MemeLocker virus Removal Guide
What is MemeLocker ransomware virus?
What should you know about MemeLocker ransomware virus?
Malware researchers have recently spotted a new in-dev ransomware known as MemeLocker virus. According to the latest research data, this crypto-malware might be based on the HiddenTear open-source project. Researchers are still investigating this cyber infection; though, you should be aware that soon this extortionist might start active attacks. The malicious payload memelocker.exe might be distributed via malicious email attachments, fake software downloads and updates, infected ads, etc. On the affected computer, the virus is supposed to lock affected computer’s screen and display a red window informing about the hijack. However, MemeLocker ransomware is designed to take user’s files to hostage. After the infiltration, it scans device and encodes targeted data using the strong cipher. There’s no doubt that it aims at the widely used MS Office or OpenOffice documents, various image, audio or video files, databases, and other popular file types. Corrupting these files boosts chances to swindle the money from the victims who doesn’t back up. Although the ransomware hasn’t been spreading world-widely yet, we want to remind about a necessity to make copies of your files and store them on the external drives. In case of the attack, you will have to remove MemeLocker and don’t worry about corrupted data.
Authors of all ransomware viruses have the same goal – to get money from the victims. After data encryption, the MemeLocker virus also delivers ransom note where people know how much time they have to transfer the demanded sum of Bitcoins. However, we want to stress out that paying the ransom might lead to the data loss or other cyber infections. Developers may not have working decryption software or provide you an infected tool. What is more, they might also ask for more money. MemeLocker removal is recommended to avoid a bigger damage. Scanning computer with ReimageIntego or other anti-malware software assures that cyber criminals won’t steal your money or personal data.
After the infiltration, MemeLocker ransomware virus locks affected computer's screen.
Is it possible to avoid ransomware virus?
If you be careful enough and follow security experts’ advice, you should not encounter MemeLocker ransomware or other crypto-malware. However, malware developers become better and better with tricking people into opening suspicious email attachments or strange links, downloading bogus programs or fake updates, and encouraging clicking on malware-laden ads. Thus, we recommend making data backups and updating them regularly. In case of emergency, they will be crucial. Backups protect you from paying the ransom for cyber criminals and using their shady software. Developers might launch various malicious spam email campaigns to spread MemeLocker virus widely. Be aware of those shady emails that have attached files. The content of the message might express the urge to open PDF, Word, Excel or other safe-looking document and confirm particular details. We want to point out that crooks are good at social engineering; so, you should be vigilant all the time. Before opening any email attachment, double-check the information whether you are supposed to receive such a message. If not, someone tries to get your computer infected. Nevertheless, MemeLocker malware hasn’t started spreading actively yet; you should be aware that similar cyber infections might be hiding under misleading or “too good to be true” pop-ups, ads or banners. Thus, before clicking on the eye-catching commercial offer, evaluate the possible risk of infection. We want to point out that cyber criminals are capable of placing malicious ads even on popular and well-known websites. For ransomware prevention, you should always keep all software up-to-date. Enable automatic update function to avoid misleading notifications online. Besides, if you need a new program, always choose publisher’s websites instead of unknown third-party sources.
What should I do if I get infected with MemeLocker ransomware virus?
If this extortionist finds the way to your computer, you should not think about anything else but its removal. It doesn’t matter whether you have data backups or not, MemeLocker removal is the most important task. Malware makes your computer vulnerable and easily accessible for other cyber infections. Besides, we have already told you that paying the ransom does not guarantee safe and successful data recovery. Thus, remove MemeLocker from the device using antivirus or malware removal programs, and then try alternative data recovery methods. For virus elimination we recommend using such tools as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. If you have problems with installing or accessing security software, please follow the instructions below.
Getting rid of MemeLocker virus. Follow these steps
Manual removal using Safe Mode
Ransomware viruses usually block access to antivirus software or prevents from installing malware removal software. In order to perform automatic Meme Locker removal, you need to reboot your PC to the Safe Mode with Networking.
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 MemeLocker using System Restore
System Restore method allows disabling the virus and initiating automatic elimination. Follow the instructions below.
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 MemeLocker. 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 MemeLocker 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 MemeLocker, you can use several methods to restore them:
Restore files encrypted by MemeLocker virus with a help of Data Recovery Pro
If you do not have data backups, this tool might help to restore some of your 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 MemeLocker ransomware;
- Restore them.
Try Windows Previous Versions feature to restore files encrypted by MemeLocker ransomware
You can take advantage of Windows Previous Versions feature only if System Restore function 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”.
Recover files encrypted by Meme Locker ransomware virus using ShadowExplorer
If MemeLocker ransomware virus failed to delete Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files, follow the steps below and recover corrupted data with a help of ShadowExplorer.
- 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.
The official decryption software for MemeLocker virus is not released yet.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from MemeLocker and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
How to prevent from getting ransomware
Access your website securely from any location
When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.
If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.
Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks
While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.
Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection.