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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.

Manually delete CerberTear from your computer

Note! Substantial notification about the CerberTear threat: Manual removal of CerberTear requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove CerberTear files and objects
2.Find malicious files created by CerberTear on your PC

Automatically remove CerberTear by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

1. Remove CerberTear with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool and back up your data
2. Restore files encrypted by CerberTear
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Berta Bilbao

Berta is the Editor-in-Chief of SensorsTechForum. She is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space.

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