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Horros ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Ransomware

Horros ransomware is a decryptable virus based on HiddenTear malware

Horros ransomware

Horros ransomware is a crypto-virus recently discovered by a security researcher Leo.[1] The ransomware was first noticed in early April 2018 as it started locking up various files using .horros extension using the AES-256 cipher.

SUMMARY
Name Horros ransomware
Type Crypto-virus
Cipher used AES-256
Extension .horros
First noticed on 4th of April 2018
Distribution Spam emails, malicious sites, etc.
Elimination Download and install Reimage, Malwarebytes Malwarebytes or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security

The primary goal of this cyber threat is to extort money out of users by making them pay ransom in Bitcoin cryptocurrency in return for the file decryptor. Luckily, as the virus is based on HiddenTear ransomware, it is fully decryptable. Before decrypting files, users are advised to thoroughly remove Horros virus from their machine using such security tool like Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security.

The malicious file that distributes the payload is called FileEncrypter.exe. It was developed using Visual Studio 2017 and does not drop ransom note, as typical to similar file-encrypting viruses do. Therefore, it is highly likely that Horros ransomware is not fully developed yet. However, it does not mean that different variants will not show up in the future.

As soon as the virus enters the machine (typically via malicious file attachment from spam email or through the RDP unprotected configuration) it changes a variety of configuration settings, including registry entries, inside Windows machines. It allows cyber threat to load up with every boot up of the PC. Afterward, the virus starts the encryption procedure.

Horros malware can encrypt a variety of files, including dd, .dd, .db,  .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .dwg, .dxf, .eps, .fla, .gif, .ico, .indd, .jar, .java, .jpeg, .jpg, .js,..mdb, .mdb, .swf, .tif, .txt, .vcf, .wpd, .wps, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xml, .zip. Meaning that all your video, audio, text files and other personal files become unusable. For example, if your file was called picture.jpg, after encryption it turns into picture.jpg.horros.

As we already mentioned, the virus does not drop ransom note. Therefore it is unclear how much money cybercriminals want. Nevertheless, we advise users never to contact cybercriminals. These shady people only care about extorting money out of innocent victims. Thus, nothing is stopping them from ignoring you after the ransom is paid.

Instead, we suggest you firstly proceed with Horros ransomware removal procedure using powerful security software. Soon after that you can try HiddenTear decryptor, restore files from a backup or use alternative third-party programs that could help you with file recovery.

Malware is distributed via malicious email attachments

Security researchers[2] note that users are typically quite careless when it comes to cyber safety. Therefore, they casually open emails from unknown sources and visit shady websites, even when acknowledging risks.

Therefore, be extremely careful when opening emails. Your email provider has a built-in security scanner that flags up suspicious emails. Never ignore these warnings and delete the message immediately. Another warning sign is when an attachment requires you to enable Macro[3] function. Do not allow it as the probability that it is dangerous malware is very high.

Regardless of how tempting free cracked software on the internet might be, keep in mind that it not only poses malware threat but is highly illegal and can result in fines or even lawsuits. Therefore, pick a legitimate source for your downloads and avoid torrent, porn, file-sharing and other suspicious sites.

Elimination steps of Horros ransomware

We do not advise trying to remove Horros ransomware manually. The virus is extremely complicated and embedded deep within system files. Thus, you should trust robust security software, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes Malwarebytes or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security. Currently, 27 out of 66 AV engines detect the file. Alternatively, you can use the security tool already installed on your PC, just don’t forget that it has to be up to date.

Horros virus removal is a crucial step in a full recovery of your normal system operation. Don’t forget that the virus might block a normal startup of the security program. Thus, restart your PC in Safe Mode with Networking as it is described below.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Horros ransomware. 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.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
Press mentions on Reimage
Alternate Software
Plumbytes Anti-Malware
We have tested Plumbytes Anti-Malware's efficiency in removing Horros ransomware (2018-04-09)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing Horros ransomware (2018-04-09)
Hitman Pro
We have tested Hitman Pro's efficiency in removing Horros ransomware (2018-04-09)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing Horros ransomware (2018-04-09)

To remove Horros virus, follow these steps:

Remove Horros using Safe Mode with Networking

Disable the virus 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 Horros

    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 Horros removal.

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

Remove Horros using System Restore

You can also eliminate Horros ransomware 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 Horros. 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 Horros removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro can might help you with file recovery

Data Recovery Pro was originally designed as a program that helps users to recover corrupted or accidentally deleted files. However, in some cases, Data Recovery Pro can restore files damaged by ransomware, so try it out.

Previous Windows Versions is an option as well

Previous Windows Versions can help you to recover separate files:

  • 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”.

Download and install ShadowExplorer

You can download ShadowExplorer and check if Horros virus did not delete Shadow Volume Copies. If that is the case, you will be able to fully restore all your files using this program.

  • 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.

Try HiddenTear decryptor

HiddenTear decryptor might help you to fully restore all your data. Download it from here or here.

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

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References