Why You Must Know About Locky Virus
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Why You Must Know About Locky Virus

Locky virus is a ransomware-type virus, which has been threatening the Internet world since January 2016. Being a powerful ransomware, it is used to infiltrate computers, check them and encrypt the most important files. Additionally, Locky virus asks the victim to pay a ransom, ranging from $300 to $5000 in exchange for a special decryption key. When trying to open any of affected documents, victim starts seeing an extension called “.locky”. This virus was first noticed in Europe, reportedly resulting in hundreds of private users PC’s being hijacked. The most affected countries are Germany, France and Netherlands. However, it has also been announced that the latest victims of Locky virus come from US meaning that there is no country immune to this threat.

The virus spreads through misleading emails and their attachments. The infected Word file, which is deceptively introduced as an INVOICE, actually contains a coded virus. This virus is activated via Word’s macros, which are disabled by Microsoft by default. However, some of PC users have them enabled and this is a huge problem when dealing with Locky because once they are enabled, the virus is activated. Those who have Word macros disabled are asked to turn the macros on. Please, DO NOT enable them because this will run a script activating the virus!

Once Locky is in your system, it starts scanning your files and encoding them with RSA-2048 and AES-128 algorithms. After it is done encrypting the files, the user receives a .TXT file named “__Locky_recover_instructions”, which contains the instructions for paying the ransom. This file is added to every folder containing encrypted files on the victim’s computer. To be completely sure, the user sees the message, Locky modifies the desktop settings to display the same ransom note. What is more, this virus also deletes all the files’ shadow copies using the vssadmin command. In this way, the user is also shut out from the possibility to recover the documents from the system backup. In fact, having a system backup stored in some external drive is the only guaranteed way which can help you keep your files safe from such malicious programs like Locky.

If you are not yet infected by this treacherous virus, which was named the fastest-spreading virus, there are methods that can help you to protect your files from being locked. You have to follow 3 basic rules: do not open suspicious emails from unfamiliar senders, keep your documents stored on external drives and obtain a reputable antivirus software to ensure safer browsing. If you are one of unlucky users who have their files encrypted by this threat, you should remove Locky virus from your system and restore your files from a backup.


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