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Remove Cerber Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files (2019)

This article is to help you remove Cerber ransomware and decrypt encrypted files for free.

Cerber ransomware is a dangerous crypto infection that infects computer systems with the goal to encrypt valuable personal files. Then it demands the user to pay а ransom fee that varies from one hundred to a few hundred dollars. Hackers insist that victims should pay the ransom in BitCoin (BTC) for the decryption of their encrypted files. Once Cerber ransomware reaches target files it applies significant changes to their code. Analyses of its samples reveal that it is using the strong AES encryption. Users who have been affected by this ransomware have their files encrypted with the .CERBER, .cerber2, .cerber3 .af47, .a48f, and other .[random characters] file extensions. For the extortion, the threat drops a ransom message file that may be named #DECRYPT MY FILES#, _READ_THI$_FILE_, _HELP_HELP_HELP_random, _READ_THIS_FILE, _R_E_A_D___T_H_I_S___random_, or _!!!_README_!!!_random_ again depending on the version that has infected your PC. All malicious files and objects created by the ransomware should immediately be removed from the infected machine.

It is advisable to use other methods to restore the data instead of paying funds to the cyber-crooks. Check the removal guide that follows for more details on a free decryption tool for .cerber files.

Threat Summary


Cerber virus

Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The malware encrypts users’ files after a force restart of the infected PC. Drops a ransom messages, named “# DECRYPT MY FILES #” and extorts a ransom fee from victims.
Symptoms The user may witness ransom messages and “instructions” and a sound message all linking to a web page and a decryptor.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Exploit Kits, Hacked Websites, Corrupted Installers
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join our forum to Discuss Cerber Ransomware.
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 Ransomware – Update October 2019

Security experts have reported that Cerber ransomware was detected in active attack campaigns. The analyses of the detected samples reveal that the ransomware is still using the same ransom message – # DECRYPT MY FILES #.txt

So once the infection process is done, Cerber loads the following message:

Cannot you find the files you need?
Is the content of the files that you looked for not readable?
It is normal because the files’ names, as well as the data in your files have been encrypted.
You have turned to be a part of a big community #CerberRansomware
!!! If you are reading this message it means the software
!!! Cerber Ransomware has been removed from your computer.
What is encryption?
Encryption is a reversible modification of information for security
Reasons but providing full access to it for authorized users.
To become an authorized user and keep the modification absolutely
Reversible (in other words to have a possibility to decrypt your files)
You should have an individual private key.
But not only it.
It is required also to have the special decryption software
(in your case “Cerber Decryptor” software) for safe and complete decryption of all your files and data.

Encrypting is clear for me but what should I do?
The first step is reading these instructions to the end.
Your files have been encrypted with the “Cerber Ransomware” software: the instructions (“# DECRYPT MY FILES #.html” and “# DECRYPT MY FILES #.txt”) in the folders with your encrypted files are not virues, they will help you.
After reading this text the most part if people start searching in the Internet the words the “Cerbcer Ransomware”where they find a lot of ideas, recommendations and instructions.
It is necessary to realize that we are the ones who closed the lock on your files and we are the only ones who have this secret key to open them.
!!! Any attempts to get back your files with the third-party tools can
!!! be fatal for your encrypted files.

# DECRYPT MY FILES # txt ransom note cerber ransomware

At the end of the message, hackers reveal a list of several temporary addresses where their specific decryptor can be purchased. We recommend that you refrain from following hackers’ instructions and paying any ransom sum. Keep following this guide and find out how to remove the version of Cerber ransomware that has infected your PC. Also, do check the alternative data recovery methods.

Cerber Ransomware – Update September 2017

The latest iteration of the Cerber virus, known as CRBR ENCRYPTOR, has been reported to use the Magnitude Exploit Kit by a few malware researchers. The ransomware is expected to launch new malspam campaigns in the near future, as that has been witnessed before many times.

Cerber Ransomware – Update August 2017

From the 26th of June till now a new sample of Cerber ransomware has been detected to spread in the wild by malware researchers. The sample uses the executable file called “letsgo.exe” as a payload which spreads the ransomware’s malicious files. After infection the virus, resets the Firewall on the operating system to make an exception and keep a communication between the infected computer system and C2 (Command and Control) servers. There is information that Cerber made its developers millions of dollars from payments, so be careful what you execute on your PC as there are a lot of ransomware viruses.

