LoveLock ransomware / virus (Virus Removal Instructions) - Decryption Methods Included

LoveLock virus Removal Guide

What is LoveLock ransomware virus?

Yet another love-themed ransomware emerges: this time, it’s LoveLock ransomware

LoveLock virus is another proof that Valentine’s day gives cyber criminals[1] a chance to use romantic tricks to deceive users and convince them to download malicious[2] files to their computers. This Love day-themed ransomware virus reminds us of Love2Lock ransomware, because both of them are nasty data-encrypting computer programs which were developed with evil purposes only. Although it seems that LoveLock’s devs didn’t manage to finish their programming work on time, the virus can be improved shortly. However, malware researchers have noticed a spam email campaign[3] going on, which delivers LoveLock malware to victims. LoveLock virusLoveLock ransomware is in development right now, and it is believed that an updated version should shortly show up. The current version adds .hasp file extensions to encrypted files.

As we have mentioned before, it was noticed that the virus is not completed yet, and the spam campaign spreading this ransomware is considerably small. We assume that criminals are testing the distribution techniques before they take serious actions. Currently, the virus encrypts files that have these file extensions: .aspx, .asp, .csv, .doc, .docx, .html, .jpg, .mdb, .odt, .xls, .xlsx, .xml, .php, .psd, .sln, .png, .ppt, .pptx, .sql, .txt. The list of target file extensions is considerably short, especially if compared with target lists of viruses like Cerber or Locky[4], who aim to corrupt over 300 different file types. LoveLock ransomware follows ransomware-development traditions and adds a particular file extension to each file it corrupts. In case of this ransomware, .hasp file extensions are added. Following a successful encryption, the ransomware creates a .txt file, which contains only one word – text1. These details clearly show that this malicious program is in-development stage at the moment because criminals do not even leave any instructions regarding data decryption. So if you have been attacked by this incomplete version of LoveLock ransomware, we suggest deleting the virus ASAP. For LoveLock removal, follow instructions provided below and use a decent anti-malware program like ReimageIntego or Malwarebytes.

How did I get infected with this incomplete ransomware virus?

As we have said, ransomware crooks are likely to be testing ransomware distribution techniques[5] and choosing what kind of email messages are the most effective when convincing the victim to open attached files. You could get this ransomware after opening a suspicious email letter and clicking on a link provided in the message or opening an attached file. Please, if you care about your computer’s safety, try to bypass ANY kind of content online that raises at least the slightest suspicion. Remember that scammers are ready to go that extra mile and recreate legitimate-looking phishing Amazon or Paypal messages, which help them to force victims to open attached files. If you have received a letter from these companies although you had no interaction with them before, better check sender’s email address before exploring contents of the attachments or the message itself. It is obvious that john-amazonsupport83947[@]protonmail.com doesn’t work at Amazon at all.

How can I remove LoveLock virus?

In case you suffer from LoveLock virus attack, and you want your files back, follow instructions that we provide. We listed these instructions below and also added some pictures to make them appear more clear. You must remove LoveLock ransomware precisely, and anti-malware or anti-spyware programs works best for that. However, you have to do some preparations and restart your PC in a certain mode before starting the LoveLock removal procedure. All information that you need to know is presented below.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage 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 Reimage, 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 LoveLock virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Before you attempt to start your antivirus or anti-malware software, carry out these instructions.

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.
    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.
    Reboot
  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.
    Startup

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
    Downloads
    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):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

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

Remove LoveLock 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 LoveLock. 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 ReimageIntego and make sure that LoveLock removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

When a ransomware-type virus encrypts files, they become inaccessible; then the main question that victims start searching answers for is “how to decrypt files encrypted by ransomware?” Sadly, in the majority of cases files cannot be decrypted, unless ransomware authors leave some obvious bugs in their virus’ code. Files can be fully recovered from a backup, but in case you don’t have it, try these options.

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

Data Recovery with a special recovery tool

Data Recovery Pro is a highly recommended tool when it comes to data restoration. We suggest trying it – it might recover you some files!

  • 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 LoveLock ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from LoveLock and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

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

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