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

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware
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LMAOxUS ransomware is another proof why educational ransomware is bad

LMAOxUS virus is a ransomware that can be called the second version of Stolich encrypting ransomware. It greatly differs from its initial version, and although at the moment it is still an in-development ransomware that is being tested and improved, it seems that the person working on this ransomware project is seriously determined to create a perfect extortion tool[1]. The criminal has already registered a domain for backend hosting. The current LMAOxUS ransomware version is set to encrypt files using AES-256 and RSA-4096 ciphers, add .lmao extension to each of them, and after finishing this process create a ransom note called LMAO_READ_ME.txt. The ransom note says: “You’ve been rekt by LMAOxUS. Your personal identifier is [code]. Keep it handy if you want your data. Visit [URL] for more info. Your expiration date is: [date].” The ransomware also changes desktop’s wallpaper with a picture that urges the victim to open the .txt file, a.k.a ransom note.

The domain provided in the ransom note leads to lmaoxus[.]gq website, which features a .GIF logo and invite to visit the Demand page, which explains developer’s position and demands a ransom[2] of 0.1 BTC. Surprisingly, the developer does not strictly require to pay the ransom in Bitcoins[3] – it suggests sending an email to lmaoxus[@]safe-mail.net and promises to “work something out” together with the victim. In short, it means that the attacker is ready for negotiations, and, likely, is ready to accept other payment methods. The developer of this ransomware claims to be a “broke student in need of money,” however, it is not an excuse to implement illegal money-extortion projects, so we suggest you remove LMAOxUS malware using Reimage or another anti-malware tool immediately. Before you start your anti-malware software for LMAOxUS removal, reboot the system in Safe Mode with Networking using instructions provided below.

Distribution of the virus

Currently detected LMAOxUS ransomware versions were obfuscated[4] inside Minecraft launcher (MinecraftLauncher.exe). However, it can reach target system in a variety of different forms, even in a Word document. It seems that this ransomware wasn’t developed by the same person (a programmer whose nickname is Empinel). The initial Stolich code was published on GitHub, and we are afraid that the discussed ransomware is a Stolich spin-off created by someone else. In fact, Stolich was an updated EDA2 ransomware variant, which only proves that open-source ransomware, even if created for educational purposes, is a very bad idea[5]. Therefore, we want to inform you about general ransomware distribution methods, which are likely to be used in the distribution of LMAOxUS or other viruses based on Stolich’s code. You should be careful when opening emails sent by strangers and also try to avoid installing programs or software updates from suspicious third-party websites. To lower the possibility of becoming a victim of ransomware, we recommend installing anti-malware software and keeping all programs up-to-date.

Best way to remove LMAOxUS ransomware

LMAOxUS ransomware might be one of many viruses based on Stolich’s code, considering that the new and improved EDA2 spin-off is available for every hacker wannabe now. If you accidentally infected your computer with the first Stolich-based ransomware, we recommend you to remove LMAOxUS virus immediately. The easiest way to clean the system is to run a full system scan with an updated anti-spyware or anti-malware program. Before you scan the system, make sure you reboot your PC according to LMAOxUS removal instructions given below.

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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 LMAOxUS 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 LMAOxUS virus Removal Guide:

Remove LMAOxUS using Safe Mode with Networking

This is so far the most efficient method to remove LMAOxUS ransomware. Follow the instructions carefully.

  • 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 LMAOxUS

    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 LMAOxUS removal.

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

Remove LMAOxUS 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 LMAOxUS. 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 LMAOxUS removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

At the moment, experts haven’t found a way to decipher files encrypted by this ransomware virus. It is highly recommended to use backups for data recovery. If you don’t have them, try one of the following methods.

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

Decrypt with Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro usually helps to restore corrupted or deleted files, so we believe that it might come in handy when dealing with consequences of LMAOxUS ransomware attack.

Shadow-Explore your PC

ShadowExplorer is a useful tool that helps to detect Volume Shadow Copies, which can be used for data recovery. This method works only if the ransomware fails to delete these copies.

  • 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 LMAOxUS and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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References


  • Jozipf

    I cant believe someone actually spreads this ransomware.

  • Flo

    what a fancy logo.