UPDATE! New _README_{RANDOMID}_.hta variant of Cerber ransomware has been discovered December 1st, 2016. More information about it here!
UPDATE! A free decryptor has been released for files encoded by Cerber virus ransomware. To learn how to decrypt your files, please visit the following article.

Update June 2017. Security researchers recently came across a new Cerber ransomware campaign being distributed with the help of Magnitude EK and RoughTed. RoughTed is a large malvertising operation that reached a peak in March this year. However, it has been active for over a year now. The campaign is rare in its structure as it includes various malicious techniques, from scams to exploit kits. The scope of victims is also quite broad, and is known to be very precise due to geolocation features. Research indicates that Cerber ransomware has been included in this campaign as one of the payloads delivered to victims.

Update April 2017. Even though this version of Cerber has first landed more than a year ago, reports indicate that it is still making rounds in the wild, successfully infecting users. Emsisoft researchers discovered a new sample of Cerber ransomware several weeks ago. This new sample was found to leave the original filename the same and to only append a random extension. The sample is known as RED CERBER. Considering the intensity of Cerber’s multiple iterations, it is quite possible that a new version will be coded soon.

Cerber Ransomware – Distribution

This crypto-malware may use a malicious exploit script do download itself on a computer. This method increases the probability of infecting the user successfully. Such Kits may usually be distributed via malicious macros in Microsoft Office or PDF documents. This means that when you open such a document and enable editing mode in it, there may have been a code infecting you with the kit. Most users get fooled into opening such spam e-mails because they may resemble a reputable or well-known sender. The most mimicked senders are usually:

  • Your boss.
  • Someone from your contact list.
  • PayPal.
  • Amazon.
  • eBay.
  • AliExpress or Alibaba.
  • Your bank.
  • Facebook or other social networks.

Cerber Ransomware In Detail

Once the ransomware has been executed it has been reported to create a folder with custom digits in the %AppData% Windows directory, for example:

  • {0219HH-S24NI2-NUS-2JISAI-PL0KK}

Not only this but in the folder, the ransomware names random executables which may be its different modules that perform different actions on the user PC. One of those modules has been reported by malware researchers to detect the location of the user PC. In case the victim PC is from certain countries in Eastern Europe, the ransomware does not activate encryption and self-deletes. However, in case the user is from any other country than that, Cerber executes the following command to restart your computer:

“C:\Windows\System32\bcdedit.exe /set {info} safeboot network”

This usually goes with a fake error message as a bonus, which gives it an excuse in front of the user to restart his computer. Error messages may be such as “A critical system process has denied access” with an exclamation mark icon on them and they noticed that the system will log off.

Regarding, file encryption, Cerber uses different modules to encrypt the user’s files. One of the modules is a file containing the list of extensions the encryptor scans for. Here are the extensions, Cerber may target and encrypt:

.contact, .dbx, .doc, .docx, .jnt, .jpg, .mapimail, .msg, .oab, .ods, .pdf, .pps, .ppsm, .ppt, .pptm, .prf, .pst, .rar, .rtf, .txt, .wab, .xls, .xlsx, .xml, .zip, .1cd, .3ds, .3g2, .3gp, .7z, .7zip, .accdb, .aoi, .asf, .asp, .aspx, .asx, .avi, .bak, .cer, .cfg, .class, .config, .css, .csv, .db, .dds, .dwg, .dxf, .flf, .flv, .html, .idx, .js, .key, .kwm, .laccdb, .ldf, .lit, .m3u, .mbx, .md, .mdf, .mid, .mlb, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpg, .obj, .odt, .pages, .php, .psd, .pwm, .rm, .safe, .sav, .save, .sql, .srt, .swf, .thm, .vob, .wav, .wma, .wmv, .xlsb, .3dm, .aac, .ai, .arw, .c, .cdr, .cls, .cpi, .cpp, .cs, .db3, .docm, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .drw, .dxb, .eps, .fla, .flac, .fxg, .java, .m, .m4v, .max, .mdb, .pcd, .pct, .pl, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .ppsm, .ppsx, .pptm, .ps, .pspimage, .r3d, .rw2, .sldm, .sldx, .svg, .tga, .wps, .xla, .xlam, .xlm, .xlr, .xlsm, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .act, .adp, .al, .bkp, .blend, .cdf, .cdx, .cgm, .cr2, .crt, .dac, .dbf, .dcr, .ddd, .design, .dtd, .fdb, .fff, .fpx, .h, .iif, .indd, .jpeg, .mos, .nd, .nsd, .nsf, .nsg, .nsh, .odc, .odp, .oil, .pas, .pat, .pef, .pfx, .ptx, .qbb, .qbm, .sas7bdat, .say, .st4, .st6, .stc, .sxc, .sxw, .tlg, .wad, .xlk, .aiff, .bin, .bmp, .cmt, .dat, .dit, .edb, .flvv, .gif, .groups, .hdd, .hpp, .log, .m2ts, .m4p, .mkv, .mpeg, .ndf, .nvram, .ogg, .ost, .pab, .pdb, .pif, .png, .qed, .qcow, .qcow2, .rvt, .st7, .stm, .vbox, .vdi, .vhd, .vhdx, .vmdk, .vmsd, .vmx, .vmxf, .3fr, .3pr, .ab4, .accde, .accdr, .accdt, .ach, .acr, .adb, .ads, .agdl, .ait, .apj, .asm, .awg, .back, .backup, .backupdb, .bank, .bay, .bdb, .bgt, .bik, .bpw, .cdr3, .cdr4, .cdr5, .cdr6, .cdrw, .ce1, .ce2, .cib, .craw, .crw, .csh, .csl, .db_journal, .dc2, .dcs, .ddoc, .ddrw, .der, .des, .dgc, .djvu, .dng, .drf, .dxg, .eml, .erbsql, .erf, .exf, .ffd, .fh, .fhd, .gray, .grey, .gry, .hbk, .ibank, .ibd, .ibz, .iiq, .incpas, .jpe, .kc2, .kdbx, .kdc, .kpdx, .lua, .mdc, .mef, .mfw, .mmw, .mny, .moneywell, .mrw, .myd, .ndd, .nef, .nk2, .nop, .nrw, .ns2, .ns3, .ns4, .nwb, .nx2, .nxl, .nyf, .odb, .odf, .odg, .odm, .orf, .otg, .oth, .otp, .ots, .ott, .p12, .p7b, .p7c, .pdd, .pem, .plus_muhd, .plc, .pot, .pptx, .psafe3, .py, .qba, .qbr, .qbw, .qbx, .qby, .raf, .rat, .raw, .rdb, .rwl, .rwz, .s3db, .sd0, .sda, .sdf, .sqlite, .sqlite3, .sqlitedb, .sr2, .srf, .srw, .st5, .st8, .std, .sti, .stw, .stx, .sxd, .sxg, .sxi, .sxm, .tex, .wallet, .wb2, .wpd, .x11, .x3f, .xis, .ycbcra, .yuv (Source: Bleeping Computer)

After it scans for, Cerber encodes the files with a 256-bit AES encryption algorithm which has been classified as Suite.B encryption which is used for encoding classified data by the US government. Not only this, but Cerber also changes the file extension to .CERBER. Here is how an encrypted file looks before and after:

Before encryption:
New Text Document.txt
After Cerber:

Not only this but Cerber also drops several ransom note types of files on the user’s Desktop:

  • # DECRYPT MY FILES #.html
  • # DECRYPT MY FILES #.txt
  • # DECRYPT MY FILES #.vbs

The “.vbs” script is particularly interesting because it is reported by affected users to include the ransom message transcribed from text to speech in audio format. Cerber notifies the users by repeating several times “Attention! Your files have been encrypted!” along with quick instruction on what to do. This is considered to be a scare tactic by the creators of the Cerber Ransomware.

Unlike the other ransom messages, the initial version of Cerber ransomware shows a very brief notification to the affected user:

Your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted!
To decrypt your files follow the instrucions:
1.Download and install the < from https://www.torproject.org/
2.Run it
3. In the <> open website:
//{the web link for decryption service here with an .onion domain}//
4.Follow the instructions at this website.”

On the decryption web link, the ransomware has support for 12 languages for different users to choose. It also features a reverse countdown timer and a service that provides information on how to pay the ransom money and detects whether or not they have been paid.

How to Decrypt Cerber Ransomware

Fortunately, researchers at TrendMicro have successfully created a decryptor for Cerber ransomware. Beware that the decryptor is working only for the initial version of the ransomware. To decrypt .cerber files you need to follow a specific set of decryption instructions. We have prepared an article with all steps needed -> Decrypt Files Encrypted by Cerber Ransomware

Released Cerber Versions Till October 2019

Here is the history of Cerber ransomware evolution and development. Below you will see brief stories about all Cerber iterations that follow the initial version. They were detected in the wild in the past but may still be released in active attack campaigns. Every Cerber version has its own specifics. As you will see the most recognizable change usually concerns the ransom message.

Cerber2 Ransomware

That Cerber2 ransomware version has been updated with a blacklist for anti-malware programs to make be harder to be detected. The ransomware appends the extension .cerber2 and comes with the following lock-screen message:


Cerber3 Ransomware

Cerber3 leaves corrupted files renamed with the extension .cerber3 and drops the # HELP DECRYPT #.txt file after encryption. The ransom message file has the same content as the content noticed in the latest detections in October 2019.

Cerber 4.1.0 Ransomware

This version has been set to use a more optimized code for system modifications and data encryption. A wallpaper stating it’s version 4.1.0 is another trait of this verison. The code of the threat reveals that many other improvements are implemented by cybercriminals. The virus is associated with the README.hta file, just like the original version of Cerber. After the ransomware encrypts target files it adds random file extension with A-Z 0-9 symbols. File names are changed by Cerber 4.1.0 as well.


Cerber 4.1.1 Ransomware

Another change in the wallpaper of Cerber 4.1.1 ransomware was noticed. It was configured to contain it’s version (4.1.1) in it.


Cerber 4.1.4 Ransomware

With Cerber 4.1.4 version the detected changes were related to how it communicates with the C&C servers and some slight changes in the methods it infects. Malicious macros were used to conduct an infection. Its ransom message is called Readme.hta and the wallpaper it sets reveals the number of its version:


Cerber 4.1.5 Ransomware

Cerber 4.1.5 virus became more resilient due to hackers’ decision to make it affect a large number of registry entries. It kept the pattern for renaming encrypted files. So when it comes to Cerber 4.1.5 it alters the names of the encrypted files and adds a random 4 A-Z, 0-9 file extension.


Cerber 4.1.6 Ransomware

This strain was reported by researchers to be focused on attacking more and more forms of databases that exist out there. After the encryption process, the ransomware was set to drop a readme.hta (HTML) ransom note file. It changes the wallpaper to the traditional Cebrer screen:


Cerber 5 Ransomware

The web page of Cerber 5.0 ransomware is exactly the same as the 4.1.6 and the other older versions. The most impactful modification was the use of the RIG-V exploit kit for propagation. This exploit kit is reported by researchers at Malware-Traffic-Analysis to be somewhat a “VIP” version of the exploit kits.


Cerber 5.0.1 Ransomware

What is characteristic for the 5.0.1 version of the Cerber virus is that it is not very different in comparison to other updates of Cerber. In fact, the malware may be distributed via the very same RIG-V exploit kit, typical for the 5th version of Cerber.

Red CERBER Ransomware

Сeveral interesting changes were observed when the Red Cerber variant was first analyzed. A red ransom note (_README_{random}.hta) accompanied by a sound message.


The ransom message file HELP_HELP_HELP appeared in the next iteration of the Red Cerber ransomware.

Remove Cerber Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files

Regarding the removal of the ransomware, it is highly recommended to use an advanced anti-malware software because the ransomware may self-delete itself after encryption, but the exploit kit may still be residing on the computer. For maximum effectiveness, it is recommended to use the step-by-step removal below.

If you want to successfully restore your files, direct decryption will simply not work, because it has not yet been created for this ransomware. However, we will keep you updated on our forum. Meanwhile, we have provided alternative file restoration methods in the guide below.

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.


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 Cerber virus from Windows.

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


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 Cerber virus 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 Cerber virus 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 Cerber virus 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.

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 Cerber virus 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.


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


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.


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

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

Ransomware infections and Cerber virus 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 Cerber virus from Mac OS X.

Step 1: Uninstall Cerber virus and remove related files and objects

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 Cerber virus:

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 Cerber virus. 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 Cerber virus. 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 Cerber virus 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 Cerber virus. 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

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.

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


SpyHunter for Mac

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

Ransomware infections and Cerber virus 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.

Cerber virus FAQ

What is Cerber virus ransomware and how does it work?

Cerber virus 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 virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Cerber virus 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 virus 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 virus files?

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

One way to restore files, encrypted by Cerber virus 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 virus" 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 virus 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 virus 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 virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Cerber virus files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Cerber virus 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. Sam


    My system got infected by a ransom malware and all images and important files got corrupted, and converted to be as .cerber files. I used spyhunter and removed the malware and viruses. But files got corrupted

    Need your support to get them decrypted and to recover the files. As I have the files in different drive other than c:, I havent mentioned windows protection ‘on’. Its my fault.

    I tried Stellar Data Recovery software, but even after restoring the .cerber files only exists. Unable to get my original files back.

    Also I have .cerber files and other files that are being corrupted. Is that ok, to have them? will that cause any issue?

    Can you please let me know any solution and your help needed for this.



    +44 7404463461

    1. Ventsislav Krastev

      Hello Sam,

      Unfortunately, there is no direct solution at this point. I think that since you have Stellar Phoenix installed already you should try the following tactic.

      1. Move the encrypted files to a USB drive or somewhere else so that there is nothing on your computer.
      2. Try scanning for the files once more.

      Otherwise, you may want to follow our forum at


      where we often post updates when a solution for ransomware like Cerber is available.

      Best Regards,

  2. Ivana

    Hi there,
    I also have the problem with cerber decription. the virus has been removed successfully, but no Shadows or System restore is available, as cerber firstly removes that. no option from this suggestions work for me. Do you have any other idea? please help, i’m desparate. much appreciated, thank you

  3. Vensislav Krastev

    Have you ever tried using data recovery software? In step 4 of this tutorial there are such programs and you can also find plenty of others if you search online. We have tested several of those, here is more information on the matter:


    Best Regards,

  4. Muhammad Mateen

    Respected sir,
    My system got infected by a ransom malware and all images and important files got corrupted, and converted to be as .cerber files.

    Need your support to get them decrypted and to recover the files. As I have the files in different drive other than c:

    Can you please let me know any solution and your help needed for this.

    Muhammad Mateen

  5. Vencislav Krustev


    Your system has been infected by Cerber ransomware. Unfortunately decryption of your files is not yet available.

    However, if you did not format your hard drive, we recommend you to use data recovery software or if you have set up backup, to use a program, called Shadow Explorer. More information about restoring your files is available in Step number “4. Restore files encrypted by Cerber”. We hope this helps you.

    Best Regards,

  6. Jose Luis

    Muuy buenas,tengo todos mis archivos encriptados por cerber.Los tengo en disco duro externo y no se como recuperarlos ya que formatee el Pc y no tenia copia de seguridad.Algun programa que me ayude hacerlo?

    1. Vermon

      sensorstechforum.com/forums/malware-removal-questions-and-guides/cerber-ransomware-and-cerber-encrypted-files-how-to-restore-them/ – did you check here. hope someone will give solution in the forum

      1. Luis PL

        Yo también soy víctima de este virus, tengo todos mis archivos encriptados con extensión .cerber tanto en mi pc como en discos duros externos. ¿Alguién me podría ayudar? Es una situación de gran impotencia.
        I’m a victim of this ransom malware, I have all data and files infected with the extension .cerber they are in my laptop and in several external hard discs. Could anyone tell me anything about this problem? Thanks.

  7. Smokey

    What if there was a way to prevent files named *.cerber from being created?

    1. Milena Dimitrova

      Do you know of such a method? :)

      1. Luis PL

        No method so far. As soon as I know something, I’ll tell you.
        BTW, you must go to the police station to file a complaint reporting the facts as I’ve done, because it’s the only way to take part in this terrorist crime.
        We keep in touch on this webpage.

