What is AutismLocker ransomware? And how does it execute its attack?
AutismLocker ransomware is a newly discovered file-encrypting virus which was first spotted in the first week of April 2018. Security experts found the debug version of this crypto-malware being distributed as “AustismLocker.exe”. Once this malicious executable file is launched, it will begin to execute its nefarious attack on the infected computer by scanning the entire drive to look for files to encrypt, which according to researchers, are files with the following extensions:
.PNG .PSD .PSPIMAGE .TGA .THM .TIF .TIFF .YUV .AI .EPS .PS .SVG .INDD .PCT .PDF .XLR .XLS .XLSX .ACCDB .DB .DBF .MDB .PDB .SQL .APK .APP .BAT .CGI .COM .EXE .GADGET .JAR .PIF .WSF .DEM .GAM .NES .ROM .SAV CAD Files .DWG .DXF GIS Files .GPX .KML .KMZ .ASP .ASPX .CER .CFM .CSR .CSS .HTM .HTML .JS .JSP .PHP .RSS .XHTML. DOC .DOCX .LOG .MSG .ODT .PAGES .RTF .TEX .TXT .WPD .WPS .CSV .DAT .GED .KEY .KEYCHAIN .PPS .PPT .PPTX ..INI .PRF Encoded Files .HQX .MIM .UUE .7Z .CBR .DEB .GZ .PKG .RAR .RPM .SITX .TAR.GZ .ZIP .ZIPX .BIN .CUE .DMG .ISO .MDF .TOAST .VCD SDF .TAR .TAX2014 .TAX2015 .VCF .XML Audio Files .AIF .IFF .M3U .M4A .MID .MP3 .MPA .WAV .WMA Video Files .3G2 .3GP .ASF .AVI .FLV .M4V .MOV .MP4 .MPG .RM .SRT .SWF .VOB .WMV 3D .3DM .3DS .MAX .OBJ R.BMP .DDS .GIF .JPG .CRX .PLUGIN .FNT .FON .OTF .TTF .CAB .CPL .CUR .DESKTHEMEPACK .DLL .DMP .DRV .ICNS .ICO .LNK .SYS .CFG
AutismLocker ransomware uses both the AES and RSA ciphers in encrypting files. What makes this ransomware stood out among other ransomware threats is that it does not extort money from its victims but ads for 15 nude pictures from them or a record of the victims “gunning down innocent children”. Here’s the full content of its ransom note:
“Listen to me you big juicy nut.
Your computer has been locked.
There are 2 ways to unlock it. To get the special code, you must record yourself gunning down innocent children or send me 15 of your nudes.
Send the recording or the nudes to [email protected], and we will make sure that you kill more than 17 people in the recording or make sure the nudes belong to you, and then you will get the code.
Once I get the recording/pics, I will put them on /b/.
Remember, Hitler did nothing wrong”
According to researchers, AutismLocker ransomware have some similarities with the Hitler ransomware though they have yet to show proof. Needless to say, even though this ransomware is still under development, it should not be taken lightly as it is not your typical ransomware threat.
How does AutismLocker ransomware disseminate its malicious payload?
At the time of writing, AutismLocker ransomware does not actively disseminate its malicious payload yet. However, its creators might use the commonly used method of distribution when it comes to ransomware threats – via spam emails.
Refer to the removal instructions laid out below to obliterate AutismLocker ransomware from your system.
Step 1: The first thing you need to do is to eliminate the process of AutismLocker ransomware by opening the Task Manager – simply tap the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard.
Step 2: After that, click the Processes tab and look for any suspicious process that takes up a lot of system memory and then end them all.
Step 3: Now that the malicious process is eliminated, close the Task Manager.
Step 4: Next, 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 AutismLocker ransomware or anything similar and then uninstall it.
Step 6: Then close Control Panel and tap Win + E keys to launch File Explorer.
Step 7: Navigate to the following locations below and look for AutismLocker ransomware’s malicious components it has created and downloaded into the system such as “Autismlocker.exe” and then delete all of them.
Step 8: Close the File Explorer.
Before you go on any further, 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 [product-name], 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 paths:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ScreenSaveTimeOut
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Step 12: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by AutismLocker ransomware.
Step12. 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 AutismLocker 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.
Once you’ve covered the first few steps given above, all that’s left for you to do is ensure the removal of AutismLocker ransomware by using a reliable program named [product-name].
Perform a full system scan using [product-code]. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot
- After that, the BIOS screen will 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.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the SafeMode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.