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Cerber 6 ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware
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Cerber 6 is the 6th version of a notorious Cerber ransomware

Cerber 6 screenshot

Cerber 6 is the latest version of Cerber ransomware which was spreading around from the beginning of March 2016. The insidious distribution techniques and ability to encrypt files of this virus helped it earn the title of the most dangerous file-encrypting threat of last year.[1]

After its grand appearance, the developers of Cerber have been regularly releasing updates for their first virus. In the end of last year, they reached the count of 5. However, after such a rush, they stopped their updates and presented Cerber 6 only after a long period of silence.

The latest, 6th edition, continues the previous tradition to avoid anti-virus detection[2]. The malware continues relying on spam campaign (it still prefers using JavaScript files) though an obvious tendency to diversify transmission channels is seen. Lately, the developers of this malware have been experimenting with Microsoft CryptoAPI to encrypt files.

It also introduced new distribution technique –Blank Slate[3] – technique to assault users with a message without content but with appended corrupted attachments. Launched RaaS service also explains the firm position in the online market. Thus, it is crucial to know its modus operandi in order to prevent and remove Cerber 6. One of the ways to do it is to use Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

Looking from a scientific perspective, the evolution of the malware is quite impressive. Within a year, the cyber criminals have developed malware into top-class crypto-malware. It started out as a ransomware which targeted mostly western Europe, and Atlantic-Pacific region. Then, it required a PC reboot to finish encrypting files with AES and RSA encryption tools.

Later on, it added more drama hues to the malware, as the virus would launch .vma audio file to alarm users of their encrypted data. Within a year, it maintained its preference on certain countries. The US users comprise over 84.64% of all assault targets. The following most-affected countries are Japan, Taiwan, Australia and China[4].

The introduction of RaaS greatly contributed to Cerber 6 ransomware distribution as the overall group of this malware. Now fellow cyber criminals are able to customize certain features such as exclusion lists. In other words, they can modify what files can be excluded from the encryption process. They can also change country and language preferences if they intend to assault only specific regions.

Furthermore, the developers of Cerber 6 have also shifted to using SFX files (self-extracting archives). If you occasionally read an article about cyber security, you may recall frequent warnings not to open .js, .doc or extract .zip folders without verifying the identity of a sender. However, SFX files allow the malware unzip its folder and extract corrupted files.

The latest version of the crypto-malware contains improved anti-sandboxing and ant-VM features. Cerber 6 manifests a new level of intelligence. Specifically, it is capable of identifying whether the target user aims to launch the malware in an isolated environment, in other words, virtual machine[5]. Upon executing, malware connects to a remote Command and Control server. Less elaborate threats are unable to disguise such activities.

Consequently, cyber security specialists analyze the malware and come up with countermeasures. However, in the case of the Cerber 6 malware, it spots such environment and connects to a legitimate server leading IT experts to think that a test subject is virus-free. There is also a visible tendency to use .exe files in the latest version.

Certainly, such features complicate Cerber 6 removal. However, cyber security specialists continue improving their malware-detection apps for users to detect this menace faster.

Distributing malware throughout the cyber space

As previously mentioned, multiple factors contribute to the success of Cerber 6 hijack. RaaS campaign resulted in the hike of malware samples in the cyber space. Furthermore, Cerber has been detected spreading via faulty Adobe Flash Player updates[6] and Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS) installers. It has also launched Blank Slate campaign which bombards users with empty messages. Such notification would contain a corrupted attachment.

The main problem remains spam botnets. It is known that, currently, Necurs botnet spreads this threat. However, the question, how many more botnets of this malware are available, is still unanswered.

Keep in mind that trojans also remain prevalent among the distributors of this malware. Thus, it is crucial not only to improve PC security with a proper firewall software, anti-spyware and anti-virus utilities but also remain vigilant while downloading new apps and enabling new features.

Cerber 6 removal steps

Regarding the complexity of this threat, manual Cerber 6 removal is hardly effective. Since it is able to avoid anti-virus programs, automatic elimination might be difficult as well. However, at the moment, it is the only viable method to terminate the threat.

Make sure that the application is updated and start the scan. Due to the features of this malware, you might encounter difficulties eliminating this threat. In that case, reboot the system in Safe Mode or use the second method. Then, you should be able to remove Cerber 6 virus.

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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 Cerber 6 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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Manual Cerber 6 virus Removal Guide:

Remove Cerber 6 using Safe Mode with Networking

To remove Cerber 6 using Safe Mode, make sure you follow these steps. They will help you disable this ransomware before a full system scan:

  • 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 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 6 removal.

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

Remove Cerber 6 using System Restore

To remove the virus, try restoring the device to a previously saved system image. This should grant you access to certain system functions. Afterward, continue Cerber 6 elimination.

  • 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 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 6 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Cerber 6 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 Cerber 6, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro option

if you ran out of data recovery options, try this application.

Opting for ShadowExplorer

Previous versions of this malware were known to delete shadow volume copies. However, the 5th and 6th versions ceased eliminating these copies, even though this feature varies from sample to sample. Thus, you might succeed in recovering your personal files with the assistance of this utility.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through 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.

Cerber 6 Decrypter

Unfortunately, none of Cerber versions, including Cerber 6, is decryptable yet.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Cerber 6 and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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References

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