What is Scott.Armstrong Ransomware
Scott.Armstrong is a ransomware virus that encrypts sensitive files by appending the .LOCKED extension. This is meant to highlight the blocked data and catch the attention of infected victims. For example, a file like
1.pdf will change to
1.pdf.LOCKED and reset its original icon. After this, users will no longer be able to access their data as previously. Right at the end of encryption, the virus triggers a pop-up window called HOW_TO_RECOVER_MY_FILES.hta to open. It also creates a separate text note (HOW_TO_RECOVER_MY_FILES.txt) containing detailed instructions on how to return your data.
ALL YOUR FILES HAS BEEN ENCRYPTED! FIND THE "HOW_TO_RECOVER_MY_FILES" NOTE ON THE DESKTOP FOR MORE INSTRUCTIONS!
Key Identifier: -
ALL YOUR FILES HAS BEEN ENCRYPTED!
ALL YOUR FILES HAVE NOW THE .LOCKED EXTENSION!
TO DE-CRYPT YOUR FILES, CONTACT US HERE:
1- Download qTox >>> hxxps://tox.chat/download.html
2- Install qTox and make a profile, after you have done this:
3- Use this TOX-ID (Copy + Paste):
and make a friend request, after 5 minutes, you will be in contact with our negotiator.
If you want proof, attach 2-3 encrypted files together with the Key ID
(you can find the Key-ID in the How-To-Recover-My-Files document on your Desktop,)
less then 5Mb each, non-archived and your files should not contain valuable information, like
Databases, back-ups, large excel sheets, etc.
You will receive decrypted samples and our conditions how to get the decoder.
Please don't forget to write the name of your company in the subject of your e-mail!
Alternatively, please get in touch with the negotiator at the following email address:
Key Identifier: -
The text note instructs victims to install the qTox private messenger and contact developers using the provided TOX-ID. Alternatively, you may also establish contact with cybercriminals through e-mail by sending your Key Identifier, which is attached in the note. You are also allowed to send up to 3 files together with the Key ID to get them decrypted for free. These files should be less than 5MB each, non-archived, and do not contain any valuable information (e.g. databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.). Based on the message content, it is clear that Scott.Armstrong puts more emphasis on infecting company networks to export bigger amounts of ransom. To decrypt files, victims will have to buy special software developed and held only by cybercriminals. Paying the ransom is always a risk because many cybercriminals tend to scam their victims and not send any promised tools. Being infected with ransomware raises a number of serious risks regarding your data. It is likely that malefactors have uploaded your data to their server meaning they are able to use it for financial purposes no matter whether you paid the ransom or not. The only way to recover your data is by using backup copies. It is less likely that some third-party utilities will be able to decrypt files enciphered by Scott.Armstrong completely, at least at the time of writing this article. It can be the case if there are some flaws and vulnerabilities allowing external decryptors to match up the keys. You should try third-party decryptors only if no other recovery option is present. Make sure to follow our guide below to learn all possible methods to remove Scott.Armstrong Ransomware and regain access back to your data.
How Scott.Armstrong Ransomware infected your computer
Ransomware infections are notoriously distributed via malicious files inside of e-mail spam letters. These letters are usually disguised as something legitimate and very curious to open. The source often looks very similar to popular company names, such as DHL, DPD, FedEx, and others. It is also possible the message was sent by the name of some advertising campaign that promotes exclusive products or offers. Whatever the source, opening files like .DOCX, .XLSX, .PDF, .EXE, .ZIP, .RAR, or .JS from such messages will more likely infect your system with malware. Cybercriminals use these files to alter their configuration and set up malicious scripts to install various malware. For this reason, it is recommended to stay on alert and avoid interaction with messages of this sort. Besides e-mail spam attachments, users may also be chased by infection through trojans, fake software cracking tools, unreliable updates or program installers, backdoors, keyloggers, unprotected RDP configuration, malicious ads, and other dangerous channels. If you are wondering how to protect yourself against such threats in the future, we will show you that below.
