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Cerber 4.1.6 ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

Another hardly outstanding version of Cerber ransomware emerges: Cerber 4.1.6 virus

Cerber 4.1.6 virus has emerged into the public view on November 22, 2016, and so far it is the latest version of the noxious Cerber ransomware. It seems that authors of this ransomware project have already found an intricate and insoluble formula of virus source code that allows to encrypt files securely and prevent malware analysts from creating a retrospective software that could restore corrupted files. Besides, it appears that criminals now are concentrating on of the fourth version of the virus as lately they haven’t released any significantly improved versions of this particular malware except slightly altered versions if Cerber 4. Upon a successful infiltration into a target computer, Cerber 4.1.6 ransomware virus starts delving through deepest system folders and step by step it arises and clearly shows its existence. The aim of such system scanning is to encrypt all victim’s personal files. The virus thoroughly analyzes files stored in victim’s folders and encodes them with a combination of RSA and RC4 algorithms, and completely distorts filenames to make them unrecognizable. Firstly it replaces the original filename with a set of 10 random chars, and then appends a unique four digit file extension instead of the original one. Following a successful encryption, Cerber 4.1.6 malware leaves ransom notes dubbed README.hta, which open CERBER RANSOMWARE – Instructions HTML application via Internet Explorer. These notes provide a detailed explanation on the attack and present instructions on how to decrypt personal files. Just like the previous versions of this hideous virus, the 4.1.6 version focuses on blackmail and money extortion, so it threatens the victim by saying that there is no other way to recover encrypted files except of paying the ransom. We are afraid that this is partly truth – files can be entirely recovered either by paying the ransom (not recommended) or by using a backup. In some cases, Cerber can encrypt data backups, especially if they’re plugged into the compromised PC at the time of the attack.

Questions about Cerber 4.1.6 ransomware virus

Cerber commands the victim to access “personal page” via one of the links presented in the .hta file. These links can be easily reached via Tor network, whereas regular web browsers might try to stop you from entering them. The personal page firstly asks the victim to “confirm he is a human and not a robot” by completing a short task, and then reroutes the user to a site that suggests buying “Cerber Decryptor.” According to the information provided on the payment site, the victim can buy the decryptor for a special price within five days from the attack date, or pay a bigger price later on. Finally, the virus replaces the desktop picture of random pixels and shortened version of the ransom note text. Of course, just like the previous versions of Cerber ransomware, the 4.1.6 version plays a .vbs audio file that annoyingly repeats same lines out loud: “Your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted!” If this virus has attacked your PC, then Cerber 4.1.6 removal is now a top priority task that you should take care of ASAP. Please use a powerful anti-malware program and do not try to delete the virus by yourself because it is a very sophisticated computer program. To remove Cerber 4.1.6 malware, we strongly recommend using anti-malware program (Reimage).

Cerber 4.1.6 version

Peculiarities of Cerber distribution

Cerber 4.1.6 is mainly distributed along fake software updates, malvertising, email spam, and of course exploit kits. Email spam is the most basic malware distribution method that is based on scrupulously crafted misleading emails that allegedly come from reputable organizations or companies. Typically, such letters claim to be delivering important documents to victims; however, concealed email attachments actually carry Cerber’s payload. Therefore, you should never open emails coming from unknown sources, or simply from those that weren’t supposed to send you anything. Reports show that Cerber is still actively distributed via exploit kits, and at the moment, Neutrino and RIG exploit kits are employed. Ransomware authors employ a vast number of other ransomware distribution techniques, and it can be hard to reckon with all of them correctly. For example, the latest ransomware distribution technique is based on Facebook spam messages. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to protect the system with anti-malware software and take other preventive measures to protect your computer and personal files from malware attacks.

How to remove Cerber 4.1.6 ransomware virus from the system?

It is very important to remove Cerber 4.1.6 virus along with other malware at once. Recent reports show that Cerber has started to connect all compromised computers into a botnet that is used to carry out DDoS attacks. This is a highly malicious activity, and you should do everything to prevent offenders from turning your PC into a zombie. Therefore, employ a powerful malware removal tool to entirely complete Cerber 4.1.6 removal and wipe out all malicious files and elements from the computer system. If you do not have an anti-malware software yet, download and install one using instructions provided below. You must reboot your PC in an indicated mode as explained below or the virus might impede your attempts to clean up the computer system.

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To remove Cerber 4.1.6 virus, follow these steps:

Remove Cerber 4.1.6 using Safe Mode with Networking

  • 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 Cerber 4.1.6

    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 4.1.6 removal.

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

Remove Cerber 4.1.6 using System Restore

  • 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 Cerber 4.1.6. 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 Cerber 4.1.6 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Cerber 4.1.6 from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

It is essential to remove Cerber 4.1.6 ransomware as soon as possible because this malicious software can turn your PC into a zombie that serves for a huge botnet used to carry out DDoS attacks. No matter whether you are determined to pay up or not, you should remove the virus. Data can be recovered from a backup, and if you have it, there is no need to pay the ransom. Users who are not willing to pay ransoms but still want to recover their files should backup encrypted data to an external device and apply the following techniques on encrypted data stored on user’s PC.

If your files are encrypted by Cerber 4.1.6, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro

This tool might fail to work, but it is still worth your attention. Install it and use it to detect the corrupted data. Data Recovery Tool will attempt to recover your files. 

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by Cerber 4.1.6 ransomware;
  • Restore them.

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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