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LIKEAHORSE Ransomware Virus [Remove and Restore Data]

What Is LIKEAHORSE Virus?

LIKEAHORSE-virus-files-removal-guide

LIKEAHORSE is the name of a cryptovirus that infects computer systems. Its main goal is to lock personal files and demand a ransom. Operating systems get corrupted entirely before the ransomware runs its data encryption module.

The modifications LIKEAHORSE virus applies to computer systems support its persistent presence on the infected PC. The complete removal of LIKEAHORSE ransomware demands specific skills. Note that the removal of the LIKEAHORSE virus won’t restore the encrypted files. Still, it is mandatory for the secure usage of the computer.

LIKEAHORSE Summary

Name LIKEAHORSE also known as Gen:Variant.Ransom.1312 (BitDefender),
HEUR:Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Generic (Kaspersky), Mal/Generic-S + Mal/Ransom-LX (Sophos)
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
File Extensions .LIKEAHORSE
Short Description A data locker ransomware designed to plague system settings, utilize strong cihper algorithm and encrypt valuable files.
Symptoms Important files are locked and a ransom message insists on payment in BitCoin for a decryption tool.
Ransom Demanding Note #RECOVERY#.txt
Demanded Ransom Varies
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Hacked Websites
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

LIKEAHORSE Virus – How Did I Get Infected?

LIKEAHORSE ransomware is a computer virus propagated via common techniques. Direct email messages (the so-called malspam technique) enable hackers to spread the payload of the malicious software via massive campaigns. Users worldwide may be presented with emails that try to activate the ransomware.

Emails part of malicious spam email campaigns may be recognized by a few traits:

  • They contain suspicious links that load compromised sites. The sites can trigger scripts that download automatically the malicious code. The URL addresses may show up as in-text links, banners, images, buttons, or raw forms of URLs.
  • They may also feature attachments. Attachments may be presented as documents sent for an urgent review. The emails may pose as banking institutions, flight companies, employers, and so on. The opening of those files runs the ransomware on your PC.

Other methods that may be distributing LIKEAHORSE ransomware include malvertising, corrupted web pages, freeware installers, fake software updates, compromised software setups, malicious files shared on forums, and others.

LIKEAHORSE Virus – What Does It Do?

Infection with the LIKEAHORSE ransomware virus leads to the corruption of essential system settings that affect its security, performance as well as personal files. Every malicious change applied by this ransomware lowers system security and it remains extremely vulnerable to further malware attacks.

LIKEAHORSE needs to pass through a few attack stages in order to conduct an encryption process. When it finishes with the encryption of personal files, it shows a ransom note stored by the file #RECOVERY#.txt. Hackers expect victims to contact them via Discord in order to get the decryptor for their .LIKEAHORSE files. Here is what else the ransom note says:

Hello my dear friend
Unfortunately for you, a major IT security weakness left you open to attack, your files have been encrypted
If you want to restore them, install ICQ software on your PC hxxps://icq.com/windows/ or on your mobile phone search in Appstore / Google market ICQ
Write to our ICQ @likeahorse
hxxps://icq.im/LIKEAHORSE
Skype LIKEAHORSE DECRYPTION
Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
We are always ready to cooperate and find the best way to solve your problem.
The faster you write, the more favorable the conditions will be for you.
Our company values its reputation. We give all guarantees of your files decryption
IF WE DONT SEE MESSAGES FROM YOU IN 48 HOURS – WE WILL SELL YOUR DATABASES AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO YOUR COMPETITORS,AFTER YOU WILL SEE IT AT OPEN SOURCE AND DARKNET
Start messaging with an incident ID and 2-3 test files up to 1mb
your unique ID

recovery-txt-ransom-note-likeahorse-ransomware-virus

Like most infections of this type including the recently detected STOP ransomware strains Mljx virus and Hgsh virus, LIKEAHORSE ransomware renames compromised files with a malicious extension. The ransomware prevents the owners of .LIKEAHORSE from using them. The virus is also likely to delete all Shadow Volume Copies created by the Windows system in order to eliminate this data recovery option. At this point, the only free data recovery option is a recent backup on an external drive or cloud platform.

.LIKEAHORSE Files – What Are They?

During the data encryption stage, the LIKEAHORSE virus utilizes a cypher module to encode target files. The module scans system drives for types of files that are likely to store personal information. Windows system files won’t be corrupted. The infected system should remain intact when the attack ends. But all of the following files storing valuable data may be encrypted:

  • Image files.
  • Audio files.
  • Document files.
  • Video files.
  • Backup files.
  • Banking credentials, etc.

