Pabluk Locker ransomware / virus (Tutorial) - Free Instructions

Pabluk Locker virus Removal Guide

What is Pabluk Locker ransomware virus?

Pabluk Locker ransomware: a threat that does not encrypt files but instead locks your screen

The image revealing Pabluk LockerAt the moment, Pabluk Locker virus targets only Polish users.

Pabluk L0cker virus operates as a file-encrypting computer infection. The most interesting aspect of it is that it targets Polish-speaking users. Interestingly, that a “Polish” crypto-malware is not an exception in the cyber world. A while ago, the virus Polski ransomware made its appearance.

The modest ransom note suggests that the malware is the creation of a still inexperienced cyber gearhead. Unlike other ransomware roaming on the market[1], the threat behaves more like a screen-locking threat. Upon the turn of the new year, the media fussed about new kinds of cyber malware. However, most unrealistic ideas[2] come true.[3]

Name Pabluk Locker ransomware
Type Screenlocker
Peculiarities Fails to encrypt user files, although still compromises Windows in other ways, e.g., locks desktop and disables vital OS features – including the Task Manager
Contact and
Removal Perform a full system scan with anti-malware
System fix After virus removal, we recommend remediating the operating system with FortectIntego repair software

Even though this malware may not seem quite exquisite at first glance, you should not underestimate it. The threat does not encode files. Unfortunately, the locked computer is no less a frustrating issue. If your computer has been victimized by this virtual infection as well, proceed to Pabluk Locker removal. In this case, let SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes, help you.

Since the ransomware market is filled with file-encrypting threats which employ sophisticated data encryption methods, the age for screen locker crypto-malware has seemed to come to an end. However, recently appearing screenlocker viruses deny such assumptions.[4]

Such threats are a no less troublesome issue since users still struggle to deal with them. There is no need to use encryption algorithms if the threat can fully paralyzing the device. In that case, you will be able neither to access your files nor launch any programs. These infections are less elaborate, they may also contain more vulnerabilities.

Speaking of malware, it presents scarce instructions on how to recover the data. However, it is capable of messing with the registry files. Specifically, it alters the following entry:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ControlPanel\Desktop
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\.

By contacting the cyber villains via and The usage of email addresses increases the risk of getting caught. Another weakness of screen locker viruses is that they provide hints to a password.

Thanks to virus researcher Jiri Kropac, the unlocking password for this ransomware has been found – pabluk400. Nonetheless, the technical specifications should not ward you away from the idea of removing malware from the PC.

When does the malware invade PCs

If you wonder how the malware managed to access your PC, there are many theories about its distribution. Usually, ransomware threats are spread as corrupted attachments to emails. In order to persuade the victims to open the attachment, crooks usually disguise it under the name of a fake invoice or delivery message.

Alternatively, exploit kits and other hacking tools are gaining popularity among cyber villains. Likewise, the virus has been wandering in the virtual world under the disguise of a trojan. Different anti-virus programs may detect under varying titles:

  • Artemis!C3C843CD0F88,
  • MSIL/FakeSupport.AS!tr,
  • Ransom.LockScreen,
  • Trojan.GenericKD.4354144,
  • or Win32/Trojan.Multi.daf.

Likewise, you need to arm up not only with cautiousness and awareness but with proper virus-fighting utilities as well[5].

Getting rid of Pabluk L0cker Screenlocker

When it comes to the file-encrypting virus, you should not take them too lightly. In some cases, even time becomes a crucial matter. Thus, it would be better to rely on the automatic ransomware removal method. However, since the virus locks your computer screen, you might encounter system errors and simply get frustrated.

If you cannot remove Pabluk Locker virus, you will need to enter into Safe mode and then launch the malware elimination tool for complete elimination. The instructions are provided in the below-given guide. On the final note, do not forget to update system apps daily and perform regular backups.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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 Pabluk Locker virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

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.
  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.
  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.

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
    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):


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

Remove Pabluk Locker using System Restore

Opt for System Restore if you cannot terminate ransomware by using the above-suggested solutions.

  • 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 Pabluk Locker. 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 FortectIntego and make sure that Pabluk Locker removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Data Recovery Pro method

Fortunately, this virus does not encrypt files. However, it is recommended to keep this tool if a real file-encrypting threat sets foot on the computer and locks important 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 Pabluk Locker ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Alternative solution – ShadowExplorer tool

The key benefit of this program is that it recreates the files according to shadow volume copies. These copies are automatically created by your operating system.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • 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.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Pabluk Locker and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, 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
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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