Readme.hta marks a new spinoff of the infamous Cerber ransomware. The virus is notorious for its capacity of speaking to its victims. An audio message is a part of the ransomware installation package.
It conveys a ransom note via the speakers available from the compromised machine. As the infection is able to hack any network devices it may play the scary audio for a corporate audience.
That is, the above file is a general notice of extortion. It basically says that as your data has undergone strong encryption you need to proceed with your ‘personal page’. The Cerber ransomware attempts to play the first sentence of the notification as an audio. For that purpose, the infection creates and executes relevant VBA script.
Apart from trying to talk, the invader hacks Windows desktop settings. That replaces the actual desktop image with the background introduced by the malware. Each time the system is launching the user is going to see the message contained in the Readme.hta-cerber. The same is available in any folder that contains the data encrypted for ransom.
A decisive distinction distinguishes the hta-cerber strains among other variants of the Cerber. It goes beyond the family as very few, if any, encryption-for-ransom viruses are that inventive when it comes to modifying the names of affected files. A common practice of the ransomware is to stick to a specific string added as an extension to the names of the files affected. That used to be the case for Cerber family until after hta version surfaced. The new edition is notorious for further bewildering its victims as it adds a unique extension to the files at any machine affected. A particular user may report aa43 string added to the files. The next one concerned would say the extension is b34qa etc.
Again, the Cerber version under review adds random extensions. Unlike most of the other ransoming trojans, it cannot be identified by that characteristic.
The infection resorts to enhanced encryption cipher. It modifies the files so that that output is remote from the output to the extent that it cannot be linked without the decryption key. Actually, it can be, but that would consume the time and effort above any reason. To say the least, the linking would take much longer than average human lifespan.
The ransom amount demanded by the crooks is 1 bitcoin, hence above USD 600. It doubles if not paid within the deadlines indicated.
It is understandable that any payments neither ensure the decryption nor contribute to the eradication of the encryption scam. Meanwhile, some meaningful workarounds would ensure proper removal of Readme.hta and relevant data recovery.
Automated cleanup to remove Readme.hta encryptor
Infection vector for ransomware typically features a trojan. The one in question definitely subscribes to that routine. The trojan drops its body into target computer and proceeds with disabling the detecting functionality of any security solution installed. The antivirus is thus unable to spot introduction of virus from the remote server.
The ransomware invasion is indicative of its dropper residing in the computer memory. It also hints at other invasions. The PC can hardly be considered properly protected due to the impacts of the above trojan.
Ultimate option implies a total formatting for any drives of your PC. That is not an option for many users, for it destroys all the data hosted by the machine. The best solution to pick would be in-depth system examination with a reliable security suite.
The trojan that has installed Readme.hta ransomware, unless removed, is to trigger its installation campaign as soon as a new strain of ransomware is available. Thereby, it is critical to kill it as soon as possible.
The technique successfully overcomes malicious software, including any ransoming threats. It deploys a reputable security suite that offers not a single chance for malicious components to avoid detection and extermination. The software is incredibly user-friendly and operates on a single-click basic.
It is good to note the removal of Readme.hta ransomware does not recover the data affected. However, the virus is subject to compulsory extermination or else is going to introduce related infections into the machine.
1. Click the button to download the stub installer and go through several setup dialogs. Once the tool is up and running, click Start Computer Scan
2. Wail until the cleaner checks the PC for Readme.hta files malicious code. As soon as the scan is completed, the report will list all malware objects spotted in the system. Make sure the entries for detected infections are checked, and select the Fix Threats feature. This will result in malware removal and system remediation, so you should now be good to go.
Restore the encrypted files
Readme.hta ransomware encryption is a sophisticated data modification. There is no simple and single solution to cover all the cases. Transferring the ransom as demanded by the crooks is not the way either.Kindly apply the methods outlined below as they have been carefully developed to provide a recovery help for the most severe cases of encrypting assaults.
Data recovery with automatic software
Good news is that the virus actually deals with copies of the files. The originals have been deleted. The removed data still can be restored by virtue of such tools as Data Recovery Pro.
Shadow Volume Copies
As Windows creates backups at given periods of time, a victim is advised to address relevant restore points. Unfortunately, the method cannot apply unless the System Restore had been enabled prior to the invasion. Please also note the recovery returns files as saved before the time associated with the restore point addressed.
- Previous Versions dialog to target individual files
One can open Properties for any file. The menu has a tab called Previous Versions. It indicates versions of a file that have been backed up.
To make use of the feature, right-click an affected file and choose Properties in the drop-down list. Proceed with clicking the above-mentioned tab. You can opt between the Copy or Restore procedures, the former enabling to copy the item into the location specified by the user.
Backups and removing remaining traces of theReadme.hta ransomware
Prevention is the best cure. If you stick to making regular reserve copies of your data and store those outside your operating system, the impacts by the ransomware are very limited. However, prior to copying the data from backups into the system hit by Readme.hta ransomware, make sure the removal of this virus has completed.
Your manual removal attempts may kill the ransomware in general. In most of the cases, some remnants manage to survive and are still capable of causing a significant damage. Please apply a reliable anti-malware scanner to detect and remove, if applicable, any remaining infections.