StalinLocker Wiper

Posted: May 15, 2018

StalinLocker Wiper Description

The StalinLocker Wiper, or StalinScreamer, is a disk-wiping Trojan that loads a screen-locking pop-up, expecting the victim to guess its unlock code. If the victim fails within a limited time, the StalinLocker Wiper proceeds with deleting almost all data on the infected PC, including all available drives. Malware researchers recommend interrupting the attack by inputting the correct password or rebooting into Safe Mode immediately, before having your anti-malware programs uninstall the StalinLocker Wiper.

A Dictator Who Haunts Hard Drives

The rise of a new, disk-wiper Trojan aiming at Russian victims is demonstrating that the nation's prior history of protection from the threatening software industry is holding less and less firm as time goes on. The motives of the StalinLocker Wiper campaign's attacks are not yet clear, since, unlike most file-wiping Trojans, this threat isn't seeing use in state-sponsored spyware attacks or industrial sabotage. Due to the program's unforgiving, strict timer, the threat actor may have no goals beyond causing as much damage to random PCs as possible.

The StalinLocker Wiper, also referring to itself as 'StalinScreamer' in its internal resources, announces itself similarly to most file-locking Trojans, like the Jigsaw Ransomware. It loads a pop-up image displaying Russian text referencing the Soviet Union and a visual of Joseph Stalin. An mp3 featuring the USSR's national anthem plays simultaneously. Most importantly, the warning screen also includes a field for a screen-unlocking key (which is not a decryption code, since the StalinLocker Wiper has no encrypting or data-blocking features).

However, unlike most Trojans with similar payloads, the StalinLocker Wiper only gives its victims six hundred and sixty seconds, or eleven minutes, for guessing the code. If it remains open once the countdown reaches zero, it begins deleting files. Malware experts have yet to discern whether the StalinLocker Wiper also removes the Shadow Copies or the Windows OS components, but it does scan all drives, beginning with A and ending with Z. It doesn't target specific formats, such as documents, which makes it more destructive than the file-locker Trojans whose attacks its payload most closely resembles.

Putting Dead Politicians Back to Rest

While the StalinLocker Wiper is attacking Russian citizens with few, evident motivations beyond causing harm for its own sake, the StalinLocker Wiper's capabilities for deleting files aren't any less threatening for Windows PCs in other countries. The majority of disk-wiping Trojans avoid any symptoms while carrying out their work, which allows the achieving of maximum data loss before the user realizes the system is at risk. Even though the StalinLocker Wiper provides visual and audio warnings, the limited response time it gives requires an unhesitating and decisive response for saving any files.

The StalinLocker Wiper uses a static formula for determining the key that causes it to stop attacking and self-terminate: the current date of the program's execution, minus that of the formation of the USSR, which is 1922.12.30. Victims remembering this fact beforehand can cause the Trojan to close itself and, then, have any appropriate anti-malware program remove the StalinLocker Wiper safely. Otherwise, the user should reboot immediately and use the Safe Mode option for keeping the Trojan from restarting itself.

In some ways, nothing is more precious than time, when it comes to protecting your PC from threats that lock files, wipe them, or get them. The StalinLocker Wiper gives any victimized users just enough time to react appropriately, but only if they already know what to do, which shows how powerful a little foreknowledge may be.

Use SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PC Threats

If you are concerned that malware or PC threats similar to StalinLocker Wiper may have infected your computer, we recommend you start an in-depth system scan with SpyHunter. SpyHunter is an advanced malware protection and remediation application that offers subscribers a comprehensive method for protecting PCs from malware, in addition to providing one-on-one technical support service.

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