LockedByte virus Removal Guide
What is LockedByte ransomware virus?
LockedByte demands 1000 dollars for data decryption
LockedByte virus is another encryption-based  addition to the ever expanding list of profit-oriented cyber threats. The virus blocks access to the victims’ files, appends them with random extensions and eventually, drops a lock screen demanding victims to pay 1000 USD in Bitcoins if they wish to see their files ever again. Despite these threatening features, experts do not deem this virus as particularly dangerous. That’s primarily because it does not use the typical AES and RSA encryption to encrypt users files but relies on XOR ciphering  instead. Viruses that use this particular encryption method may be easier to decrypt, but that does not necessarily mean they are less dangerous. In fact, for the regular home users there is barely any difference whether their files are encrypted by XOR or some other, more complex cipher — in both cases, their files remain inaccessible. Only the professional malware experts can come up with tools to help ransomware victims recover their files. And it seems that this might soon be the case. The experts have already noted that Locked Byte is, in fact, decryptable, so all we can do now is wait until a decrypter is released. In the meanwhile, you should take care of LockedByte removal. One of the primary things you should do is terminate the LockedByte.exe process and remove this executable from your computer. Nevertheless, you should not do it manually. Employ ReimageIntego or some similar antivirus software to speed up the process and prevent elimination errors.
Locked Byte is currently quite low in its degree of prevalence, but it’s just a matter of time until the extortionists grow hungry for more cash and upgrade the parasite to the top ransomware standards. Of course, the virus may as well die down as more users learn to recognize suspicious links online and refrain from downloading attachments that arrive in spam emails. Nevertheless, as long as it is still spreading, you should be able to recognize it. One of the best ways to determine what type of ransomware has infiltrated your system without using additional ransomware recognition services such as ID ransomware is to look at the ransom note the virus leaves on the infected PC. In the case of LockedByte, you will see a barely visible message on a black background that says:
Your files have been encrypted by LockedByte
All your files have been encrypted and are now hold for ransom
To receive your files back you will have to pay 1000 dollars worth of bitcoin to the address:
Good luck having your files back
You should simply ignore the message and hurry to remove LockedByte from your PC before it inflicts more damage to your computer or your files.
The image you see above display the lock screen LockedByte virus displays on the infected computer.
Ransomware applies scare tactics and social engineering to infiltrate computers
While there is no information about any specific malvertising or spam campaigns that might distribute LockedByte, you can expect this parasite to be hiding around every corner. Its malicious script may be embedded in some system optimization software that you might be prompted to download while browsing online. Also, the criminals may employ adware or similar programs to deliver threatening notifications, urging you to update your software due to some malware infection hazard. In reality, by downloading the update people simply allow an obfuscated LockedByte executable to enter their computers. Be careful when browsing through your email as well — emails that carry unexpected invoices, billing information, parcel delivery notices and similar information may be a trap too!
Don’t hurry with LockedByte removal
If you feel determined to remove LockedByte virus from your computer, don’t jump into the battle empty-handed. Use upgraded and legal antivirus, anti-malware or other security tools to hunt down the malicious virus components which will most likely be scattered all over your computer. Such utilities will automatically investigate your entire system and quarantine every suspicious or infectious file it manages to dig up. This is the quickest and easiest way to perform the LockedByte removal. In case you need some extra reassurance that the security software will decontaminate all virus components, you can try running the system scan in Safe Mode.
Getting rid of LockedByte virus. Follow these steps
Manual removal using Safe Mode
To enable Safe Mode follow the instructions below:
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 LockedByte using System Restore
Another method to disable the ransomware is explained step-by-step here:
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 LockedByte. 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 LockedByte 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 LockedByte, you can use several methods to restore them:
Regain access to some of your files with Data Recovery Pro
While you are waiting for the LockedByte decryptor to be released you may try recovering your files with Data Recovery Pro. You will find all the needed instructions here:
- 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 LockedByte ransomware;
- Restore them.
Restore personal data with the help of Windows Previous Versions feature
In case you have not enabled System Restore feature before the virus infiltration, this method will not work. If you have, please follow the steps below:
- 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”.
Put ShadowExplorer to use and recover files from Volume Shadow Copies
The application of this method is possible in exceptional cases, when ransomware do not delete Volume Shadow Copies on the occupied computers. If LockedByte has left these copies untouched, you stand a chance recovering them following these instructions
- 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.
LockedByte decrypter is currently unavailable. Please check back later.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from LockedByte and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, 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.