Hackerman ransomware / virus (Removal Instructions)

Hackerman virus Removal Guide

What is Hackerman ransomware virus?

Things to know about Hackerman ransomware virus

A new ransomware dubbed Hackerman virus has been spotted by malware researchers this week, and this one seems to be looking for Spanish-speaking victims. The ransomware is yet another malevolent program based on educational HiddenTear ransomware project, which means that it is likely to be decryptable. The virus attempts to encrypt victim’s files stored on the compromised computer and connected drives, then creates and saves Leeme Por Favor.txt (Please read me) ransom note on computer’s desktop. During the encryption procedure, virus applies encryption algorithm on each file individually and once it corrupts it, it appends .locked extension after the original file extension. As a result, a file that is entitled document.txt becomes document.txt.locked. Such file can no longer be opened or manipulated via any program – it simple becomes worthless. Losing all personal files means a disaster to everyone, and can seriously scare the computer user. Nobody wants to lose precious memories, weeks of hard work, or gigabytes of favourite music. To respond to user’s desire to get personal files back, the virus leaves a message containing instructions on how to transmit the ransom payment to criminals. What is interesting is that it asks to deposit 500 in the OXXO (popular chain of convenience stores from Mexico). In Spanish, the ransom-demanding message looks like this:

Has sido juankeado por hackerman, depositame 500 en el oxxo a cambio de tus packs.

If you have been infected with this malicious program, we suggest you to remove Hackerman malware using anti-malware software instead of paying the ransom to criminal dubbed Hackerman. Most likely he doesn’t care about your files and just wants you to donate your money to him. Do not follow commands of a criminal, and implement Hackerman removal right away.

Spanish Hackerman virus

When did the ransomware take control of your PC?

If this virus found a way into your computer system recently, it means that your PC is not protected well enough and that it is open for further malware attacks. Ransomware can be stopped with a help of powerful anti-malware, but if you do not have it, then it becomes very easy to deliver this illegal program to your system and execute it there. Most of the time, criminals deliver ransomware executables via email. They send legitimate-looking messages and attach documents that seem to be secure at the first sight. However, once opened, they either immediately infect the system or activate a malicious script that downloads the malicious program from the Internet. Criminals no longer need to send .exe files to infect the system – they can deliver the virus in .doc, .pdf, .dll or .js format files. Sometimes the victim just needs to enable Macros in such hideous document in order to activate the malicious code that reaches certain server and downloads the ransomware from it. However, Hackerman virus seems to be using the most primitive dissemination method and currently it is being distributed via malicious email spam campaigns.

Remove Hackerman ransomware from the system

Ransomware virus is not a simple piece of software. It does not drop an uninstaller after infecting the system. To remove Hackerman virus, the user needs to gather registry keys, executive files, ransom note and other components related to it and remove them all at once. This can be quite a challenging task, so we suggest you delegate it to a good anti-malware software. In order to start Hackerman removal procedure, use these instructions and set some things up to prevent the virus from blocking your anti-malware tool.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
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 Hackerman virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

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 Hackerman 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 Hackerman. 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 Hackerman removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Decrypt .locked files using HiddenTear decryptor

HiddenTear decryptor reportedly can decrypt files encrypted by all versions of ransom-demanding viruses based on this educational virus’ source code. However, we strongly recommend you to backup the encrypted data and import it to an external storage device to have an intact copy of it in case this decryption tool fails to work. Then test the decryptor on the compromised files stored on the infected PC. Before using it, remove Hackerman ransomware first! To decrypt files, you will have to use two programs developed by a malware expert M.Gillespie:

  1. If you do not have the decryption key, use this HiddenTear BruteForcer tool to figure out what it is. To brute force the key, use a .png file from Sample pictures folder as an example. Warning: do not use a .zip file as an example of encrypted file!
  2. Use the key in HiddenTear decryptor to restore your files.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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