_HELP_HELP_HELP_%random%.jpg notes mark the deadliest editions of Cerber ransomware: best practice of withstanding the ransomware attacks.
Cerber ransomware has been around long since, yet still remains in circulation. The version currently spreading is remote from the original by a number of modifications. Many instances of the Cerber encryption virus have undergone in-depth scrutiny. The IT security managed to come up with an ultimate solution for some of them. However, the ransomware evolved in response, and its currently spread version withstands any attempts to crack its encryption.
The version concerned creates HELP_HELP_HELP ransom notes. Those tell users what to do to get the affected data decrypted. The instructions are rather true to the template, while the name referred above is a sign to note. It really helps you to tell the edition from other variants of the Cerber ransomware.
As regards the content of the note, it states your data has been encrypted. Unfortunately, that is a grim reality. There is no ultimate way to restore their readability unless and until you apply the relevant decryption key. To this end, the ransom note instructs the reader to proceed with downloading the TOR browser.
As you probably know, the above browser enables the users to remain anonymous. It goes without saying the anonymity is critical for the crooks. The readers of HELP_HELP_HELP ransom notes also learn the page they are to visit; the latter finally discloses the amount payable. The ransom sum varies but typically ranges within 1 to 2 bitcoins. The bitcoin rate of exchange to fiat currency is nothing but stable. It is currently at its high, exceeding USD 800 per 1 bitcoin. Arranging the transfer of ransom amount in bitcoins further contributes to the anonymity of the scammers.
It is good to note that any payments to the crooks do not ensure the decryption. There are multiple gangs spreading the infection on various terms. They are extremely likely to disrupt the key release, as well as other stages of the ransoming routine. Try the Cerber ransomware removal and recovery tips as outlined below. These often help to restore adequate access to your data without any payments to the crooks behind the Cerber malicious encryption.
Automatic removal of HELP_HELP_HELP version of Cerber ransomware
The benefits of using the automatic security suite to get rid of this infection are obvious: it scans the entire system and detects all potential fragments of the virus, so you are a few mouse clicks away from a complete fix.
- Download and install recommended malware security suite
- Select Start Computer Scan feature and wait until the utility comes up with the scan report. Proceed by clicking on the Fix Threats button, which will trigger a thorough removal process to address all the malware issues compromising your computer and your privacy.
Restore files locked by HELP_HELP_HELP version of Cerber virus
Cerber virus represents a unique category of malicious software whose attack surface reaches beyond the operating system and its components, which is why removing the virus itself is a part of the fix only. As it has been mentioned, it encrypts one’s personal information, so the next phase of the overall remediation presupposes reinstating the files that will otherwise remain inaccessible.
Launch data recovery software
Similarly to the rest of its fellow-infections, Cerber most likely follows an operational algorithm where it erases the original versions of the victim’s files and actually encrypts their copies. This peculiarity might make your day, because forensics-focused applications like Data Recovery Pro are capable of restoring the information that has been removed. As the virus further evolves, its modus operandi may be altered – in the meanwhile, go ahead and try this.
Take advantage of Volume Shadow Copy Service
This technique is based on using the native backup functionality that’s shipped with Windows operating system. Also referred to as Volume Snapshot Service (VSS), this feature makes regular backups of the user’s files and keeps their most recent versions as long as System Restore is on. Cerber virus hasn’t been found to affect these copies therefore the restoration vector in question is strongly recommended. The two sub-sections below highlight the automatic and manual workflow.
- a) Use Shadow Explorer
Shadow Explorer is an applet that provides an easy way of retrieving previous versions of files and folders. Its pro’s include an intuitive interface where the computer’s entire file hierarchy is displayed within one window. Just pick the hard disk volume, select the object or directory to be restored, right-click on it and choose Export. Follow the app’s prompts to get the job done.
- b) Use file properties
Essentially, what the above-mentioned Shadow Explorer tool does is it automates the process that can otherwise be performed manually via the Properties dialog for individual files. This particular approach is more cumbrous but just as effective as its software-based counterpart, so you can proceed by right-clicking on a specific file, which has been encrypted by Cerber ransomware, and selecting Properties in the context menu. The tab named Previous Versions is the next thing to click – it displays available versions of the file by date of the snapshot creation. Pick the latest copy and complete the retrieval by following the prompts.
Data backups work wonders
Ransomware like Cerber isn’t nearly as almighty and destructive in case you run regular file backups to the cloud or external data media. The virus itself can be completely removed in a matter of minutes, and the distorted information can then be just as easily recovered from the backup. Luckily, this is a growing trend, so ransom Trojans are hopefully going to become less subversive in the near future.
Verify thoroughness of the removal
Having carried out the instructions above, add a finishing touch to the security procedure by running an additional computer scan to check for residual malware activity