Complete CerBerSysLock Virus Removal Guide (Full Instructions)

CerBerSysLock virus image

An infection with the dangerous CerBerSysLock virus leads to serious security issues. Victims can restore and protect their computers by following our complete removal guide.

Remove CerBerSysLock virus and Restore PC
Manual Removal Guide
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Distribution of CerBerSysLock virus

The CerBerSysLock virus is a new virus which has been sighted in a limited attack campaign. At the moment the security researchers cannot determine the primary infection strategy. We presume that the most widely used tactics are going to be employed.

Among them are the email messages created in an automated way and sent to large lists of potential victims. The CerBerSysLock virus can be directly attached to the messages. This is one of the easiest way for the criminals to attempt the infection. However a lot of email hosting providers usually capture the signatures of the virus and as such discard such messages or label them as dangerous or spam. Other infection methods related to this one is the option of inserting hyperlinks in the body content of the messages. The links are usually labeled as leading to a familiar website or a file of user interest. Redirects can redirect to hacker-controlled sites, infected payloads or other instances that can lead to an CerBerSysLock virus infection.

The computer criminals behind the malware can create malicious sites or download portals which distribute malware of different kinds, including the CerBerSysLock virus. A popular option is the use of infected documents which may be of different types ‒ spreadsheets, rich text documents, presentations and databases. They are modified to initiate the virus once the built-in scripts are run. Usually when the files are opened a notification will ask the users to run the macros (scripts). If this is done the infection follows.

The hacker-controlled sites are specialist portals that have been created either manually or automatically by the criminals behind the CerBerSysLock virus. They can either directly distribute the threat by initiating various scripts or automated operations or link to such instances. Redirects are usually caused by email interaction, ad networks or other browsing activity. However one of the main sources is the availability of browser hijackers. They are malicious addons made for the most popular web browsers ‒ Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Microsoft Edge and Safari. Once installed they not only infect the users with the malware, but also redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled site. Depending on the configuration the browser hijackers can also steal sensitive information such as any stored passwords, account credentials, history, bookmarks, form data and settings.

Impact of CerBerSysLock virus

A new malware threat has been discovered by the security community. The complete code analysis is not yet complete and a final name has not been commissioned, at the moment it is known as the Xorist-CerBerSysLock Ransomware. A more convenient name would be to use the simpler form of CerBerSysLock virus. At the moment its complete code analysis is not yet complete however we presume that this initial version does not include all of the advanced modules that we are accustomed to in more popular ransomware families.

The modular base framework allows the CerBerSysLock virus to be extended based on the individual targets and hacker end goals. Following the typical behavior patterns the infections may begin by launching an information gathering. Such tools can be used to create a profile of the machines by investigating all installed hardware components and available software. Most of the contemporary threats have the ability to steal data from the user-installed apps that may reveal additional information as well. The most common example given by security experts is the web browser. It is one of the most widely used desktop and mobile application that is the universal tool to access the worldwide web. The CerBerSysLock virus can hijack all found form data, bookmarks, history, cookies, passwords and account credentials.

Another module that can be used by the CerBerSysLock virus is to integrate a Trojan component as well. It allows the operators to spy on the victims in real time by transmitting their on-screen actions, some versions even record in detail the made mouse movement and keystrokes. At any given time control of the machines can be overtaken by the hackers.

If configured properly the CerBerSysLock virus can be installed in a persistent way. This means that the main infection engine will constantly monitor the users actions and prevent the malware from being removed. This is often combined with stealth protection techniques that protect the instance from virtual machines, debugging environments and sandboxes. If they cannot be disabled or removed the CerBerSysLock virus may opt to delete itself from the system in order to evade detection.

It is very possible to use the CerBerSysLock virus in a multi-stage delivery attack. Such campaigns start the infection with this ransomware and institute additional threats at the second stage of infection. Even if this step is skippe almost all computer threats modify the compromised hosts to a certain extent. The resulting operations lead to performance issues, application failure and the inability to use certain Windows functions. To prevent data recovery the shadow volume copies may be delelted from the computers. This makes data recovery very difficult unless a professional-grade data recovery is used. Fortumately we provide in-depth instructions on restoring your computer below.

As soon as all prerequisite conditions are met the ransomware process is initiated. It uses the XOR cipher to process target data based on a predefined list of target file type extensions. The most popular examples tend to target the most common user files: backups, documents, images, music, videos, configuration files and etc. The collected samples rename all victim data with the .CerBerSysLocked0009881 extension. Some experts speculate that the last few digits represent the unique victim ID which is assigned to the hosts based on hijacked data.

The ransomware note is crafted in a HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt file which reads the following:

Problem with your Files ?
Don’t worry! Your files are SAFE!
Files are Backed up by our Service!
You need to buy Cerber Decryptor v5.0 updated 2017-November
Hi, I’am CERBER RANSOMWARE 😉
YOUR DOCUMENTS, PHOTOS, DATABASES AND OTHER IMPORTANT FILES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED!
The only way to decrypt your files is to receive the private key and decryption program.
Contact Email : [email protected]
Subject PRIVATE-ID: CerBerSysLocked0009881
!!! ANY ATTEMPTS TO RESTORE YOUR FILES WITH THE THIRD-PARTY SOFTWARE WILL BE FATAL FOR YOUR FILES. !!!
!!! IF YOU ATTEMPT TO RECOVER YOUR DATA WITH OTHER SOFTWARE THE RANSOMWARE WILL SE THIS ACTION.!!!
!!! AND WILL GENERATE ANOTHER CODE ON THE FILES THAT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO RECOVER THEM BACK.!!!
!!!!!PLEASE NE REZONABLE!!!!!

