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Remove Hhmgzyl ransomware (Virus Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware

Hhmgzyl ransomware is a malicious program that holds files hostage until ransom is paid to cybercriminals

Hhmgzyl ransomwareHhmgzyl ransomware is a data locking computer virus that usually targets businesses and organizations

Hhmgzyl ransomware is yet another addition to the broad family of Snatch malware. Just like its predecessors, the virus encrypts all pictures, videos, music, documents, archives, and other files on the compromised computer with the help of AES cipher and then demands a ransom for their release. Suchlike modified data is also appended with .hhmgzyl extension and can no longer be accessed by victims.

Besides encrypting all personal files on the system, the Hhmgzyl virus also places a ransom note HOW TO RESTORE YOUR FILES.TXT on the desktop and multiple other locations on the PC. These files can typically be opened in a Notepad or another text program. The message discloses the intentions of cybercriminals to users and asks them to email them via retrnyourfiles23@cock.li or retrnyoufiles@tutanota.com to negotiate the ransom size. According to criminals, the contact needs to be made within 48 hours of the infection, or persona key that could unlock .hhmgzyl files will be deleted permanently.

Name Hhmgzyl ransomware
Type File locking virus, crypto-malware
Family  Snatch ransomware. Attackers typically go “big game hunting” by attacking companies and businesses instead of regular users. Hackers also threaten to publish sensitive corporate data stolen during an attack if the ransom is not paid within a particular time frame
Extension  Each of the affected files is appended with .hhmgzyl extension. Example of an encrypted file – “picture.jpg.hhmgzyl”
Ransom note HOW TO RESTORE YOUR FILES.TXT, which is dropped on the desktop and other places on the computer where encrypted files are located
Contact retrnyourfiles23@cock.li or retrnyoufiles@tutanota.com
File recovery The only secure way to restore files is by using data backups. If such are not available, options for recovery are very limited – we provide all relevant information below
Malware removal Each of the infected machines should first be disconnected from the network and then a full computer scan with anti-malware, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, to be initiated for a full termination
System fix Malware can often damage several Windows components, and result in the OS corruption. To repair such damage done by the virus, we recommend using a repair program, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

Before encrypting all data on the local and networked drives, Hhmgzyl ransomware performs a variety of system changes to ensure that the encryption process is successful. For example, it modifies Windows registry keys in order to establish persistence, deletes Shadow Volume Copies to prevent easy file recovery, creates new processes and drops hundreds of files for operation, etc.

Suchlike modifications can sometimes damage the system file integrity, resulting in corrupted Windows. Thus, after Hhmgzyl ransomware removal is performed, users are recommended to scan their devices with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego repair software that would be able to eliminate software bugs created by the infection.

During the infection stage, malware contacts a remote C&C server to retrieve a unique ID, and that is used for identification purposes. Researchers observed some Snatch ransomware variants rebooting the system in Safe Mode during the file encryption process to avoid being stopped by security software.[1] If the opposite happens, the system can successfully remove Hhmgzyl ransomware before it could manage to inflict any damage.

After the encryption is complete, Hhmgzyl ransomware would drop a ransom note HOW TO RESTORE YOUR FILES.TXT, which explains the following:

Hello! All your files are encrypted and only we can decrypt them.

Contact us:

retrnyourfiles23@cock.li or retrnyoufiles@tutanota.com

Write us if you want to return your files – we can do it very quickly!

The header of letter must contain extension of encrypted files.
We always reply within 24 hours. If not – check spam folder, resend your letter or try send letter from another email service (like protonmail.com or cock.li).

Attention!
Do not rename or edit encrypted files: you may have permanent data loss.

To prove that we can recover your files, we am ready to decrypt any three files (less than 1Mb) for free (except databases, Excel and backups).

HURRY UP!
If you do not email us in the next 48 hours then your data may be lost permanently.

As evident, the attackers attempt to convince users that the only way to regain access to locked files is by paying a ransom to them. They even offer a free test decryption service that would allow them to recover one file for free. On the other side, they also try to scare victims by claiming that the key is required to get .Hhmgzyl files restored will be deleted within 48 hours of the infection.

