Why should you be scared of HugeMe virus?
HugeMe ransomware virus doesn’t sound like a serious cyber threat. However, this ransomware has been lurking not the Internet for a year and encrypting thousands of files. Recently, security researchers have noticed that its activity increased. It seems that cyber criminals continue this nasty job and tries to swindle more money from the computer users. HugeMe virus is supposed to be another variant from the HiddenTear/EDA2 open source project. Hence, it does not have any significant or unique features. Just like ordinary crypto-malware it uses traditional infiltration methods, encrypts targeted files and demands paying the ransom. Malware targets around 470 different file types and encrypts them using AES algorithm. During data encryption, it also locks the files by appending .encrypted file extension. Sadly, HugeMe removal won’t help to rescue encrypted data. However, deleting virus from the system should be the primary task! While malware resides on the system, your computer and privacy are at risk. After infiltration, the virus might also make entries in the Registry and launch malicious processes inside the OS. These modifications allow starting the virus automatically every time you turn on the computer.
Malware developers are aware that the majority of computer users do not make data backups, and losing access to the files looks like the end of the world. Following data encryption, HugeMe virus drops a ransom note called either DECRYPT_ReadMe.txt or DECRYPT.txt. Here hackers inform about data encryption and the only expensive possibility to rescue the files. They demand to pay 1 Bitcoin in 5 days time to the provided Bitcoin wallet address. However, hackers do not bother to explain to people how to complete this complicated task successfully. The hackers also ask to send an email to one of these emails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. After contacting cyber criminals, victims have to wait until hackers send the decryption key and necessary program. Nevertheless, HugeMe ransomware is still undecryptable; we highly recommend keeping your money in the pocket. After making the transaction, you may not receive an email with necessary tools. In this case, your loss will be bigger. We recommend concentrating on virus elimination process. Professional malware removal tools, such as ReimageIntego, will help to remove HugeMe from the computer immediately. Data recovery might be complicated because ransomware is capable of detailing Shadow Volume Copies. However, you can try other additional recovery methods.
Questions about HugeMe ransomware virus
HugeMe ransomware encrypts file using AES algorithm and demands paying 1 Bitcoin for the decryption.
Methods of distribution
Just like many other file-encrypting viruses, HugeMe malware is spread via malicious email attachments. Cyber criminals find lots of creative and convincing ways to trick people into opening attached document which includes malware executable. If you haven’t been infected with ransomware yet, please be careful with receive emails! Before opening any email attachment, double-check the information about the sender, look for grammar or spelling mistakes, and other details that may expose cyber criminals. What is more, HugeMe ransomware might also be distributed via social networks or file-sharing services. Bear in mind that you cannot trust all received links or files even though your friends sent them. They may not know about being infected and spreading malicious content.
The step-by-step guide for HugeMe ransomware virus elimination
First of all, forget the idea about manual HugeMe removal. Ransomware might place malicious files deep inside the system and hide under legitimate filenames. Therefore, you may accidentally delete crucial system files. In order to prevent bigger problems, we recommend installing strong malware removal program and running a full system scan. You can remove HugeMe virus from the computer with a help of ReimageIntego or Malwarebytes. If you encounter some problems or difficulties when installing the software or running a system scan, have a look at our prepared instructions below.
To remove HugeMe virus, follow these steps:
Manual HugeMe removal using Safe Mode
If ransomware blocks malware removal tools, restart computer to the Safe Mode as show in the instructions below.
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
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- 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.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
- Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
- On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
- Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Press Restart.
- Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
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:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Click on More details.
- Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
- Right-click and select Open file location.
- Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
- Delete the contents of the malicious folder.
Step 3. Check program Startup
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Go to Startup tab.
- Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
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:
- Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
- 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).
- Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:
Temporary Internet Files
- Pick Clean up system files.
- You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):
After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.
Remove HugeMe using System Restore
If the previous method did not work, try following these steps and perform automatic virus removal again.
Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Command Prompt from the list
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
- Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
- Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window.
Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
- Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.
- Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again..
- When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of HugeMe. After doing that, click Next.
- Now click Yes to start system restore.
Bonus: Recover your dataGuide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove HugeMe from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.
Bear in mind that paying the ransom does not guarantee that cyber criminals provide you necessary decryption software. Instead of risking your money, try these additional data recovery methods.
If your files are encrypted by HugeMe, you can use several methods to restore them:
Data Recovery Pro might help to restore files encrypted by HugeMe ransomware virus
This professional tool has been created to restore damaged or deleted files; however, it has been updated to help victims of the ransomware as well.
- 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 HugeMe ransomware;
- Restore them.
Windows Previous Versions feature may help to restore files encrypted by HugeMe ransomware too
If you have enabled System Restore function before ransomware attack, follow these steps to recover some individual 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”.
ShadowExplorer may help to restore files encrypted by HugeMe virus as well
Sometimes malware fails to delete Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files. It it happened to you, please follow the steps below and restore your files:
- 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 HugeMe and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
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Data backups are important – recover your lost files
Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.
While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.