The new variant of the widespread ransomware family Cerber was spotted by cyber security researchers. Cerber is one of the most malicious viruses active right now, and there’s no decryptor tool released for the second version of the virus, called Cerber2.
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What do we know of the Cerber3 ransomware virus?
Rumors of a new branch of the cerber3 family were circulating the web for quite some time now. Even though the old version is still very much active, and infects users in the time of writing of this article. The malware researcher PhysicalDrive0 tweeted the virus’s file names.
There haven’t been any reports of infections, but it’s possible that the new virus is active. The ransomware uses the .cerber3 file extensions. It likely uses the same infection methods (email spam with malicious attachments.)
Jakub Kroustek, another malware researcher also confirmed the presence of Cerber3 in a tweet:
A picture with the virus file names:
The ransomware note of Cerber3 bears the name:
# HELP DECRYPT #.txt
The Cerber3 ransomware virus – More information
Information is still scarce, but by all accounts, it looks like Cerber3 will start infecting users soon. The first Cerber virus was decrypted, while the Ceber2 remains at large.
The Cerber family makes quite a lot of money. Cerber infects in 201 countries and brings up to a million dollars to the crooks behind it. With Cerber3, those numbers are likely going to increase. The crooks always want to upgrade and enhance their viruses, so they’re harder to detect by anti-virus and anti-malware tools.
The developers of Cerber have enough time and resources to create new ways of infection and to improve the malicious qualities of their viruses. Now that there’s a new head of the ransomware beast, it’s possible that Cerber2 will become less active.
The Notorious Cerber Virus
Cerberus is the name of the hound tasked with keeping dead souls from leaving the underworld. The Cerber viruses also share a similar guard dog duty – to keep encrypted files from exiting the computer until the ransom is paid. As we said, the crooks make a killing out of those viruses, and it’s likely that they’ll make more money with the new variant of the virus.
Users should be extra vigilant, as new viruses are cybersecurity tools like anti-virus and anti-malware programs have a harder time detecting new malicious content. Watch out for suspicious emails, ads, programs, anything that may infect your computer. Considering that Cerber2 ransomware remains unencrypted, only time will tell if Cerber3 will prove as hard to crack as it’s bigger brother. Until then, stay tuned for further information about the virus and removal guides and tips.