HydraCrypt Ransomware Virus Removal

Welcome to our HydraCrypt ransomware removal instructions. This article intends to help you remove HydraCrypt from your system and is designed to work with all Windows versions.

If you are reading this article you are in serious trouble. Likely all of your files have obtained strange file extensions (Hydracrpt) and cannot be opened. It is also likely that HydraCrypt has revealed its presence on your machine and is demanding a hefty ransom in BitCoins.

HydraCrypt Virus
HydraCrypt Ransomware

HydraCrypt is nasty, but not all hope is lost

The first and most important thing to remember is not to panic. The creators of this ransomware rely on shock and awe tactics to rob people from their money. Because of this you are seeing a countdown timer – to put extra pressure on you and force you into a bad decision. Ransomware viruses like HydraCrypt like to claim that the only way to recover your encrypted files is to pay the demanded ransom, but this is not always the case. There are alternative methods we can employ in order to recover your files. However, before we get there it is important to talk about the virus itself. The ransomware can only be dealt with if one has at least some basic understanding of how it works.

Some quick facts about HydraCrypt

HydraCrypt is a ransomware virus from a long family of viruses started by Cryptowall and Cryptlocker back in 2013. This family follows a relatively simple scheme – once it infects the targeted computer it will make a list of all files important to the user and start encrypting them. Documents, photos, videos, archives – nothing that contains data is spared, although the virus will generally leave alone system and program operational files. The encryption process is generally slow – for big hard drives full with data it may take several hours or even days. During this period the ransomware remains invisible, but its drain on the CPU can be felt as general slowdown and lag of the whole system. Once all files are encrypted the virus will make itself known and demand the ransom money.

  • One should never pay the ransom asked by viruses like HydraCrypt until all other options are exhausted. Remember that you are dealing with criminals, who are under no obligation to keep their end of the bargain. They will also use the money to developer newer and more dangerous viruses. All techniques described in this guide are safe to use and will not put your files in any danger and the ransomware cannot know if you tried them first – despite what many ransomware viruses claim or threaten with.

Distribution methods used by HydraCrypt

Recently, thanks to the rising popularity of ransomware hackers began creating Trojan horse type of viruses designed specifically to install ransomware on computers infected by them. Once a Trojan infects a computer it is able to install the ransomware AND allow it to bypass all system defenses. The Trohan then remains dormant and it is possible to activate it in order to install future copies of the modified ransomware. For this reason, it is very important not only to deal with the ransomware itself, but also to find if it has been installed by a Trojan and remove the Trojan as well.

Of course, there is always the possibility that the ransomware has been installed in a more traditional, direct way. HydraCrypt is usually contained in the form of self-extracting ZIP or RAR archive. This archive can be dropped by a number of carries including, but not limited to:

  1. Attachments to email spam bombs – this is a very old trick, but it is constantly getting refreshed with new tricks. Usually the email will mention some form of a reward or business request and will contain a file to open. Downloading and running the file will install the ransomware.
  2. