The AstraLocker 2.0 virus belongs to the Babuk ransomware family. Malware of this type encrypts all the data on your computer (images, documents, excel tables, music, videos, etc) and appends its own extension to every file, creating the Recover_Your_Files.html files in every folder containing encrypted files.
It is better to prevent, than repair and repent!
Subscribe to our Telegram channel to be the first to know about news and our exclusive materials on information security.
What is AstraLocker 2.0 virus?
☝️ A scientifically correct designation for the AstraLocker 2.0 is “a Babuk family ransomware malicious agent”.
AstraLocker 2.0 will add its extra .AstraLocker extension to every file’s name. For example, an image entitled “photo.jpg” will be altered to “photo.jpg.AstraLocker”. In the same manner, the Excel sheet with the name “table.xlsx” will become “table.xlsx.AstraLocker”, and so forth.
In every folder containing the encoded files, a Recover_Your_Files.html text file will be found. It is a ransom money memo. Therein you can find information about the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other information. The ransom note most probably contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the racketeers. That is it.
AstraLocker 2.0 overview:
|Name||Astralocker 2.0 Virus|
|Ransomware family1||Babuk ransomware|
|Detection2||MSIL/Spy.Agent.DSV, TrojanSpy:Win32/Delgent, Trojan.Ransom.Magniber|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) have a .AstraLocker extension and you can’t open them.|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by Astralocker virus|
In the picture below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Astralocker 2.0 looks like. Each filename has the “.AstraLocker” extension added to it.
How did my machine catch Astralocker 2.0 ransomware?
There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware infiltration.
Nowadays, there are three most popular methods for malefactors to have the Astralocker virus settled in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan injection, and peer networks.
If you access your inbox and see emails that look just like notifications from utility services providers, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is unknown to you, be wary of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a viral item enclosed in them. Thus it is even riskier to download any attachments that come with letters like these.
Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan horse scheme3. A Trojan is a program that infiltrates your machine disguised as something legal. For instance, you download an installer for some program you need or an update for some program. However, what is unpacked reveals itself a harmful agent that encodes your data. As the update wizard can have any name and an icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the resource of the files you’re downloading. The best way is to trust the software developers’ official websites.
As for the peer networks like torrent trackers or eMule, the danger 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. So you’d better be using trustworthy resources. Also, it is reasonable to scan the folder containing the downloaded items with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is done.
How to remove the Astralocker virus?
It is important to inform you that besides encrypting your files, the Astralocker virus will most likely deploy the Azorult Spyware on your machine to seize your credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can derive your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling data.
Often tamperers would decrypt a few of your files to prove that they really have the decryption program. As the Astralocker virus is relatively recent ransomware, safety measures engineers have not yet found a method to undo its work. However, the decoding tools are constantly updated, so the solution may soon be available.
Understandably, if the tamperers do the job of encoding someone’s essential data, the desperate person will probably fulfill their demands. However, paying a ransom gives no guarantee that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still dangerous. After receiving the ransom, the racketeers may deliver the wrong decryption key to the victim. There were reports of ransomware developers just disappearing after getting the ransom without even bothering to reply.
The optimal countermeasure to ransomware is to have an OS restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud disk or at least on an external disk. Obviously, that might be not enough. Your most important thing could be that file you were working on when it all happened. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also wise to scan your drives with the antivirus program after the OS is rolled back.
There are other ransomware products, besides Astralocker, that work similarly. Examples of those are Gtys, Wdlo, Tuid, and some others. The two main differences between them and the Astralocker 2.0 are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is almost identical: documents become encrypted, their extensions changed, ransom notes are created in each folder containing encoded files.
Some lucky users were able to decrypt the blocked files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-malware experts. Sometimes the hackers accidentally send the decoding key to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an epic fail allows the victim to restore the files. But obviously, one should never rely on such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a tamperers’ technology to lay their hands on the money of their victims.
How do I avert ransomware injection?
Astralocker 2.0 ransomware has no endless power, neither does any similar malware.
You can defend your computer from a ransomware attacks in three easy steps:
- Never open any letters from unknown mailboxes with strange addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are expecting (can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, scrutinize all elements of the dubious email with caution. A fake letter will always contain a mistake.
- Do not use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojans are often distributed as a part of cracked products, most likely under the guise of “patch” which prevents the license check. Understandably, potentially dangerous programs are difficult to distinguish from trustworthy software, as trojans sometimes have the functionality you need. You can try searching for information about this software product on the anti-malware message boards, but the best way is not to use such software.
- And finally, to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a perfect defense for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft4
There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft5.
Download Removal Tool.
You can download GridinSoft Anti-Malware by clicking the button below:
Run the setup file.
When setup file has finished downloading, double-click on the setup-antimalware-fix.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your system.
An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Press “Install” button.
Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.
Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your computer for Astralocker 2.0 infections and other malicious programs. This process can take a 20-30 minutes, so I suggest you periodically check on the status of the scan process.
Click on “Clean Now”.
When the scan has finished, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the “Clean Now” button in right corner.
Frequently Asked Questions
🤔 How can I open “.AstraLocker” files?Is it possible to open“.AstraLocker” files?
Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.AstraLocker” files you will not be able to access them.
🤔 What should I do to make my files accessible as fast as possible?
If the “.AstraLocker” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.
🤔 You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Astralocker 2.0 virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?
Of course not. Your encrypted files are no threat to your PC.
With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your computer off the actual viruses. The ransomware that has attacked your device is most likely still active and launching checks periodically to arrest any new files you might create on your computer after the infection. As it has been said above, the Astralocker 2.0 ransomware comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespassing and provide hackers with easy access to your computer in the future.
🤔 What actions should I take if the Astralocker ransomware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation key.
In such a case, you need to have a flash memory drive with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the procedure. You see, the ransomware runs automatically as the system launches and encodes any new files created or brought into your system. To block this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital programs to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.
🤔 What could help the situation right now?
Some of the encrypted data can be located elsewhere.
- If you sent or received your important files through email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
- You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to send those pictures back to you.
- If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Internet, you can try to do it again.
- Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud storage might have all those files too.
- Maybe you still have the needed files on your old PC, a laptop, mobile, memory stick, etc.
USEFUL TIP: You can use file recovery programs6 to get your lost data back since ransomware blocks the copies of your files, deleting the original ones. In the video below, you can learn how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, but remember: you won’t be able to do it before you remove the ransomware itself with an anti-malware program.
Also, you can contact the following official fraud and scam sites to report this attack:
- In the United States: On Guard Online;
- In Canada: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre;
- In the United Kingdom: Action Fraud;
- In Australia: SCAMwatch;
- In New Zealand: Consumer Affairs Scams;
- In France: Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information;
- In Germany: Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik;
- In Ireland: An Garda Síochána;
To report the attack, you can contact local executive boards. For instance, if you live in USA, you can have a talk with FBI Local field office, IC3 or Secret Service.
I need your help to share this article.
It is your turn to help other people. I have written this article to help users like you. You can use the buttons below to share this on your favorite social media Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.Brendan Smith
How to Remove ASTRALOCKER 2.0 Ransomware & Recover PC
Name: AstraLocker 2.0 Virus
Description: AstraLocker Virus is a ransomware-type infection. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .AstraLocker extension. So, you can't use them at all.
Operating System: Windows
Application Category: Virus
User Review( votes)
- My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
- Encyclopedia of threats.
- You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
- GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
- More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products/
- Here are the top 10 file recovery tools of 2021.