.ykcol File Virus Removal and Recovery Guide (Locky Ransomware)

The infamous Locky ransomware has been detected in new active attack campaigns by security researchers. It appears to be a new Locky variant dubbed .ykcol file virus as it marks all encrypted files the .ykcol extension. Actually “ykcol” is “locky” spelled backwards. The decryption key price varies between 0.25 and 0.6 Bitcoins. Keep reading this removal article to remove the ransomware completely from the infected PC and recovery .ykcol files.

Manual Removal Guide
Recover .ykcol Files
Skip all steps and download anti-malware tool that will safely scan and clean your PC.

DOWNLOAD .ykcol File 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

Infection Flow of .ykcol File Virus

Once the .ykcol ransomware is installed on the computer it creates random named executable files in the %AppData% or %LocalAppData% folder. The newest Locky ransomware variant – .ykcol, attack starts once its payload is running on the targeted host. The payload controls all malicious system modifications aiming to ensure its stable presence on the computer. The .ykcol file virus can read, update and delete some system files or create new ones in order to complete the infection flow to its end.

Once .ykcol file virus establishes all its files and objects on the infected host it initiates a scan of all drives to encrypt all files that belong to one of the following types:

.001, .002, .003, .004, .005, .006, .007, .008, .009, .010, .011, .123, .1cd, .3dm, .3ds, .3fr, .3g2, .3gp, .3pr, .602, .7z, .7zip, .ARC, .CSV, .DOC, .DOT, .MYD, .MYI, .NEF, .PAQ, .PPT, .RTF, .SQLITE3, .SQLITEDB, .XLS, .aac, .ab4, .accdb, .accde, .accdr, .accdt, .ach, .acr, .act, .adb, .adp, .ads, .aes, .agdl, .ai, .aiff, .ait, .al, .aoi, .apj, .apk, .arw, .asc, .asf, .asm, .asp, .aspx, .asset, .asx, .avi, .awg, .back, .backup, .backupdb, .bak, .bank, .bat, .bay, .bdb, .bgt, .bik, .bin, .bkp, .blend, .bmp, .bpw, .brd, .bsa, .cdf, .cdr, .cdr3, .cdr4, .cdr5, .cdr6, .cdrw, .cdx, .ce1, .ce2, .cer, .cfg, .cgm, .cib, .class, .cls, .cmd, .cmt, .config, .contact, .cpi, .cpp, .cr2, .craw, .crt, .crw, .cs, .csh, .csl, .csr, .css, .csv, .d3dbsp, .dac, .das, .dat, .db, .db3, .db_journal, .dbf, .dbx, .dc2, .dch, .dcr, .dcs, .ddd, .ddoc, .ddrw, .dds, .der, .des, .design, .dgc, .dif, .dip, .dit, .djv, .djvu, .dng, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .drf, .drw, .dtd, .dwg, .dxb, .dxf, .dxg, .edb, .eml, .eps, .erbsql, .erf, .exf, .fdb, .ffd, .fff, .fh, .fhd, .fla, .flac, .flf, .flv, .flvv, .forge, .fpx, .frm, .fxg, .gif, .gpg, .gray, .grey, .groups, .gry, .gz, .hbk, .hdd, .hpp, .html, .hwp, .ibank, .ibd, .ibz, .idx, .iif, .iiq, .incpas, .indd, .iwi, .jar, .java, .jnt, .jpe, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .kc2, .kdbx, .kdc, .key, .kpdx, .kwm, .laccdb, .lay, .lay6, .lbf, .ldf, .lit, .litemod, .litesql, .log, .ltx, .lua, .m2ts, .m3u, .m4a, .m4p, .m4u, .m4v, .mapimail, .max, .mbx, .md, .mdb, .mdc, .mdf, .mef, .mfw, .mid, .mkv, .mlb, .mml, .mmw, .mny, .moneywell, .mos, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .mrw, .ms11, .msg, .myd, .n64, .nd, .ndd, .ndf, .nef, .nk2, .nop, .nrw, .ns2, .ns3, .ns4, .nsd, .nsf, .nsg, .nsh, .nvram, .nwb, .nx2, .nxl, .nyf, .oab, .obj, .odb, .odc, .odf, .odg, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt, .ogg, .oil, .onetoc2, .orf, .ost, .otg, .oth, .otp, .ots, .ott, .p12, .p7b, .p7c, .pab, .pages, .pas, .pat, .pcd, .pct, .pdb, .pdd, .pdf, .pef, .pem, .pfx, .php, .pif, .pl, .plc, .plus_muhd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prf, .ps, .psafe3, .psd, .pspimage, .pst, .ptx, .pwm, .py, .qba, .qbb, .qbm, .qbr, .qbw, .qbx, .qby, .qcow, .qcow2, .qed, .r3d, .raf, .rar, .rat, .raw, .rb, .rdb, .re4, .rm, .rtf, .rvt, .rw2, .rwl, .rwz, .s3db, .safe, .sas7bdat, .sav, .save, .say, .sch, .sd0, .sda, .sdf, .sh, .sldm, .sldx, .slk, .sql, .sqlite, .sqlite3, .sqlitedb, .sr2, .srf, .srt, .srw, .st4, .st5, .st6, .st7, .st8, .stc, .std, .sti, .stm, .stw, .stx, .svg, .swf, .sxc, .sxd, .sxg, .sxi, .sxm, .sxw, .tar, .tar.bz2, .tbk, .tex, .tga, .tgz, .thm, .tif, .tiff, .tlg, .txt, .uop, .uot, .upk, .vb, .vbox, .vbs, .vdi, .vhd, .vhdx, .vmdk, .vmsd, .vmx, .vmxf, .vob, .wab, .wad, .wallet, .wav, .wb2, .wk1, .wks, .wma, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .x11, .x3f, .xis, .xla, .xlam, .xlc, .xlk, .xlm, .xlr, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .ycbcra, .yuv, .zip

