In this article we are going to try and help you remove Alma Locker Ransomware. Our instructions cover all Windows versions.
A strange program has locked your files with a strong encryption and is now asking you to pay money to unlock your files? It this is the case with you then we are sorry to inform you that you have become a victim of a very nasty form of online blackmail known as Ransomware. Alma Locker is the name of the cryptovirus that is causing you the trouble and in the next lines we are going to help you better understand why that infection happened and how can you deal with it. At the end of the article, you are going to find a helpful removal guide with instructions on how to manually clean your system from this malware. We would also like to share with you some options you can use to restore some of your encrypted files as well as some good tips on prevention and protection. Let’s begin!
Are your files corrupted?
If you are facing Ransomware for the first time, you should know that this is one of the nastiest online threats that is available on the web. Now, we don’t want to scare you here, but knowing what you are facing is the first step to start solving the problem. Unlike other malware threats like viruses that steal information, destroy your data or corrupt your system, Alma Locker does not delete or corrupt your files in any way. It applies an encryption to them instead. What this means is that a very strong and complex algorithm of symbols is used to convert all the data on the infected machine into unreadable files. Encrypted this way, there is no way to open them with any program or access the content without a special decryption key. All the information is still present on the system’s hard drive, but the file names or file extensions may be changed to some unusual and strange ones. The cybercriminals behind the ransomware use this locked data to blackmail the victims. A ransom is demanded in exchange for the decryption key if they want to access their files again.
How does the infection happen?
When spreading Alma Locker, the hackers can make huge amounts of easy and illegal money just by infecting unsuspecting users and encrypting their files for ransom, as long as people keep paying to get their data back. Therefore, they use multiple distribution methods to infect as many people as possible. Organized and targeted attacks of this threat happen usually through spam e-mails with attachments containing the malicious payload. Normally, the threat is very well camouflaged as a seemingly harmless file or interesting piece of content or a link. A single click out of curiosity is enough to activate the malware and let it sneak inside the computer. System vulnerabilities or Trojan horse infections are the perfect backdoors for ransomware to infect your machine. Once it finds its way through, Alma Locker tries to remain unnoticed while silently applying its encryption to all the files that are available. Music, photos, documents, projects and all sort of commonly used user data can fall encrypted by this ransomware. Once the process is completed, it reveals itself on the desktop with a ransom note from the cyber criminals. They request ransom that should be paid before a given deadline. Threats and manipulations could also be used by the crooks in order to press the victims to pay.
Breaking the encryption and restoring the files – is this possible?
Direct decryption of the locked data is only possible through the unique decryption key. Unfortunately, that key is in the hands of the hackers and the amount of money they ask for it is usually not small. Payment details are given in the ransom note and the crooks make sure no one can trace them by requesting payment in Bitcoins. This is a version of online currency that is practically untraceable and this prevents the crooks from being detected by the authorities. They may play hard and threaten victims to delete the key if a payment is not made. Manipulated this way, many victims would pay the ransom just not to leave their data locked. However, very often they only burn their money and never get a decryption key. But don’t get discouraged, there are a few things that are free and it’s worth giving them a try. Just check them in the removal guide below.
Paying the ransom only makes the crooks richer!
Security experts advise victims of Ransomware to always seek for all other options to restore their data instead of paying the ransom. The reason is that the more people are paying, the more popular this form of online robbery becomes among the crooks and they keep developing and spreading it. That’s why we suggest you to first check options like the removal guide below, our tips on how to get back some of your files from system backups instead of helping that threat become a “profitable business”.
Cleaning the infection:
Cleaning the infection should be the first thing you should do to regain access to your machine and prevent hackers from exploiting it for their malicious deeds. The instructions below will help you do so, but there are a few more things you should do once you are finished. Firstly, get a good antivirus and scan your machine. To ensure optimal protection in the future keep your system updated and avoid suspicious online locations or content that could expose you to risks. A backup of all your valuable data to an external drive or a cloud would minimize the risk of data loss should you face some malware infections again.
Alma Locker 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 Alma Locker.
- 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 Alma Locker.
- 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 Alma Locker 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!