The article presents detailed information about HORSELIKER virus as well as a step-by-step guide on how to remove malicious files from the infected system and how to potentially recover encrypted files.
HORSELIKER virus is a severe crypto infection. The activation of HORSELIKER on your computer leads to system and data corruption. Primarily, the threat is designed to locate certain types of personal files and encodes them by utilizing strong cipher like AES and RSA. To make encrypted files more recognizable, HORSELIKER virus appends the extension .HORSELIKER to their names. Finally, the ransomware drops a ransom message file on the infected system to extort a ransom fee for .HORSELIKER files decryption. You can find a copy of the content of this file downward.
|A malware that is designed to encrypt valuable files stored on infected computers and then extort a ransom from victims.
|Important files are encrypted and renamed with the extension .HORSELIKER
A ransom message forces victims to contact hackers in order to receive instructions on how to pay a ransom fee probably in cryptocurrency.
|Spam Emails; Email Attachments; Corrupted Websites; Software Installers
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|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.
HORSELIKER Ransomware — October 2019 Update
In October 2019 a new release of the HORSELIKER ransomware has been identified in an ongoing campaign. According to the available security reports this is probably the work of another criminal collective as a new contact email email and ransomware note design is being used. The analysis of the captured samples shows that some of the infections happen through malware-infected files which are sent to the intended recipients. They can be both executables, application installers or macro-infected documents.
Some of the infected files that have been confirmed to carry the malware bear the following file name AntiRecuvaAndDB.ex_ which is a double extension file which is in fact an EXE. When the users click on it they will start the proper virus deployment sequence. This includes some of the following modules:
- Command Execution — The criminals can embed commands that will be run using the command prompt or the PowerShell environment on the infected computer.
- Security Applications Bypass — The malware will search the system for any installed security applications and services. If such are found they will be disabled. This includes firewalls, anti-virus software, virtual machine hosts and other applications which might interfere with the proper HORSELIKER ransomware installation.
- Data Harvesting — Advanced forms of the virus may also be used to hijack sensitive information that may reveal additional information about the identity of the victims and/or their machine. This can be done in order to generate an unique ID for each host.
Some of the HORSELIKER ransomware can be used to deploy additional malware on the infected computer.
HORSELIKER Ransomware – More About the Infection
HORSELIKER virus is a data locker ransomware that has been detected in active attack campaigns. The attack campaigns that are spreading HORSELIKER ransomware are liely to be realized with the help of spam emails, email attachments, hacked web pages, and corrupted freeware installers.
The attack begins when the HORSELIKER virus is executed on your system. Threats of this kind are usually designed to perform lots of complex malicious activities that seriously disrupt system security and eventually lead to encryption of personal files.
For the encryption of target files HORSELIKER virus launches a built-in cipher module that scans selected folders for predefined types of files that are known to be used for the storage of valuable personal data. Every time the module detects a target file, it applies changes that transform its original code. Like other data locker ransomware ([wplinkpreview url=”https://sensorstechforum.com/remove-hese-virus/”] STOP Hese, [wplinkpreview url=”https://sensorstechforum.com/pdf-file-virus-dharma-remove/”] Dharma .pdf, etc.) HORSELIKER is likely to utilize sophisticated cipher algorithms (AES and RSA) to transform files’ code.
Unfortunately, the threat is likely to corrupt all of the following files:
- Audio files
- Video files
- Document files
- Image files
- Backup files
- Banking credentials, etc
Following encryption, corrupted files cannot be opened. In addition, they have the extension .HORSELIKER appended to their names. In fact, the main goal of this ransomware is to blackmail you into paying a ransom to hackers. That’s why HORSELIKER drops a ransom message with instructions on how to complete the ransom payment process.
Here is a copy of HORSELIKER virus’ ransom message:
Want return your files?Write to our xmpp account – horsesecret@xmpp. jp
The easiesy way – register here https://www.xmpp.jp/signup
After download pidgin client https://pidgin.im/
Press Add account, choose protocol xmpp and put username from xmpp.jp where are you sign up
Domain – xmpp.jp
Put your passowd and press add
When you log in press Buddies –> Add Buddy–>and in Buddys username put beautydonkey xmpp.
After you will see added account email@example.com, click twice on it an write your mess
You can send us 1-3 test files. The total size of files must be less than 10Mb (non archive) we will decrypt them and send to you that we are real
You should NOT under any circumstances contact cybercriminals or pay any ransom sum to them. This action does not guarantee the recovery of your .HORSELIKER files.
How to Remove HORSELIKER Virus
The so-called HORSELIKER ransomware is a threat with a highly complex code that disrupts system security in order to encrypt personal files. Hence the infected system could be used in a secure manner again only after the complete removal of all malicious files and objects created by HORSELIKER ransomware. That’s why it is recommendable that all steps presented in the HORSELIKER virus removal guide below should be completed. Beware that the manual ransomware removal is suitable for more experienced computer users. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual steps navigate to the automatic part of the guide.
How to Recover .HORSELIKER Files
There are several alternative methods that may be efficient for the recovery of .HORSELIKER files, but note that there is no guarantee they would work. You could find them listed under Step 5 from our HORSELIKER ransomware removal guide. Beware that you should make copies of all encrypted files and save them on a flash drive for example. This additional step will prevent the permanent loss of encrypted .HORSELIKER files.
Ransomware Removal Instructions
What is HORSELIKER Ransomware?
HORSELIKER 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.
What Does HORSELIKER Ransomware Do?
Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
How Does HORSELIKER Infect?
Via several ways.HORSELIKER 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.
Another way you may become a victim of HORSELIKER 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 .HORSELIKER files?
You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .HORSELIKER files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .HORSELIKER files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".HORSELIKER" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .HORSELIKER 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 To Get Rid of HORSELIKER 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 HORSELIKER ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .HORSELIKER files.
Can I 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 Stop 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.
Can HORSELIKER 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.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect 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 use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Can a Ransomware Attack 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, Interpol and others 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 HORSELIKER Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this HORSELIKER 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.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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.
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