How To Remove .locked Virus Infections From Your PC (Full Guide)

Active .locked virus (RedBoot Ransomware) infections can be recovered using our in-depth guide on restoring your computer and data, read our article to learn more.

Manual Removal Guide
Recover .locked Virus Files
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How Does .locked Virus Infiltrate the System?

At the moment the RedBoot Ransomware is being distributed primarily as randomly-named executable files. Such instances can be delivered using different methods depending on the intended targets.

One of the most popular ways of providing malware such as this one is the use of email spam messages. They can either attach the payload directly or insert a link to the body contents by using social engineering tricks. The goal is to trick the targets into infecting themselves. The emails can also be used to link infected payloads, the two most popular types are the infected documents and software installers.

  • Documents ‒ The .locked virus can be implemented in popular types of documents, including rich text documents, databases and spreadsheets. Once they are opened by the targets a prompt notification that requests script execution. If this is done the the .locked virus is instituted on the compromised machine.
  • Infected Software Installers ‒ The RedBoot ransomware is bundled with software installers taken from their official sources. In most cases the hackers opt to use popular free or trial versions of games and applications that are modified to include the .locked virus strain.

The software installers can also be delivered via hacker-controlled download portals that use text and images that is copied from legitimate sites. P2P networks like BitTorrent can also be used to spread the infections.

The other option is the configuration of malicious browser addons, known as browser hijackers. They aim to redirect the users to malicious sites and change important settings: default home page, search engine and new tabs page. In most cases all popular web browsers are affected: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge.

Infection Flow of .locked Virus

A new .locked virus called Redboot Ranasomware has been detected to infect computer users worldwide. At the moment the initial security analysis does not reveal a correlation between this strain and other famous malware families. This means that it is very likely that the .locked virus has been created by its operators from scratch. The code has been written in AutoIT, a language used for creating scripts compatible with the Microsoft Windows family.

Malware like this one rely on fooling the intended victims into running malicious scripts (macros) that execute built-in commands according to a ready-made sequence. The .locked virus is comprised of many parts that all seek to endanger the computer in an early stage of boot.

The RedBoot ransomware is a specific type of virus that seeks to infiltrate the bootloader ‒ the system program that is responsible for initializing the operating system. The attack is performed in several stages, carried out by separate files. The security audit reveals that the hacker-provided files are the following:

  • assembler.exe ‒ It is used for spreading copies of the nasm.exe file which is used to compile the boot.bin scripts and impose it in the MBR (master boot record).
  • boot.asm ‒ Responsible for reconfiguring the boot commands via operating system scripts.
  • boot.bin ‒ Binary script file that has been created by the assembler module.
  • overwrite.exe ‒ The program is used to overwrite certain programs and scripts that are typical for the standard operating system operations.
  • main.exe
  • protect.exe ‒ The file protects the running instance from being removed by the user. It provides a real-time protection to the virus core.

The RedBoot ransomware strain associated with the .locked virus impacts the systems on a critical level and a successful infection leads to a very dangerous ransomware impact. The fact that it uses a sequence of hacker scripts makes it possible to add new capabilities to the virus.

Possible updates can include any of the following feature additions:

  • Trojan Instance ‒ Such virus modules give hackers the ability to spy on the victim machines in real time.
  • Information Harvesting ‒ Prior to the ransomware operations the hackers can perform several information harvesting attacks.

Once the malware attack has taken place the RedBoot ransomware is used to infect the computer with the malware code. The low-level modifications are made using a method that bypasses the UAC (User Account Control) prompts.

When all of the malware processes are done the victims are shown a red background with white text during the early boot phase of their computers. Here is an example message:

This computer and all of it’s files have been locked! Send an email to [email protected] containing your ID key for instructions on how to unlock them. Yoru ID key is 79E7794CEEBBDF34EE595914D968AAAD2E3559904

The .locked virus assigns an unique infection ID to each host. This means that the RedBoot ransomware computes the string based on data about the infected victim. In most cases the data is related to the hardware components and software configuration of the hosts.

Only the use of a quality anti-spyware solution can effectively remove all active infections. Once this is done the listed data recovery program in our instructions can restore the affected files in an efficient way.

Remove .locked Virus and Restore Data

WARNING! Manual removal of locked Virus requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removing important data accidentally can lead to permanent system damage. If you don’t feel comfortable with manual instructions, download a powerful anti-malware tool that will scan your system for malware and clean it safely for you.

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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

.locked – Manual Removal Steps

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. The steps bellow are applicable to all Windows versions.

1. Hit the WIN Key + R

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

Show Hidden Files

Some ransomware threats are designed to hide their malicious files in the Windows so all files stored on the system should be visible.

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

how to make hidden files visible in Windows 8 10 bestsecuritysearch instructions

4. Click Apply and then OK button

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

Repair Windows Registry

1. Again type simultaneously the WIN Key + R key combination

2. In the box, write regedit 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

Click for more information about Windows Registry and further repair help

Recover .locked Virus Files

WARNING! All files and objects associated with .locked Virus should be removed from the infected PC before any data recovery attempts. Otherwise the virus may encrypt restored files. Furthermore, a backup of all encrypted files stored on external media is highly recommendable.

DOWNLOAD .locked Virus 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

1. Use present backups

2. Use professional data recovery software

Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery – a specialist tool that can restore partitions, data, documents, photos, and 300 more file types lost during various types of incidents and corruption.

3. Using System Restore Point

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

restore-files-using-windows-system-restore-point

4. 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
    – Hit the “Restore” button

Preventive Security Measures

  • Enable and properly configure your Firewall.
  • Install and maintain reliable anti-malware software.
  • Secure your web browser.
  • Check regularly for available software updates and apply them.
  • Disable macros in Office documents.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you’re certain they’re safe.
  • Backup regularly your data.
  • How disturbing is this problem?

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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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