Remove Shell Locker Ransomware and Restore .L0cked Files

A new version of the Shell Locker ransomware has been identified in an ongoing attack campaign, read our removal guide to learn more about it.
Manual Removal Guide
Recover Shell Locker Ransomware Files
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How Does Shell Locker Ransomware Infiltrate the System?

The Shell Locker ransomware can infect victims by using different spread tactics. As the number of detected virus samples is relatively low we cannot judge the main method. We presume that the criminals are going to utilize the most popular ones.

Email spam messages using social engineering tricks are an often used tactic. They usually pose as being sent by well-known companies by using text and graphics downloaded from official sources. The Shell Locker virus code can be inserted in office documents (such as rich text documents or spreadsheets) or software installers. The modified files can then be uploaded to hacker-controlled download servers and P2P networks like BitTorrent.

Other ways of getting infected with the Shell Locker ransomware include accessing malicious web scripts, redirects and falling victim to browser hijackers. They are malicious add-ons that are made for the most popular browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Microsoft Edge and Opera) that change important settings on the infected computers. Examples include default home page, search engine and new tabs page. Most of them are used to actively spy on the victims by stealing important data from the browsers: cookies, bookmarks, settings, passwords, account credentials and form data. The aim of the criminals is to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled page that can serve the Shell Locker ransomware and other malware.

Direct hacker attacks can also be used to target the intended targets. The criminals seek software vulnerabilities and exploit them to gain entry to the machines.

Related: ShellLocker Ransomware Virus, Kaenlupuf Ransomware

Infection Flow of Shell Locker Ransomware

Malware experts discovered a new strain of the infamous Shell Locker ransomware. According to the initial security analysis this is a revised version that does not add any significant new features. The only addition is an updated ransomware note.

We suspect that the criminals behind the Shell Locker virus engine have acquired the code from underground hacker markets. We presume that the criminal or the hacker collective behind the malware originate from Russia or a Russian-speaking country.

The message is written in Russian and a machine-translated version of it reads the following:

Warning, all your files have been encrypted.

All of your files have been encrypted with the ForceLocker using the AES-256 cipher and for each file a separate key has been generated.
On a reboot all of your files will be impossible to recover.

EMAIL: [email protected]

Shell Locker Ransomware image

The note specifically mentions ForceLocker which is probably the hacker-given name to this Shell Locker ransomware version. The provided hacker contact address is probably used as a relay that redirects the messages to another host for additional privacy.

All affected data is marked using the .L0cked extension and random names are given to each processed file. This is intentional as it further pressures the victims into paying the designated fee.

Victims of the Shell Locker ransomware should remove the computer virus by employing a quality anti-spyware solution. The processed files can then be recovered using a professional-grade data recovery software.

Remove Shell Locker Ransomware and Restore Data

WARNING! Manual removal of Shell Locker Ransomware 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

Shell Locker Ransomware – 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

Shell Locker Ransomware Files

WARNING! All files and objects associated with Shell Locker Ransomware 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.

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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

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.
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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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