In this article we are going to try and help you remove CryptoLuck Ransomware. Our instructions cover all Windows versions.
Your computer just worked fine until a strange note appeared on your screen and suddenly all your files became impossible to open. If this is what just happened to your PC, then you have probably become a victim of CryptoLuck – extremely dangerous malware coming from the Ransomware family. The ransom note has probably informed you that your data has been locked with a strong encryption algorithm and if you wish to get it back you will need to pay a fat sum. However, if you reached our page, you probably wonder if there is another way to get around this threat. Well, our team will give its best to help you deal with this extremely nasty Ransomware infection and if you closely follow the steps in the removal guide below you will be able to do so without much of a hassle. But first, let’s shed a bit more light on this malware and its specifications.
Ransomware – a profitable “business” for unscrupulous hackers.
Many users, as well as big organizations and institutions all around the world, have fallen victim to the new form of online blackmail known as Ransomware. This particular type of malware is spreading with great speed all over the web and evolves so fast that even the security experts struggle to catch up with its newest malicious scripts. Speaking of new releases, here is the latest one – CryptoLuck – a virus packed with malicious abilities and a strong encryption algorithm. The hackers behind this malware have really decided to turn it into a “profitable” one by applying an almost unbreakable encryption and spreading it through different channels to make sure they infect as many people as possible.
You may have been infected in one of the following ways:
- Email spam message
- Misleading links
- Infected applications
- E-mail attachments
- Compromised web pages
- Trojan horse infection
These are the most common methods of distribution, however, it’s not excluded that you can get infected by links or content shared on social platforms, as well as unsafe web locations. One click is usually enough to activate the ransomware and let it sneak inside the computer.
How does CryptoLuck encrypt your files?
The moment this ransomware infects you, it immediately starts to infiltrate your hard drive for a list of commonly used files to encrypt. Once it finds them, the virus converts them into a complex combination of symbols that is impossible to open or read and then changes their file extension. This process may run in the background silently until all the data is encrypted, therefore it is really hard to detect the threat before the ransom note appears on the victim’s screen and reveals the malicious results. The note contains a message from the hackers and instructions on how to make the payment in order to receive a special decryption key. The crooks usually ask for Bitcoins, as this is an online currency that is impossible to trace and helps them remain hidden from the legal authorities.
What options do you have when you get infected?
Once infected with CryptoLuck, this ransomware doesn’t leave you with many options. You either have to obey the demands of the hackers and pay the requested ransom, or clean your system from the infection and try to restore your files without a decryption key. While both options hide their risks, we believe the worst one is to submit to some unscrupulous cybercriminals who only want to make some quick and illegal money by keeping hostage user’s data. Many security experts in the industry would advise you the same since the bitter experience of the victims who have paid the ransom and never received a decryption key has proved how unfair this deal is. Others, who have received a decryption key, have never managed to unlock their files since the key never worked properly and they have also remained with their data locked and their money lost forever. No guarantee is given when one enters into a bargain with unscrupulous crooks, especially if they are hackers capable of invading users’ machines and using them for various criminal deeds.
Removing the infection in the first place is crucial here, because who knows what else these hackers may do when they already have control over your PC. If you want to manually clean your system, the removal guide below will surely help you do so. Just follow the steps closely and you will be able to identify and delete CryptoLuck completely. After you get rid of the ransomware, you may try to restore some of your files from system backups, external drives or a cloud. Do take a look at our list of free decryptors which is frequently being updated and may soon come up with a decryptor for your encryption. You need to have some patience tough, because some encryptions take more time to be broken than others and, unfortunately, the bad guys are one step ahead of the security experts for now. So, you better make sure you protect your system with a reputable antivirus and avoid suspicious content and unknown web locations to minimize the risks of meeting such nasty threats again.
CryptoLuck Ransomware Removal
Enter Windows Safe mode.
- Win 7 Users: Restart your PC –> keep on clicking F8 –> In the subsequent Menu select Safe Mode with Networking.
- Win 8 Users: Start Button –> Control Panel –> System and Security –> Administrative Tools –> System Configuration –> In the subsequent Menu select Safe Boot –>
- Win 10 users: Start Menu –> Power Options Menu –> Hold down the SHIFT button while clicking on Restart –> Troubleshoot –> Advanced Options –> Startup Settings –> Restart –> In the subsequent Menu select Safe Mode with Networking.
Open Task Manager and locate any processes associated with CryptoLuck.
- Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC keys simultaneously –> Processes Tab –> Select a suspicious process (use Google or ask us in the comments if you are not sure about a process) –> Right Click and Open File Location –> End the suspicious process in Task Manager –> Delete the Folders containing the suspicious files.
Open the Registry Editor and search for CryptoLuck.
- Win 7 Users: Click Start and type regedit –> Enter –> Press CTRL + F buttons –> Type Cryp1 Virus in the search field.
- Win 8/10 users: Start Button –> Choose Run –> type regedit –> Enter Press CTRL + F buttons –> Type CryptoLuck in the search field.
Try to recover your files. First you will need System Restore.
- Win 7 Users: Start button –> Type Windows System Restore –> Enter –> Open System Restore –> Select a Restore Point and revert to it.
- Win 8 Users: Hold down the Windows key + Q –> Type Recovery –> Settings –> Choose the Recovery icon –> Open System Restore –> Select a Restore Point.
- Win 10 Users: Start Menu –> Power Options Menu –> Hold down the SHIFT button while clicking on Restart –> Troubleshoot –> Advanced Options –> System Restore –> Select a Restore Point and apply it.
Secondly use program that can access your Shadow Copies.
- Use Google to find the official website of such a program and download it.
- Use the program to select the file types and the hard drive locations you want the program to scan for.
- Start the scan and keep in mind that it might take a while.
- Once the scan has been completed just select the files you want to be recovered.
If you have questions or suggestions feel free to use our comments section!