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Remove Red Cerber ransomware / virus (Removal Guide) - Mar 2017 update

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware

Red Cerber continues following the steps of its predecessor

Red Cerber virus is the latest sample of notorious Cerber ransomware which wreaked havoc throughout the entire year of 2016 and continues doing the same in 2017. The developers of this destructive crypto-malware have managed to release already five versions of this cyber menace.[1] Cerber 5.0.1 and Red Cerber ransomware are the latest versions. All of them are distinctive for certain characteristics, but all of them have been using almost identical ransom notes. The older variations had a tendency to delete shadow volume copies which shattered the last hope of data retrieval for users who did not back up their data. The latest version has some modifications. One of them – it does not delete shadow volume copies of the target files. In addition, this ransomware modifies some part of important system files right after the infiltration. These files include: msxml3.dll.Instructions, KERNELBASE.dll.mui, rsaenh.dll, WScript.exe, WScript.exe.mui, sortdefault.nls, wshom.ocx, etc. The ransom note is usually written in the red background rather than a green one. The extension which was added by the latest versions of Red Cerber ransomware is .ba99. If your file extensions were changed to this extension, you are, unfortunately, infected. Do not panic and concentrate on Red Cerber removal. For that you can use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Taking a look back at the evolution story of Cerber, few might remember reports about the malware which targeted only specific countries. The original version contained flaws which limited Cerber’s capabilities. It needed to reboot a computer in order to paralyze it completely. However, it did not take long for the crooks to evolve the threat at lightning speed. They looked for various channels and techniques to boost up the traffic of the destructive infection. It even exploited browser vulnerabilities to infect computers[2]. The more recent version bombarded users with fake credit card emails.

  Red Cerber ransom noteThe ransom note which is used by Red Cerber ransomware is written in red background. Malware has been using .ba99 file extension to mark encrypted files

Questions about Red Cerber ransomware virus

In comparison with other threats, the key change in Red Cerber malware is the disabled command to delete shadow volume copies[3]. These are the copies which grant the chance to restore the lost files after a system crash or another unexpected data loss. Despite this ray of hope, Cerber still poses a decryption challenge for virus researchers. Since the appearance of the original version, IT experts have been able to devise a decryption software for the original version, but the latter versions remain undecryptable. Furthermore, Red Cerber ransomware contains a programmed preference to encode specific folders and files. The gearheads changed the number of encryptable extensions by excluding the following extensions: .bat, .cmd, .com, .cpl, .exe, .hta, .msc, .msi, .msp, .pif, .scf, .scr, and .sys. Though the virus retained a preference for .doc files, it added additional file formats to the list of overall 493 encryptable file extensions. In short, you should hurry up to remove Red Cerber.

How is the virtual infection spread?

The gearheads have been discovering new ways of infecting as many users as possible. Spam emails account for the biggest share of Red Cerber hijack cases. Usually, it comes as a fake report about the payment or billing warning from an ordinary email address which is supposedly sent from a female dresser. It does not require any specific features to spot mismatching and obvious mistakes. First of all, typos and spelling mistakes are a prevalent feature of ransomware spam emails [4]. What is more, the supposed addresser mismatches the credentials provided in the very message content. Furthermore, the cyber infection is spread via the help of exploit kits, specifically RIG and Nemucod[5]. They might be encountered in corrupted websites, such as illegal file-sharing web pages. Note that Flash Player keeps being exploited by ransomware gearheads and Red Cerber developers did not miss the opportunity to use it as well.

Is it hard to remove Red Cerber?

If you are willing to fully exterminate Red Cerber virus, install an anti-spyware application such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or Malwarebytes. Do not forget to update them before initiating the eradication process. It is possible that the malware might cause some Red Cerber removal problems. Here is when the following instructions come in handy. Note that only after you fully remove Red Cerber, data decryption might be performed.

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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 Red Cerber virus, follow these steps:

Remove Red Cerber using Safe Mode with Networking

Some case of Cerber may alter system functions which results in limited operation of the device. If you experience program downloading issues, enter 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 Red Cerber

    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 Red Cerber removal.

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

Remove Red Cerber 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 Red Cerber. 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 Red Cerber removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Using Data Recovery Pro program

Though the best way to decrypt the files would be to obtain the private key, you will not lose anything if you give this software a try.

  • 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 Red Cerber ransomware;
  • Restore them.

ShadowExplorer– the only chance to recover the files?

Shadow volume copies remain one of the key ways to recover the lost or damaged files. Certainly, if they are not eliminated beforehand. Taking into account the fact, that the latter version is disabled from wiping these copies, you might have a chance to get the files back.

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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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  1. XMen4ever says:
    January 6th, 2017 at 8:31 am

    I suppose no one will tame Cerber this year…

  2. disco90 says:
    January 6th, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Will it turn into blue one?

  3. LLotus says:
    January 6th, 2017 at 8:32 am

    So no hope to get the decrypter?

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