Home > Ransomware > Remove HadesLocker Virus and Restore ~HL Files

Remove HadesLocker Virus and Restore ~HL Files


HadesLocker is the name of a recently found ransomware cryptovirus which gives you a week to pay one Bitcoin. If you do not meet this criterion the price for decryption will be two Bitcoins. The malware researcher Michael Gillespie reported about this ransomware. The extension put to encrypted files is “~HL” and a random symbol after it. The ransom note which shows after encryption is inside a file called “README_RECOVER_FILES_[ID].txt”. To see how to remove this cryptovirus and how you can try to restore your data, read the article carefully to its end.

UPDATE! With the help of a ProofPoint security researcher it has been found that this cryptovirus is a variant of the WildFire Locker ransomware.

Threat Summary

Name HadesLocker
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The ransomware will encrypt your files and demand a ransom.
Symptoms The ransomware will ask for 1 Bitcoin as payment for decryption. It will lock files with the .~HL extension with a random symbol after it (for example .~HL5)
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss HadesLocker.
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.

HadesLocker Virus – Distribution Tactics

The HadesLocker ransomware could infect computers via different distribution tactics. One of them is probably spam e-mails that are spreading the payload file of this virus. These types of e-mails are engineered in such a way to try and trick unsuspecting users that the message contents are of huge importance or they are too long to be conveyed in the body of the letter. That is why they urge for a file attachment to be opened as a result. The fact is that if you fall for those lies and open the attached file, your computer will be infected with the malware that was waiting in the file, and in this case – the payload for the ransomware.

It gets harder for people to differentiate a fake e-mail from a legitimate one when the attached file looks like a document and all names will be normal and not look suspicious.

The other method, which is similar to the previously mentioned one, is to use social media and other services. On file-sharing websites and social media networks, the same payload file could be uploaded and hidden in an archive file. The archive will prevent most embedded antivirus software from detecting it on such websites. Do not open files and links with an unknown origin. Scan files beforehand with a security program and check their signatures and size. You should read some ransomware prevention tips in our forum thread.

HadesLocker Virus – Technical Analysis

The HadesLocker cryptovirus has been seen and reported by the malware researcher Michael Gillespie. A PrrofPoint researcher had discovered a malware sample, from which it was deducted that this virus is a variant of the WildFire Locker ransomware. When the virus drops its payload file, it also puts the following files in your system:

  • %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Temp\RarSFX0\
  • %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Temp\RarSFX0\Ronms.exe
  • %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\Ronms.lnk
  • %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\wow6232node\
  • %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\wow6232node\Bamvenagxe.xml
  • %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\wow6232node\Ronms.exe

Afterward, it makes entries in the Windows Registry to remain persistent. Those entries are set in a way to make HadesLocker launch automatically with each boot of the Windows operating system. Here are those entries:

→HKCU\Software\Wow6232Node\hwid [Your ID number]

→HKCU\Software\Wow6232Node\status 1

The virus will encrypt your files and load a document with instructions for payment. This note is inside 3 identical files called README_RECOVER_FILES_ with the formats .txt, .png .html and some hexadecimal symbols appended after the name, which varies from victim to victim.

A screenshot of the README_RECOVER_FILES_ file is shown below:


The instructions inside the file read the following:


All your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted!

In order to decrypt your files you will have to buy the decryption password belonging to your files

There are 2 options to solve this problem
1. Format your hard disk and loose all your files for ever!
2. Pay to buy your decryption key. With this decryption key you
can decrypt your files and use them again like before.

To buy the decryption password you will have to visit our website. Pick a website below

If these websites dont work you can visit our website on the TOR network follow the steps below to visit our TOR website.
1. Download and install the TOR browser: https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en
2. After installation run the TOR browser and wait for initialization
3. Inside the TOR browser (just like a normal browser) navigate to n7457xrhg5kibr2c.onion/

HWID (personal identification ID):

!! you have until Wednesday 12 october 2016 to buy the decryption key or the price will double !!

If you follow the instructions and visit the https://n7457xrhg5kibr2c.onion/entry.php web address you will be shown the following page:


You will be asked for your specific ID number to enter the site. After you do that, you will finally be given more information about the ransom demands:


From there you can see that the HadesLocker ransomware wants you to pay one Bitcoin for decrypting your files within a seven day time-frame. If you do not take any action the price doubles. You will be asked to send the payment to a direct Bitcoin address generated at the bottom of that online page. We see that the TOR network is used for this page to be displayed as many other ransomware viruses do. That makes it next to impossible to find the location of the cyber crooks. Do NOT think of paying the cybercriminals as nobody can guarantee that you will get your files back. The money will be used to fund this criminal act as well as other ones.

Here is the list with file types, which the HadesLocker ransomware searches to encrypt:


Extensions List Source: BleepingComputer

The encrypted files will have the extension .~HL appended to them and a symbol right after it. Files found in the following paths and folders will not get encrypted:

  • Windows
  • Program files
  • Program files (x86)
  • System volume information
  • $recycle.bin

The HadesLocker ransomware will execute this command to prevent people from recovering files with their Shadow Volume Copies of the Windows operating system:

→WMIC.exe shadowcopy delete /nointeractive

Continue to read and see how you can remove the virus and try to restore your files.

Remove HadesLocker Virus and Restore .~HL Files

If your computer got infected with the HadesLocker 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 HadesLocker.

Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

More Posts

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

About the HadesLocker Research

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


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

Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove HadesLocker from Windows.

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


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 HadesLocker 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 HadesLocker 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 HadesLocker 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 HadesLocker 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.

Video Guide for Automatic and Fast Removal

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

Ransomware infections and HadesLocker aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

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

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

Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of HadesLocker from Mac OS X.

Step 1: Uninstall HadesLocker 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 HadesLocker:

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 HadesLocker. 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 HadesLocker. 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 HadesLocker 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 HadesLocker. 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 HadesLocker:


SpyHunter for Mac

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

Ransomware infections and HadesLocker aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

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

HadesLocker FAQ

What is HadesLocker ransomware and how does it work?

HadesLocker 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 HadesLocker ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.HadesLocker 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 HadesLocker 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 .HadesLocker files?

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

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like HadesLocker 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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *