THREAT REMOVAL

.HRM Files Virus (Hermes 2.1) – How to Remove and Restore Files

This article has been created to help you remove the newer Hermes 2.1 ransomware variant and explain how to restore .hrm encrypted files on your computer.

The 2.1 variant of Hermes ransomware is here and much like other variants, it encrypts the files on your infected computer after which sets the .hrm file extension to them. The virus then leaves behind a ransom note, named DECRYPT_INFORMATION.html. It threatens victims and sks them to send BitCoins in order to have their files decrypted once again. The malware also uses advanced encryption in order to render a unique decryption key for each file or set of files. Since these keys are only known to the cyber-criminals it makes them the only ones in power to decrypt files directly. Despite that, paying the ransom is highly inadvisable. If your computer has been infected by Hermes ransomware, we recommend that you read this article thoroughly to learn how to remove Hermes 2.1 ransomware virus and how to restore your encrypted files without having to pay in BitCoin.

Threat Summary

Name Hermes 2.1
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description Encrypts the files on the infected computer, using RSA-2048 cipher. Demands a ransom payment in BitCoin to get them to open again.
Symptoms The Hermes 2.1 ransomware encrypts the files, adding .hrm file extension after their name. After this, the ransomware drops a ransom note, named DECRYPT_INFORMATION.html on the desktop.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Hermes 2.1.
Data Recovery Tool Windows 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.

Hermes 2.1 Ransomware – Update August 2018

The Hermes 2.1 ransomware continues to spread in August, 2018. Last week security researchers at Proofpoint detected a large spam email campaign that carries a new significantly improved version of AZORult spyware. The primary purpose of this severe spyware is to steal various kinds of sensitive data from any compromised PC. However, AZORult v3.2 is set to drop the payload of Hermes 2.1 and trigger the ransomware infection on its secondary infection stage. The emails that were part of this malicious campaign were set to use employment offers as subjects but the theme could be changed in time.

Hermes 2.1 – How Is It Distributed

This virus has been reported by security researchers to be spread with the aid of malspam e-mails. These e-mails may contain the following infection objects:

  • A malicious link which leads to the download of the infection file.
  • A malicious web link that directly causes the infection by clicking on it.
  • The infection file masked as a legitimate document and uploaded in an .rar or .zip archive as an attachment to the e-mail.

In addition to these methods, other methods by which one can become infected with this variant of Hermes ransomware is via malicious exploit kits, fake updates as well as via infected installers of programs. There is also a possibility that you may encounter the infection file pretending to be license activator for programs or a game patch or crack.

Hermes 2.1 .hrm Ransomware – Infection Process

As soon as you become infected with this variant of Hermes ransomware, the infection file connects to a remote host and downloads the malicious payload of this ransomware. It consists of several files which may have the following names:

→ Reload.exe
system_.bat
shade.bat
DECRYPT_INFO.txt
DECRYPT_INFORMATION.html
UNIQUE_ID_DO_NOT_REMOVE
hermes.exe
shade.vbs

After the payload of Hermes 2.1 .hrm files virus has been dropped, the malware may also create the following files on your computer:

→ Cversions.2.db
Computer Management.lnk
Multiple .db objects with random names, located in %Caches% directory.

Once those files are created and dropped on the victim’s computer, the malware may immediately start to use the method Evelen in order to bypass the UAC service. After this has happened, the .hrm files virus may execute the following Windows Command Prompt commands in order to erase the shadow volume copies of your computer:

→ process call create “cmd.exe /c
vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /quiet
bcdedit.exe /set {default} recoveryenabled no
bcdedit.exe /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures

The deleted shadow copies is also not restricted to one file type. Hermes 2.1 ransomware makes sure to erase the following backup file types:

→ .VHD .bac .bak .wbcat .bkf ,backup, .set, .win .dsk

As soon as the ransomware deletes your shadow volume copies, the .hrm files virus begins to modify the Windows Registry editor by adding custom Registry strings with values in them in the following sub-keys:

→ HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run” /v “allkeeper” /t REG_SZ /d “%USERPROFILE%\Desktop\DECRYPT_INFORMATION.html” /f
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run” /v “sysrep” /t REG_SZ /d “%PUBLIC%\Reload.exe” /f
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run” /v “allkeeper” /t REG_SZ /d
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run” /v “sysrep” /t REG_SZ /d
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\allkeeper C:\users\User\Desktop\DECRYPT_INFORMATION.html

After this, the virus also drops it’s DECRYPT_INFORMATION.html:

Hermes 2.1 .hrm Virus – Encryption Process

To encrypt the files on your computer, the Hermes 2.1 ransomware uses Rivest-Shamir-Adleman encryption algorithm, known as RSA with a 2048 bit strenght. The virus targets specific file types for encryption, some of which are the following:

→ .accdb, .agif, .awdb, .bean, .cdmm, .cdmz, .cdr3, .cdr4, .cdr6, .cdrw, .clkw, .crwl, .ddoc, .djvu, .docm, .docx, .docz, .dotm, .dotx, .dtsx, .emlx, .epsf, .fdxt, .fh10, .fh11, .fodt, .fpos, .ft10, .ft11, .fwdn, .gdoc, .gfie, .glox, .gthr, .hpgl, .html, .icon, .idea, .itc2, .itdb, .jbig, .jpeg, .jpg2, .jrtf, .kdbx, .mbox, .mell, .mgcb, .mgmf, .mgmt, .mgmx, .mgtx, .mmat, .mobi, .mrxs, .pano, .pict, .pjpg, .pntg, .pobj, .pptm, .pptx, .psdx, .psid, .rctd, .reloc, .riff, .s2mv, .save, .scad, .sdoc, .smil, .ssfn, .sumo, .svgz, .text, .tiff, .utf8, .vrml, .vsdm, .vsdx, .vstm, .vstx, .wbmp, .webp, .wmdb, .xhtm, .xlgc, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .zabw (700 more)

After the encryption process has completed, this ransomware virus renames the files on your computer and adds it’s distinctive .hrm file extension to them:

Remove Hermes 2.1 and Restore .hrm Encrypted Files

Before actually beginning to remove Hermes 2.1 ransomware, it is advisable to backup all of your important files. This ensures that nothing happens to them during the removal. After this, we recommend you to follow the removal instructions below. They are specifically divided in manual and automatic removal instructions and aim to help you to fully erase all associated files with Hermes. Furthermore, be advised that security experts always recommend to use an advanced anti-malware software in order to remove all files that are related to Hermes 2.1 ransomware and revert the settings on your computer modified by it automatically.

After removing Hermes 2.1 we recommend you to try the alternative methods for file recovery below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by Hermes 2.1”. They may not be 100% effective, but may help in restoring most of your files without you having to pay the ransom.

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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


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove Hermes 2.1 from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Hermes 2.1

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 Hermes 2.1 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 Hermes 2.1 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 Hermes 2.1 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 Hermes 2.1 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 Hermes 2.1.

Ransomware infections and Hermes 2.1 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:

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.


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of Hermes 2.1 from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Hermes 2.1 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 Hermes 2.1:

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 Hermes 2.1. 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 Hermes 2.1. 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 Hermes 2.1 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 Hermes 2.1. 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 Hermes 2.1:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Hermes 2.1.

Ransomware infections and Hermes 2.1 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:

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.


Hermes 2.1 FAQ

What is Hermes 2.1 ransomware and how does it work?

Hermes 2.1 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 Hermes 2.1 ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Hermes 2.1 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 Hermes 2.1 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 .Hermes 2.1 files?

You can't. At this point the .Hermes 2.1 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 .Hermes 2.1 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Hermes 2.1 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 ".Hermes 2.1" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Hermes 2.1 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 Hermes 2.1 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 Hermes 2.1 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Hermes 2.1 files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Hermes 2.1 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.

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