How to Remove Cerber3 Ransomware

I wrote this article to help you remove Cerber3 Ransomware. This Cerber3 Ransomware removal guide is working for all Windows versions.

Cerber3 ransomware is the logical continuation to the Cerber virus family. The series of win-lockers, named after the mythological three-headed dog, has expanded with the genesis of a third version. The developers of the nefarious software have demonstrated stubbornness and adaptability. Their previous creations were decrypted by crafty coders. The answer to the resistance against the virus was not slow. Cerber3 ransomware was released only a few months after its predecessor. The insidious program has fewer external differences than the first modification. Cerber3 ransomware places the same wallpaper on the victim’s desktop. The image depicts a distorted static background with a black rectangle in the middle. The figure is reminiscent of an old computer screen, as it has green text typed in it. This is the initial message users receive when Cerber3 ransomware infects their system.

What has Cerber3 ransomware done to my computer?

The developers of the win-locker mean business. The cyber criminals make a living by swindling PC users. As the ransom note states, Cerber3 ransomware has encrypted your files. This means they have become inaccessible. Cerber3 ransomware utilizes AES and RSA ciphers to create a public encryption and a private decryption key. Further examination revealed that the win-locker also uses an advanced algorithm, called the cipher block chaining (CBC) mode. This technology protects the encrypted files by permanently breaking their code structure when a process tries to tamper with them. This makes it more difficult to decrypt Cerber3 ransomware.

You will be informed about the insidious program’s actions as soon as it has completed the encryption process. Cerber3 ransomware substitutes the desktop background to its wallpaper to notify the victim about his predicament and explain what the demands of the hackers are. A further explanation can be found in the win-locker’s ransom notes. The notes are dropped on the desktop. The virus titles them # HELP DECRYPT #.txt, # HELP DECRYPT #.html and # HELP DECRYPT #.url. The text documents give an explanation, while the .url link redirects to the payment website. Cerber3 ransomware uses the Tor web browser which is the preferred payment platform for ransomware programs.

Remove Cerber3 Ransomware
The Cerber3 Ransomware

Distinguishing the encrypted files is easy, but identifying their original name and format is a daunting task. Cerber3 ransomware appends the .cerber3 extension to the infected items, thus concealing their original format. The virus changes the names of the files to a random combination of 10 symbols. The win-locker targets documents, images, databases, archives, spreadsheets, presentations, audios, videos and other file types.

The creators of Cerber3 ransomware demand a ransom of 0.7154 bitcoins which converts to $435.44 USD, according to the current exchange rate. This is close to the average of the sums the previous two versions of the win-locker demanded. Like its ancestors, Cerber3 ransomware gives victims a certain time frame to complete the payment. The deadline was set back to 7 days, like it was with the original version. After this period, the ransom gets doubled. 1.4308 BTC or $870.87 USD is a high sum to pay to have your data restored. Be advised that there are no certainties when dealing with cyber criminals. Paying the ransom does not guarantee that your files will be unlocked or that the virus will be deleted.

How did Cerber3 ransomware infect your system?

Cerber3 ransomware uses the same propagation vector as its predecessors. The shady program travels with spam emails. The win-locker hides behind an attached file, listed as an important document. The person behind the bogus message could write on behalf of a reputable entity, like the national post, an international courier firm, a bank, a government branch or the police department. Opening the carrier file can prompt the download and install of Cerber3 ransomware without any additional actions being taken on your part. The clandestine program can use macros, .dll, .js, .php, .lnk and other file types to get transferred to your system. You need to be careful when handling your in-box messages. Proof the contacts the sender has provided to make sure he is reliable. Only then should you follow instructions from the email.

Cerber3 Ransomware Removal

Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, Cerber3 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.

  1. Download ShadowExplorer from this link: http://www.shadowexplorer.com/downloads.html.
  2. Install ShadowExplorer
  3. Open ShadowExplorer and select C: drive on the left panelshadowexplorer
  4. Choose at least a month ago date from the date field
  5. Navigate to the folder with encrypted files
  6. Right-click on the encrypted file
  7. Select “Export” and choose a destination for the original file

Method 2: Restore your encrypted files by using System Restore

  1. Go to Start –> All programs –> Accessories –> System tools –> System restore
  2. Click “Nextsystem restore
  3. Choose a restore point, at least a month ago
  4. Click “Next
  5. Choose Disk C: (should be selected by default)
  6. 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 Cerber3 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:

  1. Recuva
  2. Puran File Recovery
  3. Disk Drill
  4. Glary Undelete

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