        1. lokesh

          some files are able to play if you change the extension , i tried it but only mp3 file are play no video no jpg

  8. Jarda

    8/5 2016- Do you know of such a method (decryptlocker)? My all discs is infected by cerber. My PC restarted/60 sec, only. This is for me disaster!!!!!!! Help!!!

  9. Narayana

    despues de eliminar el virus basta con cambiar manualmente la extencion .cerber por la del archivo, el problema esta en saber que extencion tenia el archivo anteriormente. No es la manera mas adecuada pero de momento funciona.

    Espero les sirva.

    1. Vencislav Krustev (Post author)

      Hello, Narayana
      From what you wrote I suppose you claim to be able to eliminate the encryption by removing the .cerber extension after deleting Cerber via an anti-malware tool? I am not sure this will work, because the structure of the file is encrypted, not just the extension changed.

  10. jose manuel

    efectivamente: no funciona con cambiar la extensión.
    it´s true: doesn´t work if only change the estension.

    1. Rafael Polvillo

      hola Jose manuel, pudistes desemcriptar los archivos dañados por CERBER?
      A mi me acaban de infectar y esto y desesperado, he comprado un antivirus y he quitado el virus, pero los archivos los necesito desemcriptar, alguna solución?

  11. fengken


    My friend’s external hard drives got cerber, and this infected computer was re-installed.
    If I paid money to get key, the infected files in external hard drives can be restored or not?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Vencislav Krustev (Post author)

      Hi fengken,

      Yes there is a chance you will get the files back, but we strongly advise you NOT to pay since (1)researchers may be close to decrypting Cerber, (2)you fund the cyber criminals to make it even more spread and (3)you may not get all your files back, only a part of them and the criminals may want even more money. Anyways if you reinstalled the computer, you will not be able to pay the ransom because you are no longer infected and they will not recognise you. Still, you can try contacting them if you remember the IP address, but we’d advise against that.

  12. Buyung Tjia

    all discussion about cerber is useless . the only way just pay (and the fastest-youtube). you suggest doing a restore but many document files that can not be read. i see news spread of ransomware the last few months really sad . it looks like the problem is here only for money is not the solution .

    1. MilenaDimitroff

      Hi Buyung,

      Are you seriously encouraging victims of ransomware to pay? Paying only monetizes the infection and encourages cyber crooks to expand their malicious campaigns. Moreover, paying doesn’t necessarily mean that the decryption key will be sent to the victim…

      You should encourage people to improve their online security instead, and look into ways to backup and secure their data :) Just my two cents!

  13. lokesh

    hey guys !
    i have got cerber decryptor v1.01 for free but the problem is whem you try to decrypt your file with it we get failed answer by not paid …so firstly we have to remove hacker private key and certificate registry which was done by hacker by using public key as a private key

    1. SensorsTechForum

      Hey lokesh,

      Where did you find the decryptor you mentioned about?



      1. lokesh

        if you got solution so please inform
        as a humanity please

        1. SensorsTechForum

          We assure you we will let you know if a solution is for any ransomware is available. Some ransomware cases are already “closed” because decryption tools were successfully developed.

    2. minkimmik

      Hi lokesh,

      My neighbor have also got a cerber decryptor, he is 62 years old and is desesperate whith CERBER ransomware , he is not a specialist in computer.
      Could you please explain to me the instructions step by step and then i could explain to him.

      Thank you very much in advance

      1. lokesh

        yes i have decryptor but it was unsable if you dont paid it server ,my data is still encrypted

        1. KJ

          hey could you give me the decryptor
          I would check if it works for me
          Thanks in advance

          1. SensorsTechForum

            Hi KJ,

            There’s no specific decryptor for Cerber. However, you can try alternative methods that are provided in the accordion below the article.

  14. sumesh

    sir, I have got cerber decryptor v 3.0.1 but the problem is it answers not paid so how can I change to paid system

    1. Vencislav Krustev

      Sumesh, can you please type this again because i do not understand you. Thank you in advance, sir.

    2. Vencislav Krustev

      Sumesh, I have checked the Cerber decryptor v3.0.1 and do not use it. It wants money to be paid to get the files back, meaning that it is somewhat a scam. DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT!


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