Home Malware Programs Ransomware 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen

'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen

Posted: December 12, 2016

Threat Metric

Threat Level: 8/10
Infected PCs: 23
First Seen: December 12, 2016
Last Seen: May 5, 2022
OS(es) Affected: Windows

The 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen is a Trojan that threatens to block your files by encrypting them and, afterward, deleting them exponentially. Malware experts are finding no such attack features in samples of the 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen, making its threats highly likely as being empty bluffs. In all cases of a confirmed infection, take appropriate steps for disabling and removing the 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen as per this article's recommendations without paying the ransom.

A Manifesto Based on Lies

With numerous free and paid resources for con artists to clone file-encrypting Trojans of their very own, it can be easy to forget that not all threat actors have any interest in backing up their threats with action. The 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen is one threat malware experts recently found in the wild that deliver some of the most recognizable symptoms of the Jigsaw Ransomware. However, the rest of its payload contains none of the meaningful attack features it claims to possess.

Although its distribution exploits are unknown, the 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen uses techniques and cash demands typical of threat actors not targeting business or government sectors. The 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen attacks are more likely being distributed with exploits viable against casual PC users, such as bundling itself with freeware or disguising its installer as an illegal download (such as a crack for a gaming product). When the user launches it, the 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen creates a full-screen pop-up attack.

The 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen's pop-up locks the screen with a Web page-based message claiming that the contents of your computer are under an encryption enciphering and, will be deleted periodically. It also includes a Bitcoin-based payment mechanism for unlocking the machine. Superficially, the 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen resembles the attacks of most file-encrypting Trojans, but malware experts see no evidence of real file-deleting or encrypting functions in its code.

Inoculating Yourself Against a Common Virus

The 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen is neither a real virus (since it doesn't inject its code into other files), nor is it a file-encryption Trojan. Primary security risks from the 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen infections include being unable to access the Windows UI, in addition to being misled into giving the Bitcoin currency to con artists potentially.

Most file-encrypting Trojans come with certain safeguards in mind, such as a customized decryption key that's specialized to each victim. Malware experts note a lack of such protections with the 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen, which is using a hard-coded unlocking password ('suckmydicknigga') for all installations. Even if the Trojan receives updates that change its password, you can remove the 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen by rebooting into Safe Mode and launching an anti-malware scan.

The less than honest but arguably time-efficient approach of the 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen's tactic raises the point that the victim of a threat attack always must question the authenticity of a Trojan's claims. Although the 'M4N1F3STO Virus' Lockscreen tries to ride the same wave of illicit profit-seeking prominence as the Jigsaw Ransomware and its relatives, malware experts rate it as a low-level threat with limited security risks for any protected PC user.