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Ykcol ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware

Locky is currently distributed as Ykcol ransomware virus – protect your computer now!

Ykcol ransomware virus

Ykcol ransomware is the latest strain of the infamous Locky ransomware. It follows previously released Lukitus and Diablo6[1] versions and uses a combination of RSA-2048 and AES-128 ciphers to lock victim’s files. The virus appends .ykcol file extension to every encrypted file and drops ykcol.bmp and ykcol.htm files on the desktop.

Locky’s developers chose the new name for the ransomware by simply reversing the name of the initial virus backward. The malicious software is currently being pushed via malicious spam[2] that delivers a compromised attachment containing a script that downloads and executes Ykcol virus on the system.

After hijacking the system, the malicious virus drops to aforementioned files that function as ransom notes. The BMP file will be set as desktop’s wallpaper while the HTM file opens via web browser and provides links leading to user’s personal payment page (accessible via Tor browser only). In order to view contents of the personal payment page, the victim has to download the aforementioned browser and enter the .onion website via it.

The payment page on Tor network presents “Locky decryptor” which is the decryption tool offered by the ransomware authors. While previous versions of the virus used to demand half a Bitcoin to set all files free, Ykcol malware asks for 0.25 Bitcoin.

However, since the Bitcoin’s value has been increasing, this amount is now approximately equal to more than 1000 US dollars, which is a high price for data decryption.

Questions about Ykcol ransomware virus

Cybersecurity experts recommend ignoring criminals’ demands and using available data recovery methods instead of paying cybercriminals. Currently, there is no news regarding successful data recovery attempts, so at the moment the only efficient data restoration method is to use a backup.[3] strongly recommends you to remove Ykcol virus from your computer as soon as possible. The recovery after a ransomware attack requires time, and in order to use your PC safely again, you must get rid of the malware before doing anything else. Use a trustworthy program like Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware to clean your PC. In addition, you will need to reboot your PC in Safe Mode with Networking to eliminate the new Locky version.

Start Ykcol removal by reading the directions provided below the article. Once you learn how to prepare your PC for this task, you should do it immediately. Once your PC is in a safe mode for malware removal, run anti-malware software to find the malicious files and delete them. Also, we would like to remind you to update your security software before scanning your PC for malware.

Currently used distribution methods that spread Locky ransomware

All variants of Locky are typically distributed via mail spam, and Ykcol virus is no different. The latest variant of ransomware is being pushed via malspam campaign that delivers fake 7Zip attachments with a .vbs file inside of them. The malicious emails are again based on the fake invoice theme. The emails with malicious attachments will kindly ask the victim to review “attached invoice” and let the sender know about the status of it.

The compromised attachment is named with a set of random chars and contains a VBS file that, once opened, connects to one of remote servers and downloads Locky payload from it. Following a successful download of the ransomware, the VBS file runs it. As a consequence, the victim loses all of his files immediately and faces ransom notes left by cybercriminals.

The authors of this virtual extortion tool have been using a variety of different malware distribution techniques, but so far it seems that phishing and malicious spam is their go-to combo that they use to deceive victims. Locky’s developers rarely change the distribution tactics as so far it seems that their methods are working quite well.

Remove Ykcol virus right now

In case the latest Locky’s version attacked your PC and compromised your files, the first thing you need to do is to remove Ykcol virus from the system. Unfortunately, the malicious software can refuse to enter your computer so easily, so you will need to use programs developed by IT experts to identify and kill it.

Ykcol removal might be complicated because this malicious software aims to avoid detection using professional obfuscation techniques. However, if your security software did not manage to stop it from encrypting your files, you must update it and remove remains of Locky malware right now. This will secure and protect your computer from illegal activities that the virus might be trying to implement.

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If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
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To remove Ykcol virus, follow these steps:

Remove Ykcol using Safe Mode with Networking

When infected with Locky, you need to act fast. The first thing you need to do to remove Ykcol file extension virus from your PC is to prepare your PC for malware removal and then delete ransomware remains using professional malware removal software.

  • 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 Ykcol

    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 Ykcol removal.

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

Remove Ykcol 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 Ykcol. 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 Ykcol removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

If your data was damaged by Ykcol ransomware, you should see .ykcol file extension appended to their names. These files cannot be recovered without having a backup, although cyber security experts always recommend trying alternative data recovery options which we listed below.

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

Reverse the damage using Data Recovery Pro

You can try to reverse the damage inflicted by Ykcol ransomware using data recovery software called Data Recovery Pro. We have added simple instructions on how to use this tool to try and restore some encrypted files. NOTE. Unfortunately, there is NO guarantee that this software will help you to recover all of your records. Considering the sophistication of the ransomware that encrypted your files, this data recovery software might be powerless.

Locky decryption tool

All security experts advise against paying the ransom to cyber criminals. First of all, they ask for an enormously large sum of money; besides, the chances or restoring files are low anyways. There is no guarantee that scammers will help you to recover your files. Besides, we believe that paying the ransom to extortionists motivates them to continue their activities, and that is why we do not recommend paying them.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Ykcol and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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