All target files are modified via two strong cipher algorithms RSA-2048 and AES-128. Encryption process transforms the original file code making the files completely unworkable until the decryption key is applied to the decryptor. Then .ykcol ransomware renames encrypted files and marks them with the .ykcol file extension.

The .ykcol file virus loads Windows Registry editor to create new registry values under keys like Run and RunOnce that will help the automatic execution of its payload each time the Windows OS starts. Furthermore, some values in the same keys may be deleted or replaced so the ransom note can display at the end of the infection. Two dropped files contain the note – a JPG and an HTML. The JPG file replaces the desktop wallpaper:

The HTML file depicts the same text as the JPG wallpaper:

Both files inform the following:

!!! IMPORTANT INFORMATION !!!!

All of your files are encrypted with RSA-2048 and AES-128 ciphers.

More information about the RSA and AES can be found here:
hxxp://en.wildpedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)
hxxp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Encryption_Standard

Decrypting of your files is only possible with the private key and decrypt program, which is on our secret server.

To receive your private key follow one of the links:

If all of this addresses are not available, follow these steps:

1. Download and install Tor Browser: hxxps://www.torproject.org/downIoad/download-easy.html
2. After a successful installation, run the browser and wait for initialization.

3. Type in the address bar: g46mbrrzpfszonuk.onion/*******************

4. Follow the instructions on the site.

!!! Your personal identification ID:******************* !!!

The .ykcol ransomware is designed to localize the infected host so it can present the ransom message in the appropriate language. The message provides onion address that directs to the Locky Decryptor web page where further details about the ransom amount and its payment can be found. The Locky .ykcol ransomware authors demanded 0.25 Bitcoins for the decryption key at first. Now they increased the pice to 0.6 BTC.

The price of the decryption key is an insane amount that will only finance hackers’ future attack campaigns. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that they will send it even after an eventual payment. If you want to regain the security of your PC and retrieve .ykcol files, check the removal guide below and follow the steps.

When the infection has finished scanning your computer it will also delete all of the Shadow Volume Copies that are on the affected computer. It does this so that you cannot use the shadow volume copies to restore your encrypted files.

Last .ykcol ransomware virus will delete all Shadow Volume Copies that are stored as a backup variant on the infected computer. For the purpose .ykcol virus interacts with the Command Prompt pannel and executes the following command line:

vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet

.ykcol Locky Ransomware Distribution

The .ykcol Locky ransomware is distributed mainly via spam email messages that follow a typical pattern of sending legitimate alike blank emails with malicious attachments. The .ykcol Locky infected emails contain malicious files archived in .7z format that generally are presented as “Status of invoice”. The email may also be presented as information of package delivery failure or notifications of shipment status. These techniques aim to provoke curiosity and interaction with the attached file. Spreading ransomware through archives is a staple of this type of malware. The attached file contains malicious VBS file that once opened triggers the .ykcol ransomware infection. Other distribution techniques may be browser hijackers, malicious ads and redirects and dangerous software installation packages downloaded from untrusted sites.

Remove .ykcol File Virus and Restore Data

WARNING! Manual removal of .ykcol File 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.

DOWNLOAD Anti-Malware 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

.ykcol File 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

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 .ykcol Files

WARNING! All files and objects associated with .ykcol File 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 .ykcol File 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

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.
  • Gergana Ivanova

    Author : Gergana Ivanova

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


    Related Posts