Overview of the Xampp Locker virus:
Xampp Locker virus can pretty much be every computer user’s worst nightmare since it sneaks into the system by stealth and then locks the containing files using complex AES and RSA encryption algorithms . In particular, this ransomware  that surfaced the Web earlier in February jumbles up the contents of the files, and they become unreadable. Nevertheless, this does not mean that these documents cannot be recovered. In fact, ransomware developers have the personalized decryption key in their depository and promise to give it up if only the victim transfers a particular amount of Bitcoins into their Bitcoin wallet account . Unfortunately, such promises often remain empty as the hackers tend to disappear with the decrypter as well as the victims’ last hope of recovering the files. Luckily, there are alternative techniques that can be used to recover the encrypted documents, archives and databases. We elaborate more on those at the end of the article, but before you begin the recovery, make sure you remove Xampp ransomware from your computer first. We suggest using ReimageIntego or similar professional malware detection and elimination tools for this purpose.
Xampp Locker is a relatively new ransomware that is based on the HiddenTear source code. It encrypts files using .locked extensions.
Questions about Xampp Locker ransomware virus
After the investigation of Xampp Locker ransomware, the experts have arrived at a conclusion that this virus is a version of Hidden Tear — an open-source ransomware that was developed to teach users about the workings of these cyber infections but was quickly acquired by criminal parties . The virus is also programmed using .NET language  which is typical to most malicious Hidden Tear ransomware hybrids. An interesting touch to this particular ransomware variant is the use of .locked extensions to indicate encrypted files. The same extension has been used by the initial Locky virus versions as well as its follow-ups, such as Crypto888 and others. Another important thing to note about this virus it is said to primarily target unsecured server networks and exploit vulnerabilities in order to break into large-scale corporate networks. Such preference completely corresponds to the latest ransomware trends. Hackers may have to work harder to deploy a malicious executable, in this case XAMPP Server encryptor.exe, on one of the company computers. Nevertheless, such efforts pay back as they can then demand a much greater ransom than they could ever ask from the sporadic victims at home. Of course, it is much more likely that companies will have backups of their data stored in some secure locations and simply proceed with the Xampp Locker ransomware removal once they find this virus on their network. Regardless, such attacks may be highly disruptive. Thus it is better to prevent them than to deal with the unpleasant consequences.
How does the ransomware execute the attack?
Though Xampp Locker ransomware is a relatively new parasite, experts have already managed to track down approximately, where this virus is steaming from. It usually spreads with the help of malicious exploit kits, corrupt emails that carry Xampp Locker as an attached Word file or simply brute-forces its way into the computer network by compromising login credentials. Then, it only takes for the victim execute the virus payload, either consciously or subconsciously, and the destructive parasite will begin its work on the computer and continue to infect other devices on the network.
Best strategies to remove Xampp Locker ransomware?
Xampp ransomware removal is not an easy task. Especially so, if the virus has infected a bunch of devices on the same network. In such a case, every computer on the network must be scanned using an advanced antivirus software and freed from the ransomware’s grip individually. Same goes for the attack on personal computers. You cannot begin recovering your files while the virus is still on your computer. You must remove Xampp virus entirely and then follow recovery steps provided at the end of this page.
To remove Xampp Locker virus, follow these steps:
Manual Xampp Locker removal using Safe Mode
If encounter difficulties carrying out Xampp virus removal, you might need to follow instructions below to decontaminate the virus. Then you should be able to launch your antivirus software properly and remove ransomware from your computer.
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 Xampp Locker using System Restore
Xampp ransomware may attempt blocking your antivirus and preventing its removal. Such functionality can be disabled by following the steps indicated here:
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 Xampp Locker. 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 Xampp Locker 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 Xampp Locker, you can use several methods to restore them:
Data Recovery Pro — a quick solution for users whose files were encrypted by Xampp
Check out the instructions below to learn how to use Data Recovery Pro:
- 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 Xampp Locker ransomware;
- Restore them.
How should you use Windows Previous Versions feature to recover your files
Here is how you should use Windows Previous Versions feature in order to gain back the access of your 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”.
Recover files encrypted by Xampp using ShadowExplorer
ShadowExplorer is a simple software that can be used to recover corrupted files. It is not difficult to operate. Here is how you should do it:
- 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.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Xampp Locker and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
Do not let government spy on you
The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet.
You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.
Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.
Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack
Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.
When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.