Nhtnwcuf (!_RECOVERY_HELP_!.txt) Ransomware Removal Guide

Nhtnwcuf ransomware has been recently reported by infected users. Its strange name is given by security researchers that have found the string / nhtnwcuf / used as a namespace in the malware code. Actually, the analyses of Nhtnwcuf ransomware code reveal that a mistake in its code results in complete destruction of the infected files. Even the ransomware creators are unable to decrypt your files because no encryption is done.

If somehow by evil coincidentally you are a victim of Nhtnwcuf ransomware do not pay the ransom. The only hope to restore your corrupted data is via available backups. In this article, we will look through the Nhtnwcuf features and the ways of its distribution. In the last paragraph of the article, you could find a step-by-step Nhtnwcuf guide that will help you to remove all malicious files and objects associated with the ransomware. We recommend you to make sure that all malicious files are deleted before you proceed further with the regular usage of your PC.

What Is Specific About Nhtnwcuf Ransomware Infection?

The threat is following a typical ransomware infection pattern. Once the malicious executable file is running on the system, the Nhtnwcuf virus payload is dropped on targeted Windows folders, and the contamination process is activated. Malware usually uses variable folders when it tries to access, create or change files and folders on your computer. And these are some common folder locations that may be targeted by malicious files associated with Nhtnwcuf ransomware:

  • %UserProfile%
  • %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\
  • %AppData%
  • %LocalAppData%
  • %Temp%

You can find these folders by typing Windows button plus E button which will open Window Explorer window. Then in the address bar enter the name of the folder starting with the % sign and press Enter. Have in mind that some folders may be hidden by the default operating settings and you may need first to configure Windows to show hidden files and folders. You can do this by following the instructions presented in step 2 of our ransomware removal guide below.

The files associated with Nhtnwcuf may be dropped under different names, and some of them are supposed to modify Windows registries which make the threat extremely resistant. Infected machines probably have modifications in the following registry entries:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Malicious value strings added in these registry sub-keys permit the Nhtnwcuf threat to run its executable file that enforces the encryption process each time the Windows system is started.

The incredibly crappy quality of the code makes the ransomware a total scam. Unlike common ransomware infections, Nhtnwcuf doesn’t use particular encipher algorithm to encrypt files but overwrites them with garbage bytes instead. However, the corrupted data cannot be opened but what’s worst is that it is destroyed. Thus even if you pay the ransom to the criminals, they cannot restore the files because actual encryption is missing so there is no generated decryption key.

Nhtnwcuf ransomware is most likely to damage permanently important files like documents, images, videos, music and text files. Once a file is corrupted it will get a three random symbols extension appended to its original name. Some extensions associated with Nhtnwcuf ransomware are .mkf, .ije, and .nwy.

How Do Cyber Criminals Blackmail Victims?

Two files are identified to be part of Nhtnwcuf ransomware malicious scheme. The code of the threat is designed to drop the files !_RECOVERY_HELP_!.txt and HELP_ME_PLEASE.txt. They present messages left by ransomware creators to victims. As you already know even if you pass through the steps described in the !_RECOVERY_HELP_!.txt and pay the ransom amount of 1.00 BTC to extortionists’ Bitcoin address – 1B2RRVwBP1K3yibZcA3p1qd2YN9BkVafm3, you won’t be able to decrypt your files. So better stay on the state of security and don’t contact cyber criminals on their mail [email protected] The detailed ransomware removal guide will help you to remove completely Nhtnwcuf ransomware. For the best results, it is advisable to run a scan with an anti-malware tool that will find all malware files and their exact location on the computer.

Ways of Nhtnwcuf Ransomware Distribution

Be really cautious when you download files from received emails as one of the most common ways of ransomware distribution is via spam email campaigns. The Nhtnwcuf malicious payload may be hidden in an archive or document file and then attached to the email. A security tip that we could suggest you is to check whether a file is malicious or not with the help of online malware scanning services like ZipeZip and VirusTotal.

Malvertising campaigns may also be used as a mean of Nhtnwcuf ransomware distribution. As they may come in the form of banners, popups, text links, videos, images, new web pages we recommend you to avoid clicking on suspicious advertisements. In case that you are interested in the displayed offer, you could search for the product/service by typing it in a trusted search engine.

Other malware infections are the next possible ransomware distribution vector. Let’s guess that somehow you get a browser hijacker on the computer, well it might help cyber criminals to get access to the infected system. Thus they are able of stealthy installation of Nhtnwcuf payloads.

Summary of Nhtnwcuf Ransomware

 


Name
Nhtnwcuf Ransomware

File Extensions
Three random symbols

Ransom
1.00 BTC

Easy Solution
You can skip all steps and remove Nhtnwcuf ransomware with the help of an anti-malware tool.

Manual Solution
Nhtnwcuf ransomware can be removed manually, though it can be very hard for most home users. See the detailed tutorial below.

Distribution
Spam emails, malicious URLs, malicious attacments, exploit kits, freeware.

Nhtnwcuf Ransomware Removal

STEP I: 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.

    1) Hit WIN Key + R

Windows-key-plus-R-button-launch-Run-Box-in-Windows-illustrated

    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

Or check our video guide – “How to start PC in Safe Mode with Networking

STEP II: Show Hidden Files

    1) Open My Computer/This PC
    2) Windows 7

      – Click on “Organize” button
      – Select “Folder and search options
      – Select the “View” tab
      – Go under “Hidden files and folders” and mark “Show hidden files and folders” option

    3) Windows 8/ 10

      – Open “View” tab
      – Mark “Hidden items” option

    show-hidden-files-win8-10

    4) Click “Apply” and then “OK” button

STEP III: Enter Windows Task Manager and Stop Malicious Processes

    1) Hit the following key combination: CTRL+SHIFT+ESC
    2) Get over to “Processes
    3) When you find suspicious process right click on it and select “Open File Location
    4) Go back to Task Manager and end the malicious process. Right click on it again and choose “End Process
    5) Next you should go folder where the malicious file is located and delete it

STEP IV: Remove Completely Nhtnwcuf Ransomware Using SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

Manual removal of Nhtnwcuf requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removal of any important data can lead to permanent system damage. Prevent this troublesome effect – delete Nhtnwcuf ransomware with SpyHunter malware removal tool.

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

STEP V: Repair Windows Registry

    1) Again type simultaneously the Windows Button + R key combination
    2) In the box, write “regedit”(without the inverted commas) 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

Further help for Windows Registry repair

STEP VI: Recover Encrypted Files

    1) Use present backups
    2) Use professional data recovery software

      Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery – a specialist tool that can restore partitions, data, documents, photos, and 300 more file types lost during various types of incidents and corruption.
    3) Using System Restore Point

      – Hit WIN Key
      – Select “Open System Restore” and follow the steps


restore-files-using-system-restore-point

    4) Restore your personal files using File History

      – Hit WIN Key
      – Type “restore your files” in the search box
      – Select “Restore your files with File History
      – Choose a folder or type the name of the file in the search bar

    restore-your-personal-files-using-File-History-bestecuritysearch

      – Hit the “Restore” button

STEP VII: Preventive Security Measures

    1) Enable and properly configure your Firewall.
    2) Install and maintain reliable anti-malware software.
    3) Secure your web browser.
    4) Check regularly for available software updates and apply them.
    5) Disable macros in Office documents.
    6) Use strong passwords.
    7) Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you’re certain they’re safe.
    8) Backup regularly your data.

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

How disturbing is this problem?

Gergana Ivanova

Author : Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova is computer security enthusiast who enjoys presenting the latest issues related to cyber security.


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