Howareyou ransomware (Virus Removal Instructions) - Recovery Instructions Included

Howareyou virus Removal Guide

What is Howareyou ransomware?

Howareyou ransomware – cryptocurrency-focused virus that steals some data before encrypting it

Howareyou ransomwareHowareyou ransomware - a virus that demands payments in cryptocurrency with claims about file recovery.

Howareyou ransomware is a file-locking parasite that prior to encrypting victims' files, downloads some of the data first to a private server of the cybercriminals. This feature of the ransomware isn't new. A similar cryptovirus was just used to attack Campari Group servers. When the virus has finishes stealing some of the victims' files, it encrypts and renames them appending a .howareyou extension. That way all non-system data is rendered inaccessible.

Afterward, a ransom note – __read_me_.txt is generated in all affected folders. The developers of howareyou virus explain to the victims what has happened. They warn that any attempt to rename, modify, or unlock the files with third-party tools will lead to permanent data loss. An email address (dfkjhdkjsdjfgkjdsfhkjskdjfhkj@cock.li) is given to establish contact by sending them 2 random encrypted files, thus reassuring the users that the promised decryption tool exists. Each victim is provided with his/her unique ID, sarcastically called ClientID.

Just like the developers of the FUSION virus, the creators of .howareyou ransomware also threaten to leak[1] the stolen data if an agreement isn't reached. You should react to the infection as soon as possible and remove the threat properly.

Name Howareyou ransomware, .howareyou virus
Type Ransomware
Ransom note __read_me_.txt
Appended extension All non-system files are appended with .howareyou extension
Additional info In the ransom note, hackers claim that they stole some data prior to encrypting it
criminal contact details dfkjhdkjsdjfgkjdsfhkjskdjfhkj@cock.li
malware termination Howareyou ransomware removal should be trusted to professional anti-malware software
system tune-up After the elimination of Howareyou ransomware virus is completed, use the ReimageIntego tool to scan and automatically fix any damage this virus has caused to system files and settings

Data encrypted using AES or RSA[2] coding algorithms is almost impossible to decode unless you have the encryption code. In this case, if a public decryption tool isn't created, only the developers of Howareyou virus have the ability to unlock your files.

That being said, we highly advise against contacting the cybercriminals. Instead, you should concentrate on Howareyou ransomware removal and system health checkup because more damage to the infected computer could be done if the virus stays in the device.

To remove Howareyou ransomware, users should use reliable anti-virus software like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. Any of these applications will find the howareyou virus instantly, isolate it with all its spread out files, and delete them.

Experts[3] advise using the ReimageIntego tool after .howareyou ransomware removal to automatically detect any altercations made to system files or its settings and restore them to normal, pre-contamination phase.

Howareyou ransomware virusHowareyou ransomware - crypto virus that locks files after encoding.

Creators of .howareyou virus send this message to their victims:

Your files have been encrypted and copied to our private servers!
ANY ATTEMPT TO RESTORE YOUR FILES WITH THIRD-PARTY SOFTWARE WILL PERMANENTLY CORRUPT IT.
DO NOT MODIFY ENCRYPTED FILES.
DO NOT RENAME ENCRYPTED FILES.
But keep calm! There is a solution for your problem!
For some money reward we can decrypt all your encrypted files.
Also we will delete all your private data from our servers.
To prove that we are able to decrypt your files we give you the ability to decrypt 2 files for free.
So what is you next step ? Contact us for price and get the decryption software.
Our Mail: dfkjhdkjsdjfgkjdsfhkjskdjfhkj@cock.li
Your ClientId: –
We would share your SENSITIVE DATA in case you refuse to pay.

Dodging Howareyou malware while browsing

Cybercriminals have various malware options at their disposal to infect someone's device and numerous techniques for doing it. But we're here to help avoid any infections like Howareyou file virus. Using our suggestions might save you from a massive headache:

  1. Always keep your Operating System (OS) up to date with the latest updates
  2. Obtain, constantly update a powerful anti-malware software. Scan your device regularly with it
  3. Use system tune-up tools to check for registry irregulation
  4. Don't visit high-risk level, suspicious, phony websites
  5. Don't open emails from unknown senders, and never download any email attachments without scanning them with an anti-virus engine first
  6. Don't download anything from torrent sites
  7. Use only official websites to download the desired software
  8. Don't use illegal activation toolkits, more popularly known as cracks

Howareyou file virusHowareyou ransomware - malware that can often be deleted with AV tools.

Remove Howareyou file virus with programs designed for this

As mentioned in the first part of this article, users should concentrate on removing the Howareyou ransomware virus from their devices instead of paying the ransom or contacting the cybercriminals. Manually removing a cryptovirus from a computer could be a tall task even for highly-experienced users, so we advise leaving this to the professionals.

To remove Howareyou ransomware use SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes security or any other anti-malware applications. These are trustworthy and will do the task automatically by finding all the infection files and possibly related programs or intruders.

Howareyou ransomware removal won't decrypt your files. But before you use your backups to restore your data, we highly recommend using the ReimageIntego system tune-up software to check for any system irregularities the malware might have caused.

Offer
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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.

Getting rid of Howareyou virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Rebooting the system in Safe Mode with Networking and remove Howareyou ransomware

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.
    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.
    Reboot
  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.
    Startup

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
    Downloads
    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):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove Howareyou using System Restore

System Restore can perform removal of the ransomware when you use the feature to recover the machine in a previous state

  • 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 Howareyou. 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 ReimageIntego and make sure that Howareyou removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Try Data Recovery Pro for files encrypted by Howareyou ransomware

You can repair files affected by the virus using this program

  • 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 Howareyou ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions – function helping with individual file recovery

System Restore should be enabled before you rely on Windows Previous Versions

  • 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 – Windows OS function for affected data

You can possibly restore encoded files if your Shadow Volume Copies are left untouched

  • 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.

Decryption tool is not released

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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