Security experts[2] do not advise victims paying the ransom, as there is a chance they might not retrieve the required key even after the payment. Additionally, the more ransoms crooks receive, the more drive they will have to create new virus versions and infect more targets. Nonetheless, some companies/people might not have another choice, which is one of the most devastating traits of a ransomware infection.

Hhmgzyl ransomware virusHhmgzyl ransomware is a type of malware that locks all pictures, documents, videos, and other data on the system and then demands ransom for the decryption tool

Hhmgzyl ransomware developers threaten to disclose stolen files publicly if ransom is not paid

Hhmgzyl file virus is not the first version of Snatch ransomware that has been released in the wild since its initial release back in December 2018. Previous versions include Gdjlosvtnib, Eknkfwovyzb, EGMWV, Pywdu, and many others. Malicious actors behind the strain usually target corporate networks and businesses via weakly protected Remote Desktop (RDP) connections, although other infection means can be used as well.

Threat actors do not rush to deploy Hhmgzyl ransomware as soon as they break into the network of a particular company but instead move laterally, gaining administrator access connected to a server. In most cases, hackers spend on the network for at least a week before they launch a malware payload, which consequently encrypts all files. During this time, the intrusion can be stopped successfully if background activity is spotted.[3]

Unfortunately, most of the cases show that these attacks are successful. Before deploying ransomware, the attacks steal corporate files and other documents that are secret. This information is later used for blackmailing purposes, as .hhmgzyl file virus authors threaten to publish it in case the ransom is not paid.

Based on previous examples of Snatch malware attacks, threat actors asked for as much as 1 – 5 bitcoins for a decryption tool. Nonetheless, Hhmgzyl ransomware is one of the newer variants, and they might ask for much larger sums to keep the stolen files safe.

If the backups were indeed encrypted or were not retained, there a few possibilities of data recovery, although third-party recovery software or built-in Windows recovery solutions might work in cases where the Hhmgzyl virus failed to perform correctly.

Hhmgzyl ransomware encrypted filesOnce Hhmgzyl ransomware encrypts files, the only secure way to recover them is by using backups

Hhmgzyl ransomware removal instructions and data recovery

If the attackers behind Hhmgzyl virus do not disable the anti-virus that is employed, the infection could be detected under the following names – according to Virus Total:[4]

  • HEUR:Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Gen.vho
  • Trojan.Ransom.Snatch
  • Ransom:Win64/Snatch.A!MTB
  • A Variant Of Win64/Filecoder.BL
  • Win64:Trojan-gen
  • Gen:Variant.Ransom.GoRansom.2, etc.

To remove Hhmgzyl ransomware, a compromised computer should be immediately disconnected from the network, and then a scan with powerful anti-malware, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes, should be performed. In some cases, accessing Safe Mode with networking is the correct way to perform this process – we provide guidelines on how to access this mode below.

Only after Hhmgzyl ransomware removal, the data recovery process can be undertaken – either from backups or using alternative methods, we provide below.

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What to do if failed?
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 Hhmgzyl virus, follow these steps:

Remove Hhmgzyl using Safe Mode with Networking

In case Hhmgzyl file virus is tampering with your security software, access Safe Mode with Networking and perform a scan from there:

  • 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 Hhmgzyl

    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 Hhmgzyl removal.

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

Remove Hhmgzyl using System Restore

System Restore can also be used to delete the infection:

  • 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 Hhmgzyl. 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 Hhmgzyl removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro method might sometimes work

Data Recovery Pro is one of the recovery options that could sometimes restore at least some encrypted files.

  • 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 Hhmgzyl ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature can be useful

If System Restore was enabled, Windows Previous Versions feature can be used to recover files one-by-one.

  • 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”.

ShadowExplorer might be able to recover all data

If the virus failed to eliminate Shadow Volume Copies, ShadowExplorer can be used to recover all files automatically.

  • 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.

No decryption tool is currently available

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

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant a full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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