Threat Database Ransomware VXLOCK Ransomware

VXLOCK Ransomware

By GoldSparrow in Ransomware

Threat Scorecard

Threat Level: 100 % (High)
Infected Computers: 3
First Seen: January 25, 2017
Last Seen: May 27, 2021
OS(es) Affected: Windows

The VXLOCK Ransomware is a ransomware Trojan that is used to force computer users to pay large sums of money. Malware like the VXLOCK Ransomware carries out extortion attacks taking the victims' computers hostage until the victim pays a ransom. There are two ways these threats do this; either by locking the victims out of their computers by using a lock screen (a full-screen message that cannot be closed) or encrypting the victim's files so that they are no longer accessible. The VXLOCK Ransomware belongs to the second category of these threats, which are more threatening substantially since the damage they cause remains even if the Trojan itself is removed. The VXLOCK Ransomware and its variants constitute a serious threat to the computer users' data, and precautions should be taken to limit the damage from these attacks.

Deceitful Phishing Emails may Carry the VXLOCK Ransomware Infection

PC security researchers first observed the VXLOCK Ransomware after it was uploaded to an online anti-virus scanner, which is often used by con artists to ensure that their malware creations can evade security software. The VXLOCK Ransomware carries out a standard version of this tactic, which has become common in the last year increasingly. The VXLOCK Ransomware will enter a computer covertly, encrypt the victim's files so that they are no longer accessible, and then demand that the victim pays a ransom to restore the affected files. The VXLOCK Ransomware and similar threats are frequently distributed using spam email messages. In the case of the VXLOCK Ransomware, this malware's installer is delivered through phishing emails that trick computer users into opening an attached file, which can take the form of a PDF, a DOCX or a RAR file.

The VXLOCK Ransomware Uses Various Tricks to Evade Detection

The VXLOCK Ransomware is designed to infect computers running the Windows operating system. During the attack, the VXLOCK Ransomware may display a fake error message that allows the con artists to obtain administrative rights to encrypt the victim's files. The VXLOCK Ransomware will often be designed to take the name of a different file process, such as an Internet Explorer or a Windows system file process to evade detection. During its attack, the VXLOCK Ransomware will encrypt the victim's files, targeting files on all hard drives, external memory devices and shared directories. The encrypted files will have the extension '.VXLOCK' appended to the end of the file name. The encrypted by the VXLOCK Ransomware will no longer be accessible; Windows Explorer will display a blank icon and attempts to open the encrypted files will result in error. After the VXLOCK Ransomware has finished encrypting the victim's files, it will deliver a ransom note. To do this, the VXLOCK Ransomware drops a file on the victim's Desktop. The ransom note will take the form of a text note with a name such as 'HOW TO DECRYPT' or 'HOW TO UNLOCK.' Some variants of the VXLOCK Ransomware may, instead, display a pop-up message with the ransom note text, or do both things.

Dealing with the VXLOCK Ransomware Infection

Currently, the VXLOCK Ransomware has not been released in the wild, and since PC security researchers have already taken a note of it, it is possible that it will not be released, or that only a heavily modified version of the VXLOCK Ransomware will be used to carry out attacks in the wild. It is clear that the VXLOCK Ransomware is still under development as of January 2017. There are still some issues with the VXLOCK Ransomware's encryption engine, which will likely be modified if the VXLOCK Ransomware is intended to be released for attacks to the public. Unfortunately, attacks like the VXLOCK Ransomware cause irreparable damage to the affected files and computer users must restore their files from a backup copy to recover their data. Because of this, the best possible precaution against attacks like the VXLOCK Ransomware is to have backups of all data and keep them updated.


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