Greek mythology has, once again, been regarded as an inspiration for ransomware developers. This time, the intimidating Erebus has been transformed into a crypto-virus that condemns files to be encrypted with RSA-2048 cipher. Do not give hackers the luxury to push you in distress: we have no doubt that this is an additional pleasure that hackers’ feel during their attempts to inflict on users. Imagine their joy when user actually responds to their demands and sends money like an obedient victim. Erebus virus instructs users to download TOR browser which is a very popular selection by ransomware creators. Via this browser, people will be informed about the possible methods for payment. Nevertheless, sending money to cyber criminals is a simple donation to hackers’ future plans. In addition to that, if you pay the money that Erebus virus demands, the creators might remember this and infect you with other ransomware since you have shown signs of weakness.
The darkness from Erebus ransomware: what does it do?
Erebus virus functions are similar to the samples that came before it. It infects devices in an unpleasant, sneaky way. As soon as the payload gets implanted into a device, its proceedings are not going to change that much. Most of the activities that Erebus virus initiates are done in secret, attempting to conceal procedures from the owner. Payloads of ransomware viruses are usually executables that do not appear malicious. Therefore, it is difficult to detect such infection before it is too late and samples like Erebus hold all of the aces. Before encryption of files can be put in motion, Erebus virus has an obligation to pursue: make changes to Windows Registry keys. Ransomware examples usually target those keys that are responsible for fully loading the operating system together with all of the programs that are set to launch automatically.
If the payload of Erebus virus manages to be regarded as a software that is allowed to run automatically, then the virus gets the perfect chance to begin the encryption of files. It targets a variety of data and feels confident enough to encrypt about a few hundred types of files. Of course, people are mostly worried about personal data: photos, videos, music, documents, presentations and other material that might be crucial to the users’ well-being. To make it evident that some of the files are encrypted, sample adds extension to all of the infected data: .ecrypt. Also, Erebus virus also adds an additional executable which is going to be a YOUR_FILES_HAS_BEEN_ENCRYPTED.txt. This file contains information about the things that victims of Erebus should do after discovering that they are, indeed, compromised by a ransomware infection. As we have mentioned, the ransomware suggests that its victims would download TOR browser. However, we do not recommend to actually do this. Websites that are mentioned in the ransom note indicate possible ways to send money/BTC transaction. Since you are not to do this, there is no reason for you to bother yourself with information about this option.
Is there any hope for the files that have been affected by Erebus ransomware?
We have to inform the victims that have been unfortunate enough to be infected with Erebus virus that security researchers are still working on a cure for the encryption that is inflicted on the selected files. If you are seriously worried about your data you should follow the advises we are about to mention. You should always create copies of your valuable data and store it in a secure location, like an USB flash drive. Another popular selection is to store files in backup storages. You can find a number of such facilities online. Why are we recommending this option? Well, because if you get infected with a ransomware infection, then you can simply eliminate it from your system and retrieve files from other secure locations.
How can I steer clear of Erebus ransomware in general?
It might be that Erebus virus infection is your fault. Of course, we do not blame you for believing in people and thinking that they would not lie to you, but in reality, you should be more skeptical when it comes to online content or the emails you receive in your inbox. There is a possibility of you being involved in a malicious spam campaign which is going to send emails with infectious attachments. Nor download those attachments nor click on bizarre email letters. In addition to that, you might download a ransomware as a Trojan. This means that by downloading a program, movie or music from unreliable sources, you might actually download a beginning for a nightmare with ransomware.
Erebus virus won’t go away on its own: you have to force it to leave you alone. The best thing to do this is to run a full security scan with Spyhunter or Hitman. Of course, there is an option of a manual removal, but successfully removing ransomware is a complicated task, capable of negatively influencing your device. Additional information about the elimination of Erebus ransomware can be found below, together with the guidelines for removal.
- The darkness from Erebus ransomware: what does it do?
- Is there any hope for the files that have been affected by Erebus ransomware?
- How can I steer clear of Erebus ransomware in general?
- Automatic Erebus ransomware removal tools
- How to recover Erebus ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
- Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
- Step 2. Complete removal of Erebus ransomware
- Step 3. Restore Erebus ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Erebus ransomware encrypted files
- Removal guides in other languages
Automatic Erebus ransomware removal tools
How to recover Erebus ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt:
for Windows 7 / Vista/ XP
- Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
- Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
for Windows 8 / 10
- Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart.
- Choose Troubleshoot → Advanced Options → Startup Settings and click Restart.
- When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings.
2.Restore System files and settings.
- When Command Prompt mode loads, enter cd restore and press Enter.
- Then enter rstrui.exe and press Enter again.
- Click “Next” in the windows that appeared.
- Select one of the Restore Points that are available before Erebus virus has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of Erebus ransomware
Step 3. Restore Erebus ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
If you do not use System Restore option on your operating system, there is a chance to use shadow copy snapshots. They store copies of your files that point of time when the system restore snapshot was created. Usually Erebus virus tries to delete all possible Shadow Volume Copies, so this methods may not work on all computers. However, it may fail to do so.
Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There are two ways to retrieve your files via Shadow Volume Copy. You can do it using native Windows Previous Versions or via Shadow Explorer.a) Native Windows Previous Versions
Right-click on an encrypted file and select Properties → Previous versions tab. Now you will see all available copies of that particular file and the time when it was stored in a Shadow Volume Copy. Choose the version of the file you want to retrieve and click Copy if you want to save it to some directory of your own, or Restore if you want to replace existing, encrypted file. If you want to see the content of file first, just click Open.
b) Shadow Explorer
It is a program that can be found online for free. You can download either a full or a portable version of Shadow Explorer. Open the program. On the left top corner select the drive where the file you are looking for is a stored. You will see all folders on that drive. To retrieve a whole folder, right-click on it and select “Export”. Then choose where you want it to be stored.
Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Erebus ransomware encrypted files
There are several data recovery programs that might recover encrypted files as well. This does not work in all cases but you can try this:
- We suggest using another PC and connect the infected hard drive as slave. It is still possible to do this on infected PC though.
- Download Data Recovery Pro (commercial)
- Install and scan for recently deleted files.
Note: In many cases it is impossible to restore data files affected by modern ransomware. Thus I recommend using decent cloud backup software as precaution. We recommend checking out Carbonite, BackBlaze, CrashPlan or Mozy Home.