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

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware
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LockOn is another HiddenTear inspired virus

Ransom note by LockOn ransomware virus

LockOn is a ransomware virus that was discovered at the beginning of October 2017. The virus is based on HiddenTear project[1] and uses AES encryption algorithm to lock files on the targeted computer. Following data encryption, crypto-virus shows a program window with a ransom-demanding message.

The virus is written on Lockon Ransomware.exe file. However, it spreads as a [HOT][+18] CHECKER PORN.exe. It seems that people who are interested in adult-themed content might install malicious payload from torrents, file-sharing sites or P2P networks. However, other distribution methods might be used as well.

LockOn ransomware only aims at files that are located in C:\Users\Exploits\Desktop\test directory. When targeted documents, audio, video, image and other data are taken to the hostage, cyber-criminals inform users about the encryption. Judging from the ransom note, the virus aims at English and French[2] computer users.

The ransom-demanding window shows the status of encrypted files and provides instructions how to buy and transfer Bitcoins. Victims are warned that other attempts to remove LockOn or try to restore data will end up with a complete destruction of the device. However, these talks are just a psychologic terror used for threatening people to follow the instructions.

However, doing that is not recommended. Nevertheless, criminals promise to provide decryption key which is supposed to unlock an infected computer; it may not be true. The LockOn virus is based on HiddenTear which is a decryptable ransomware.[3] Therefore, its decryptor might help to restore files as well.

Therefore, after the attack, you should concentrate on LockOn removal and do not believe in threatening hackers’ warnings. For ransomware elimination, you will need to obtain a professional malware removal program, such as Reimage. Though, ransomware might modify Registry and affect various system processes in order to boot with system startup and prevent from elimination.

However, you can reboot the device to Safe Mode with Networking as shown in the instructions below and perform automatic elimination without any worries. Please, do not try to locate and remove malicious components from the system manually. It might be dangerous!

Important security measures to avoid ransomware attack

Developers of the ransomware often use several strategies to reach as much computer users as possible. LockOn authors are most likely aim at people who download adult-themed content from various online sources. However, downloading illegal movies, videos or similar entries is one of the biggest risks to install malware instead. Thus, rule number one – stay away from the illegal content.

Additionally, file-encrypting viruses might be distributed using one of these methods:

  • malicious spam emails with infected links, buttons or attachments;
  • exploit kits;
  • malicious ads that might be placed on legit and potentially dangerous sites;
  • weak RDP connections.

To avoid ransomware, you have to not only install powerful antivirus but watch your steps and clicks online. Therefore, never open unknown email attachments or click suspicious links. Also, keep all your software updated.

Terminate LockOn ransomware virus from the computer safely

The only safe way to remove LockOn from the device is to rely on reputable malware removal software. To ensure smooth elimination, you should reboot the computer to Safe Mode with Networking and then install Reimage, Malwarebytes Anti Malware or your preferred anti-malware tool. But before running a full system scan, you should update the security software.

After LockOn removal, you can restore your files from backups. Additionally, you can try HiddenTear decryptor or other alternative methods that are presented at the end of the article.

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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 LockOn 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.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual LockOn virus Removal Guide:

Remove LockOn using Safe Mode with Networking

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Follow these steps to reboot the computer to 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 LockOn

    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 LockOn removal.

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

Remove LockOn using System Restore

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

System Restore might also be used to disable the 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 LockOn. 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 LockOn removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro – alternative tool to restore files

This program is originally created to restore files after system wreckage or deletion. However, it might be useful after ransomware attack too.

Windows Previous Versions feature

This Windows feature allows accessing previously saved versions of the files. However, you can follow these steps only if System Restore has been enabled before ransomware attack.

  • 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 might recover some of the files encrypted by LockOn

If malware did not delete Shadow Volume Copies of the encrypted files, this tool is a life-saver!

  • 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.

HiddenTear decryptor

LockOn malware is based on the HiddenTear project. Thus, its decryptors might help to restore files. Click these links to download and try the software for free:

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

About the author

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

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References