Viruses and malware have existed since the early years of the Internet; so, has ransomware. The first attempt of a ransomware attack was in 1989 through the “AIDS” Trojan. Today, there are hundreds of ransomware on the internet ready to infect your device for ransom.
Ransomware attacks can be devastating. In 2017 we saw its destruction when the WannaCry ransomware caused over $6 million of damages. This popular attack opened the world to the dangers of ransomware attacks. Now, strains of ransomware lurk on the internet; and the Lokas Ransomware is one of them.
What Is Lokas Ransomware?
The Lokas ransomware is a ransomware variant that comes from the famous STOP (Djvu) ransomware family. Like its other variants, the Lokas ransomware infiltrates devices, scans it, and encrypts files with a “.lokas” file extension. This extension is a high-level encryption algorithm that is difficult to restore. Restoration of Lokas-encrypted files requires a series of private keys and decryption software.
The Lokas ransomware scans and encrypts personal files and data before dropping a .txt ransom note. The ransom note demands a payment of $980 for the private keys and decryption software. They also offer a 50% discount if victims make contact within 72 hours.
On top of encrypting files, the Lokas ransomware can also change entries and files, inject malware, and start fake updates.
Lokas Ransomware — How Do I Get Infected?
The Lokas ransomware is distributed through spam and fake emails. The hacker hides the malware in an attachment posing as a legitimate document. Malicious emails could use real brands or banks with tempting offerings to lure victims.
Lokas Removal Guide:
Just like any ransomware infection, Lokas removal and recovery is difficult but not impossible. If your device is infected by the Lokas ransomware, here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can eliminate it from your device.
Step 1: Install an antivirus/antimalware software
The first thing you need to do is remove the Lokas malware from your device. This can be done by downloading trustworthy antivirus software and performing a full system scan.
Free antivirus programs don’t offer much security but can help locate and remove the Lokas malware from your system. Getting a paid antivirus subscription could provide better protection but may not be necessary.
Step 2: Scan your system thoroughly
One full system scan may not be enough to remove the malware completely. Many malware types hide behind other files and can remain undetected during a full system scan. If the ransomware is not completely removed from your system, it will just encrypt your files again and again.
To ensure that your system is free of the Lokas ransomware, thoroughly scan each file location in your system. Conduct a full scan, then do individual scans for each file location. This step can take a while, but it’s better than getting infected again.
If you want to be extra sure that the malware is gone, you can boot your device in safe mode and run a full system scan from there. Safe mode only boots the necessary components to run the operating system. And since other components of the PC will not be running, it’s easier to run a comprehensive sweep of the system.
Sept 3: Use a disk cleanup tool
After running your scans and deleting the Lokas malware from all your files, you can do a final sweep by clearing out the temporary files on your device. You can do this by using disk clean up tool.
Disk clean up tools will clear out any unnecessary files on your device. By removing these files, you reduce the chances that the malware could come back. It also clears some disk space on your device so you can run faster virus scans.
File Recovery Methods
After removing the Lokas malware, it’s time to recover your encrypted data. There are several options you can use to attempt data recovery, but they are not 100% successful all the time.
Option 1: Load a previous restore point
For Windows devices, there’s a way to restore old versions of files and settings on your device. This will allow you to restore the encrypted file to one of its earlier versions. Though some part of the content may disappear, it’s better than having to redo everything from scratch.
However, there is a downside to this method. If you did not make a restore point before the Lokas ransomware attack, you may not have a previous version of the file to recover to. To use this feature, regularly backup your systems and files.
Option 2: Use a decryption tool
Another option is to use a Lokas decryption tool. If successful, you can decrypt the files and restore them to their current state without having to pay the hackers. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.
So far, Lokas decryption tools only work when files are encrypted using offline encryption keys. This means that the malware was not able to receive an encryption key from the server and used one that is already known by the decryption tool. This method may help bring back your file in its current state, but the chances of successful decryption are low. Keeping backups of your files is a much easier method of file retrieval.
Lokas Ransomware — Final Note
Being a victim of the Lokas ransomware is an unfortunate event. But paying a high price for your data back may not be the best idea. After all, there’s no guarantee that the hackers will give you the data back after you pay. If you fall victim to the Lokas ransomware, you can follow these steps to eliminate it from your device and recover your system.