Cerber Ransomware Virus - How to Remove?

Cerber ransomware

Cerber is a virus, and it belongs to the ransomware category, which infects users' computers around the world, in except the former Soviet Union territory. Perhaps this is a hint, that may tell us, where the developers of the virus live, or just a trick to divert attention. Anyway, if you do not live in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan or any other country of the former Soviet Union - your computer is a potential target of the virus.

What is Cerber?

The virus affects all the possible types of information: text, audio, video and images. In fact, after infection with Cerber virus, only program files will remain safe. All other information will be encrypted using the asymmetric AES encryption algorithm. This algorithm is one of the most difficult in the world and it is used to encrypt top-secret data. Information that was encrypted using AES is impossible to decode without the key.

According to its characteristics, Cerber virus is similar other encrypting viruses, but it does not behave as they do. Once inside a computer, Cerber installs itself, creates a task for autorun at the next boot, and shows no other signs of life. When the computer is turned on next time, the virus will run at startup and will start the file encryption process. This process will take some time, during which you can still save some of your files, completely turning off the computer, and running it in safe mode. However, the virus acts quickly, and user rarely succeeds to recognize it. After the encryption is complete Cerber places in each folder messages, called DECRYPT MY FILES, which contain instructions for decoding. In short, these messages contain an explanation of what happened to the file, a reference to the description of the AES encryption system, and instructions on how to install the Tor Browser, purchase 1,25 BTC (the current rate is more than $ 700), and send them to hackers. The report said that after you list the payment, you will be available to download the program to decipher. Also it says that other ways to decrypt the file does not exist.

Cerber ransomware

How to decrypt the files

We regret to inform you that the only way to fully restore files is a backup. This method is 100% reliable and effective, if you pre-clean the computer from the virus, and have scanned it several times with anti-virus software, making sure that your computer is clean. As you can see, we exclude all other options, and the payment of a ransom too. There are several reasons for this. First, every time the user pays the ransom, he encourages scammers to operate on, continuing to harm the innocent victims. Secondly, do not forget that you are dealing with crooks. The hackers who made their way to the computers of tens of thousands of users, and stole their personal files - those are not the people who should be trusted. Even if they swear on their blood that the files will be decrypted after payment - you do not have any means to force them to carry out their part of the bargain. Thus, if you do not have a backup, you have only two ways that can help you recover your data.

Cerber ransomware

The first way - is to use the deryptor. You should be careful with such programs, as they may be completely different from what they should be. Such programs should only be downloaded from the official websites of well-known developers, who are actively engaged in the fight against ransomware. If you just download the first available decryption tool - it may well be the another virus. There are several sites where you are likely to see the news about the decryption for Cerber. This is the Kaspersky Lab site, EmsiSoft and MalwareHunterteam official websites.

Minus of the first method is that it may take an indefinite period of time. The task of "good" hackers is not to create an intelligent program that can decipher the code. Such programs have been created long ago and the decryption key is still required to restore files with their help. And the keys are stored in the hacker’s database. These keys appear in the public access only when the hacker’s base will be detected by police of the country in which they are located, or if the database will be remotely hacked. Hacking the database is not easy and quick, so maybe, your files remain encrypted for weeks or even for months. The second method has its disadvantages, but it also has a chance of success. We're talking about Shadow Volume Copies service, which is built into all versions of Windows, starting from 7. If this service is enabled, it stores a copies of all deleted or changed files, and you will be able to restore them. Some viruses have learned to delete shadow copies, but we do not have accurate information about Cerber. Anyway, if you have no other choice, you can use even the unreliable method. In order to most effectively interact with shadow copies, you need the help of programs such as ShadowExplorer and Recuva. Both of these programs are created reliable developers, and can be downloaded for free from the official site. There you'll find detailed instructions for use.

How to remove Cerber

Removing a virus from your computer is a necessary step. You definitely need to remove the virus before you load the backup, or start to restore the files in anyother way. If you are going to pay hackers, and hope that they do not deceive you again, then you should exactly follow their instructions. Remove the virus can be both manually and with the help of special programs. Removal process involves the removal of the virus as a program, the abolition of its tasks, cleaning of all the folders in which the virus has kept copies, and registry cleanup. If you are able to produce all the manipulations, and not commit a fatal error - then use our instructions for manual removal. If you are not sure that you get - it is better to use an antivirus program. Anti-virus quickly performs all the necessary actions, without making a mistake and will continue to protect your PC from other threats. If at the time of infection there was an antivirus software on your PC - you should seriously think about replacing it. We recommend using Spyhunter antivirus, which proved to be excellent in the fight against viruses and has the appropriate features for all computers.

Step 1. Boot into Safe mode

Safe mode

Start -> Msconfig.exe

Safe mode. Step 1

On the tab Boot select Safe boot

Safe mode. Step 2

Step 2. Check Startup folder

Start -> Msconfig.exe ->Disable unknown programs in the Startup tab

Startup

Step 3. Check hosts file

Modify hosts file, that located in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\ .

Hosts file.Step 1

Open the file with Notepad and delete suspicious strings.

Hosts file.Step 2

It has to look like this:

Hosts file.Step 3

Step 4. Scan the system with antiviral scanner

 

Antivirus scanner

Why we recommend SpyHunter antimalware as removal tool

Removes virus fully: all files and even registry keys of malware will be deleted

Protects your system in the future

24/7 free support team

bwd  Instructions 1/2  fwd

Step 5. Disable Safe mode

Start -> Msconfig.exe ->Disable Safe boot in the Boot tab

Deactivate Safe mode

How to protect your data

The only completely reliable way to protect your data from encryption is the timely made backup. Backup should be done as often as possible (if you have the really valuable and important information on your PC, then the backup should be done every day). Backup should be stored on an external drive, and as soon as you save a backup, an external storage device should be disconnected from the computer. If you do so, your data will always be safe. For protection against the penetration of the virus on the computer, you need only one advice: be careful on the Internet. Ransomware infects the system via e-mail, so be careful and do not open letters or applications to emails from unknown senders. The measures, written above, together with the installation of decent anti-virus software will protect your computer from any threat.

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