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HHJK Virus Ransomware [.hhjk Files] Remove & Decrypt Guide [Free] 🔐

What Is HHJK Virus?

hhjkHhjk virus is a nasty infection that belongs to a large scale operation, that is commonly known as the STOP/DJVU ransomware family. What this virus does is to get inside your computer system and then encrypt your files in order to hold them hostage so that you can be a hefty ransom fee to the cyber criminals that are behind it. This particular version uses the .hhjk file extension and _readme.txt ransom note.

Read this article if you want to understand more about how this virus specifically works and how you can remove it and try to decrypt your files, thus making them openable again.

Hhjk Virus Summary

Name Hhjk virus, also known as UDS:Trojan.Win32.Chapak.gen, Ransom:Win32/StopCrypt.KM!MTB, Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj], Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj], A Variant Of Win32/GenKryptik.FHJB – more detections of this virus on VirusTotal
File Extension .hhjk
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The ransomware encrypts files on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
Symptoms The Hhjk Virus ransomware will encrypt your files by appending the .Hhjk extension to them.
Ransom Demanding Note _readme.txt
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

Hhjk Virus – How Did I Get Infected?

Hhjk virus is just like the .hajd, .qall and .ghas STOP variants.

Two main methods exist in which these versions of the family may end up on your computer without you realizing it, listed below:

  • If it has been downloaded from some shady third-party software download site.
  • If you have received it in the form of an e-mail attachment or a URL in your e-mail inbox.

If the Hhjk virus is being download it from some type of shady website, then this website will most likely be a little reputation software download the app. In it, the following types of files may be used by the ransomware as a disguise:

  • Patches for programs or games.
  • SFX (self extracting) or regular archive files.
  • Cracked applications or portable apps.
  • Crack-fixes or activators for software or games.
  • Keygens or key generators.

Hhjk virus is the kind of software that may also be sent to you in the form of an email attached file. If this is the case, then the file may appear like one of the following kinds:

  • Invoice files.
  • Receipt documents.
  • Work-related documents.
  • E-Tickets of some kind (flights, train, events).

Many of those files are documents, that went downloaded and opened may trigger malicious macro infection, which looks like the following process:

Hhjk Virus – What Does It Do?

Once Hhjk virus infect your machine, it may connect to a remote host, from where it could download it’s malicious payload module files. These files are responsible for the activity of the virus on your computer and may be located in the following directories:

  • %LocalLow%
  • %AppData%
  • %Windows%
  • %SystemDrive%
  • %Local%
  • %Temp%
  • %System%
  • %system32%

Among the virus files of this ransom ware is also the _readme.txt ransom note, having the following text:

STOP ransomware virus ransom message

When this virus infect your computer system , it may cause an attack of its Windows Registry Editor, where it could create multiple kinds of value entries, likely in the following sub-keys:

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

What Are .hhjk Files

The .hhjk files are encoded using AES Encryption. This is sophisticated encryption algorithm, that makes the files no longer able to be opened by altering the key structure data. What this virus does is it performs a scan of your files, based on their important file extensions, for example:

  • Files that are archives (.zip, .rar, etc).
  • Various sorts of documents (.docx, .pptx, etc.).
  • Audio file formats (.mp3, .wav, etc.).
  • Different picture file types (.jpg, .png, .etc).
  • Video file formats (.mp4, .avi, etc.).
  • Other files.

When Hhjk virus is done with encrypting your files, it may leave them looking like the following:

Picture.jpg.hhjk

How to Remove Hhjk Virus?

Hhjk virus is the type of malicious software that gets inside your computer system and leaves a lot of different files and objects. To remove them, our main suggestion is to follow the instructions beneath this article. They have been made with the main purpose to help you get rid of this threat either by yourself or automatically. For the most effective removal process, our main suggestion is to remove this virus automatically, using a professional anti-malware software. Scanning your computer with such a program automatically guarantees that it will thoroughly check your advice and get rid of any malicious programs, and other objects that may currently be residing in it.

How to Decrypt .hhjk Files?

Do you want to decrypt .Hhjk files that are encrypted by this virus, our main suggestion is to see the STOP Ransomware Decryption Steps or the video guide below.

Video guide for using the STOP Ransomware Decryptor:

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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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.

OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy

About the Hhjk Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Hhjk how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.

How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?

Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.

Furthermore, the research behind the Hhjk ransomware threat is backed with VirusTotal and the NoMoreRansom project.

To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.

References

1. How to Recognize Spam Emails with Ransomware
2. How Does Ransomware Encryption Work?
3. How to Decrypt Ransomware Files
4. Ransomware Getting Greedier and Bigger, Attacks Increase by 40%
5. 1 in 5 Americans Victim of Ransomware



Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove Hhjk from Windows.


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

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 Hhjk 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 Hhjk 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 Hhjk 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 Hhjk 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.

Video Guide for Automatic and Fast Removal

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

Ransomware infections and Hhjk 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 recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on the top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.

Step 6: How to Restore Files Encrypted by Ransomware (Video Guide)


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of Hhjk from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Hhjk 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 Hhjk:

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 Hhjk. 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 Hhjk. 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 Hhjk 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 Hhjk. 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.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Hhjk:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Hhjk.

Ransomware infections and Hhjk 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 recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

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.


Hhjk FAQ

What is Hhjk ransomware and how does it work?

Hhjk 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 Hhjk ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Hhjk 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 Hhjk 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 .Hhjk files?

You can't. At this point the .Hhjk 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 .Hhjk files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Hhjk 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 ".Hhjk" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Hhjk 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 Hhjk 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 Hhjk ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Hhjk files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Hhjk 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.

How to Report Ransomware to Authorities?

In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer. Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:

Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:

Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.

1 Comment
  1. Ismail Nouari

    Hello, my name is Ismail Nouari I am master student of translation English Arabic English from Algeria
    I am using windows 7 and in 2 day’s ago a virus hacked my laptop with extension (hhjk) and encrypted all my files.
    I am in a big problem my dissertation for my graduation this year and all the files I collected over years are encrypted. In my country it’s not easy to get pysira or PayPal…. And I am only a student. I will be great full if you help me with this problem. And the explorer.exe consume a lot of CPU and RAM. Thank you in advance.

    Reply

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