Internet is undoubtedly plays part in everyday living of all computer users worldwide and by accessing this inter-connected global data, it is certain that virus attack from several sources are imminent. One particular type of malware that every computer user would really want to elude is ransomware. Aside from the system infection, victims will also have to deal with locked files that most of the time can never be recovered without paying the ransom demand set by attackers. This is what Lotep ransomware can do once it gains entry on the computer.
The main objective of every ransomware is to rip off money from their victims by compelling them to settle ransom payment through attacker’s designated online processor, which is usually undertake in Bitcoin currency. Makers of Lotep ransomware can easily persuade victims to follow their directive because in stake are precious important files from the infected computer. Users may still have the possession to the entire inaccessible data, while attackers are holding the key to unlock them.
During the course of Lotep ransomware infection, all files on the computers are encrypted with a sophisticated algorithm that requires complicated decryption process. In addition, it renames encrypted files by adding a .lotep extension. After the file-locking process, Lotep ransomware will leave a ransom note on every infected directories stating the possibilities of recovering .lotep files but this may not come cheap. As what was written on the record, victims are required to pay $980 in exchange for the private key and decryption software, which are the only solution to decrypt the files. Below is the screenshot of Lotep ransom note.
When dealing with this type of ransomware, renaming or removing .lotep extension is not possible. In fact, this unsuitable belief or procedures by some victims can result in additional file corruption and will obscure the possible decryption. Thus, it renders the encrypted files perpetually useless.
For potential decryption of .lotep files, please see the guide below. Also included are ways to remove Lotep ransom virus using only trusted and efficient malware scanner.
How to Remove Lotep Ransomware
Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Lotep virus. Aside from our suggested tool, you may also run your own security program.
Though affected files may be impossible to decrypt due to complexity of the encryption, you can still try recovery method like alternative tool, Shadow Explorer or Previous Version as described below.
Stage 1: Scan the Computer with Anti-Malware Tool
1. Download free anti-malware scanner called MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (this will open a new window)
2. After downloading, install the program. It may run automatically or you have to double-click on the downloaded file MB3-Setup-[version].exe.
3. Carry out the installation with default setup process.
4. At the last stage of installation process, click the Finish button. The program should launch momentarily.
5. On Malwarebytes Anti-Malware console, select Scan from the menu to see available Scan Method.
6. Next, click on Threat Scan. This is the most complete scan method that will surely find any hidden malicious objects associated to Lotep ransomware.
7. Finally, click on Start Scan begin checking the computer for malware and similar threats.
8. Once the scan has completed, the tool will display the list of detected threats. Remove all identified malicious items and restart the computer if necessary.
Stage 2: Double-check for Lotep’s leftover with Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool
1. Download the free scanner called Malicious Software Removal Tool.
Malicious Software Removal Tool Download Link (this will open a new window)
2. The tool automatically checks the operating system and suggest appropriate download version. Click on Download button to begin. Save the file to a convenient location, preferably on Desktop.
3. After downloading the file, Windows will prompt that download has completed. Click Run to start scanning for Lotep ransomware. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.
4. The tool will display Welcome screen, click Next. Please note the message “This tool is not a replacement for an antivirus product.” You must understand that this program is made specifically to find and remove malware, viruses, Trojans, and other harmful elements on the computer. It was not designed to protect the computer.
5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Lotep ransom virus entities and other harmful files left on the computer will be found and removed. For advanced computer user, you can opt for Customized Scan, if there are other drives or folders you wanted to include in this scan.
6. Full scan may take a while, please wait for Malicious Software Removal Tool to complete the tasks. However, you may cancel the scan anytime by clicking on the Cancel button.
7. After scanning, the tool will reveal all identified threats. There may be other threats that our first scan fails to detect. Please remove/delete all detected items.
8. When removal procedure is complete, you may now close Malicious Software Removal Tool. We hope that Lotep ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.
Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Lotep Decryption Tool
So far, this Lotep decryption tool works only for files that were encrypted using offline keys. This happens sometimes if the virus is unable to communicate to remote server to obtain unique keys; instead, it will use offline keys when encrypting files. However, there is a little chance of recovering files using this tool due to limited available offline keys that were integrated with this decryption tool.
For additional information (download link, supported versions, instructions) about StopDecrypter, please proceed to ransomware decryption tool archive page.
If you received a message stating that “No keys were found for the following IDs (.Lotep)”, please copy and submit the information to the official download page to include your information (log file) and have it archive in case decryption software becomes available.
We will update this section once the full decryption tool is on hand. In the meantime, please try other options below.
Option 1: Windows Previous Version Tool
Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a feature called Previous Versions. However, this tool is only usable if restore point was made prior to Lotep ransomware infection. To use this tool and recover files affected by the virus, please follow these steps:
1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.
2. Right-click on the affected files or folders. From the drop-down list, please click on Restore previous versions.
3. New window will open display all backup copy of files and folders you wanted to recover. Choose the appropriate file and click on Open, Copy, or Restore. Restoring selected files overwrites the current encrypted files on the computer.
Option 2: Use ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Lotep Ransomware
Just like Previous Version tool, ShadowExplorer is taking advantage of shadow copy created by Windows. This tool allows you to retrieve older version of files before it was encrypted by Lotep ransomware.
1. Download ShadowExplorer from the official web site.
2. Install the program with the default settings.
3. The program should run automatically after installation. If not, double-click on ShadowExplorer icon.
4. You can see the drop-down list on top of the console. Please select proper drive and the most recent point-in-time shadow copies of files you wish to restore prior to Lotep ransomware infection.
5. Right-click on the Drive, Folder, or File you wish to restore and click Export…
6. Lastly, ShadowExplorer will prompt for location where you want to save the copy of recovered files.