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Remove Hacking ransomware / virus (Removal Guide) - Nov 2017 update

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware

Hacking ransomware: another version of HiddenTear targets French computer users

Hacking ransomware screenshot

Hacking ransomware possesses similar features as any other crypto-malware — encrypts valuable information on the victimized computer and demands to pay a ransom in return to recover the data. In fact, this virus is classified as an offspring of the infamous HiddenTear since its source code is used to develop the latter infection[1]. IT experts have analyzed a sample of the file-encrypting virus and detected that it adds .hacking file extension to the corrupted data and drops a Message_Important.txt ransom note.

According to the latest reports, Hacking virus spreads as a .zip file which supposedly contains 6 pictures with an adult content. Typically, victims are offered to download pornographic images on various suspicious adult-only websites and the executable file of the malware is named as video.exe to trick gullible people into opening it.

Once they double-click on the .exe file, the Hacking ransomware infiltrates on the system and starts data encryption. Furthermore, it provides instructions on how to recover the compromised data in French[2]. Victims are asked to send Neosurf coupons for 100 euros and contact cybercriminals via Hackers promise to respond with the decryption key soon.

Questions about Hacking ransomware virus

The translated text from the ransom note:

To recover encrypted files, you have to obtain the decryption key and send an email to:
1) Buy Neosurf coupons of 100 €, euros.
2) You can buy Neosurf coupons here
3) You can also buy Neosurf coupons here or at tobacconists
4) As soon as I receive the Neosurf coupons, I send you the decryption key by email.
Contact Email:

Hacking ransomware virus imageHacking ransomware is another variant of the notorious HiddenTear. However this time it targets French-speaking PC users.

Security experts do not recommend paying the ransom. Criminals may not have the working decryption key, or they might blackmail you into transferring more money. Besides, the Hacking malware is based on HiddenTear which is a decryptable virus. Thus, files encrypted by this virus might be recovered too. You can check the official decryptor which is attached at the end of this article.

After ransomware attack, you should focus on Hacking removal. The cyber threat is capable of modifying Windows Registry, installing malicious components and affecting legit processes. For this reason, your computer is no longer safe to use. In addition, you might suffer from system slowdowns and other computer-related problems.

To remove Hacking ransomware virus entirely, you have to reboot the computer to the Safe Mode with Networking and run a full system scan with malware removal software. We recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. However, you can choose any other preferred tool as well.

Distribution methods employed to spread the file-encrypting virus

As mentioned above, the latest research found out that the ransomware spreads as a deceptive .zip with pornographic images. However, note that the hackers employ many techniques to distribute the infection. Thus, cybersecurity experts warn about other possible ways to get infected with ransomware:

  • malicious ads placed on legit and high-risk websites;
  • Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) brute force attacks;
  • exploitation of software or system vulnerabilities;
  • bogus software downloads;
  • fake update downloads;
  • illegal downloads.

Additionally, you should stay away from malicious spam emails, since many criminals choose is as the primary ransomware distribution strategy[3]. Also, users are reminded to be careful and avoid clicking, opening or downloading questionable content. Installing reputable antivirus also helps to reduce chances to catch a cyber infection. However, you should be prepared for the worst and backup your files as well as to update them regularly!

Learn how to terminate Hacking ransomware

Be aware that ransomware is the most harmful type of the virus. It can not only corrupt your data, but infiltrate additional high-risk computer infections to increase the damage as well. In this case, Hacking removal can be performed either by certified IT technicians or by a professional security software.

We recommend you to save your time and choose to use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. These anti-malware programs are designed to safely remove Hacking virus from the system and protect your computer from the future threats. It is a wise decision to opt for automatic elimination since it is not a one-time investment — security software will serve you for years.

Note that manual ransomware removal is not an option, because it may have injected malicious components to legit system processes. To terminate them manually is a hard and complicated task that might end up bad for the inexperienced computer users. Thus, it’s highly recommended to invest in legit antivirus tool and clean the device with it.

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If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage 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 Reimage, 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.

To remove Hacking virus, follow these steps:

Remove Hacking using Safe Mode with Networking

You can disable Hacking ransomware and successfully install a security software by carefully following the guide below:

  • 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 Hacking

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Hacking removal.

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

Remove Hacking using System Restore

In some cases, the ransomware might still block the installation of the antivirus system. Thus, you can use the additional method to reboot your PC to Safe Mode with Command Prompt function.

  • 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 Hacking. 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 Reimage Cleaner Intego and make sure that Hacking removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

While paying the ransom to the criminals is not the smartest and safest option to retrieve your data, you can check whether the automatic function to store backups was enabled on your computer before ransomware attack. If you are lucky, you can try to recover your files using them. 

However, for those who do not have backup copies, our team has prepared useful instructions on how to employ alternative recovery tools to restore the corrupted data.

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

Try Data Recovery Pro

This is a professional tool designed to help ransomware victims. If you aim to recover files with .hacking extension, follow the instructions below:

  • 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 Hacking ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature might help to retrieve the most important files

Before proceeding to the guide below, check whether the System Restore function was enabled before Hacking entered your PC. If it was disabled, then head to the next alternative recovery method. Otherwise, follow the steps below:

  • 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”.

You can benefit from ShadowExplorer tool

Luckily, there is no reliable information that Hacking ransomware deletes Shadow Volume Copies from the victimized systems. Thus, you are free to use the instructions below:

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • 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.

HiddenTear official decryptor can be helpful

While the Hacking ransomware uses HiddenTear source code, it might be also decryptable:

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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

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

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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