Remove VegaLocker Ransomware — Restore Your Computer

An infection with the dangerous VegaLocker ransomware virus leads to serious security issues. With our removal guide, victims can try to secure their computers and restore encrypted files.

Manual Removal Guide
Files Recovery Approaches
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Note for Mac users!
In case that your Mac has been affected by VegaLocker Ransomware 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 VegaLocker Ransomware Virus

The VegaLocker ransomware is a devastating cryptovirus that has been recently released in attack campaigns against computer users worldwide. Threat actors could be utilizing widely used tactics of distribution to infect computer systems.

One of the methods that may be used by the malicious actors behind VegaLocker ransomware includes the coordination of SPAM email messages — they are used to spread the threat by sending out messages that pose as legitimate notifications sent by popular Internet portals or services that the targets may use. The virus files can be either directly attached or linked in the body. They can also be uploaded to fake download sites which are designed to appear like any of the popular Internet portals or vendor download sites. The malicious actors may use similar sounding domain names, certificates and hijacked design and contents to coerce the victims into thinking that they are accessing the legitimate address.

Another way that the threat may spread is through infected payloads — the use of various files that are infected with virus code. A popular example is the malicious document which can take any form: presentations, rich text files, spreadsheets and databases. Once they are opened by the victims a notification message will pop-up asking the target users to enable the built-in scripts. If this is done the virus infection will follow. The other popular technique is the inclusion of the code in application installers. They are malicious copies of legitimate setup files of popular end-user programs that have been modified with the VegaLocker ransomware code.

Ransomware files are also popularly spread by fake user profiles — they can post to community forums or social media accounts. The criminals can utilize both fake or stolen identities to increase the number of infected users.

In certain cases, the criminals may also be distributed via malicious browser plugins — additions to the most popular web browsers that are advertised as useful. The plugins are uploaded to the official repositories and often make use of fake or hijacked user reviews and developer credentials. Once they are installed by the users they will execute their built-in instructions that in many cases leads to the VegaLocker ransomware virus infection in the end.

Impact of VegaLocker Ransomware Virus

The VegaLocker ransomware is a malware threat which is written in the Delphi programming language. There is no information available about identity of the criminals, we anticipate that they are experienced hackers as the threat is rated as “critical”.

The performed security analysis shows that the infection starts with a security bypass module which scans the local system for the presence of security programs and engines that can block the normal VegaLocker execution. The captured samples have been found to look for signatures of the following engines:

Habbo, Rebhip, The Qt Company Ltd, Microsoft Corporation, Delphi Libraries, SMART INSTALL MAKER, InnoSetup, James Jackson-South, Microsoft Visual C/C++ Libraries, libczmq3, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Mercury Interactive, NSIS, Splinterware Software Solutions and StockSharp LLC.

These real-time engines will be disabled or entirely removed. After this set of instructions has been completed the VegaLocker ransomware will proceed further with boot options modifications. This step is done by reconfiguring the configuration files of the operating system in order to automatically start the virus file as soon as the computer is powered on. In addition this will disable access to the recovery boot options and menus which renders most manual user recovery guides non-working.

This can be coupled with a data removal option which will remove important data used by the operating system such as System restore points, Shadow Volume Copies and Backups. As a result of these actions the victim users will be unable to restore their computers without the use of a data recovery utility in combination with an anti-spyware solution.

The collected VegaLocker ransomware samples are programmed to evade virtual machine hosts by constantly monitoring the running processes in memory for any signs of strings that are related to hypervisors or guest additions. If such are detected the infection will immediately stop and in some cases may altogether delete itself to avoid any suspicion.

The VegaLocker ransomware samples are very effective at starting up all kinds of components, including a data extraction one. It can be used to acquire data such as personal information which is used to directly expose the identities of the victims. Such strings include a person’s name, address, phone number, interests and account credentials. The collected information can be used for crimes such as identity theft, financial abuse and blackmail. Usually when these components are called the engine will also generate an unique ID that is assigned to each infected machine. This is done by running an algorithm that takes its input parameters from parameters like the installed hardware components list, user settings and operating system environment values.