- Download Scott.Armstrong Ransomware Removal Tool
- Get decryption tool for .LOCKED files
- Recover encrypted files with Stellar Data Recovery Professional
- Restore encrypted files with Windows Previous Versions
- Restore files with Shadow Explorer
- How to protect from threats like Scott.Armstrong Ransomware
Download Removal Tool
To remove Scott.Armstrong Ransomware completely, we recommend you to use Combo Cleaner from RCS LT. It detects and removes all files, folders, and registry keys of Scott.Armstrong Ransomware and prevents future infections by similar viruses.
Alternative Removal Tool
To remove Scott.Armstrong Ransomware completely, we recommend you to use SpyHunter 5 from EnigmaSoft Limited. It detects and removes all files, folders, and registry keys of Scott.Armstrong Ransomware. The trial version of SpyHunter 5 offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.
Scott.Armstrong Ransomware files:
Scott.Armstrong Ransomware registry keys:
How to decrypt and restore .LOCKED files
Use automated decryptors
Download Kaspersky RakhniDecryptor
Use following tool from Kaspersky called Rakhni Decryptor, that can decrypt .LOCKED files. Download it here:
There is no purpose to pay the ransom because there is no guarantee you will receive the key, but you will put your bank credentials at risk.
Dr.Web Rescue Pack
Famous antivirus vendor Dr. Web provides free decryption service for the owners of its products: Dr.Web Security Space or Dr.Web Enterprise Security Suite. Other users can ask for help in the decryption of .LOCKED files by uploading samples to Dr. Web Ransomware Decryption Service. Analyzing files will be performed free of charge and if files are decryptable, all you need to do is purchase a 2-year license of Dr.Web Security Space worth $120 or less. Otherwise, you don’t have to pay.
If you are infected with Scott.Armstrong Ransomware and removed from your computer you can try to decrypt your files. Antivirus vendors and individuals create free decryptors for some crypto-lockers. To attempt to decrypt them manually you can do the following:
Use Stellar Data Recovery Professional to restore .LOCKED files
- Download Stellar Data Recovery Professional.
- Click Recover Data button.
- Select type of files you want to restore and click Next button.
- Choose location where you would like to restore files from and click Scan button.
- Preview found files, choose ones you will restore and click Recover.
Using Windows Previous Versions option:
- Right-click on infected file and choose Properties.
- Select Previous Versions tab.
- Choose particular version of the file and click Copy.
- To restore the selected file and replace the existing one, click on the Restore button.
- In case there is no items in the list choose alternative method.
Using Shadow Explorer:
- Download Shadow Explorer program.
- Run it and you will see screen listing of all the drives and the dates that shadow copy was created.
- Select the drive and date that you want to restore from.
- Right-click on a folder name and select Export.
- In case there are no other dates in the list, choose alternative method.
If you are using Dropbox:
- Login to the DropBox website and go to the folder that contains encrypted files.
- Right-click on the encrypted file and select Previous Versions.
- Select the version of the file you wish to restore and click on the Restore button.
How to protect computer from viruses, like Scott.Armstrong Ransomware, in future
1. Get special anti-ransomware software
Use ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware
Famous antivirus brand ZoneAlarm by Check Point released a comprehensive tool, that will help you with active anti-ransomware protection, as an additional shield to your current protection. The tool provides Zero-Day protection against ransomware and allows you to recover files. ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware is compatible with all other antiviruses, firewalls, and security software except ZoneAlarm Extreme (already shipped with ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware) or Check Point Endpoint products. The killer features of this application are: automatic file recovery, overwrite protection that instantly and automatically recovers any encrypted files, file protection that detects and blocks even unknown encryptors.
2. Back up your files
As an additional way to save your files, we recommend online backup. Local storage, such as hard drives, SSDs, flash drives, or remote network storage can be instantly infected by the virus once plugged in or connected to. Scott.Armstrong Ransomware uses some techniques to exploit this. One of the best services and programs for easy automatic online backup is iDrive. It has the most profitable terms and a simple interface. You can read more about iDrive cloud backup and storage here.
3. Do not open spam e-mails and protect your mailbox
Malicious attachments to spam or phishing e-mails are the most popular method of ransomware distribution. Using spam filters and creating anti-spam rules is good practice. One of the world leaders in anti-spam protection is MailWasher Pro. It works with various desktop applications and provides a very high level of anti-spam protection.