CerberTear ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware
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Should you be afraid of CerberTear ransomware?

CerberTear virus seems to be trying muscle in Cerber’s bad reputation and appear scarier in computer users’ eyes. The name of this ransomware-type virus reminds us of HiddenTear ransomware, and in fact, both these viruses have a similar code because CerberTear is based on HiddenTear, which is an educational ransomware. However, bad guys quickly take advantage of such information and use it for malevolent purposes. This is how this ransomware has been created; to become more frightful without having to put a lot of effort, its developers have decided to dub it after Cerber virus. Since several new Cerber’s versions were released one after another recently, users might actually believe that this is the real one. However, the “Tear” version is just a poor copy of this virus and is likely to be decryptable. Now, let us explain how this virus acts.

CerberTear ransomware

Once installed, the virus starts scanning the system for target file extensions ( the full list of extensions is provided below) and encrypts all files that have them. Encrypted files get .cerber extensions added after the original one, so for example, a song.mp4 file becomes song.mp4.cerber. However, the real virus changes the desktop background after the encryption, and this bogus version does not. It only launches a ransom note called HOW_TO_RESTORE_YOUR_DATA.html (this ransom note can be found in every folder with encrypted files), which presents Cerber Ransomware Decryptor. This ransom note does not look like the real one at all. However, just like the real one, it asks to pay the ransom in Bitcoins using Tor browser. It wants 0.4 Bitcoin, which is around $285 USD. We encourage you to test all data recovery methods explained below CerberTear removal tutorial before even thinking about paying the ransom.

Target file types: .aaf, .aepx, .aet, .ai, .aif, .accdb, .aep, .as, .asf, .asx, .avi, .asp, .bmp, .c, .csv, .class, .cpp, .cs, .dat, .db, .dbf, .doc, .docx, .docb, .docm, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .dwg, .dxf, .efx, .eps, .fla, .flv, .gif, .grle, .game, .h, .idml, .indl, .indt, .inx, .jar, .java, .jpeg, .iff, .indb, .indd, .jpg, .m3u, .m3u8, .m4u, .max, .mlx, .mov, .mdb, .mid, .mp3, .mp4, .mpg, .msg, .mpa, .mpeg, .pdb, .pdf, .php, .plb, .pmd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .rtf, .sav, .sdf, .ses, .prel, .prproj, .ps, .psd, .ra, .raw, .ppj, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .rb, .sldm, .sldx, .slot, .spv, .sql, .sv5, .3dm, .3g2, .3gp, .svg, .swf, .tif, .txt, .vcf, .vob, .wps, .xla, .xlam, .wav, .wma, .wmv, .wpd, .xll, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xltx, .xltm, .xlw, .xqx, .xlsx, .xlt.

How did you infect your PC with this malware variant?

Although your first thought might be “No, I didn’t!,” please read this paragraph thoroughly. Ransomware uses Trojan horse’s technique to enter the target location without being identified as a dangerous object. It means that ransomware distributors offer victims to open safe-looking files, stating that they hold some important information that needs to be read. Typically, scammers craft legitimate-looking emails to deceive victims, impersonate employees of known and trustworthy companies and illegally speak on behalf of them. They pretend to be delivering relevant information, while in reality, they deliver malicious scripts in email attachments entitled as “Invoice,” “CV,” “Payment,” or “Urgent_information.” Please do not open such suspicious emails – check sender’s email first. If you have doubts if the sender is actually an employee of a particular company, check that company’s website. It is very unlikely that johnbell27294@protonmail.ru is an official representative of some legitimate company. As you probably know, official email addresses typically look similarly to [name.surname]@[company’s website]. Avoid emails that come from shady senders and definitely, do not open attachments that come alongside them!

How to remove CerberTear ransomware virus?

It is time to speak about CerberTear removal techniques and .cerber decryption methods. First of all, you must remove CerberTear virus before trying to recover your files. For that, use a strong and trustworthy software like Reimage. Next, create a backup of encrypted data and export it to a removable storage device (USB or similar). Then follow data decryption guidelines provided below this article. You might successfully recover your files without paying the ransom, so take actions now!

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall CerberTear 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.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual CerberTear virus Removal Guide:

Remove CerberTear using Safe Mode with Networking

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

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove CerberTear

    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 CerberTear removal.

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

Remove CerberTear using System Restore

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

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. 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
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of CerberTear. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. 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 CerberTear removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

If your files are encrypted by CerberTear, you can use several methods to restore them:

Try Data Recovery Pro

Firstly we suggest you try HiddenTear decryptor that is presented below. If that decryptor fails to restore your files, we suggest you try this data recovery tool:

Use HiddenTear decryptor

A security researcher Michael Gillespie has released a decryption tool that can decrypt files encrypted by HiddenTear ransomware variants. We recommend you to try it – download it now.

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

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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  • kiesza

    DECRYPTABLE?! HELL YEAH!

  • Dana

    I cannot figure out which of my family members installed cerbertear on my computer. Im gonna teach him a lesson!

  • Copythat

    Cerber is everywhere…

  • Andrew

    Well my files have been encrypted by the real Cerber!!!! Why no one can make a decrypter for it??