KillerLocker ransomware / virus (Oct 2016 update) - Removal Guide

KillerLocker virus Removal Guide

What is KillerLocker ransomware virus?

KillerLocker ransomware is out for the hunt

Portuguese users might have heard of recent malware – KillerLocker virus – threatening to encrypt their files. It operates as the ransomware which uses the usual encryption method, particularly AES-256 algorithm. Thus, despite that the title of the ransomware is too cliché, you need to focus on KillerLocker removal. It can be performed quite easily with the help of the anti-spyware application. The virus is suspected to be related with recently emerged Alma Locker, CTB-Locker or Wildfire malware. Some virus researchers speculate that these variations might be just the offspring of previously rampaged CrytpoLocker virus. The latter managed to wheedle out a stunning amount of money. Thus, it would be better to remove KillerLocker right away.

Virus researchers have only recently detected this file-encrypting malware. Likewise, little information is known about its possible area of distribution and the range of the attack. However, taking into account the success of previous ransomware, it is unwise to disregard KillerLocker malware. Unfortunately, the cyber criminals have mastered the distribution techniques. Despite how much IT experts encourage ordinary users to pay caution, they still become the victims of similar ransomware.

The ransom note of KillerLocker ransomware

After it takes over the computer, it requires some time to finish the encryption process. For it to go successful, the ransomware employs asymmetric encoding strategy. It means that it uses public key comprised of a numeric code to lock the data. Unfortunately, in order to decrypt the files without any losses you need to obtain a private key. To make things worse, the hackers set the code consisting of 32-code. Additionally, you might spot that all your files bear .rip extension. As usual for the majority of file-encrypting viruses, the ransom note sets a 48-hour time limit for you to transfer the money. Otherwise, the files will be permanently deleted. In case you backed your files regularly or kept them in several portable data storage the devices, you might have a chance to recover the files. Needless to say that it is futile to hope for the data retrieval even if you remit the payment.

The transmission tendencies of KillerLocker

Relatively a high number of users get infected after reviewing infected links sent via emails or opening the attachment of a spam message which is supposedly sent from an official company. Beware of the dangers which might be hidden in false customs declaration forms or financial reports. Users, unaware that the menace disguised in .doc or .scr file, open the files only to find out that they executed the primary file. In order to diminish the number of received spam messages, you do not only need cautiousness and awareness but a powerful security application, such as FortectIntego. It also assists in removing KillerLocker malware. It is still not known, whether the virus does not use the services of exploit kits which are not easily detectable. Therefore, proper security is of crucial significance.

Remove the ransomware properly

Keeping in mind the notorious case of ransomware, we do not advise you to waste time on eliminating the threat manually. It would be better to entrust KillerLocker removal to a security application. You can choose from a couple of them: FortectIntego or Malwarebytes. These tools will ensure that the ransomware is completely eradicated. Do not forget to update the software so that it would be able to remove KillerLocker virus completely with all its related files. In addition, you might need to use access recovery instructions as the virus might meddle with your computer, such as shutting down the anti-virus tool or canceling the download function.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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 KillerLocker virus. 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.
  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.
  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.

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
    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):


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

Remove KillerLocker 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 KillerLocker. 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 FortectIntego and make sure that KillerLocker removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Data Recovery Pro: how effective is it?

This software might increase the probability to recover some of your files while IT experts are still working on the decryption tool.

  • 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 KillerLocker ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Implementing Windows Previous Versions function

Enable System Recovery for this function to take effect. Specifically, these steps will help you revert separate files to their former build. Likewise, you might retrieve if not all, at least a portion of valuable 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”.

Shadow Explorer and its modus operandi

This utility restores the data according to the patterns of volume shadow copies created by the operating system. While CTB-Locker or other related viruses delete these copies, it is not known whether this virus gets access to them. 

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • 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 KillerLocker and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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