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Cerber v4.0 ransomware virus. How to Remove? (Uninstall Guide)

removal by - -   Also known as Cerber 4.0 | Type: Ransomware
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Cerber 4.0 virus. What's new?

Cerber 4.0 virus (also known as Cerber v4.0) has just joined the RaaS (ransomware-as-a-service) community in the middle of October 2016. Along with Janus Cybercrime (a combination of Mischa and Petya viruses) and Stampado, this new version of the Cerber virus family can currently be found on the dark web, waiting for the new partners in crime. If you haven’t heard about ransomware-as-a-service strategy before, you should know that it is a raising trend among the malware creators, allowing them to earn even more illegal profit by turning their malicious creations into an affiliate business. The most common model that the ransomware developers employ guarantee them at least 20 % of the revenue collected by the software distributors. Currently, Cerber v4.0 malware distribution seems to originate from three main malvertising campaigns:

  • First and the most major of the three is Magnitude. This exploit kit has been spreading Cerber from the very beginning and continues to do so with the latest virus version as well. The exploit kit seems to have been developed by the Magnitude hackers specifically for spreading this virus around.
  • The second group of hackers that jumped in for the distribution of this ransomware goes by the name of PseudoDarkleech. Unlike Magnitude, these cyber criminals are dedicated to other ransomware viruses as well, such as CrypMIC and CryptXXX. However, they have adjusted some things for Cerber 4.0 and, instead of using the Neutrino exploit kit, are currently using RIG to sneak the virus on the computer.
  • Although PseudoDarkleech stopped using Neutrino, this exploit kit is still active and continues to assist ransomware in finding its way to the victims’ computers.

Such vast spread of the ransomware is surely concerning and should encourage all of us to check whether our important personal data is really safe. Sure, you can simply carry out the Cerber 4 removal with reputable antivirus software such as Reimage and your computer will be as good as new, but the same can’t be done with the files. The complex encryption algorithm this virus has been using in Cerber 2.0 and Cerber 3.0 still remains uncrackable, and the only way to protect your data is by keeping data backups.

Picture of the Cerber v4.0 virus

It is also important to note that though the previous virus versions have manifested minor changes, this new variant has been improved quite significantly. The virus creators claim that the program is now better at bypassing any activity monitoring and anti-malware programs, also, it features an updated encryption algorithm which adds random file extensions instead of the previously used .CERBER3. Plus, even more files types have been added to the target list. Even if it might now be more difficult to detect and remove Cerber v4.0 ransomware from the infected device, it is completely necessary for the sake of the computer’s health and safety of the future files.

What defense strategies can help avoid this ransomware?

Before we jump to the Cerber v4.0 prevention strategies, we should first introduce two main channels through which it usually travels: malicious spam campaigns and malvertising. Spam has always been a popular technique to deliver potentially dangerous software or malicious links straight to the users' computers. Spam campaigns were at their peak in 2010 and were steadily decreasing since, but in 2016, they have dramatically spiked once again. Can it be related to an increase of ransomware popularity? It is highly probable. Sending ransomware by email has been proven an effective technique, so there is no reason for the malware creators not to use it for their own purposes. Thus, you have to learn how to recognize potentially infected emails and avoid opening them. Usually, such emails will come from unknown senders and urge you to download the added attachments. Be very careful about opening emails received from governmental institutions because the hackers may be working under their name.

Malvertising is another technique which is actively exploited by ransomware developers. Malicious ads, fake software update pop-ups, lottery winnings are just a small part of the fraudulent online content which can be used to distribute Cerber v4.0 malware throughout the web. The users who give in to the temptation and click such offers simply allow the malware to install on their computers. So how do you know what ads may be dangerous and which ones are safe to interact with? In reality, it is very tricky to distinguish the two, so the only way you can diminish the risk of stumbling on an infectious ad is by regularly scanning your PC for potential adware infections and avoiding unfamiliar domains.

Important things to know about Cerber v4.0 removal:

If you already on this part of the article, you are most likely looking for Cerber v4.0 virus elimination tips. Having in mind the seriousness of this virus, you should not waste your time and proceed with the removal immediately. Since the latest version of Cerber has been especially improved in the area of antivirus defense, your virus-fighting utility may have trouble detecting and eliminating it. So, before Cerber v4.0 removal, we suggest going through the instructions provided at the end of this article. When you are done with the virus decontamination, you should then initiate the full system scan again and remove Cerber v4.0 for good.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Cerber v4.0 ransomware virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Cerber v4.0 ransomware virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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Method 1. Remove Cerber v4.0 using Safe Mode with Networking

Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  • Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
  • When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  • Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list
Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  • Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
  • Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
  • Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window.
Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
Step 2: Remove Cerber v4.0

Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Cerber v4.0 removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Reimage is a tool to detect malware. You need to purchase full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage
Reimage is a tool to detect malware. You need to purchase full version to remove infections. More information about Reimage

Method 2. Remove Cerber v4.0 using System Restore

Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  • Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
  • When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  • Select Command Prompt from the list
Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  • Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
  • Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
  • Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window.
Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
  • Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
  • Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
  • When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Cerber v4.0. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
  • Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that Cerber v4.0 removal is performed successfully.
Reimage is a tool to detect malware. You need to purchase full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage
Reimage is a tool to detect malware. You need to purchase full version to remove infections. More information about Reimage

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Cerber v4.0 from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

Cerber v4.0 leaves no chance in recovering your data after the encryption is done. However, there might be some alternative ways of retrieving your data without having to use the Cerber Decrypted that the cyber criminals offer. Below discuss three methods that may help you get at least some of your personal documents back.

If your files are encrypted by Cerber v4.0, you can use several methods to restore them:

Can you bypass Cerber v4.0 encryption with Data Recovery Pro?

Though there is no 100% success guarantee, there is a chance that some of your files can be recovered using professional tools such as Data Recovery Pro. For this method to work, the virus must already be contaminated in order to avoid the recurrence of the encryption. 

How can Windows Previous Versions feature be put to use in recovering data?

Windows Previous Versions feature can be used to retrieve individual files. However, the previously enabled System Restore function is a must for this method to be successful. If that is already sorted, the following steps are presented below:

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select "Properties" and go to "Previous versions" tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in "Folder versions". You should select the version you want to recover and click "Restore".

What are the benefits of using ShadowExplorer for the data recovery?

You can only benefit from ShadowExplorer if the Volume Shadow Copies of your files are still on the computer. If the ransomware has deleted them -- unfortunately, there is no chance of data recovery. Cerber v4.0 probably makes sure your system is cleared up from any backup copies but you can still try out running ShadowExplorer following the steps below. 

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go thru the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select "Export". You can also select where you want it to be stored.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Cerber v4.0 and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, PlumbytesWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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