We recommend that all users abstain from communicating with the hackers and use our full CerBerSysLock virus removal guide below to recover their data and delete the active infections.

Remove CerBerSysLock virus and Restore PC

WARNING! Manual removal of the CerBerSysLock virus requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removing important data accidentally can lead to permanent system damage. If you don’t feel comfortable with manual instructions, download a powerful anti-malware tool that will scan your system for malware and clean it safely for you.

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SpyHunter anti-malware tool will diagnose all current threats on the computer. By purchasing the full version, you will be able to remove all malware threats instantly. Additional information about SpyHunter / Help to uninstall SpyHunter

CerBerSysLock virus – Manual Removal Steps

Start the PC in Safe Mode with Network

This will isolate all files and objects created by the ransomware so they will be removed efficiently. The steps bellow are applicable to all Windows versions.

1. Hit the WIN Key + R

2. A Run window will appear. In it, write msconfig and then press Enter

3. A Configuration box shall appear. In it Choose the tab named Boot

4. Mark Safe Boot option and then go to Network under it to tick it too

5. Apply -> OK

Remove CerBerSysLock from Windows

Here’s a way to remove the program. This method will work regardless if you’re on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP. Simply selecting the program and pressing delete won’t work, as it’ll leave a lot of small files. That’s bad because these leftovers can linger on and cause all sorts of problems. The best way to delete a program is to uninstall it. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Hold the “Windows” button (It’s between CTRL and Alt on most keyboards) and press “R”. You’ll see a pop-up window.

run-window-windows

2. In the textbox, type “appwiz.cpl”, then press“ Enter ”.

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3. The “Programs and features” menu should now appear. It’s a list of all the programs installed on the PC. Here you can find the program, select it, and press “Uninstall“.

uninstall-malicious-software-control-panel-programs-features-windows

Remove CerBerSysLock Virus From Your Browser

Before resetting your browser’s settings, you should know that this action will wipe out all your recorded usernames, passwords, and other types of data. Make sure to save them in some way.

Removal guide for Mozilla Firefox Removal guide for Google Chrome Removal guide for Internet Explorer

    1. Start Mozilla Firefox. In the upper right corner, click on the Open menu icon and select “Add-ons“.
    add-ons-mozilla-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    2. Inside the Add-ons Manager select “Extensions“. Search the list of extensions for suspicious entries. If you find any, select them and click “Remove“.
    remove-suspicious-extensions-mozilla-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    3. Click again on the Open menu icon, then click “Options“.
    options-mozilla-firefox-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    4. In the Options window, under “General” tab, click “Restore to Default“.
    restore-to-default-settings-mozilla-firefox-removal-guide-browser-hijacker

    5. Select “Search” in the left menu, mark the unknown search engine and press “Remove”.
    search-remove-unknown-search-engine-mozilla-firefox-removal-guide-browser-hijacker

    1. Start Google Chrome. On the upper-right corner, there a “Customize and Control” menu icon. Click on it, then click on “Settings“.

    settings-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    2. Click “Extensions” in the left menu. Then click on the trash bin icon to remove the suspicious extension.
    delete-suspicious-extension-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    3. Again in the left menu, under Chrome, Click on “Settings“. Go under “On Startup” and set a new page.
    set-new-page-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    4. Afterward, scroll down to “Search“, click on “Manage search engines“.
    manage-search-engines-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    5. In the default search settings list, find the unknown search engine and click on “X“. Then select your search engine of choice and click “Make default“. When you are ready click “Done” button in the right bottom corner.

1. Start Internet Explorer. Go to the “Tools” menu and click on “Manage add-ons“.
manage-add-ons-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker-bestsecuritysearch

2. In the “Manage add-ons” window, bellow “Add-on Types“, select “Toolbars and Extensions“. If you see a suspicious toolbar, select it and click “Remove“.
remove-suspicious-toolbars--internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

3. Then again in the “Manage Add-ons” window, in “Add-on Types“, Select “Search Providers“. Chose a search engine and click “Set as default“. Select the unknown search engine and click “Remove and Close”.
search-providers-set-engine-delete-suspicious-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

4. Open the Tools menu, select “Internet Options”.
internet-options-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

5. In the “General” tab, in “Home page”, enter your preferred page. Click “Apply” and “OK”.
enter-preferred-homepage-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

Repair Windows Registry

1. Again type simultaneously the WIN Key + R key combination

2. In the box, write regedit and hit Enter

3. Type the CTRL+ F and then write the malicious name in the search type field to locate the malicious executable

4. In case you have discovered registry keys and values related to the name, you should delete them, but be careful not to delete legitimate keys

Click for more information about Windows Registry and further repair help

Preventive Security Measures

  • Enable and properly configure your Firewall.
  • Install and maintain reliable anti-malware software.
  • Secure your web browser.
  • Check regularly for available software updates and apply them.
  • Disable macros in Office documents.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you’re certain they’re safe.
  • Backup regularly your data.
  • How disturbing is this problem?

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    Author : Martin Beltov

    Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.


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