.lotep Virus Removal Guide (+Restore .lotep Files)

When all your valuable files are renamed with the extension .lotep it means that your computer system has been infected by a ransomware called STOP. Obviously Lotep virus has its name from the extension it appends to every file it encrypts. Unfortunately, all .lotep files remain inaccessible due to significant changes of their code. Like a typical cryptovirus STOP .lotep virus utilizes strong cipher algorithm to encode target types so it can then extort a ransom payment for their recovery. Another sign of infection with .lotep virus ransomware is the appearance of a text file named _readme.txt on your desktop as well as in every folder that contains corrupted files. This file is a ransom message left by cybercriminals. Its purpose is to convince you into paying ransom fee in cryptocurrency for a specific decryption software possessed by them.

For the sake of your security, we recommend you to avoid any negotiations with cybercriminals and navigate to out .lotep ransomware removal guide. It presents information on how to get rid of malicious files, secure your PC and attempt to restore .lotep files with alternative data recovery approaches.

Manual Removal Guide
Files Recovery Approaches
Skip all steps and download anti-malware tool that will safely scan and clean all harmful files it detects on your PC.

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Note for Mac users!
In case that your Mac has been affected by .lotep or you suspect that other threats are running on it you can follow detailed instructions on how to detect and remove Mac viruses so you can keep the device clean and secure.

Distribution of .lotep Virus Ransomware

.lotep virus is a new data locker ransomware that has been released in active attack campaigns against computer users worldwide. The threat could be utilizing common tactics of distribution to infect computer systems.

One of the easiest ways for the criminals to spread the payload of .lotep ransomware is by attaching it to email messages that are later released in active attack campaigns. The method allows hackers to send the virus to large lists of potential victims. The attachments to malicious email spam messages usually have Word documents or other types of files which users open without hesitation. Once opened on a target host these compromised files trigger the ransomware payload and infect the device with .lotep crypto virus. Another infection tactic related to emails is hyperlink inserted in the content of the messages. The links are usually labeled as leading to a familiar website or a file of user interest.

Computer criminals behind this new ransomware can be using malicious sites or download portals to distribute malware of different kinds, including .lotep virus. A popular option is the use of infected documents which may be of different types ‒ spreadsheets, rich text documents, presentations and databases. They are modified to initiate the virus once the built-in scripts are run. Usually when the files are opened a notification will ask the users to run the macros (scripts). If this is done the infection follows.

The hacker-controlled sites are specialist portals that have been created either manually or automatically by the criminals behind .lotep virus. They can either directly distribute the threat by initiating various scripts or automated operations or link to such instances. Redirects are usually caused by email interaction, ad networks or other browsing activity. However one of the main sources is the availability of browser hijackers. They are malicious add-ons made for the most popular web browsers ‒ Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Microsoft Edge and Safari. Once installed they not only infect the users with the malware but also redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled site. Depending on the configuration the browser hijackers can also steal sensitive information such as any stored passwords, account credentials, history, bookmarks, form data and settings.

Impact of .lotep Virus

The so-called .lotep virus has been released in active attack campaigns against computer users worldwide. As reported by security researchers, .dalle file virus is based on the code of the infamous ransomware family STOP. STOP ransomware is designed to plague essential system settings, reach target types of files, encrypt them with sophisticated cipher algorithm and then blackmail victims into paying a ransom for a decryption tool.

At the beginning of the attack, the virus .lotep runs its payload file. Once this file is loaded on the computer, it initiates a series of malicious operations that enable the ransomware to pass through several attack stages. At first, it drops additional malicious files which support all subsequent infective operations. The ransomware could either create or drop them on the system. Typically, cryptoviruses like .lotep are designed to place malicious files in the following system folders – %Roaming% , %Windows% , %AppData% , %Local% , %Temp%

During the next attach stage .lotep ransomware starts executing established files in a predefined order. As a result, some essential system settings are heavily modified and hence misused by the virus. Affected could also be registry keys stored by the Registry Editor, legitimate processes and other major components that control the regular system performance. That’s why it’s recommendable to consider the immediate .lotep virus removal.

Following system corruption, .lotep ransomware utilizes a built-in encryption module to complete its main purpose – data encryption. Since this module is designed to transform the code of targeted files with a sophisticated cipher algorithm, the files remain unusable until their code is reverted back to its original state.

All files that are renamed with the extension .lotep are encrypted by the ransomware. Unfortunately, they could be all files that store valuable data of your like:

  • Documents
  • Archives
  • Backups
  • Databases
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Music

Following data corruption, .lotep STOP ransomware drops a text file called _readme.txt which contains a ransom message. This file appears on the screen as its purpose is to blackmail you into paying hackers a ransom fee. Here is what its text usually informs:

ATTENTION!

Don’t worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
https://we.tl/t-7AKxZTQTdy
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that’s price for you is $490.
Please note that you’ll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail “Spam” or “Junk” folder if you don’t get answer more than 6 hours.

To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
[email] Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
[email]

Our Telegram account:
@datarestore

Your personal ID:
095Asdjh74yiUSHdfh74ykkUbFA52cIgLpZiieAnKn5sJ4BLAYGyHGpdILKBk

Have in mind that even a successful ransom payment does not guarantee the recovery of .lotep files. Hackers could trick you once again by neglecting your messages or sending you a broken decryption tool. Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that there is a free decryption tool created by the security researcher Michael Gillespie that supports the decryption of several previous STOP ransomware variants. Hopefully, the .lotep virus will also be decrypted soon. Meanwhile, you could attempt to recover .lotep files with the help of the alternative data recovery approaches listed in our removal guide.

Remove .lotep Virus and Restore PC (Ransomware Removal Guide)

Please note that paying the requested ransom fee to cybercriminals does not really solve your problem with .lotep crypto virus. In fact, you only encourage hackers to continue spreading ransomware of this kind. Instead, you must remove the threat immediately, and only then look for optional ways to recover your data.

WARNING! Manual removal of .lotep ransomware 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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.lotep Ransomware Virus – 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 below 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 Encrypted Files

WARNING! All files and objects associated with .lotep ransomware 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 SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

 
SpyHunter is a Windows application designed to scan for, identify, remove and block malware, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and other objects. By purchasing the full version, you will be able to remove detected malware 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

How to Prevent Future Malware Instrusions?

  • 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?

    Gergana Ivanova

    Author : Gergana Ivanova

    Gergana Ivanova is computer security enthusiast who enjoys presenting the latest issues related to cyber security.


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