LIKEAHORSE virus files

If any backups lack, then the only decryption solution remains the tool possed by hackers. Beware hackers may not act as they promise. For the sake of your personal and PC security, refrain from following their guidance. All the money received from ransom fees will stimulate cybercriminals to create more malicious programs and launch aggressive malware campaigns. Please act wisely and try to solve the problem with the help of the available security measures.

Remove LIKEAHORSE Ransomware and Try to Restore Files

What should you do when your PC and data have been hit by LIKEAHORSE ransomware? Here we will present the secure way to deal with LIKEAHORSE ransomware and similar infections. First, you have to ensure that no malicious files are still running on the infected operating system. For this purpose, you need to locate these malicious files and entries and remove them. This will prevent them from causing an impact on regular system performance.

Once you secure the system against nasty ransomware operations, you should back up encoded files to an external drive. Finally, you can proceed with the data recovery process. In the guide below we included alternative data recovery methods that may be efficient for some of your locked files. Bear in mind that these methods may be helpful to some degree. They do not guarantee the full recovery of all encoded files.

In the event that we spot a release of a free decryption tool for LIKEAHORSE ransomware, we will include all needed details in this ransomware removal guide. Keep in touch.

Gergana Ivanova

Highly motivated writer with 5+ years of experience writing for ransomware, malware, adware, PUPs, and other cybersecurity-related issues. As a writer, I strive to create content that is based on thorough technical research. I find joy in the process of creating articles that are easy to understand, informative, and useful. Follow me on Twitter (@IRGergana) for the latest in the field of computer, mobile, and online security.

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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

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

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.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 1


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 2


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
remove ransomware in safe mode step 3
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.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 4


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 5


Step 2: Uninstall LIKEAHORSE and related malware 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.
delete ransomware from windows step 1


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.
delete ransomware from windows step 2


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"
delete ransomware from windows step 3Follow the instructions above and you will successfully delete most unwanted and malicious programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by LIKEAHORSE 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 LIKEAHORSE there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
delete ransomware virus registries step 1


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.
delete ransomware virus registries step 2


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
delete ransomware virus registries step 3 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 LIKEAHORSE 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.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 2


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 3


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.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 4

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Ransomware Automatic Removal - Video Guide

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

Ransomware infections and LIKEAHORSE 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.


LIKEAHORSE FAQ

    

What is LIKEAHORSE Ransomware?

LIKEAHORSE 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 algorithms 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.

Can LIKEAHORSE Ransomware Damage My Computer?

Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid. It can encrypt your files and make them inaccessible, preventing you from using your computer or accessing your data. Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.

Should I Ignore Ransomware, like LIKEAHORSE?

No, you should never ignore ransomware. Ransomware can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom. Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered. The best way to protect yourself is to invest in robust cyber security measures, such as backup solutions and anti-malware software.

How Does LIKEAHORSE Ransomware Infect My Computer?

Via several ways.LIKEAHORSE Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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 LIKEAHORSE 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 .LIKEAHORSE files?

You can't. At this point, the .LIKEAHORSE files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

         

What to Do If Ransomware Decryptor Does Not Work?

Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .LIKEAHORSE files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by LIKEAHORSE ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, be 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.

Can I Restore ".LIKEAHORSE" Files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .LIKEAHORSE files. 

These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed 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 LIKEAHORSE Ransomware Virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program. It will scan for and locate LIKEAHORSE ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .LIKEAHORSE files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like LIKEAHORSE ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with 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 I Cannot Recover Ransomware Encrypted Files?

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:

Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei

United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre

United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police

France - Ministère de l'Intérieur

Italy - Polizia Di Stato

Spain - Policía Nacional

Netherlands - Politie

Poland - Policja

Portugal - Polícia Judiciária

Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)

India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell

Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center

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

Can You Prevent LIKEAHORSE Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?

Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files. In addition, it is also important to keep your passwords secure and to avoid visiting websites or downloading applications from untrusted sources. Finally, ensure you have adequate backup and recovery procedures in place to restore your system to its pre-attack state, should a ransomware attack occur.

Can LIKEAHORSE Ransomware Steal Your Data?

Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it. In many cases, the malware authors or attackers will threaten to delete the data or publish it online unless the ransom is paid. This means that if a user is infected with ransomware, their data can be stolen and held for ransom. It is important to be aware of this threat and take precautions to protect yourself and your data.

Can Ransomware Affect WiFi?

Yes, ransomware can affect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.

Should I Pay Ransomware?

No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.

What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?

If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even to use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.

Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?

Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.

Can Ransomware Be Detected?

Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine. It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.

Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?

Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.

       

 

About the LIKEAHORSE Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this LIKEAHORSE 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 LIKEAHORSE 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


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.

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