What is _HOWDO_text.bmp? Should I remove it?

by Gabriel E. Hall - -

What do you need to know about the _HOWDO_text.bmp file?

_HOWDO_text.bmp is an image file that is closely related to ODIN ransomware virus. This virus is known to be an updated version of the infamous Locky virus, a powerful and destructive computer infection that can completely corrupt your personal files by encrypting them. _HOWDO_text.bmp, just like _HOWDO_text.html, is the ransom note the virus leaves on the infected machine, and holds information about data decryption options. Typically, the virus saves this image file on the system and sets it as a wallpaper on the desktop. The image contains information that all Locky’s versions provide – it states that data has been encrypted with RSA-2048 and AES-128 ciphers, provides links to Wikipedia’s articles about these encryption algorithms, and then says that the only possible way to recover encrypted data is to pay a ransom via the unique ODIN payment site. The site can only be accessed via Tor browser, so the ransom note asks the victim to install it. The payment website suggests buying Locky decryptor, which costs 3 BTC, or approximately 1860 USD. Such large sum of money is asked due to infamous reputation of Locky – according to malware researchers, and there is almost no way to defeat this virus and find the decryption keys without the intervention of its authors.

If you have discovered the _HOWDO_text.bmp file on your computer, there is a good chance that your PC has been infected with ODIN ransomware virus. Such situation is unenviable, but we highly recommend you not to pay the ransom, even if it means that you will not be able to access these files ever again. If you decide to pay the ransom, understand that this way you will encourage criminals to continue filthy activities and spread the virus more actively. If your PC has been infected with this ransomware, remove _HOWDO_text.bmp along other ODIN files using an anti-malware tool such as Reimage and restore your data from a backup. If you do not have one, you can use data recovery techniques explained in this post.

How did _HOWDO_text.bmp get inside your PC?

Malware related to _HOWDO_text.bmp spreads using typical ransomware distribution techniques. Commonly, it enters systems when downloaded by trojan horse, exploit kit or simply by the user itself. The last one probably sounds suspicious, but considering tactics crooks use to distribute malware, the user can be easily deceived and forced to open a malicious file, which typically reaches the user via email. Cybercriminals tend to create a malicious Word file and supplement it with malicious scripts that get activated with macros function. Therefore, we highly recommend you to ignore emails sent by unknown people, always carefully read sender’s email address and ascertain that it is not a bogus one. Besides, update all computer programs frequently or simply enable automatic updates to avoid infiltration of malicious programs. Sometimes, they use security holes left in the system to install themselves silently. Therefore, it goes without saying that the computer should be secured with anti-malware software for maximum protection.

How to remove _HOWDO_text.bmp?

Although you can just delete each _HOWDO_text.bmp file separately, we highly recommend you to remove _HOWDO_text.bmp along with ODIN ransomware using anti-malware software such as Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus. This virus is a malevolent enemy to your computer system, and it should be eliminated as quickly as possible. Please do not try to remove this malware manually as you can leave malicious remains on the system and lower its protection level significantly. For full _HOWDO_text.bmp removal instructions, see this post.

verdict - status of the file:
dangerous file
Advice: If your computer seems sluggish, or you are suffering from unwanted advertisements and redirects to unknown websites, we highly recommend you to scan it with reputable anti-spyware program. Do some FREE scan tests and check the system for unwanted applications that might be responsible for these problems.
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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 a recommended tool to scan your system for possible threats and crappy software. The trial version of the product will find harmful applications in your system.

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

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

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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