The Alock virus belongs to the MedusaLocker ransomware family. Malware of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the PC (images, text files, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its extra extension to every file, creating the HOW_TO_BACK_FILES.html files in every directory which contains the encrypted files.
Alock virus: what is known so far?
☝️ Alock is a MedusaLocker family ransomware malicious agent.
Alock will append its specific .alock extension to every file’s title. For instance, a file entitled “photo.jpg” will be turned into “photo.jpg.alock”. In the same manner, the Excel sheet named “table.xlsx” will be renamed to “table.xlsx.alock”, and so forth.
In each directory containing the encoded files, a HOW_TO_BACK_FILES.html text document will appear. It is a ransom money memo. It contains information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note most probably contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the racketeers. You can obtain this decrypting software after contacting [email protected], [email protected] by email. That is it.
|Ransomware family1||MedusaLocker ransomware|
|Contact||[email protected], [email protected]|
|Detection||VirTool:Win32/CeeInject!KC Virus Removal, Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Blocker.ikgf Virus Removal, Win32/Filecoder.Spacecolon.A Virus Removal|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) have a .alock extension and you can’t open them.|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by Alock virus|
The HOW_TO_BACK_FILES.html file accompanying the Alock malware states the following:
YOUR PERSONAL ID: - /!\\ YOUR COMPANY NETWORK HAS BEEN PENETRATED /!\\ All your important files have been encrypted! Your files are safe! Only modified. (RSA+AES) ANY ATTEMPT TO RESTORE YOUR FILES WITH THIRD-PARTY SOFTWARE WILL PERMANENTLY CORRUPT IT. DO NOT MODIFY ENCRYPTED FILES. DO NOT RENAME ENCRYPTED FILES. No software available on internet can help you. We are the only ones able to solve your problem. We gathered highly confidential/personal data. These data are currently stored on a private server. This server will be immediately destroyed after your payment. If you decide to not pay, we will release your data to public or re-seller. So you can expect your data to be publicly available in the near future.. We only seek money and our goal is not to damage your reputation or prevent your business from running. You will can send us 2-3 non-important files and we will decrypt it for free to prove we are able to give your files back. Contact us for price and get decryption software. qd7pcafncosqfqu3ha6fcx4h6sr7tzwagzpcdcnytiw3b6varaeqv5yd.onion * Note that this server is available via Tor browser only Follow the instructions to open the link: 1. Type the addres \"hxxps://www.torproject.org\" in your Internet browser. It opens the Tor site. 2. Press \"Download Tor\", then press \"Download Tor Browser Bundle\", install and run it. 3. Now you have Tor browser. In the Tor Browser open qd7pcafncosqfqu3ha6fcx4h6sr7tzwagzpcdcnytiw3b6varaeqv5yd.onion 4. Start a chat and follow the further instructions. If you can not use the above link, use the email: [email protected] [email protected] * To contact us, create a new free email account on the site: protonmail.com IF YOU DON\'T CONTACT US WITHIN 72 HOURS, PRICE WILL BE HIGHER.
In the screenshot below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Alock looks like. Each filename has the “.alock” extension appended to it.
How did my machine catch Alock ransomware?
There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware infiltration.
There are currently three most popular methods for criminals to have ransomware planted in your system. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer-to-peer file transfer.
- If you access your inbox and see emails that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose mailer is strange to you, beware of opening those emails. They are most likely to have a malicious item enclosed in them. Therefore, it is even riskier to download any attachments that come with letters like these.
- Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan horse scheme. A Trojan is a program that gets into your machine disguised as something legal. For example, you download an installer for some program you want or an update for some program. But what is unpacked turns out to be a harmful agent that encodes your data. Since the installation package can have any title and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the resource of the things you’re downloading. The optimal thing is to trust the software developers’ official websites.
- As for the peer file transfer protocols like torrent trackers or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Internet. You can never guess what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy resources. Also, it is a good idea to scan the directory containing the downloaded objects with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is complete.
How to remove ransomware?
It is crucial to note that besides encrypting your data, the Alock virus will most likely install Vidar Stealer on your PC to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That spyware can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.
Remove Alock with Gridinsoft Anti-Malware
We have also been using this software on our systems ever since, and it has always been successful in detecting viruses. It has blocked the most common Ransomware as shown from our tests with the software, and we assure you that it can remove Alock as well as other malware hiding on your computer.
To use Gridinsoft for remove malicious threats, follow the steps below:
1. Begin by downloading Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, accessible via the blue button below or directly from the official website gridinsoft.com.
2.Once the Gridinsoft setup file (setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe) is downloaded, execute it by clicking on the file.
3.Follow the installation setup wizard's instructions diligently.
4. Access the "Scan Tab" on the application's start screen and launch a comprehensive "Full Scan" to examine your entire computer. This inclusive scan encompasses the memory, startup items, the registry, services, drivers, and all files, ensuring that it detects malware hidden in all possible locations.
Be patient, as the scan duration depends on the number of files and your computer's hardware capabilities. Use this time to relax or attend to other tasks.
5. Upon completion, Anti-Malware will present a detailed report containing all the detected malicious items and threats on your PC.
6. Select all the identified items from the report and confidently click the "Clean Now" button. This action will safely remove the malicious files from your computer, transferring them to the secure quarantine zone of the anti-malware program to prevent any further harmful actions.
8. If prompted, restart your computer to finalize the full system scan procedure. This step is crucial to ensure thorough removal of any remaining threats. After the restart, Gridinsoft Anti-Malware will open and display a message confirming the completion of the scan.
Remember Gridinsoft offers a 6-day free trial. This means you can take advantage of the trial period at no cost to experience the full benefits of the software and prevent any future malware infections on your system. Embrace this opportunity to fortify your computer's security without any financial commitment.
