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CerberTear Ransomware. Remove It and Restore .cerber Files

stf-cerbertear-ransomware-cerber-tear-hiddentear-copycat-virus-ransom-note

The Cerber ransomware has become so popular that there is bound to be copycats. One of them is the CerberTear ransomware. The virus will encrypt your files while placing the .cerber extension and displaying a ransom note afterward, which imitates that of the original cryptovirus. This ransomware is based on the open-source HiddenTear / EDA2 project. To see how to remove the ransomware and how you can try to decrypt your files, read the whole article.

Threat Summary

NameCerberTear
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware will encrypt your files and then display a ransom note with payment instructions.
SymptomsAll encrypted files get the extension .cerber appended to them.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by CerberTear

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss CerberTear.
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.

CerberTear Ransomware – Delivery

The CerberTear ransomware could get inside your machine in a number of ways. The payload file could be spread via spam emails. Spam mail is used for the distribution of the original Cerber virus, and since this is a copycat, the same tactic is probably implemented. Such emails have an attached file and are written in a way to make you believe that they are important along with the file. In case you open the attachment, it will release the malicious content from the file and infect your computer system. You can see an example of a payload file and how it is detected by malware vendors on the VirusTotal website below:

stf-cerbertear-ransomware-cerber-tear-hiddentear-copycat-virus-total-virustotal-detections

CerberTear ransomware could infect your computer by using different methods. The malware creators could deliver their malware file through social media and file-sharing services. Do not be opening files from unknown locations such as emails or links with a suspicious source. Before opening, you should scan files with a security application and check its size and signatures. You should read the ransomware prevention tips from the thread in the forum.

CerberTear Ransomware – Details

The CerberTear is a cryptovirus that imitates the Cerber ransomware. The malware researcher Karsten Hahn from G Data has discovered it recently. The ransomware is based on the open-source Hidden Tear / EDA2 project.

Your files get encrypted and will all have the extension .cerber appended to each one of them, after the encryption process is completed. The instructions with demands for payment are written in files spread across your system folders containing encrypted files.

When the CerberTear ransomware executes its payload, it can create entries in the Windows Registry. That can make the ransomware more sustainable, and it could spread it in different locations on your computer device. Also, the registry entries might make the cryptovirus launch automatically with the loading of the Windows operating system.

You can view part of the screen with the ransom message below:

stf-cerbertear-ransomware-cerber-tear-hiddentear-copycat-virus-ransom-note

The ransom message is quite long and located in a file called HOW_TO_RESTORE_YOUR_DATA.html. It reads the following:

CERBER RANSOMWARE DECRYPTOR

Your document, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted!
To decrypt your files you need to buy the special software – Cerber Decryptor
All transactions should be performed via Bitcoin network only.

What is encryption?

Encryption is a reversible modification of information for security reasons but providing full access to it for authorized users.
To become an authorized user and keep the modification absolutely reversible (in other words to have a possibility to decrypt your files) you should have an individual private key.
But not only it.
It is required also to have the special decryption software (in your case ‘Cerber Decryptor’ software) for safe and complete decryption of all your files and data.

Everything is clear for me but what should I do?

The first step is reading these instructions to the end.
Your files have been encrypted with the ‘Cerber Ransomware’ software; the instructions (‘HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.html) in the folders with your encrypted files are not viruses, they will help you.
After reading this text the most part of people start searching the Internet the words the ‘Cerber Ransomware’ where they find a lot of ideas, recommendations and instructions.
It is necessary to realize that we are the ones who closed the lock on your files and we are the only ones who have this secret key to open them.

Any attempts to get back your files with the third-party tools can be fatal for your encrypted files.
The most part of the third-party software change data within the encrypted file to restore it but this causes damage to the files.
Finally it will be impossible to decrypt your files.
When you make a puzzle but some items are lost, broken or not in its place – the puzzle items will never match, the same way the third-party software will ruin your files completely and irreversibly.
You should realize that any intervention of the third-party software to restore files encrypted with the ‘Cerber ransomware’ software may be fatal for your files.
There are several plain steps to restore your files but if you do not follow them we will not be able to help you, and we will not try since you have read this warning already.
For your information the software to decrypt your files (as well as the private key provided together) are paid products.

