ONELOCK Ransomware πŸ” (.ONELOCK File) β€” Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith
The Onelock virus falls within the MedusaLocker ransomware family. A harmful program of such sort encrypts all the data on your PC (photos, documents, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its specific extension to every file, creating the how_to_back_files.html files in each directory containing encrypted files.
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What is Onelock virus?

☝️ A scientifically correct description for the Onelock is “a MedusaLocker family ransomware malicious agent”.

Onelock appends its specific .onelock extension to the title of every encoded file. For instance, a file entitled “photo.jpg” will be renamed to “photo.jpg.onelock”. Just like the Excel table with the name “table.xlsx” will be renamed to “table.xlsx.onelock”, and so on.

In every directory that contains the encrypted files, a how_to_back_files.html file will be found. It is a ransom money memo. Therein you can find information on the ways of paying the ransom and some other information. The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to buy the decryption tool from the ransomware developers. That is how they do it.

Onelock outline:
NameOnelock Virus
Ransomware family1MedusaLocker ransomware
Extension.onelock
Ransomware notehow_to_back_files.html
Detection2Crytex.Virus.FileInfector.DDS, Win32/Filecoder.OLC, Malware-Cryptor.InstallCore.5
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .onelock extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Onelock virus

In the image below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Onelock looks like. Each filename has the “.onelock” extension appended to it.

Onelock Virus - encrypted .onelock files

An example of encrypted .onelock files.

How did my computer get infected with Onelock ransomware?

There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware infiltration.

Nowadays, there are three most popular methods for malefactors to have the Onelock virus acting in your system. These are email spam, Trojan injection 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, Internet providers, and whatnot, but whose “from” field is unknown to you, beware of opening those emails. They are very likely to have a malicious item enclosed in them. Thus it is even more dangerous to download any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan horse model3. A Trojan is an object that infiltrates into your computer pretending to be something different. For example, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some service. But what is unpacked turns out to be a harmful agent that encodes your data. As the installation file can have any title and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the source of the things you’re downloading. The optimal way is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer-to-peer file transfer protocols like torrent trackers or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. 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 directory containing the downloaded files with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is finished.

How do I get rid of the Onelock virus?

It is important to inform you that besides encrypting your files, the Onelock virus will most likely install the Azorult Spyware on your computer to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned program can extract your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Sometimes racketeers would decode few of your files to prove that they do have the decryption tool. Since Onelock virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures developers have not yet found a method to undo its work. Nevertheless, the decryption tools are frequently updated, so the solution may soon be available.

Sure thing, if the tamperers do the job of encrypting victim’s critical files, the desperate person will probably comply with their demands. Nevertheless, paying to racketeers gives no guarantee that you’re getting your data back. It is still dangerous. After getting the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports of hackers just vanishing after getting the money without even writing back.

The best countermeasure to ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud drive or at least on an external storage. Of course, that might be insufficient. Your most crucial thing could be that one you were working on when it all went down. But at least it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the OS is rolled back.

Onelock is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. For instance, Zatp, Bowd, Tcvp, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Onelock are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is almost identical: documents become encrypted, their extensions altered, ransom notes are found in each folder containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate users were able to decode the blocked files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-ransomware experts. Sometimes the racketeers accidentally send the decryption key to the victims in the ransom readme. Such an epic 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’ instrument to pull the money out of their victims.

How to avoid ransomware attack?

Onelock ransomware has no endless power, neither does any similar malware.

You can protect your PC from its infiltration within three easy steps:

  • Ignore any letters from unknown mailers with unknown 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 participating in it?). In case the email subject is more or less something you are waiting for, check all elements of the dubious email carefully. A fake letter will surely contain a mistake.
  • Never use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojans are often shared as a part of cracked products, possibly under the guise of β€œpatch” to prevent the license check. But dubious programs are very hard to tell from reliable software, as trojans may also have the functionality you seek. You can try to find information about this program on the anti-malware forums, but the best solution 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 powerful armor for your PC.
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.

Run Setup.exe

An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click β€œYes” to continue with the installation.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Setup

Press “Install” button.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Install

Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Splash-Screen

Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your PC for Onelock 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.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scanning

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 β€œClean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

Frequently Asked Questions

πŸ€” How can I open “.onelock” files?Can I somehow access “.onelock” files?

Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.onelock” files you will not be able to access them.

πŸ€” I really need to decrypt those β€œ.onelock” files ASAP. How can I do that?

It’s good if you have fΠ°r-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. All other solutions require time.

πŸ€” You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Onelock virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?

Absolutely not! Your encrypted files are no threat to your PC.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with actual viruses. The virus that has attacked your PC is must be still active and it scans your system from time to time to arrest any new files you might create on your PC after the infection. As it has been said above, the Onelock ransomware comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide hackers with easy access to your computer after some time.

πŸ€” What actions should I take if the Onelock malware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation key.

If that happened, you need to prepare a memory stick with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the cleaning. The point is that the ransomware runs automatically as the system launches and encodes any new files created or brought into your computer. To suppress this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital applications to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

πŸ€” And what should I do now?

Some of the encrypted data can be found elsewhere.

  • If you exchanged your important files through email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You might have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to send those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, you can try doing 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 notebook, cellphone, external storage, etc.

HINT: You can use data recovery programs6 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware blocks the copies of your files, removing the original ones. In the video below, you can see how to use PhotoRec for such a recovery, but remember: you can do it only after you kill the ransomware itself with an antivirus program.

Also, you can contact the following official fraud and scam sites to report this attack:

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.

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Brendan Smith
How to Remove ONELOCK Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: ONELOCK Virus

Description: ONELOCK Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .onelock extension. So, you can't use them at all.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. Encyclopedia of threats.
  3. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  4. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  5. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  6. Here are the top 10 file recovery tools of 2021.

About the author

Brendan Smith

Journalist, researcher, web content developer, grant proposal editor. Efficient and proficient on multiple platforms and in diverse media. Computer technology and security are my specialties.

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