Delete XHAMSTER ransomware
XHAMSTER Ransomware is a file-encrypting malware. It’s one of the most dangerous malware types out there because it encrypts files and essentially holds them hostage. This particular ransomware can be identified by the .XHAMSTER extension added to encrypted files. It also renames files. The cybercriminals that operate this malware will offer to decrypt the files for victims willing to pay the ransom. But paying comes with risks that users should be aware of. At this moment, only users who have a backup can recover their files.
This ransomware comes from the notorious Phobos malware family. Like all ransomware, it targets personal files, including photos, videos, images, documents, etc. These are the files users would be most likely to pay for so they are the main targets. XHAMSTER ransomware changes file names, as well as adds an extension to them. The file names would be changed to numbers, and .id[users’ unique IDs].[ICQ@xhamster2020].XHAMSTER would be added to them. For example, image.jpg would become 1.jpg.id[your ID].[ICQ@xhamster2020].XHAMSTER. The ID in the added extension is unique to each victim and should be used when contacting the cybercriminals as it would help the criminals identify the victim. You will not be able to open any encrypted files unless you first use a decryptor on them. However, acquiring the decryption tool is not so easy. It involves paying a ransom, something that specialists generally do not recommend.
XHAMSTER ransomware has two ransom notes, info.hta (pop-up) and info.txt (text). The notes explain that files have been encrypted and provide information on how victims can get a decryptor. Unfortunately, getting the decryptor means paying a ransom. The note encourages users to contact cyber criminals in order to receive further instructions. The notes do not reveal how much the decryptor costs so the payment may vary from victim to victim. The note also mentions that victims can send up to 5 files to be decrypted (as long as they do not contain valuable information), likely as proof that they can actually decrypt files. However, paying the ransom and giving into these demands comes with risks. Most importantly, there is no way of knowing whether you will actually receive the decryptor. Keep in mind that you are dealing with cybercriminals, and there is nothing stopping them from simply taking your money and not sending the decryptor. It has happened to a lot of users in the past and it’s not impossible that it will happen in your case as well. Furthermore, the reason ransomware is so widespread is that victims pay the ransom. As long as cybercriminals make a profit, ransomware will continue to be a problem.
Currently, you will not be able to find a free XHAMSTER ransomware decryptor. That may change in the future so if you are out of options, we suggest backing up the encrypted files and waiting for a free decryptor to be released. However, you should be very careful about where you get decryptors from because there are a lot of fake ones that could infect your computer with additional malware. NoMoreRansom is a good site to find free decryptors. If the decryptor for XHAMSTER Ransomware ever becomes available, you would be able to find it on NoMoreRansom.
How does ransomware infect a computer?
File-encrypting malware threats like XHAMSTER ransomware are distributed in many different ways. That includes email attachments, ads, malicious advertising, etc. Generally, users who have bad online habits are much more likely to pick up malware infections. Developing better browsing habits should help users avoid a lot of malicious infections. So we strongly suggest taking the time to develop better habits.
Malicious actors often use malicious spam to distribute their malware. They send emails with malicious attachments to users whose email addresses have been leaked in the past. The email addresses are purchased from various hacker forums. Users can check whether their email addresses have been leaked on HaveIBeenPwned. If your email address is among those leaked, you need to be extra cautious with emails that contain attachments. Fortunately, malicious emails are usually quite obvious. Among the most noticeable signs is grammar/spelling mistakes in emails that are supposed to be official correspondence from companies whose services users use. Malicious email senders usually pretend to be from legitimate companies but if the emails are full of mistakes, it becomes quite obvious. Malicious senders’ email addresses also often do not look legitimate. They look quite random and are made up of random combinations of letters and numbers. Lastly, when the sender should know your name but addresses you as “Customer”, “Member”, “User”, etc., you should be suspicious. But in some cases, malicious emails are more sophisticated. For example, if they target someone in particular and have the necessary information. This is why you should scan all unsolicited email attachments with anti-virus software or VirusTotal before opening them.
Users who pirate copyrighted content are also much more likely to pick up malware infections. For example, torrent websites are often poorly regulated, which allows malicious actors to upload torrents with malware in them. Malicious torrents are usually for movies, TV shows, video games, software, etc., essentially anything that’s popular at the time. So users who pirate are not only stealing content but are also putting their computers and data in danger.
XHAMSTER Ransomware removal
We caution you to not attempt to remove XHAMSTER Ransomware manually because you could end up doing even more damage. Furthermore, unless you know exactly what to do, you might not fully delete XHAMSTER Ransomware, which could later allow the ransomware to recover. If that happens and you connect to your backup, your backed-up files would become encrypted as well. Instead, you should opt to use an anti-virus program. Once the ransomware is gone from your computer, you can start file recovery if you have a backup. However, if you do not have copies of your files stored somewhere safe, your only option is to wait for a free decryptor. While there currently is no free XHAMSTER Ransomware decryptor, it’s not impossible that it will be released in the future.
WiperSoft.com is not sponsored, affiliated, linked to or owned by malware developers or distributors that are referred to in this article. The article does NOT endorse or promote malicious programs. The intention behind it is to present useful information that will help users to detect and eliminate malware from their computer by using WiperSoft and/or the manual removal guide.
The article should only be used for educational purposes. If you follow the instructions provided in the article, you agree to be bound by this disclaimer. We do not guarantee that the article will aid you in completely removing the malware from your PC. Malicious programs are constantly developing, which is why it is not always easy or possible to clean the computer by using only the manual removal guide.
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