ColdLock ColdLock is a file-encrypting ransomware infection that criminals use to extort money from unsuspecting web users. ColdLock effectively restricts access to specific file types and blackmails the owners of the files to pay a ransom for them. The way that ColdLock operates is very stealthy and usually there are no visible symptoms of its presence in the system until it is too late and a scary ransom-demanding message is displayed on the screen. In addition to having no symptoms while it encrypts your files, ColdLock has another awful advantage. Most antivirus programs frequently do not recognize the ransomware\u2019s file encryption process as a dangerous operation and do nothing to stop it. And that is because it really isn\u2019t one. File encryption is used to protect data from unauthorized access by locking it with a special encryption code that requires a decryption key to be reversed. Ideally, the owner of the data is in a possession of that key, but if the encryption is applied by a ransomware infection such as ColdLock, that key is in the hands of the hackers who have a way to use it for their evil intent. They offer the key in exchange for a ransom payment and give the victims a strict deadline to transfer the required money to their account. The problem is that even if you send the money, there is no guarantee that you will get this key. That\u2019s why if your files have already been encrypted by ColdLock, what we suggest you do is first explore some of the alternative solutions that may help you remove the infection and recover some of your information for free. The removal guide below includes instructions for both and a professional ColdLock removal tool for automatic assistance. The ColdLock Ransomware The ColdLock virus is a new ransomware infection that uses complex file encryption in order to block users from being able to use their digital files. The information that the ColdLock ransomware encrypts cannot be read by any program and requires a decryption key to be accessed. When the ransomware attack has ended, you may find that all of your encrypted file names share one unusual and odd file extension. This extension is a suffix that prevents other applications from identifying the file type and reading it. Sadly, almost all types of digital files can become a target of the ransomware which brings us to what you can do to avoid such threats in the future. The best approach is to regularly create backups of your most important data and to store these backups on a separate drive that is not connected to the internet. In this way you can always access your information and even if a virus like ColdLock infects you, all you have to do is remove it from the computer and copy your files back to the clean system. The ColdLock file distribution The ColdLock file distribution typically happens with the help of various online transmitters. Hackers commonly spread the ColdLock file using compromised emails and social media posts. In those instances, the ransomware is normally delivered by a Trojan horse. Another common way to get infected with ransomware like this one is by clicking on a malicious web ad or a misleading web link. This method of malware distribution is known as malvertising, and is commonly used by a lot of cyber criminals. SUMMARY: Name ColdLock Type Ransomware Danger Level High (Ransomware is by far the worst threat you can encounter) Symptoms Very few and unnoticeable ones before the ransom notification comes up. Distribution Method From fake ads and fake system requests to spam emails and contagious web pages. Data Recovery Tool Detection Tool ColdLock Virus Removal Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference. Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don't know how to do it). WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING! Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which processes are dangerous. Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner: After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection - delete it, even if the scanner doesn't flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections. Hold the Start Key and R - copy + paste the following and click OK: notepad %windir%\/system32\/Drivers\/etc\/hosts A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below: If there are suspicious IPs below "Localhost" - write to us in the comments. Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up: Go in Startup ---> Uncheck entries that have "Unknown" as Manufacturer. \tPlease note that ransomware may even include a fake Manufacturer name to its process. Make sure you check out every process here is legitimate. Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter. Once inside, press CTRL and F together and type the virus's Name. Search for the ransomware in your registries and delete the entries. Be extremely careful - you can damage your system if you delete entries not related to the ransomware. Type each of the following in the Windows Search Field: \t%AppData% \t%LocalAppData% \t%ProgramData% \t%WinDir% \t%Temp% Delete everything in Temp. The rest just check out for anything recently added. Remember to leave us a comment if you run into any trouble! How to Decrypt ColdLock files We have a comprehensive (and daily updated) guide on how to decrypt your files. Check it out here. If the guide doesn't help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!