What is Lightning ransomware? And how does it implement its attack?
Lightning ransomware is a new variant of Everbe ransomware and like other Everbe variants, it is designed to lock important data in an infected computer and demand a ransom from its victims. Specifically, Lightning ransomware is the variant of Everbe 2.0 ransomware and uses the .lightning extension in marking the files it encrypts.
Once its malicious payload reaches the targeted computer, Lightning ransomware, it connects the computer to a remote Command and Control or C&C server managed by the attackers. After that, it downloads more malicious components that are used for its information gathering and stealth protection modules. It first starts to employ the data gathering module used to gather data about the infected system and the personal information of the user(s). The harvested information, along with some malicious components is then used for the stealth protection module used to keep the crypto-malware invisible in the system from any programs that might interfere with its attack. Moreover, it might also make changes in the Windows Registry so that it can automatically every time you start your computer. After that, it looks for files with the following extensions:
.doc, .docx, .jpg, .lnk, .pdf, .xls, xlsx
It targets the very same file types as Everbe 2.0 ransomware. And just like Everbe 2.0 ransomware, Lightning ransomware also uses either the AES or DES cipher in locking the targeted files. Following data encryption, it drops a file named “!=How_to_decrypt_files=!.txt” which contains the following message:
“Hello ! All your files have been encrypted !
Don’t worry , we can help tou to return all of your files .
If you want to know price for decryptor , write to our email – [email protected]
In the subject write – id-8f821b2589c3 .
Every 7 days price doubles.
If within 24 hours we didn’t answer you , write to our backup mail – [email protected]”
How is the payload file of Lightning ransomware distributed over the web?
Just like Everbe 2.0 ransomware, Lightning ransomware spreads using several tactics such as unprotected RDP configuration, deceptive downloads, botnets, exploit kits, fake software or software updates, and spam emails. Although it mostly uses spam emails with malicious attachment used to install the crypt-malware in the system.
Use the removal guide given below in eliminating Lightning ransomware from your computer.
Step 1: The first thing you need to do is to obliterate the process of Lightning 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 suspicious-looking process that takes up most of your CPU’s resources and is most likely related to Lightning ransomware 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 Lightning 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 Lightning ransomware’s malicious components like the file named “!=How_to_decrypt_files=!.txt”, “[random].exe” as well as other suspicious files it has created and downloaded into the system 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 path:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ScreenSaveTimeOut
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Step 11: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Lightning 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 Lightning 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.
After you’ve covered the steps provided above, you need to continue the removal process of Lightning ransomware using a reliable program like [product-name]. How? Follow the advanced removal steps below.
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 it.
- 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 Safe Mode 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.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now” button.