After purchase of the software package you will be able to:

decrypt all your files;
work with your documents;
view your photos and other media;
continue your usual and comfortable work at the computer.
How to get ‘Cerber Decryptor’ ?
1. Create a Bitcoin Wallet (we recommend Blockchain.info)
2. Buy necessary amount of Bitcoins (0.4 Bitcoins)
Here are our recommendations:
LocalBitcoins.com – the fastest and easiest way to buy and sell Bitcoins;
CoinCafe.com – the simplest and fastest way to buy, sell and use Bitcoins;
BTCDirect.eu – the best for Europe;
CEX.IO – Visa/MasterCard;
CoinMama.com – Visa/MasterCard;
HowToBuyBitcoins.info – discover quickly how to buy and sell bitcoins in your local currency.
3. Send 0.4 BTC (Bitcoins) to the following address:
1GU18zL2P7Y5bq8EPFBSo2tnvCd9ZEBi3E
4. Get the link and download the software, your files will be decrypted automatically!
Additional information:
You will find the instructions for restoring your files in those folders, where you have your encrypted files only. Unfortunately antivirus companies ca not protect and restore your files but they can make the situation worse removing the instructions how to restore your encrypted files.

You are asked to pay 0.4 Bitcoins which is an equivalent of 285 US dollars. You are being lied to that you are hit by the Cerber ransomware and that you might damage your files by trying to decrypt them with third-party programs. That is made to make you pay the ransom sum that is asked from you, but you should NOT think of doing that as you might end up only supporting their criminal activity. No one can guarantee you that if you pay you will recover your data to its previous working state. Besides, the cybercriminals will probably use the money for creating new ransomware.

The CerberTear ransomware encrypts files while appending the .cerber extension to them. A list with file extensions which the ransomware searches to encrypt is given right here:

→.3dm, .3g2, .3gp, .aaf, .accdb, .aep, .aepx, .aet, .ai, .aif, .as, .asf, .asp, .asx, .avi, .bmp, .c, .class, .cpp, .cs, .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .dwg, .dxf, .efx, .eps, .fla, .flv, .game, .gif, .grle, .h, .idml, .iff, .indb, .indd, .indl, .indt, .inx, .jar, .java, .jpeg, .jpg, .m3u, .m3u8, .m4u, .max, .mdb, .mid, .mlx, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpa, .mpeg, .mpg, .msg, .pdb, .pdf, .php, .plb, .pmd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .ppj, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prel, .prproj, .ps, .psd, .ra, .raw, .rb, .rtf, .sav, .sdf, .ses, .sldm, .sldx, .slot, .spv, .sql, .sv5, .svg, .swf, .tif, .txt, .vcf, .vob, .wav, .wma, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .xla, .xlam, .xll, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xqx

The CerberTear cryptovirus is very likely to erase the Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows operating system by using the following command:

→vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet

Continue to read to see in what ways you can try restoring your file data.

Remove CerberTear and Decrypt .cerber Files

If your computer got infected with the CerberTear ransomware virus, you should have some experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as fast as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect more computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide given below. To see ways that you can try to recover your data, see the step titled 2. Restore files encrypted by CerberTear.

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Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove CerberTear from Windows.


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

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 CerberTear 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 CerberTear 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 CerberTear 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 CerberTear 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 CerberTear.

Ransomware infections and CerberTear 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 CerberTear from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall CerberTear 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 CerberTear:

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 CerberTear. 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 CerberTear. 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 CerberTear 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 CerberTear. 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 CerberTear files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as CerberTear, 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 CerberTear on your Mac.

Ransomware for Mac CerberTear 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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