What is PyLocky ransomware? And how does it execute its attack?

PyLocky ransomware is a file-locking malware created in order to lock important files and demand ransom from victims in exchange for data recovery. This new ransomware uses the .lockymap extension in marking the files it encrypts. It starts to execute its attack by dropping the following malicious payload in the system:

Name: facture_4739149_08.26.2018.exe

SHA256:8655f8599b0892d55efc13fea404b520858d01812251b1d25dcf0afb4684dce9

Size: 5.3 MB

After dropping its malicious payload, this crypto-malware connects the infected computer to a remote server where it downloads more malicious files and places them on system folders. It then applies a data gathering module used to gather data about the user and the computer. The malicious files that were downloaded earlier along with the data obtained are used for another module called stealth protection. This allows PyLocky ransomware to execute its attack without detection from any security or antivirus programs installed in the system. It also modifies some registry keys and entries in the Windows Registry such as:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
  • HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

Once all the modifications are carried out, PyLocky ransomware will begin encrypting its targeted files using a sophisticated encryption cipher. Following the encryption, it adds the .lockymap extension to each one of the encrypted files and releases a ransom note named “LOCKY-README.txt” which contains the following content:

“Please be adviced:

All your files, pictures document and data has been encrypted with Military Grade Encryption RSA ABS-256.

Your information is not lost. But Encrypted.

In order for you to restore your files, you have to purchase Decrypter.

Follow this steps to restore your files.

1* Download the Tor Browser. ( Just type in google “Download Tor“

2‘ Browse to URL: http://4wcgqlckaazungm.onion/index.php

3* Purchase the Decryptor to restore your files.

It is very simple. If you don’t believe that we can restore your files, then you can restore 1 file of image format for free.

Be aware the time is ticking. Price will be doubled every 96 hours so use it wisely.

Your unique ID :

CAUTION:

Please do not try to modify or delete any encrypted file as it will be hard to restore it.

SUPPORT:

You can contact support to help decrypt your files for you.

Click on support at http://4wcgqlckaazungm.onion/index.php”

How does PyLocky ransomware spread over the web?

PyLocky ransomware spreads using malicious spam email campaigns. Creators of this threat embed an infected attachment to spam emails and send them using a spambot. Crooks may even use deceptive tactics to trick you into opening the malware-laden immediately which is something you must not do. Thus, before opening any emails, make sure that you’ve thoroughly checked them.

To successfully obliterate PyLocky ransomware from your computer, refer to the removal guide laid out below.

Step 1: Launch the Task Manager by simply tapping Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard.

Step 2: Under the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab and look for the process named facture_4739149_08.26.2018.exe and any suspicious-looking process which takes up most of your CPU’s resources and is most likely related to PyLocky ransomware.

Step 3: After that, close the Task Manager.

Step 4: Tap Win + R, type in appwiz.cpl and click OK or tap Enter to open Control Panel’s list of installed programs.

Step 5: Under the list of installed programs, look for PyLocky ransomware or anything similar and then uninstall it.

Step 6: Next, close Control Panel and tap Win + E keys to launch File Explorer.

Step 7: Navigate to the following locations below and look for PyLocky ransomware’s malicious components such as facture_4739149_08.26.2018.exe and LOCKY-README.txt as well as other suspicious files, then delete all of them.

  • %TEMP%
  • %WINDIR%\System32\Tasks
  • %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Templates\
  • %USERPROFILE%\Downloads
  • %USERPROFILE%\Desktop

Step 8: Close the File Explorer.

Before you proceed to the next steps below, make sure that you are tech savvy enough to the point where you know exactly how to use and navigate your computer’s Registry. Keep in mind that any changes you make will highly impact your computer. To save you the trouble and time, you can just use Advanced System Repair, this system tool is proven to be safe and excellent enough that hackers won’t be able to hack into it. But if you can manage Windows Registry well, then, by all means, go on to the next steps.

Step 9: Tap Win + R to open Run and then type in regedit in the field and tap enter to pull up Windows Registry.

Step 10: Navigate to the following path:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
  • HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

Step 11: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by PyLocky ransomware.

Step 12: Close the Registry Editor and empty the Recycle Bin.

Try to recover your encrypted files using the Shadow Volume copies

Restoring your encrypted files using Windows’ Previous Versions feature will only be effective if PyLocky ransomware hasn’t deleted the shadow copies of your files. But still, this is one of the best and free methods there is, so it’s definitely worth a shot.

To restore the encrypted file, right-click on it and select Properties, a new window will pop-up, then proceed to Previous Versions. It will load the file’s previous version before it was modified. After it loads, select any of the previous versions displayed on the list like the one in the illustration below. And then click the Restore button.

Complete the removal process of PyLocky ransomware by using a trusted and reliable program like Advanced System Repair. Refer to the following guidelines on how to use it.

Perform a full system scan using ASR. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot
  2. After that, the BIOS screen wil be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.

  1. To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
  2. Windows will now load the SafeMode with Networking.
  3. Press and hold both R key and Windows key.

  1. If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
  2. Type in the URL address, https://errortools.com/download/advanced-system-repair/ in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
  3. After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
  4. Once the installation process is completed, run ASR to perform a full system scan.

  1. After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Nowbutton.