Cerberos ransomware / virus (Decryption Steps Included) - Virus Removal Guide

Cerberos virus Removal Guide

What is Cerberos ransomware virus?

How dangerous is Cerberos ransomware virus?

The name of the Cerberos ransomware might resemble the infamous Cerber virus. However, the research revealed that these two cyber threats are not related. Probably, authors of the virus wanted to make their program sound a little bit more dangerous. Talking about developers, it seems that the virus has been created by the same group of hackers who are responsible for Cyber SpLiTTer Vbs ransomware; thus, it is suspected to be an improved version. However, Cerberos malware behaves like an ordinary file-encrypting virus.[1] It usually infiltrates the system via malicious email attachments, and immediately starts data encryption. Virus aims at the home computer users, so it is designed to target the most popular file types, such as documents, images, audio or video files. In this case, ransomware can cause bigger damage to the users and have higher chances to receive demanded ransoms. We clearly understand that ransomware attack might be a shocking experience. But in this unpleasant situation,[2] it’s important to stay calm and focus on Cerberos removal. It’s important to scan the computer with FortectIntego or your preferred anti-malware program in order to secure your computer and personal details from further possible damage.

When Cerberos virus finishes encrypting files, it shows a ransom-demanding message in the application window. The window is called “cerberos” and includes few sentences to the victims. Hackers only inform people that their files are encrypted, and they need to contact criminals via cerberos-decrypter@lgmail.com email address. No matter how important your files are to you, you should never communicate with cyber criminals. We can assure that they won’t provide you free data recovery option. You will be threatened to transfer few Bitcoins and wait for the Cerberos decryptor. However, you can never receive this tool, but your money will be used for further cyber crimes.[3] Thus, you should remove Cerberos from the PC as soon as it delivers you a ransom note. Later you can try to use alternative recovery methods and at least get back some of the encrypted data.

The image of Cerberos ransomware virusAfter the attack Cerberos ransomware virus encrypts files and delivers a ransom note in the application window.

How can you get infected with ransomware?

The biggest chances to encounter Cerberos ransomware is to click on a malicious email attachment.[4] Spam emails that include malware executable usually have an infected PDF attachment. The content of the letter always expresses the urge to confirm various details provided in the attached document and respond to the message immediately. However, once people are tricked and click on it, the virus sneaks the system and starts data encryption procedure. Apparently, it’s not the only one method how Cerberos virus spreads. The virus might also be hiding in the file-sharing websites, torrents, and other online sources that allow downloading software or files for free. What is more, malvertising is also widely used ransomware distribution technique. Thus, this crypto-malware might also be hidden under various ads on both insecure and legitimate websites. Therefore, if you want to decrease your chances of meeting file-encrypting virus, you should take some precautions[5] and do not take any harsh actions when browsing the web.

Cerberos removal guidelines

After Cerberos hijack, you might be worried about your files. Losing personal pictures or important documents might look like a disaster. However, you should not focus on paying the ransom and your chances to get back your data. The most important task after the attack is Cerberos removal. Ransomware makes computer’s system vulnerable and might be a reason for other malware attack. Thus, we highly recommend putting your privacy and computer’s safety first instead of encrypted data. Install FortectIntego, Malwarebytes or other reputable security software and perform automatic malware removal. However, the virus can prevent you from deleting it simply. In this case, the guidelines below will whelp you to remove Cerberos from the system. Once the virus is gone, please use backups or try additional data recovery methods for data recovery. Sadly, official decryption software is not released yet.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of Cerberos virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

In order to remove Cerberos virus from the device, you may need to reboot the computer to the Safe Mode with Networking. When in Safe Mode, install or update security software necessary for automatic virus removal.

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove Cerberos using System Restore

Sometimes ransomware blocks access to the security tools. However, System Restore method helps to disable the virus and perform automatic virus removal.

  • 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 Cerberos. 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 FortectIntego and make sure that Cerberos removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

The only safe and secure way to restore encrypted files is to plug in external storage with backups. However, if you do not have backups, try additional data recovery methods after Cerberos removal.

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

Try Data Recovery Pro to restore files encrypted by Cerberos

This professional tool has already helped thousands of victims of ransomware. Thus, we strongly recommend giving this tool because it might help to restore some of the important data.

  • 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 Cerberos ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Use Windows Previous Versions feature to restore files encrypted by Cerberos ransomware

Windows Previous Versions feature can be useful only if System Restore function has been enabled before ransomware attack. This option allows accessing previously saved versions of the encrypted files.

  • 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”.

Try ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Cerberos malware

If Cerberos left Shadow Volume Copies untouched, you could use ShadowExplorer for data recovery. Follow 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 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.

Cerberos decryptor

Cerberos decryptor is not released yet.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Cerberos and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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