I wrote this article to help you remove HiddenTear 2.0 Ransomware. This HiddenTear 2.0 Ransomware removal guide works for all Windows versions.
You have probably heard that ransomware is considered the most dangerous and destructive cyber infection. It is indeed. These file-encrypting parasites totally deserve their horrible reputation. Unfortunately, the ransomware industry has proven itself quite lucrative and newer and newer strains are being developed every single day.
Why is ransomware such a good moneymaker? Well, unlike most pests out there which try stealing your money, ransomware pieces rely on a different tactic. A smarter one. They sneak in your system undetected and then they lock every single file that you have stored on board. Once they do that, you can consider your data inaccessible.
You cannot open anything, or watch anything. You just see the icons of your files but they are unusable. Then the ransomware offers you a way out. Of course, it involves money. You are supposed to pay a ransom in order to obtain a special decryptor to free your data. Do you see how these infections work? They don’t steal your money, they blackmail you for it by rendering your precious files useless.
This is pretty much how all ransomware pieces operate. HiddenTear 2.0, however, is something else. It wants to teach you a lesson. It is known as a proof-of-concept ransomware virus. What does this mean? HiddenTear 2.0 doesn’t aim at stealing your money. It does not demand a ransom. Its goal is to show you exactly how dangerous ransomware infections are. Let`s get into details.
HiddenTear 2.0 slithers in your PC in silence. As we said, it doesn’t demand a ransom but it does encrypt all of your files. It follows the classic pattern. First, it scans your machine and located all of your data. Then, is encrypts it using the AES encryption algorithm. Once that happens, as we already explained above, your files become useless. Your pictures, videos, files, documents, presentations, music, etc. They all get locked.
If you don’t have any backups (which you should have) of your most important files, you cannot free them. HiddenTear 2.0 appends the “.isis” extension at the end of your files` names. Seeing this extension means that the encryption process has finished and it is time for the extortion part. If HiddenTear 2.0 was not an educational ransomware, your situation would have been much worse. Anyway, what infections do next is dropping their ransom notes which provide detailed payment instruction.
Usually, you are asked to contact the attacker and then pay a hefty sum of money in exchange of a decryption tool. Now, HiddenTear 2.0 doesn’t ask for money in its ransom note, called README.txt. It still drops it on your desktop, though. But instead of giving you payment instructions, the note tells you where to find a static password which will help you recover your data for free. The files you need to look for is named DecryptPassword.txt and you can find it in the “My Documents” folder. You find it, you decrypt your files.
You see that compared to an actual ransomware infection, HiddenTear 2.0 is, without a doubt, less harmful. Its purpose is to show you how dreaded ransomware piece are. Any other ransomware would lock your data and then get your money. Keep that in mind. Now when you know what to expect, do your best to protect yourself. And, of course, delete HiddenTear 2.0 now. It may be educational but it still has to go.
How did HiddenTear 2.0 enter? Well, did you download it intentionally? No. But, at some point, you must have agreed to its installments. Ransomware pieces use tricks to dupe you into allowing them to enter. One of the oldest but still very effective ones is spam. Be careful what emails you open. If the message is from an unknown sender, delete it immediately. Even if it looks legitimate as sometimes the emails are disguised as invoices or shipping details, etc.
Also, a ransomware can hide behind corrupted pages/links/ads or pose as a program update. And last but not least, sometimes such an infection even uses the help of a Trojan to get it. So, be on the alert. Be vigilant. Double-check what you agree to. And, get yourself a reliable anti-malware program to help you against cyber infections.
HiddenTear 2.0 Ransomware Removal
Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, HiddenTear 2.0 Ransomware deletes all shadow copies, stored in your computer. Luckily, the ransomware is not always able to delete the shadow copies. So your first try should be restoring the original files from shadow copies.
- Download ShadowExplorer from this link: http://www.shadowexplorer.com/downloads.html.
- Install ShadowExplorer
- Open ShadowExplorer and select C: drive on the left panel
- Choose at least a month ago date from the date field
- Navigate to the folder with encrypted files
- Right-click on the encrypted file
- Select “Export” and choose a destination for the original file
Method 2: Restore your encrypted files by using System Restore
- Go to Start –> All programs –> Accessories –> System tools –> System restore
- Click “Next“
- Choose a restore point, at least a month ago
- Click “Next“
- Choose Disk C: (should be selected by default)
- Click “Next“. Wait for a few minutes and the restore should be done.
Method 3: Restore your files using File Recovery Software
If none of the above method works, you should try to recover encrypted files by using File Recovery Software. Since HiddenTear 2.0 Ransomware first makes a copy of the original file, then encrypts it and deletes the original one, you can successfully restore the original, using a File Recovery Software. Here are a few free File Recovery Software programs: