lXXwXXXNQ virus Removal Guide
What is lXXwXXXNQ ransomware?
lXXwXXXNQ ransomware can make your personal files unusable if you do not pay the cybercriminals
lXXwXXXNQ ransomware generates revenue by blackmailing victims and taking their data hostage
One of the most notorious cyber-attacks is ransomware attacks because of the damage it can cause. lXXwXXXNQ ransomware is one of the most recently discovered file-locking malware. It infiltrates the system and uses complicated encryption algorithms to lock users' personal files. This includes photos, videos, documents, etc.
It appends the affected files with the .lXXwXXXNQ extension. If a file was previously named picture.jpg, after encryption it would look like this – picture.jpg.lXXwXXXNQ. The virus also changes the icons of the files, they turn to white pages and the thumbnails are no longer available. Later a ransom note named HELP_DECRYPT_YOUR_FILES.txt is generated on the device.
|TYPE||Ransomware, cryptovirus, data locking malware|
|DISTRIBUTION||Email attachments, torrent websites, malicious ads|
|RANSOM AMOUNT||$980 in Bitcoin|
|FILE RECOVERY||It is almost impossible to recover the data if users do not have backups or the decryption keys were not leaked; we provide third-party solutions that work in some cases|
|ELIMINATION||Scan your machine with anti-malware software to eliminate the virus safely, keep in mind that this will not recover the locked files|
|SYSTEM FIX||You can avoid Windows reinstallation with ReimageIntego maintenance tool, which can fix damaged files and system errors|
The ransom note
lXXwXXXNQ ransomware developers ask for a significant amount of money for a decryption key
The full HELP_DECRYPT_YOUR_FILES.txt ransom note reads as follows:
Oops All Of your important files were encrypted Like document pictures videos etc..
Don't worry, you can return all your files!
All your files, documents, photos, databases and other important files are encrypted by a strong encryption.
How to recover files?
RSA is a asymmetric cryptographic algorithm, you need one key for encryption and one key for decryption so you need private key to recover your files. It’s not possible to recover your files without private key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase an unique private key.Only we can give you this key and only we can recover your files.
What guarantees you have?
As evidence, you can send us 1 file to decrypt by email We will send you a recovery file Prove that we can decrypt your file
Please You must follow these steps carefully to decrypt your files:
Send $980 worth of bitcoin to wallet: js97xc025fwviwhdg53gla97xc025fwv
after payment,we will send you Decryptor software
contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your personal ID: –
In the ransom note, threat actors inform victims about what happened to their files. They ask for $980 in Bitcoin in return for a decryption key. Ransomware developers choose cryptocurrencies as a form of payment because it is anonymous. We strongly advise not to contact cyber criminals and not pay them because they cannot be trusted.
Many previous ransomware attack victims have come forward and said that after paying the money, they never heard back from those individuals. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done. Cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible and it is impossible to get a refund.
In this guide, you will find a third-party file recovery solution that has helped some people to get their data back. You can also try just waiting. Sometimes threat actors release the decryption keys for free. By paying the money you might also get scammed which would be even more devastating.
In order to prevent ransomware infections, it is important to learn how it spreads. “Cracked” software installations are the most common distribution method. Many people do not have money to buy expensive software licenses so they resort to using third-party distributors that provide them for free. These websites are rarely regulated, so they are the perfect breeding ground for PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) and malware.
Another popular method threat actors use is email. Typically, the malicious code gets introduced by an executable file (.exe) that may have been in a zip folder, embedded within Microsoft Office document’s macros, or disguised as fax or other viable attachment. You should only open attachments that you were expecting to receive. If it was a surprise, double-check with the person through another platform.
Ransomware can also be delivered into your machine by using software vulnerabilities. That is why it is so important to keep your operating system and applications always updated. Developers regularly release security patches that should be installed as soon as possible.
lXXwXXXNQ ransomware removal
There are plenty of ransomware-type infections which self-destroy after they are finished with data encryption. However, this is not the case for all malware, and it well might be that lXXwXXXNQ ransomware will continue running in the background in order to lock the incoming data. Besides, it might drop several modules that could be designed for some other malicious activities, such as cryptojacking.
Therefore, the first step you should do after being infected with ransomware is to remove it with powerful security software. You can perform a full system scan with an updated anti-virus application and it should delete all the related files and other items automatically. There are plenty of tools that recognize
In some cases, ransomware might interfere with security software operations in one way or another (for example, it can immediately shut it down). Accessing Safe Mode with Networking can bypass this issue:
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.
- Click Restart.
- Press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
Once your computer reboots, your desktop background should be black, with “Safe Mode” markings in all four corners of the screen. Launch SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes and perform a full system scan. Your machine should be clean after that, and you can then restart it to go back to normal more to proceed with the next step.
Third-party solutions to recover .lXXwXXXNQ files
Having your files encrypted by ransomware can be particularly devastating, especially if data consists of important work documents or schoolwork. As already mentioned, paying criminals is not recommended – these people can simply not be trusted. They might never send you the required key, especially when there are no contact details provided (they might not know who you are – usually crooks provide a personal ID they can identify victims by).
Thus, you should instead rely on other methods. There is no guarantee they will work for you, but you should definitely try it.
- Download Data Recovery Pro.
- Double-click the installer to launch it.
- Follow on-screen instructions to install the software.
- As soon as you press Finish, you can use the app.
- Select Everything or pick individual folders where you want the files to be recovered from.
- Press Next.
- At the bottom, enable Deep scan and pick which Disks you want to be scanned.
- Press Scan and wait till it is complete.
- You can now pick which folders/files to recover – don't forget you also have the option to search by the file name!
- Press Recover to retrieve your files.
Repair the damaged operating system
Malware, such as ransomware, can negatively impact Windows system files, damaging them during the infection period. New ransomware strains are more prone to bugs due to malware creators' inexperience, so it can mess things up really quickly. Unfortunately, security software is not capable of fixing damaged system components, which might later result in system crashes, errors, and other issues. If you are experiencing similar problems after lXXwXXXNQ ransomware removal, you should proceed with the following solution to repair damaged system files:
- Download ReimageIntego
- Click on the ReimageRepair.exe
- If User Account Control (UAC) shows up, select Yes
- Press Install and wait till the program finishes the installation process
- The analysis of your machine will begin immediately
- Once complete, check the results – they will be listed in the Summary
- You can now click on each of the issues and fix them manually
- If you see many problems that you find difficult to fix, we recommend you purchase the license and fix them automatically.
Getting rid of lXXwXXXNQ virus. Follow these steps
Isolate the infected computer
Some ransomware strains aim to infect not only one computer but hijack the entire network. As soon as one of the machines is infected, malware can spread via network and encrypt files everywhere else, including Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. If your computer is connected to a network, it is important to isolate it to prevent re-infection after ransomware removal is complete.
The easiest way to disconnect a PC from everything is simply to plug out the ethernet cable. However, in the corporate environment, this might be extremely difficult to do (also would take a long time). The method below will disconnect from all the networks, including local and the internet, isolating each of the machines involved.
- Type in Control Panel in Windows search and press Enter
- Go to Network and Internet
- Click Network and Sharing Center
- On the left, pick Change adapter settings
- Right-click on your connection (for example, Ethernet), and select Disable
- Confirm with Yes.
If you are using some type of cloud storage you are connected to, you should disconnect from it immediately. It is also advisable to disconnect all the external devices, such as USB flash sticks, external HDDs, etc. Once the malware elimination process is finished, you can connect your computers to the network and internet, as explained above, but by pressing Enable instead.
Find a working decryptor for your files
File encryption is a process that is similar to applying a password to a particular file or folder. However, from a technical point of view, encryption is fundamentally different due to its complexity. By using encryption, threat actors use a unique set of alphanumeric characters as a password that can not easily be deciphered if the process is performed correctly.
There are several algorithms that can be used to lock data (whether for good or bad reasons); for example, AES uses the symmetric method of encryption, meaning that the key used to lock and unlock files is the same. Unfortunately, it is only accessible to the attackers who hold it on a remote server – they ask for a payment in exchange for it. This simple principle is what allows ransomware authors to prosper in this illegal business.
