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Hermes 2.0 ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

The number of Hermes 2.0 ransomware attacks proliferates after the initial Hermes version gets decrypted

Today we have a sample of Hermes 2.0 virus, which we are going to describe in a minute. It is common that once malware analysts manage to crack a ransomware and release a decrypter for it, a new version of the virus emerges shortly[1]. This is exactly what happened with Hermes ransomware virus – a malware analyst Fabian Wosar analyzed a sample of Hermes and demonstrated how a decrypter is created[2]. The researcher released almost 4-hour length video[3] showing how he analyzed the virus behavior. It seems that Hermes ransomware authors have learned a thing or two from the video as well, as they rushed to release Hermes 2.0 malware shortly after Fabian’s video was publicized. The new ransomware version is improved, and it is unlikely that it will be easy to reverse this one. Just like the previous version, it seeks to collect ransoms; however, we highly recommend you not to pay it (in case this virus manages to intrude into your PC system) and remove Hermes 2.0 virus using a reliable malware removal tool such as Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security.

Questions about Hermes 2.0 ransomware virus

Hermes 2.0 ransomware is written in C++ language[4]. After invading the computer system, it encrypts files using an RSA-2048 algorithm and puts some information in a file called DECRYPT_INFORMATION.html, which it saves on the desktop and possibly some other locations in the computer system. This .html file is actually a ransom note, which cybercriminals create only to deliver information on how the victim can recover his/hers files. The ransomware also creates a file called UNIQUE_ID_DO_NOT_REMOVE, which holds victim’s unique ID number. After completing these tasks, the ransomware deletes Volume Shadow Copies[5] by running this command: vssadmin Delete Shadows /all /quietvssadmin.

The virus doesn’t inform the victim about the version of the virus – just like the previous virus, it displays HERMES RANSOMWARE at the top of the ransom note. The virus asks to contact ransomware authors via email and suggests sending them three encrypted files, which criminals “kindly” suggest decrypting because they want to convince the victim that their decryptor works. Remember that such frauds will do everything to convince you to pay them, but do not expect to get anything in return! Cyber criminal can just simply take your money and make off. Their aim is to convince you to pay, not to care about you after you pay the ransom fee. Therefore, we suggest you think about Hermes 2.0 removal because as long as it stays in the system, it becomes much more vulnerable to further computer threats.

How did Hermes 2.0 virus get into my PC?

Hermes 2.0 ransomware is likely to be distributed using traditional ransomware distribution techniques – you can get this virus via email or alongside an illegal download, so think twice before opening that email attachment sent to you by a stranger or executing keygens and other programs designed to bypass paid software registration. Cyber criminals definitely know what files or programs engage victims’ attention, so they will do their best trying to provide you with them. Be very careful because criminals might try to impersonate employees of Amazon, Paypal, or even healthcare organizations just to trick you into opening a malicious email attachment that they send out to thousands of computer users. If you opened a questionable email attachment recently, it could be the reason why Hermes malware contaminated your PC. Please, be aware of general ransomware distribution techniques and do not let cyber criminals deceive you ever again!

Hermes 2.0 removal tutorial

Although Hermes ransomware used to be a fearsome virus and despite the fact that it wasn’t that powerful (if compared to other ransomware viruses such as Locky or Cerber), you should not stop applying security patches to your computer system. As you can see, a new version of the ransomware was released, and if you are reading this line at the moment, it is likely that you are looking for instructions on how to remove Hermes 2.0 virus. Our team recommends installing and continuously updating Reimage software because we believe it is one of the top anti-malware programs nowadays, which can help you with Hermes 2.0 removal. Before you let anti-malware program to do its job, run the computer in Safe Mode with Networking first.

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To remove Hermes 2.0 virus, follow these steps:

Remove Hermes 2.0 using Safe Mode with Networking

The first thing you need to do when you try to remove a ransomware virus is to prepare your PC for this task. To avoid any unexpected interruptions, restart your computer using instructions given below. These guidelines are meant to help you with Hermes 2.0 removal.

  • 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 Hermes 2.0

    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 Hermes 2.0 removal.

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

Remove Hermes 2.0 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 Hermes 2.0. 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 Hermes 2.0 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Hermes 2.0 from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

If Hermes 2 encrypted your files, most likely you will not be able to restore them (at least for a while). In such situations, backup is needed. We really hope that you have a backup because in terms of ransomware attacks, backup is the only way to avoid a complete data loss. However, if you do not have it, you should try one of these data recovery options.

If your files are encrypted by Hermes 2.0, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro

There is no 100% guarantee that Data Recovery Pro will restore your files, but it doesn’t hurt to try, right? This program is designed to recover corrupted, deleted, or missing files, and it might help you in this situation, too.

  • 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 Hermes 2.0 ransomware;
  • Restore them.

System Restore Point

Try this method if you are sure that you created a System Restore Point in the past.

  • 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”.

Hermes decryptor

If Hermes 2.0 Decryptor will ever be created, we assume that the initial version, which is available to download here (Hermes Decryption Tool), will be updated, too.

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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