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Locked-In ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware
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New Locked-In ransomware approach: what has changed?

Malware researchers are on the hunt for new ransomware variants, and today we’d like to present new Locked-In virus variant. Traits of this ransomware project were discovered in the past and used to append .novalid file extensions to encrypted data[1]. This time, the virus has another name and is known as Locked-in ransomware or RemindMe ransomware virus. The virus uses AES-256 encryption[2], which is hard to crack, however, there are some flaws in this virus’ code that actually can help malware analysts discover a method to decrypt victims’ files for free. Therefore, if you’ve become a victim of this virus, do not rush to take your credit card and pay the ransom these frauds demand, because shortly it might be possible to recover lost data for free.

Locked-In virus

Differently than the .novalid virus, the new Locked-In ransomware leaves a ransom note titled RESTORE_CORUPTED_FILES.HTML, which looks quite similar to the one that previous virus’ version used to drop on victims’ desktops. The virus explains that files have been encrypted and that the only way to revert them to their initial condition is to pay a ransom and obtain a decryption key+software. According to the payment page we’ve got to access from the malware example we’ve tested, crooks want 1 Bitcoin as a ransom. Again, you should not pay the ransom as long as malware analysts mention that free decryption might be possible. This happens when ransomware authors are amateur programmers who, luckily, can’t do malicious activities properly. So now you should be thinking about Locked-In removal. You can get rid of this virus with the help of anti-malware tools like Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, or antivirus if you have one. Please do not try to remove Locked-In malware manually as it is a highly complicated procedure that shouldn’t be carried out by inexperienced PC users. To learn how to properly delete the infection, see instructions presented under the article.

How did my PC get contaminated with this malicious virus?

Ransomware uses very similar distribution techniques as the vast majority of malevolent computer programs[3]. It obfuscates itself as a safe-looking file and spreads via email, malware-laden ads, and sometimes via exploit kits. Of course, the most efficient technique to defend your computer from malware attacks is to set up a proper anti-malware protection. On top of that, you should follow your common sense when opening links, emails, email attachments, and any other files on the Internet as they can look secure, but be harmful in reality. You do not want that to happen, so keep all your software up-to-date, install a proper anti-malware solution, and avoid suspicious material online[4].

Can I remove Locked-In virus manually?

We highly recommend you not to try this unless you are an experienced IT expert or programmer. It is hard to remove Locked-In virus as it is a sophisticated and hideous computer program, which spreads malicious files on the system in various folders and also modifies Registry Keys[5]. The wrong configuration of Windows Registry or elimination of the wrong files can lead to problems such as system instability and so on. Therefore, we suggest you automatic Locked-In removal option, which is precisely described down 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 Locked-In 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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Locked-In ransomware virus snapshot
Picture of Locked-In ransom note and payment page

Manual Locked-In virus Removal Guide:

Remove Locked-In using 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 Locked-In

    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 Locked-In removal.

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

Remove Locked-In 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 Locked-In. 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 Locked-In removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

As we have stated before, you should not rush to pay the ransom as free decryption might be possible shortly. Therefore, we suggest you remove Locked-In ransomware, create a copy of encrypted data, and keep up with the news about this virus. Meanwhile, you can try one of these data decryption methods.

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

Employ Data Recovery Pro

When it comes to data recovery, this tool can come in handy. You should try restoring some of your files with it:

Search for Windows Previous Versions

This method is useful when you need to recover some individual files that you need as soon as possible. P.S. This method works only if you have enabled System Restore function in the past.

  • 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”.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Locked-In and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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References


  • tuesday

    Thank you for removal instructions, lets just all hope the decryptor will be released soon.

  • Qwerty123

    Its so annoying that I dont have a backup. I was thinking about creating one about a week ago, boom, its too late. files are encrypted.

  • jolmz

    I hate ransomware!!!

  • proof21

    Thanks for explaining the situation… Damn criminals… encrypting files to make a living…