Trojan Killer for “Alock” removal on locked PC
In situations where it becomes impossible to download antivirus applications directly onto the infected computer due to malware blocking access to websites, an alternative solution is to utilize the Trojan Killer application.
There is a really little number of security tools that are able to be set up on the USB drives, and antiviruses that can do so in most cases require to obtain quite an expensive license. For this instance, I can recommend you to use another solution of GridinSoft - Trojan Killer Portable. It has a 14-days cost-free trial mode that offers the entire features of the paid version. This term will definitely be 100% enough to wipe malware out.
Trojan Killer is a valuable tool in your cybersecurity arsenal, helping you to effectively remove malware from infected computers. Now, we will walk you through the process of using Trojan Killer from a USB flash drive to scan and remove malware on an infected PC. Remember, always obtain permission to scan and remove malware from a computer that you do not own.
Step 1: Download & Install Trojan Killer on a Clean Computer:
1. Go to the official GridinSoft website (gridinsoft.com) and download Trojan Killer to a computer that is not infected.
2. Insert a USB flash drive into this computer.
3. Install Trojan Killer to the "removable drive" following the on-screen instructions.
4. Once the installation is complete, launch Trojan Killer.
Step 2: Update Signature Databases:
5. After launching Trojan Killer, ensure that your computer is connected to the Internet.
6. Click "Update" icon to download the latest signature databases, which will ensure the tool can detect the most recent threats.
Step 3: Scan the Infected PC:
7. Safely eject the USB flash drive from the clean computer.
8. Boot the infected computer to the Safe Mode.
9. Insert the USB flash drive.
10. Run tk.exe
11. Once the program is open, click on "Full Scan" to begin the malware scanning process.
Step 4: Remove Found Threats:
12. After the scan is complete, Trojan Killer will display a list of detected threats.
13. Click on "Cure PC!" to remove the identified malware from the infected PC.
14. Follow any additional on-screen prompts to complete the removal process.
Step 5: Restart Your Computer:
15. Once the threats are removed, click on "Restart PC" to reboot your computer.
16. Remove the USB flash drive from the infected computer.
Congratulations on effectively removing Alock and the concealed threats from your computer! You can now have peace of mind, knowing that they won't resurface again. Thanks to Gridinsoft's capabilities and commitment to cybersecurity, your system is now protected.
Often criminals would decode several of your files to prove that they do have the decryption tool. As Alock virus is a relatively new ransomware, anti-malware engineers have not yet found a way to reverse its work. However, the decryption instruments are frequently upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.
Of course, if the evildoers succeed in encoding victim’s essential files, the desperate person will most likely comply with their demands. Nevertheless, paying to criminals does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your files back. It is still dangerous. After receiving the ransom, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption key to the victim. There were reports about ransomware developers just disappearing after getting the money without even writing back.
The optimal safety measure against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud disk or at least on an external disk. Of course, that might be insufficient. The most crucial thing could be that file you were working upon when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the OS restoration.
Alock is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. Examples of those are Harward, Inc, Black, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Alock are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is almost identical: files become encrypted, their extensions changed, ransom notes are found in each folder containing encoded files.
Some fortunate people were able to decrypt the arrested files with the help of the free software provided by anti-ransomware developers. Sometimes the criminals mistakenly send the decryption code to the victims in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But naturally, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a criminals’ technology to pull the money out of their victims.
How сan I avoid ransomware infiltration?
Alock ransomware doesn’t have a superpower, neither does any similar malware.
You can defend your system from ransomware attack in several easy steps:
- Ignore any letters from unknown mailboxes with strange addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are waiting for (how can you win in a money prize draw without even taking part in it?). If the email subject is more or less something you are expecting, scrutinize all elements of the questionable email carefully. A fake email will always contain mistakes.
- Do not use cracked or untrusted software. Trojan viruses are often shared as a part of cracked software, most likely under the guise of “patch” to prevent the license check. Understandably, untrusted programs are very hard to distinguish from reliable ones, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. You can try to find information about this program on the anti-malware message boards, but the best way is not to use such programs at all.
- And to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful shield for your personal computer.
🤔 How can I open “.alock” files?Is it possible to open“.alock” files?
Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.alock” files first. Then you will be able to open them.
🤔 I really need to decrypt those “.alock” files ASAP. How can I do that?
Hopefully, you have made a copy of those important files. Otherwise, you might try to employ System Restore. The only question is whether you have saved any Restore Points that would be helpful now. All other solutions require time.
🤔 Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the Alock virus?
Absolutely not! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with real threats. The malware that has attacked your computer is must be still active and it scans your system every so often to arrest any new files you might create on your computer after the attack. As it has already been said, the Alock virus does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide criminals with easy access to your system in the future.
🤔 What should I do if the Alock malware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation key.
If that happened, you need to have a memory stick with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. You see, the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or imported into your computer. To suppress this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential applications to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.
🤔 What can I do right now?
Some of the encrypted files can be found elsewhere.
- If you exchanged your important files by email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
- You might have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Simply ask them to give those pictures back to you.
- If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try doing it again.
- Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud storage might have all those files too.
- It might be that you still have the needed files on your old PC, a laptop, mobile, external storage, etc.
HINT: You can use data recovery utilities2 to get your lost data back since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, removing the original ones. In the video below, you can see how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, but be advised: you can do it only after you eradicate the ransomware itself with an antivirus program.
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How to Remove ALOCK Ransomware & Recover PC
Name: ALOCK Virus
Description: ALOCK Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .alock extension. So, you can't use them at all.
Operating System: Windows
Application Category: Virus
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