Severity scale:  
  (89/100)

WinLock2 ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

Authors of WinLock2 target Czech-speaking Call of Duty WWII players

The image of WinLock2 ransomware

WinLock2 is a ransomware virus that has features of the screenlocker. Researchers have noticed it spreading as a fake Call of Duty WWII game and targeting Czech computer users. The scam tells that victims broke the law and now have to pay 1000 Czech koruna to get back encrypted files.

The lock screen message delivered by the WinLock2 ransomware has an excerpt from the legal documents that talk about possible penalties for breaking the law. Scammers want to make victims believe that they are accused of:

  • downloading music or videos illegally;
  • using cracked software;
  • visited forbidden websites.

Authors of WinLock2 virus threaten to delete all the data if people don’t pay the ransom. Victims are asked to pay 1000 Check koruna in order to get a PIN code that unlocks the screen. Once criminals receive the money, they should provide a code that victims are supposed to enter into the provided form.

However, security specialists do not recommend doing this. Criminals may never give you a code or might blackmail you into paying more money. Therefore, you should bypass the lock screen and remove WinLock2 from the computer as soon as possible.

However, the scam might look credible for inexperienced computer users. It uses the clean design, Czech police credentials, and logos of other organizations, such as Europol. However, you should never forget that legal institutions do not lock computer’s screen, as well as do not demand to pay the ransom in order to avoid punishment.

If your computer was hacked by this malware, you should immediately run WinLock2 removal with Reimage or another malware removal program. However, if you have problems with the elimination, you should check the guide below.

Malware spreads as Call of Duty WWII crack

The ransomware that targets Czech computer users spread as a crack for a popular game – Call of Duty WWII. The name of the malicious file – Call_of_Duty_WWII_SKIDROWcracked.exe. Once it is dropped on the system, it is executed and launches ransomware on the device.

Additionally, researchers found another sample of malware that spreads as an obfuscated WinLock2.exe file. This file might be spread using other methods, such as:

  • malicious spam emails,
  • other illegal games or software downloads,
  • fake software updates,
  • malware-laden ads.

Detailed guide on how to get rid of WinLock2 ransomware virus

The virus operates as a screenlocker and ransomware. Thus, you have to unlock computer’s screen in order to remove WinLock2 entirely. Follow these steps:

  1. Enter the PIN of the 16 random characters, for instance, “0123456789abcdefand” and click the button called “Zaplatt.”
  2. You will receive a prompt window saying:
    Platba proběhla úspěšně! Počítač bude odblokován.
  3. Click OK.
  4. You will see another prompt that tells to reboot your computer which you should ignore:
    Nyní restartujte svůj počítač.

However, instead of rebooting the computer, you have to run Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security or another anti-malware software to delete WinLock2 from the computer. Do not try to locate and eliminate malicious components manually. It’s a complicated cyber threat that may have affected critical system processes. Thus, you do not want to damage them.

However, if you cannot run security software, you may need to restart your PC in Safe Mode with Networking as shown below. This should help to perform the automatic WinLock2 removal.

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To remove WinLock2 virus, follow these steps:

Remove WinLock2 using Safe Mode with Networking

Follow these steps to reboot the system to Safe Mode with Networking to disable the virus and run automatic elimination:

  • 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 WinLock2

    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 WinLock2 removal.

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

Remove WinLock2 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 WinLock2. 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 WinLock2 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove WinLock2 from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

If malware encrypts or corrupts some of the files and you do not have backups, you should try alternative recovery methods.

If your files are encrypted by WinLock2, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro – alternative tool to restore data

Originally, this program is designed to restore corrupted or accidentally deleted files. However, it might help to recover encrypted files as well.

  • 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 WinLock2 ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try Windows Previous Versions feature

If System Restore was enabled before WinLock2 ransomware attack, you can follow these steps and copy individual files:

  • 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”.

Use ShadowExplorer

If malware did not delete Shadow Volume Copies, this tool can be helpful in data recovery as well.

  • 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.

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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