HakunaMatata ransomware / virus (Decryption Steps Included) - updated Feb 2017

HakunaMatata virus Removal Guide

What is HakunaMatata ransomware virus?

HakunaMatata ransomware operation guide

HakunaMatata ransomware is a file-encrypting malware that uses a popular phrase from “The Lion King.” Even though this lovely saying means “no worries,” encountering ransomware can cause you serious trouble. This piece of ransomware belongs to the same family as NMoreira ransomware and has even been named the second version of this malware. Following successful infiltration[1], virus takes user’s files to hostage by using AES256-bit and RSA-2048 encryption algorithms. It targets the wide range of records and appends .HakunaMatata file extension to each of them. After quick data encryption[2], victims find their files impossible to open. However, there’s one new file that developers of the ransomware want victims to read. It’s a ransom note called Recovers files yako.html. Here, victims are informed that HakunaMatata removal won’t help to restore corrupted files. According to the ransom note, victims have to get a correct private key[3] that unlocks their data and removes virus extension. To provide detailed instructions on how to do it, hackers have been asking their victims to contact them via Bitmessage[4] system. However, we do not recommend following these orders. It’s not only a waste of time but might also lead to the money loss. Cyber criminals will not give you the decryption key for free. People have to purchase it for the particular amount of money. Bear in mind that there’s a huge risk that, after making the payment, you won’t receive a decryption key. Hacker might not be willing to play fair, so we want to discourage you from taking this risk. Instead of that, you need to remove HakunaMatata from the computer and try additional data recovery methods given in the end of this article.

HakunaMatata virusPicture of HakunaMatata ransom note, which is called Recovers files yako.html.

Hackers do not reveal how much money they want for the decryption key in their ransom note which reads:

Encrypted files!
All your files are encrypted.Using AES256-bit encryption and RSA-2048-bit encryption. Making it impossible to recover files without the correct private key.
If you are interested in getting is the key and recover your files
You should proceed with the following steps.

To get in touch you should use the Bitmessage system,
You can download the Bitmessage software at XXXX
After installation you should send a message to the address

Bitmsg: XXXX

If you prefer you can send your Bitmenssages from a web browser
Through the webpage XXXX this is certainly the most practical method!

Below is a tutorial on how to send bitmessage via web browser: XXXX

The size of the ransom might vary from user to user. Usually, cyber criminals ask from 1 to 3 Bitcoins that equals from 800 to almost 2500 USD at the moment. Just like any other crypto-malware, Hakuna Matata ransomware was created for the same purpose – to swindle the money from the regular computer users or even companies. Hackers are aware of the fact that people still fail to think about making backups but they are afraid of losing them. It makes this illegal business even simpler because victims are often convinced to pay ridiculous sums of money to get back their pictures, documents, and other valuable data back to them. We want to remind that it’s better to change bad habits and look for few data backup solutions rather than redeem them from the cyber criminals. You can always use Google Drive, Dropbox and similar solutions. Thinking about backups is essential to server owners – it has been reported that this malware can easily attack servers as well. However, if you got infected with HakunaMatata ransomware virus, we highly recommend scanning your PC with FortectIntego or other reputable malware removal program. Only when you clean your computer from malware, you can think about data recovery options.

Prevention of ransomware viruses

HakunaMatata ransomware spreads using the same distribution methods as other file-encrypting viruses: malicious spam emails and their attachments, exploit kits, bogus software installers and updates. Unfortunately, no one can feel 100% protected from the ransomware; however, following online safety tips[5] is strongly recommended. Bear in mind that opening spam emails and especially their attachments are extremely dangerous. It’s the main ransomware dissemination method. Crooks might pretend to be from various reputable and well-known organizations and companies, so you must check credential’s, email address, and look up for the information online before opening the attachment. HakunaMatata malware might also get inside by checking your computer’s system and protection vulnerabilities. Hence, installing reputable security tools and keeping all your software up-to-date are also important. Lastly, stay away from questionable software and updates that are often offered on the unknown websites or pop-ups.

How can I remove HakunaMatata virus from the PC?

The only safe option for HakunaMatata removal is opting for the automatic method. By running a full system scan with anti-malware program, you will be informed about every file which seems suspicious or unsafe. Our team suggests dedicating this task for FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. However, keep in mind that you are dealing with the serious malware which can easily prevent you from installing one of these programs or launching them. In this case, follow the guidelines below. As you have already learned, it’s not enough to remove HakunaMatata to get back access to your files. At the end of this article, we provided some tips that might help to recover at least some of the lost data.

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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 HakunaMatata virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

If HakunaMatata ransomware virus prevents you from installing, updating and running antivirus or malware removal software, follow these steps. These instructions will help you to reboot your PC to the Safe Mode and start automatic malware elimination.

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 HakunaMatata using System Restore

Below you can try the additional method to reboot your PC and run a full system scan with you preferred security software.

  • 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 HakunaMatata. 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 HakunaMatata removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Once the HakunaMatata removal is completed, you can think about data recovery solutions. If you do not have data backups, chances to restore encrypted files are not very high. However, you should give these options a try and hopefully, you will succeed in getting back at least some of your files. Additionally, you can make copies of the encrypted files and store them in the external device. Maybe the free decryption software will be released soon, and you will be able to decrypt your personal files.

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

Option 1: Using Data Recovery Pro to recover files encrypted by HakunaMatata

It’s an automatic way to restore your files using Data Recovery Pro. This tool was created to recover lost or damaged files; however, it has been recently updated and now it can decrypt some of the encrypted files. Follow these steps to use this tool:

  • 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 HakunaMatata ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Option 2: Relying on Windows Previous Versions feature to recover files encrypted by Hakuna Matata

If you have activated System Restore function before HakunaMatata ransomware attack, you can use this feature to restore individual files. Bear in mind that this method won’t help you to get back all of the lost files. However, if you lost extremely important documents, follow these steps:

  • 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”.

Option 3: Using ShadowExplorer to recover encrypted files

Good news is that HakunaMatata virus may not have deleted Shadow Volume Copies of the target files. Hence, ShadowExplorer can help you to restore your files from shadow copies. Follow these steps:

  • 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.

Hakuna Matata decrypter is not available yet

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from HakunaMatata 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
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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