A new Ransomware cryptovirus that prevents users from accessing their personal files has recently been reported to our “How to remove” team and its name is the Herad Virus. This infection secretly sneaks in the system and applies a very complex encryption to different types of data in order to render it inaccessible. Then, the malware demands that a ransom gets paid in order for the victim to regain their access.
How can you get infected with the .Herad Virus?
There are several different ways in which a Ransomware can infect your computer. One of the most common methods is through malicious spam and different infected email attachments such as PDFs or Word documents. Those messages may also contain links to malicious websites which pretend to be some legitimate platforms that may seem to promote some attractive products or software. It is not uncommon that fake ads, misleading links or compromised software installers could also be used to distribute infections like Herad, Budak, Godes. Generally, the creators of such malware use methods like social engineering to trick people into opening attachments and files or clicking on links that appear to be legitimate and intriguing. They oftentimes use fake messages that appear to be sent by a trustworthy institution or by a friend. The entire infection process usually happens without any visible symptoms or something unusual that could raise the attention of the user, which is why, in most of the cases, the Ransomware infection remains undetected until it completes its file-encryption. Sadly, most conventional antivirus programs may prove ineffective in detecting and preventing the file-encryption because, in general, the file-encryption process is a legitimate data-protection method which has a common implementation in different sectors where digital data should be kept safe.
Accessing the encrypted data is only possible through the application of a special decryption key which, under normal circumstances, is available to the owner of the data. When employed by a cryptovirus like the Herad Virus, however, the file-encryption can be very unpleasant because the decryption key is stored in the hackers’ servers and they blackmail the users to pay a ransom in order to obtain it. A special ransom-demanding message appears on the screen once the encryption process completes and it provides instructions on how to transfer the required money if you want to receive the key for your files.
How to deal with .Herad Files?
The main piece of advice we must give you here, if you have found yourself in such a situation, is to avoid paying the ransom if possible. The reason is, by giving your money to the criminals, you only encourage them to launch additional attacks on you or on other people. Moreover, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will really receive the special decryption key for your flies. Not to mention that even if you receive one, there is still a chance that it may not work properly and may turn out to be ineffective at reversing the applied encryption. That’s why we usually encourage our readers to seek alternative methods to deal with the infection such as removal guides, free decryptors, file-recovery solutions, personal backups or the assistance of professional software in order to remove the malware and regain access to some of their files.
|Danger Level||High (Ransomware is by far the worst threat you can encounter)|
|Symptoms||Very few and unnoticeable ones before the ransom notification comes up.|
|Distribution Method||From fake ads and fake system requests to spam emails and contagious web pages.|
Remove Herad Virus
Note: Before you go any further, we advise you to bookmark this page or have it open on a separate device such as your smartphone or another PC. Some of the steps might require you to exit your browser on this PC.
2: Task Manager
Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to enter the Task Manager. Go to the Tab labeled Processes (Details for Win 8/10). Carefully look through the list of processes that are currently active on you PC.
If any of them seems shady, consumes too much RAM/CPU or has some strange description or no description at all, right-click on it, select Open File Location and delete everything there.
Also, even if you do not delete the files, be sure to stop the process by right-clicking on it and selecting End Process.
3: IP related to Herad
Go to c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. Open the hosts file with notepad.
Find where it says Localhost and take a look below that.
If you see any IP addresses there (below Localhost) send them to us here, in the comments since they might be coming from the Herad.
To remove parasite on your own, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. If you were to do this, you need to be extremely careful, because you may damage your system.
If you want to avoid the risk, we recommend downloading SpyHunter - a professional malware removal tool - to see whether it will find malicious programs on your PC.
4: Disable Startup programs
Re-open the Start Menu and type msconfig.
Click on the first search result. In the next window, go to the Startup tab. If you are on Win 10, it will send you to the Startup part of the task manager instead, as in the picture:
If you see any sketchy/shady looking entries in the list with an unknown manufacturer or a manufacturer name that looks suspicious as there could be a link between them and Herad , disable those programs and select OK.
5: Registry Editor
Press Windows key + R and in the resulting window type regedit.
Now, press Ctrl + F and type the name of the virus.
Delete everything that gets found. If you are not sure about whether to delete something, do not hesitate to ask us in the comments. Keep in mind that if you delete the wrong thing, you might cause all sorts of issues to your PC.
6: Deleting potentially malicious data – Herad
Type each of the following locations in the Windows search box and hit enter to open the locations:
Delete everything you see in Temp linked to the Herad Ransomware. About the other folders, sort their contents by date and delete only the most recent entries. As always, if you are not sure about something, write to us in the comment section.
7: Herad Decryption
The previous steps were all aimed at removing the Herad Ransomware from your PC. However, in order to regain access to your files, you will also need to decrypt them or restore them. For that, we have a separate article with detailed instructions on what you have to do in order to unlock your data. Here is a link to that guide.