Fortunately, researchers at TrendMicro have successfully created a decryptor for Cerber ransomware. Unfortunately, the cyber-criminals have anticipated this move, immediately and mockingly enough releasing a second variant of this nasty cyber-threat. The war against Cerber continues, leaving many victims of this nasty malware string wherever it passes. For those who are unfamiliar, Cerber ransomware is a crypto-virus which uses an extremely strong encryption to encode the files, making them no longer readable. The virus then drops a ransom note scaring of users to pay the ransom. But do not become desperate, because a decryptor is now available for free and in this update we aim to show you how to use it to start decrypting files that have been encrypted by Cerber.
|Short Description||The malware encrypts users’ files after force restarting their PC, dropping ransom messages, named “# DECRYPT MY FILES #”|
|Symptoms||The user may witness ransom messages and “instructions” and a sound message all linking to a web page and a decryptor.|
|Distribution Method||Via an Exploit kit.|
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|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss Cerber Ransomware.|
Cerber Ransomware – Background
When its initial variant came out, Cerber demanded affected users to pay the sum of 500 USD to decrypt their files. The sum was be paid in BitCoins, and the cryptovirus did not start out strongly and massively at its initial state. However, with new spam campaigns being released, Cerber quickly escalated and continued encrypting files with a strong AES encryption cipher and adding the .cerber file extension to them.
Users, being affected by this virus were advised to wait for a decryptor instead of funding the cyber-criminals. However, some users have paid the ransom and this “return of investment” gave the cyber-criminals who are most likely the same people, to create Cerber2 ransomware, that is at this state undecryptable.
Decrypting Files Encrypted by Cerber Effectively
To best display to you, the reader how to successfully decrypt your files for free, we need you to be focused while reading this and keep in mind that this process may take a lot of time, so be prepared.
We have divided this process into two stages:
Stage 1: Preparation
If you wish to decode data it all depends on factorizing the algorithm. This is why this process takes different time. Since this is usually so, you are obliged to leave your PC to work for a long time and not interrupt it in any way while it is decrypting files. Since these are the circumstances, you should be prepared for the situation by modifying your computer’s Power Options. Since most PC’s on Windows are usually configured to hibernate or sleep after some time, here is how to make them never to sleep again:
Step 1: Click on the battery icon in your system tray (next to the digital clock) in Windows and then click on More Power Options.
Step 2:The mighty Power options menu will appear. In your power plan click on Change Plan Settings.
Step 3: In your plan’s settings make sure you set “Turn off the display” and “Put computer to sleep” to “Never” from the drop down minutes menu.
Step 4: Click on “Change Advanced Plan Settings” and click to expand the “Hard Disk” option in the list there.
Step 5: From there, set the power settings (On Battery and Powered On) to “Never”.
Now, you should configure your PC to start decrypting Cerber ransomware’s files. Bear in mind that the process may take a lot of time so arm yourself with patience.
Stage 2: Decryption
Step 1: To begin decryption, download TrendMicro’s decrypter by clicking on the button below:
Step 2: After downloading, open the archive (you should have an archive reader, like WinRar) by clicking on the download icon of your browser and clicking on the file:
Step 3: After the archive is open, extract the decrypter on your Desktop by dragging it out of the archive.
Step 4: Open the decrypter. Make sure it is done as an administrator and click on the “I agree” when a pop-up box appears. After this is complete, you should see the following:
Step 5: Click on the “Select” button to select the ransomware name as shown under the step 1 from the picture above.
Step 6: Select Cerber and then click on OK:
Step 7: Go ahead and click on the second step (Select and Decrypt) button which will open a file explorer. From there choose one encrypted file by Cerber. Preferably choose a smaller file:
Step 8: From there, the TrendMicro scanning process should begin. The program should be able to find other encrypted files as well and try to decrypt them if it has decrypted one file:
Cerber Ransomware Decryption – Conclusion and Recommendations
Since the decryption process may take some time, we strongly recommend staying protected in the meantime and in the future from other threats as well. This is why you should follow several simple steps to greatly increase ransomware protection shortly at least:
1. Follow these general protection tips.
2. Download an advanced malware protection program.
Spy Hunter scanner will only detect the threat. If you want the threat to be automatically removed, you need to purchase the full version of the anti-malware tool.Find Out More About SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool / How to Uninstall SpyHunter
3. Download a relevant ransomware protection program.
4. Download a relevant cloud backup program that backups copies of your files on a secure server and even if your computer is affected you will stay protected.
Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.
As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.
How to recognize trustworthy sources:
- Always check "About Us" web page.
- Profile of the content creator.
- Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
- Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.
How to Remove Cerber from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Cerber
Step 2: Uninstall Cerber 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Cerber on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Cerber there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Step 4: Scan for Cerber with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Cerber.
Ransomware infections and Cerber 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.
Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.
Get rid of Cerber from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Cerber and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- 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 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:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, 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 on your Mac.
Ransomware for Mac Cerber 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.
What is Cerber ransomware and how does it work?
Cerber is a ransomware infection - the malicious software that enters your computer silently and blocks either access to the computer itself or encrypt your files.
Many ransomware viruses use sophisticated encryption algorithm how to make your files inaccessible. The goal of ransomware infections is to demand that you pay a ransom payment to get access to your files back.
How does Cerber ransomware infect my computer?
Via several ways.Cerber Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, containing virus attachment.
This attachment is usually masked as an important document, like an invoice, bank document or even a plane ticket and it looks very convincing to users.
After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.
Another way, you may become a victim of Cerber is if you download a fake installer, crack or patch from a low reputation website or if you click on a virus link. Many users report getting a ransomware infection by downloading torrents.
How to open .Cerber files?
You can't. At this point the .Cerber files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.
Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?
Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Cerber files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
One way to restore files, encrypted by Cerber ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.
How Do I restore ".Cerber" files (Other Methods)?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Cerber files.
These methods are in no way 100% guarantee that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How do I get rid of Cerber ransomware virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate Cerber ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Cerber files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Cerber ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.
What to Do If nothing works?
There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:
- Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
- Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
- Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted it can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way to get back some of your files is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
- You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.
More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.