severity scale:  
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Remove ITLOCK ransomware (Virus Removal Guide) - Bonus: Decryption Steps

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware

ITLOCK ransomware is a file locking virus that comes from Matrix family

ITLOCK ransomware

ITLOCK is malware that belongs to ransomware type – it encrypts files in order to blackmail victims to pay ransom in Bitcoin for the decryptor. The virus stems from Matrix ransomware – a relatively old threat that has more than a dozen variants during its two-year lifespan. ITLOCK ransomware uses AES-128 and RSA-2048[1] ciphers to lock data and adds .ITLOCK extension, also modifying the file name to a random string of characters. Once encoding procedure is complete, malware drops a !README_ITLOCK!.rtf file which explains victims the situation and urges them to contact criminals via all three email addresses: rescompany19@qq.com, rescompany19@yahoo.com, and rescompany19@cock.li. Note that it is not the first time .ITLOCK extension is used, and a similar variant came out back in September 2018.

Name ITLOCK
Type Ransomware
Family Matrix
File extension [rescompany19@qq.com].[random]-[random].ITLOCK
Cipher AES-128 and RSA-2048
Ransom note !README_ITLOCK!.rtf
Contact rescompany19@qq.com, rescompany19@yahoo.com and rescompany19@cock.li
Decryptable? No
Elimination Use security software that can detect the virus – we recommend Reimage Reimage Cleaner or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner

It is yet unknown what methods ITLOCK ransomware uses to propagate the machines. However, previous variants of Matrix used Internet Explorer (CVE-2016-0189) and Flash (CVE-2015-8651) vulnerabilities to infect victims. Later on, malware authors started using brute-force attacks via the poorly protected RDP connections.

Because ITLOCK virus is a relatively new threat, not all AV engines recognize it. Currently, 46 vendors detect malware using the following names:[2]

  • Gen:Variant.Ransom.Matrix.6
  • Win32:DangerousSig [Trj]
  • TR/FileCoder.gousb
  • Ransom:Win32/Genasom
  • Ransom.Matrix
  • Trojan/Win32.Matrixran.R234829, etc.

Users should pick one of the tools that can detect the threat for ITLOCK ransomware removal. We recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner to perform the system scan.

During the encryption, ITLOCK ransomware uses two Command Prompt windows, so users can instantly notice that something is doing on. However, the process usually does not last too long, and files become encrypted in the following pattern: [rescompany19@qq.com].[random]-[random].ITLOCK.

For example, a file called picture.jpg will be converted to [rescompany19@qq.com].HKu8jex-WHQUrnX.ITLOCK. From that time, all the pictures, documents, databases and other files become unusable. To unlock files, users are asked to pay ransom in Bitcoin. It is yet unknown how much ITLOCK ransomware authors want, but paying cybercriminals is not recommended by experts.

Victims might end up being scammed and lose their money, along with the data. Therefore, users should remove ITLOCK ransomware from their devices with the help security software and only then proceed to alternative file recovery methods.

Those who failed to prepare backups before ITLOCK virus attacked, should check our guide below on how to use third-party software that might be able to restore at least some of the files.

ITLOCK ransomware virus
ITLOCK ransomware is a variant of Matrix virus that first showed up in late 2016. Nevertheless, malware is still active and new versions are showing up relatively often

Employ reputable anti-malware software and be attentive online to avoid ransomware attacks

As we previously mentioned, older variants of malware used weak RDP or software vulnerabilities to spread. To protect yourself from these infiltration methods, you should make sure that your system and software is adequately patched. Security updates come out very often (or as soon as vulnerabilities are discovered) and without applying updates, users still are vulnerable to old flaws. For example, the EternalBlue exploit was actively used in WannaCry campaigns back in 2017, and the flaw is yet being actively exploited by criminals to infect not only ransomware but also cryptojackers like NRSMiner.

A second important step into malware-less PC is the anti-virus program. There are plenty to choose from, and if you are not using one, there is a tremendous risk of being infected.

Finally, you should generally be more careful when using the internet:

  • Use strong passwords for RDP and all your accounts;
  • Avoid high-risk websites;
  • Use Firewall, adblock, and VPN (for RDP);
  • Do not casually open spam email attachments or links;
  • Etc.

Eliminate ITLOCK ransomware and protect your files from danger in the future

To remove ITLOCK ransomware, you should download and install security software that is capable of doing so. We suggest using Reimage Reimage Cleaner or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, although other programs can be good for the job as well. Be aware that malware may interfere with anti-virus engine working properly. In such a case, you should enter Safe Mode with Networking as explained below.

Once ITLOCK ransomware removal is complete, you can start file recovery. If you have a backup device, feel free to connect it to your computer and copy all the files. Unfortunately, most users fail to backup their data and risk losing it all in case of ITLOCK virus or other infection.

For those who do not have backups prepared, we suggest checking third-party software that might be able to help. Finally, making a copy of files and waiting till security researchers release official decryptor is an option as well, although its discovery is never guaranteed.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Reimage Cleaner, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Reimage Cleaner has a free limited scanner. Reimage Reimage Cleaner 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 Reimage Cleaner, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove ITLOCK virus, follow these steps:

Remove ITLOCK using Safe Mode with Networking

To make sure ITLOCK ransomware is removed without any problems, we suggest you enter 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 ITLOCK

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

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

Remove ITLOCK using System Restore

You can try System Restore to remove .ITLOCK file virus:

  • 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 ITLOCK. 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 Reimage Cleaner and make sure that ITLOCK removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove ITLOCK 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 ITLOCK, you can use several methods to restore them:

Try out Data Recovery Pro

This tool is extremely useful to those who accidentally deleted or corrupted their files. However, victims of ransomware reported that Data Recovery Pro was capable of returning some of their 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 ITLOCK ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature might help you recover some of your data

You could try this method if you had System Restore enabled before ransomware has infected your device.

  • 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 may recover all of your data

ITLOCK, just like many other similar viruses, tries to delete Shadow Volume snapshots using command lines vssadmin Delete Shadows /All /Quiet and wmic SHADOWCOPY DELETE. However, this process sometimes fails. In such a case, ShadowExplorer will be able to get all of your files back.

  • 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.

No decryptor is available yet

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

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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