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Havoc ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

Havoc ransomware seems to be developed by a narcissist

Havoc virus is a typical ransomware virus; however, it appears to be developed by a programmer who loves to exalt himself. The ransomware is set to encode files stored on victim’s computer, and a close analysis shows that the author of this particular malicious program reveals a little background in the description of the virus. According to the Havoc ransomware author, which presents itself as BinaryEmperor and claims to be from a company called Royal Binarys(as much as we know, virus’ authors are not related to Royal-Binary scams[1], the program “will bring Havoc to your PC.” The original file name of the malicious executable[2] is Havoc.exe. The virus starts scanning the system as soon as it enters it and what it looks for is valuable data stored on the system. The program has a target list, which it uses to recognize files and mark them as files to encrypt.

Once the program finishes scanning the system and encrypting the files, it launches a ransom note[3] in a back window. We must point out that the virus appends ._Ink.HavocCrypt file extensions to encrypted files, whereas some researchers falsely claim that it adds .HavocCrypt extensions. The ransom note, which is called Havoc Ransomware | MK II, presents requirements that the victim has to fulfil in order to get the data recovery software. According to the note, victims want to receive $150 in 48 hours, otherwise, they threaten to delete the unique decryption key that is essential in data recovery process. The victim is asked to pay the ransom in Bitcoins and then write to HavocPayday@sigaint.org to receive the Havoc decryption key. Then the victim needs to enter the decryption key in the program that displays the ransom note and then files should be decrypted.

Picture of Havoc ransomware note

Questions about Havoc ransomware virus

However, understand that this is the best scenario. In reality, cybercriminals’ email can be shut down at any time and even after paying you might not be able to contact criminals, which means you will never receive the decryption key. What is more, criminals might not be willing to send you the decryption key at all. Therefore, we suggest you remove Havoc malware with anti-spyware or anti-malware programs like Reimage or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner and then import data copies from a backup drive to your computer. If you cannot remove the virus for some reason, please carefully read Havoc ransomware removal instructions that are given down below.

Dissemination methods

Knowledge about ransomware operation tricks is vital, but it is also important to understand how such malware spreads. In most cases, criminals employ the traditional ransomware distribution method – malspam[4] (malware spam). They create various trustworthy-looking emails and attach malicious files to them, hoping that the target will open them. If the victim opens such files, the computer gets infected with Havoc crypto-ransomware instantly. However, another trick that helps to convince victims to open malicious files is software bundling. So, you have to be aware of fake software updates that are often pushed via shady third-party websites. In most cases, dishonest sites urge users to install fake Flash, Java, or other well-known software updates[5] even if the computer doesn’t need them at all. Think twice before installing unknown free programs, too – they can be dangerous!

How can I remove Havoc malware?

Ransomware always wreaks havoc on victim’s computer, and Havoc virus is no different. This virus aims to extort money from miserable computer users, and sadly, it uses quite advanced encryption method and other technologies that can prevent malware researchers from creating a free decryption tool. We suggest you stay up-to-date with the latest news and be patient because Havoc decrypter might be released in the future. In the meantime, you must remove Havoc virus and make sure that a similar virus never gets to enter your computer system again. Havoc removal tutorial is presented below, as well as some data recovery tips.

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If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Havoc virus, follow these steps:

Remove Havoc using Safe Mode with Networking

  • 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 Havoc

    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 Havoc removal.

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

Remove Havoc 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 Havoc. 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 Havoc removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

If your files have been compromised and you no longer can access them, you have two options:

  1. Pay the ransom and expect cyber criminals to contact you;
  2. Remove Havoc virus and use a backup or data recovery techniques to restore lost files. (Highly recommended)

If you have a backup, just remove the virus and then plug the backup device into the PC to transfer the data. Otherwise, remove the virus and try these data recovery solutions:

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

Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro is a reliable data recovery tool that helps to restore lost, corrupted, or deleted files. It might help you to restore files encrypted by HavocCrypt virus.

  • 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 Havoc ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Use ShadowExplorer

ShadowExplorer is a software that helps to fetch down Volume Shadow Copies, which can replace encrypted file copies with previous file versions.

  • 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.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Havoc and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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