While many high-profile ransomware strains such as Djvu or Dharma use immaculate encryption methods, there are plenty of failures that can be observed within the code of some novice malware developers. For example, the keys could be stored locally, which would allow users to regain access to their files without paying. In some cases, ransomware does not even encrypt files due to bugs, although victims might believe the opposite due to the ransom note that shows up right after the infection and data encryption is completed.
Therefore, regardless of which crypto-malware affects your files, you should try to find the relevant decryptor if such exists. Security researchers are in a constant battle against cybercriminals. In some cases, they manage to create a working decryption tool that would allow victims to recover files for free.
Once you have identified which ransomware you are affected by, you should check the following links for a decryptor:
- No More Ransom Project
- Free Ransomware Decryptors by Kaspersky
- Free Ransomware Decryption Tools from Emsisoft
- Avast decryptors
If you can't find a decryptor that works for you, you should try the alternative methods we list below. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that it sometimes takes years for a working decryption tool to be developed, so there are always hopes for the future.
Create data backups to avoid file loss in the future
One of the many countermeasures for home users against ransomware is data backups. Even if your Windows get corrupted, you can reinstall everything from scratch and retrieve files from backups with minimal losses overall. Most importantly, you would not have to pay cybercriminals and risk your money as well.
Therefore, if you have already dealt with a ransomware attack, we strongly advise you to prepare backups for future use. There are two options available to you:
- Backup on a physical external drive, such as a USB flash drive or external HDD.
- Use cloud storage services.
The first method is not that convenient, however, as backups need to constantly be updated manually – although it is very reliable. Therefore, we highly advise choosing cloud storage instead – it is easy to set up and efficient to sustain. The problem with it is that storage space is limited unless you want to pay for the subscription.
Using Microsoft OneDrive
OneDrive is a built-in tool that comes with every modern Windows version. By default, you get 5 GB of storage that you can use for free. You can increase that storage space, but for a price. Here's how to setup backups for OneDrive:
- Click on the OneDrive icon within your system tray.
- Select Help & Settings > Settings.
- If you don't see your email under the Account tab, you should click Add an account and proceed with the on-screen instructions to set yourself up.
- Once done, move to the Backup tab and click Manage backup.
- Select Desktop, Documents, and Pictures, or a combination of whichever folders you want to backup.
- Press Start backup.
After this, all the files that are imported into the above-mentioned folders will be automatically backed for you. If you want to add other folders or files, you have to do that manually. For that, open File Explorer by pressing Win + E on your keyboard, and then click on the OneDrive icon. You should drag and drop folders you want to backup (or you can use Copy/Paste as well).
Using Google Drive
Google Drive is another great solution for free backups. The good news is that you get as much as 15GB for free by choosing this storage. There are also paid versions available, with significantly more storage to choose from.
You can access Google Drive via the web browser or use a desktop app you can download on the official website. If you want your files to be synced automatically, you will have to download the app, however.
- Download the Google Drive app installer and click on it.
- Wait a few seconds for it to be installed.
- Now click the arrow within your system tray – you should see Google Drive icon there, click it once.
- Click Get Started.
- Enter all the required information – your email/phone, and password.
- Now pick what you want to sync and backup. You can click on Choose Folder to add additional folders to the list.
- Once done, pick Next.
- Now you can select to sync items to be visible on your computer.
- Finally, press Start and wait till the sync is complete. Your files are now being backed up.
Report the incident to your local authorities
Ransomware is a huge business that is highly illegal, and authorities are very involved in catching malware operators. To have increased chances of identifying the culprits, the agencies need information. Therefore, by reporting the crime, you could help with stopping the cybercriminal activities and catching the threat actors. Make sure you include all the possible details, including how did you notice the attack, when it happened, etc. Additionally, providing documents such as ransom notes, examples of encrypted files, or malware executables would also be beneficial.
Law enforcement agencies typically deal with online fraud and cybercrime, although it depends on where you live. Here is the list of local authority groups that handle incidents like ransomware attacks, sorted by country:
- USA – Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3
- United Kingdom – ActionFraud
- Canada – Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
- Australia – ScamWatch
- New Zealand – ConsumerProtection
- Germany – Polizei
- France – Ministère de l'Intérieur
If your country is not listed above, you should contact the local police department or communications center.
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.