Developers of the Cerber ransomware have released version 4.1.5 for their malware. Apparently, besides the change in its desktop background image, the address for the payment site has also been switched. The same randomized extension is used for the encrypted files of each victim. To see how to remove this ransomware and how you can try to restore your files, read the article to the end.
|Short Description||The ransomware will encrypt your files and make them inaccessible. A ransom note with instructions for payment will be placed in a file named “Readme.hta” spread across different directories on your computer.|
|Symptoms||All encrypted files will receive an extension with 4 random symbols. The symbols are letters from A to Z or digits from 0 to 9. (Example: “.be5c”)|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Cerber 4.1.5 |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Cerber 4.1.5.|
|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.|
Cerber 4.1.5 Ransomware – Delivery
The criminals behind the Cerber 4.1.5 virus continue to spread its malware with spam and phishing e-mail campaigns. The result of such campaigns is e-mails that are designed to look like they require immediate attention and try to urge you to open up a document. Usually, that document is a Microsoft Office .doc file, as shown below:
Cerber 4.1.5 ransomware developers implement their malicious script into such documents, which also require from users to enable Macros on those specific documents. When the Macros function is allowed by users, that triggers the script and the computer becomes infected. Here is how a file with such a notification looks like when opened:
Unfortunately, these files are highly obfuscated, to avoid detection by Anti-malware vendors and are rarely detected in the hour of their release. Like its previous version, after the malicious script is initiated, it launches a download for the payload of Cerber via PowerShell, as seen right here:
As seen in the above image, Cerber ransomware downloads its payload from a file with the name “winx64.exe” located in the %AppData% directory.
Cerber 4.1.5 Ransomware – Description
Cerber ransomware continues to spread newer and newer versions and now Cerber 4.1.5 is a fact. You can read more about how it came to this version from the article called The Cerber 4 Iteration Tango. The core of this cryptovirus hasn’t really changed – the same way of operation as the previous few versions is observed in this one as well.
You can be sure that the following registry entries will be modified so that the Cerber 4.1.5 virus becomes more resilient:
The registry entries will make the ransomware to start with each boot of the Windows operating system.
Afterward, the Cerber 4.1.5 ransomware also drops the “Readme.hta” file as its previous iterations. The file contains the ransom note which leads to the Web page with instructions for payment. You can view the page from the below image:
Here is what the instructions for payment read:
“How to get «Cerber Decryptor»?
1. Create a Bitcoin Wallet (we recommend Blockchain.info)
2. Buy necessary amount of Bitcoins
Do not forget about the transaction commission in the Bitcoin network (≈ 0.0005).
Here are our recommendations:
btcdirect.eu – A good service for Europe
bittylicious.com – Get BTC via Visa / MC or SEPA (EU) bank transfer
localbitcoins.com – This service allows you to search for people that want to sell Bitcoins directly (WU, Cash, SEPA, Paypal, etc).
cex.io – Buy Bitcoins using Visa / Mastercard or Wire Transfer.
coincafe.com – It is recommended for the fast and easy service. Payment methods: Western Union, Bank of America, cash through FedEx, Moneygram, and/or wire transfer
bitstamp.net – Old and proven Bitcoin dealer
coinmama.com – Visa/Mastercard
btc-e.com – Bitcoins dealer (Visa/Mastercard, etc.)
Could not find Bitcoins in your region? Try searching here:
buybitcoinworldwide.com International catalog of Bitcoins exchanges
bitcoin-net.com – Another Bitcoins sellers catalog
howtobuybitcoins.info – International catalog of Bitcoins exchanges
bittybot.co/eu – A catalog for the European Union
3. Send 0.1196 to the following Bitcoin address:
You should NOT in any circumstances even consider of paying the extortionists, especially when you find out how quickly they can come up with a new version of their ransomware. You probably will just end up giving your money to them and still have your files inaccessible.
The files which get encrypted receive one and the same extension, but that extension is different for each victim – it is comprised of 4 random symbols. These symbols can be either single digits from 0 to 9 or letters from A to Z. An example would be “.be5c” and the encryption algorithms that are used are RSA and AES.
Remove Cerber 4.1.5 and Restore Your Files
If your computer got infected with the Cerber 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 Cerber 4.1.5.