Windows Registry modifications will usually follow. The VegaLocker ransomware can both create entries for itself or modify existing ones — including both the operating system one and any installed third-party applications. The usual behavior is to cause severe performance issues which can make the infected hosts practically unusable until the threat is removed. The affected services and programs may also present unexpected errors or not run at all when called by the users.

The security reveals an additional step that is performed by the VegaLocker ransomware engine — it will search for an active remote desktop configuration service. If a configuration file has already been created it will be accessed and edited to include credentials that are to be used by the hackers. Advanced ransomware of this category are used to install other malware threats. Trojan horse infections are one of the most popular examples. They are used to create a secure connection to a hacker-controlled server. It makes it possible for the criminals to hijack any file before and after the ransomware engine has processed the victim files. Trojans also allow the hackers to overtake control of the machines and execute all sorts of other malicious actions.

The other popular payload which acn be dropped by the criminals is the cryptocurrency miner instance which can have various forms — small scripts, stand-alone applications or code that can be made part of other files. When executed they will download and run many resource intensive tasks. They will place a heavy toll on components like the CPU, memory, GPU and hard disk space. When one of them is reported, another will be downloaded and run in sequence. For every finished task the hacker operators will receive digital income in the form of cryptocurrency that will be directly wired to their wallets.

As soon as all modules have completed running the VegaLocker ransomware will start its files modification component. By using a strong cipher target user data will be encrypted thereby making them inaccessible. Usually this is done according to a built-in list of target file type extensions, most of the viruses process data such as the following:

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

The ransomware note will be created in a file called Your files are now encrypted.txt which reads a message in Russian:

ВНИМАНИЕ, ВАШИ ФАЙЛЫ ЗАШИФРОВАНЫ!
Ваши документы, фотографии, базы данных, сохранения в играх и другие
важные данные были зашифрованы уникальным ключем, который находится
только у нас. Для восстановления данных необходим дешифровщик.
Восстановить файлы Вы можете, написав нам на почту:
e-mail: [email protected]
e-mail: [email protected]
Пришлите Ваш идентификатор TOKEN и 1-2 файла, размером до 1 Мб каждый.
Мы их восстановим, в доказательство возможности расшифровки.
После демонстрации вы получите инструкцию по оплате, а после оплаты
Вам будет отправлена программа-дешифратор, которая полностью восстановит все заблокированные файлы без потерь.
Если связаться через почту не получается:
Перейдите по ссылке: https://bitmessage.org/wiki/Main_Page и скачайте
почтовый клиент. Установите почтовый клиент и создайте себе новый адрес
для отправки сообщений.
Напишите нам письмо на адрес: BM-2cVK1UBcUGmSPDVMo8TN7eh7BJG9jUVrdG
(с указанием Вашей почты) и мы свяжемся с Вами.
ВАЖНО!
Не пытайтесь удалить программу или запускать антивирусные средства.
Попытки самостоятельной расшифровки файлов приведут к потере Ваших данных.
Дешифраторы других пользователей несовместимы с Вашими данными,
так как у каждого пользователя уникальный ключ шифрования.
Убедительная просьба писать людям, которые действительно заинтересованы в восстановлении файлов. Не следует угрожать и требовать дешифратор.
Жалобами заблокировав e-mail, Вы лишаете возможности расшифровать свои файлы остальных.
—–BEGIN TOKEN—–
tAcAAAAAAADcVQukt***3Q6/hoGPwA=
—–END TOKEN—–

Remove VegaLocker Ransomware Virus and Restore PC

Please note that paying the requested ransom fee to cybercriminals does not really solve your problem with VegaLocker cryptovirus. 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 VegaLocker Ransomware 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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VegaLocker Ransomware 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 VegaLocker Ransomware 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

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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