AnimusLocker Ransomware Removal Guide

Do you know what AnimusLocker Ransomware is?

AnimusLocker Ransomware is a harmful threat discovered by malware researchers for the first time at the end of June, 2018. As has been observed, it is a typical ransomware infection, so it does not differ from other threats categorized as ransomware much. That is, it slithers onto users’ computers illegally and then locks their files without mercy. You must remove the ransomware infection ASAP in this case, but do not expect that you will decrypt those encrypted files by removing this malicious application. Sending a ransom demanded by the ransomware infection to cyber criminals is not the best solution to the problem too because it is not likely at all that they will delete malware from the system for you when they receive your money. There are no guarantees that your files will be unlocked as well. As our specialists have observed, a bunch of victims do not get anything from cyber criminals even if they act as instructed, i.e. transfer money to the malware author, so do not blame us if you make a payment but do not get anything in exchange – we have warned you that this might happen.

Once AnimusLocker Ransomware is executed, it will kill Windows Explorer right away. The process might restart automatically, but if it does not happen in your case, you will have to launch the explorer.exe process yourself. AnimusLocker Ransomware will also lock your personal files. Unlike many other ransomware infections analyzed by our researchers, it does not rename any affected files; however, it does not mean that you will have to check them all one by one to find out which of your files have been encrypted by this threat because it appends the .animus extension to all files it encrypts, for example, picture.jpg will turn into picture.jpg.animus. Once all files are locked, the ransomware infection drops three files: ANIMUS_RESTORE.txt, ANIMUS_RESTORE2.txt, and ANIMUS_RESTORE3.txt. You could locate them in all affected directories on your computer. The ransom note is also dropped in the Startup folder. Consequently, it is automatically opened on every system startup. Ransom notes are dropped on affected computers to inform users about the situation. Also, they find out what they can do to unlock their files if they read them. AnimusLocker Ransomware demands money from users too. This particular ransomware infection promises to unlock all encrypted files for 100 USD. It is up to you whether or not to send money to crooks, but if we were you, we would not transfer a cent to cyber criminals. As mentioned, there are no guarantees that your files will be unlocked. In addition, malware will not be removed from your system even if you make a payment.AnimusLocker Ransomware Removal GuideAnimusLocker Ransomware screenshot
Scroll down for full removal instructions

There is nothing new about the distribution of AnimusLocker Ransomware – it is spread using old distribution methods. To be more specific, this threat might be dropped on your system and encrypt your files right away if you open the attachment from the malicious spam email you have received. It might also infiltrate your computer if your Remote Desktop Protocol credentials are unsafe and can be hacked easily. Last but not least, you should keep your system clean because harmful threats, e.g. Trojans might drop ransomware infections and other harmful malicious applications on your system without your knowledge. You will prevent malware from slithering onto your computer illegally by installing security software on your computer. According to our security experts, users will never feel 100% safe unless they have an automated antimalware tool enabled on their computers.

You must erase AnimusLocker Ransomware as soon as possible even though none of your files will be unlocked. You will erase it fully when you delete all dropped ransom notes from affected directories and Startup, remove 000000000.key (it contains the randomly-generated key used for identification), and delete all suspicious files downloaded recently. All malicious components that belong to this ransomware infection can also be erased using an antimalware scanner. Your system will be clean after a single scan with it, but, unfortunately, your files will stay encrypted.

How to remove AnimusLocker Ransomware

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
  2. Click File and select Run new task.
  3. Type explorer.exe and click OK.
  4. Press Win+E.
  5. Delete ANIMUS_RESTORE.txt, ANIMUS_RESTORE2.txt, and ANIMUS_RESTORE3.txt from all affected directories and the following Startup directories:
  • %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs
  • %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  • %USERPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  • %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  • %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  1. Go to %APPDATA%.
  2. Remove 000000000.key.
  3. Erase all recently downloaded files.
  4. Empty Trash.

In non-techie terms:

AnimusLocker Ransomware is a harmful malicious application that will turn your life into a complete disaster – it will lock the most important files on your computer. This ransomware infection only wants your money, but you should not transfer money to malicious software developers because your files might not be unlocked after the payment is made. The ransomware infection will not be deleted from your system either.