Click on screenshot to zoom
Danger level 7
Type: Trojans
Common infection symptoms:
  • Slow Computer
  • System crashes
  • Connects to the internet without permission
  • Installs itself without permissions
  • Can't be uninstalled via Control Panel

Kwaaklocked Ransomware

It is doubtful a lot of users may encounter Kwaaklocked Ransomware, but even so we will place instructions showing how it could be possible to get rid of this malware manually at the end of this article. As you see, the reason we believe the threat might not be distributed yet is it seems to be still in the development stage. It means the current version of this malicious application might be unable to encrypt targeted files and may not show a complete message on the ransom note. Nonetheless, in this article, we will talk about how this malware could be distributed or how it works so far. Thus, if you are interested in newest threats and wish to know how to protect your system against them, you might find it useful reading about Kwaaklocked Ransomware. Also, keep it in mind, we have a comments section below where you can leave your questions.

As many other ransomware applications, it is most likely Kwaaklocked Ransomware would be spread through malicious email attachments or software installers. This is why we would recommend staying away from suspicious Spam emails coming from unknown senders and unreliable file-sharing web pages offering torrents, pirated software, doubtful freeware, etc. In addition, you may want to acquire a reliable antimalware tool. It might be handy when you receive or download untrustworthy content that could be potentially dangerous. In which case, you could simply scan it with the chosen tool, and it should tell you whether the suspected file is safe to open. Unfortunately, with threats like Kwaaklocked Ransomware, the computer can get infected right away, which means it might be too late to do anything once the threat’s launcher is opened.

The sample we tested did not even work properly; still, our researchers were able to extract some information from it. For instance, it looks like the malicious application was based on open-source ransomware called Hidden Tear. What’s more, it appears to be Kwaaklocked Ransomware was programmed to encrypt various private files with the following extensions: .txt, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .odt, .jpg, .png, .csv, .sql, .mdb, .sln, .php, .asp, .aspx, .html, .xml, .psd. During this process, each of the encrypted files should be appended with a second extension called .kwaaklocked, which is why the affected files should look like recipe.txt.kwaaklocked, panda.jpg.kwaaklocked, presentation.pptx.kwaaklocked, and so on. Often, such threats leave alone the computer’s operating system and other software so that the device would remain bootable.

Later on, it appears to be the malware should create a text document on the %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\test location. As you can see the last folder is called “test” and it is one of the first clues showing Kwaaklocked Ransomware could be still in the development stage. The second one is the created text document we just mentioned. It should be called READ_IT.txt, and so far inside of it our researchers found only two simple lines: “Files has been encrypted with kwaak” and “Send me some bitcoins.” As you can see the message does not say how much the user should pay or how he should transfer the money. Keep it in mind a single Bitcoin is currently more than six thousand US dollars, so “some bitcoins” could be an enormously huge sum. As for the currency, it is most likely picked to remain anonymous.

Needless to say, we never recommend putting up with any demands since later on the cybercriminals behind the threat might have other requests or may not keep up with their promises. In other words, there is always a chance the user could end up being scammed. Instead, we advise deleting the malicious application and restoring files from backup copies if the user has any. The instructions placed a bit below this paragraph will show how you could try to erase Kwaaklocked Ransomware manually. Since we cannot guarantee they will work for everyone, we would recommend a reliable antimalware tool of your choice if you do not think you are experienced enough to remove the malware manually.

Eliminate Kwaaklocked Ransomware

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete.
  2. Go to the Task Manager.
  3. Find the threat’s process.
  4. Mark this process and click End Task.
  5. Exit Task Manager.
  6. Tap Win+E.
  7. Navigate to:
  8. See if you can locate the malicious file downloaded before the computer got infected.
  9. Right-click the suspicious file and press Delete.
  10. Check if the malware left any ransom notes, e.g., READ_IT.txt.
  11. Right-click them and select Delete.
  12. Close File Explorer.
  13. Empty Recycle bin.
  14. Reboot the system.
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