PClock4 Ransomware Virus (Removal Steps and Protection Updates)

PClock4 ransomware is a new strain of an old malware family called WinMav which has been active since 2015. To learn more about the new threat continue reading our comprehensive removal guide.


Name
PClock4

File Extensions
Does not alter file extensions

Ransom
0.6 – 1.6 Bitcoins

Special Feature
Screen Lock Function

Solution #1
You can skip all steps and remove PClock4 with the help of an anti-malware tool.

Solution #2
PClock4 ransomware can be removed manually, though it can be very hard for most home users. See the detailed tutorial below.

Distribution
Spam Email Campaigns, malicious ads & etc.

PClock4 Ransomware Description

The PClock4 ransomware strain has been recently identified by security experts. It is also known as the PClock SysGop Ransomware which is one of the other names that the virus uses.

The malware threat is descendant from the old WinMav family of viruses which has been active since 2015. The ransomware is descendant from a long line of viruses which have evolved over time and have been developed by a variety of different developers. As such it is extremely dangerous and hostile to all computer targets and victims. Some of the security experts speculate that it might contain code from other ransomware families such as Cryptolocker as well.

Upon infection with the PClock4 Ransomware the virus activates its encryption engine which targets user data and executes an encryption program using the RSA-2048 cipher. At the moment we do not have the full list of target user extensions. However the following types of user data is affected:

A total of 2630 file type extensions including: Various Microsoft Office documents, OpenOffice documents, PDF files, database files, photos, music, audio, video files, disc images, backup files, configuration files and etc.

The files creates several text files which contain the ransomware messages on the user’s desktop and in various other folders. A screen locker function is embedded in the virus’s code which prevents any user activity on the victim computer. The displayed message reads the following:

Support e-mail: [email protected] [email protected]
Your personal files encryption produced on this computer: photos, videos, documents, etc.
Encryption was produced using a unique public key RSA-2048 generated for this computer.
To decrypt files you need to obtain the private key.
The single copy of the private key, which will allow to decrypt the files,
located on a secret server on the Internet; the server will destroy the key after 120 hours.
After that nobody and never will be able to restore files.
To obtain the private key for this computer, you need pay 0.9 Bitcoin (~741 USD)

Your Bitcoin address:
1ApV1YVGTEAWosdV3Wk8yaXaUooPpNg525
You must send 0.9 Bitcoin to the specified address and report it to e-mail customer support.
In the letter must specify your Bitcoin address to which the payment was made.

The most convenient tool for buying Bitcoins in our opinion is the site:
xxxs://localbitcoins.com/
There you can buy Bitcoins in your country in any way you like, including electronic payment systems,
credit and debit cards, money orders, and others.
Instructions for purchasing Bitcoins on account localbitcoins.com read here:
xxxs://localbitcoins.com/guides/how-to-buy-bitcoins
Video tutorial detailing on buying Bitcoins using the site localbitcoins.com here:
xxx://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hroPcR-0zSI
How to withdraw Bitcoins from account localbitcoins.com to our bitcoin wallet:
xxxs://localbitcoins.com/faq#howto_buy
Also you can use to buy Bitcoins these sites:
xxxs://www.bitstamp.net/ – Big BTC exchanger
xxxs://www.coinbase.com/ – Other big BTC exchanger
xxxs://www.moneypakforbitcoins.us/ – Buy BTC via Green Dot MoneyPak
xxxs://btcdirect.eu/ – Best for Europe
xxxs://coincafe.com/ – Recommended for fast, many payment methods
xxxs://bittylicious.com/ – Good service for Europe and World
xxxs://www.247exchange.com/ – Other exchanger

PClock4 Ransomware Distribution

PClock4 Ransomware is primarily distributed via phishing spam email campaigns. They target various English-speaking computer users with social engineering tricks. Example email subjects contain the following titles:

  • PLEASE READ YOUR FAX T6931
  • Criminal case against you

The emails attach the malware in WSF files which contain the payload dropper and Trojan Crimace. It is used to infect the target computer with the PClock4 ransomware.

Other sources of infection include exploit kits and counterfeit software installers and updates.

PClock4 Ransomware Removal

For a faster solution, you can run a scan with an advanced malware removal tool and delete PClock4 completely with a few mouse clicks.

STEP I: Start the PC in Safe Mode with Network
This will isolate all files and objects created by the ransomware so they will be removed efficiently.

    1) Hit WIN Key + R

Windows-key-plus-R-button-launch-Run-Box-in-Windows-illustrated

    2) A Run window will appear. In it, write “msconfig” and then press Enter
    3) A Configuration box shall appear. In it Choose the tab named “Boot
    4) Mark “Safe Boot” option and then go to “Network” under it to tick it too
    5) Apply -> OK

Or check our video guide – “How to start PC in Safe Mode with Networking

STEP II: Show Hidden Files

    1) Open My Computer/This PC
    2) Windows 7

      – Click on “Organize” button
      – Select “Folder and search options
      – Select the “View” tab
      – Go under “Hidden files and folders” and mark “Show hidden files and folders” option

    3) Windows 8/ 10

      – Open “View” tab
      – Mark “Hidden items” option

    show-hidden-files-win8-10

    4) Click “Apply” and then “OK” button

STEP III: Enter Windows Task Manager and Stop Malicious Processes

    1) Hit the following key combination: CTRL+SHIFT+ESC
    2) Get over to “Processes
    3) When you find suspicious process right click on it and select “Open File Location
    4) Go back to Task Manager and end the malicious process. Right click on it again and choose “End Process
    5) Next you should go folder where the malicious file is located and delete it

STEP IV: Remove Completely PClock4 Ransomware Using SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

Manual removal of PClock4 requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removal of any important data can lead to permanent system damage. Prevent this troublesome effect – delete PClock4 ransomware with SpyHunter malware removal tool.

SpyHunter anti-malware tool will diagnose all current threats on the computer. By purchasing the full version, you will be able to remove all malware threats instantly. Additional information about SpyHunter / Help to uninstall SpyHunter

STEP V: Repair Windows Registry

    1) Again type simultaneously the Windows Button + R key combination
    2) In the box, write “regedit”(without the inverted commas) and hit Enter
    3) Type the CTRL+F and then write the malicious name in the search type field to locate the malicious executable
    4) In case you have discovered registry keys and values related to the name, you should delete them, but be careful not to delete legitimate keys

Further help for Windows Registry repair

STEP VI: Recover Encrypted Files

    1) Use present backups
    2) Restore your personal files using File History

      – Hit WIN Key
      – Type “restore your files” in the search box
      – Select “Restore your files with File History
      – Choose a folder or type the name of the file in the search bar

    restore-your-personal-files-using-File-History-bestecuritysearch

      – Hit the “Restore” button

    3) Using System Restore Point

      – Hit WIN Key
      – Select “Open System Restore” and follow the steps

restore-files-using-system-restore-point

STEP VII: Preventive Security Measures

    1) Enable and properly configure your Firewall.
    2) Install and maintain reliable anti-malware software.
    3) Secure your web browser.
    4) Check regularly for available software updates and apply them.
    5) Disable macros in Office documents.
    6) Use strong passwords.
    7) Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you’re certain they’re safe.
    8) Backup regularly your data.

SpyHunter anti-malware tool will diagnose all current threats on the computer. By purchasing the full version, you will be able to remove all malware threats instantly. Additional information about SpyHunter / Help to uninstall SpyHunter

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Author : Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.


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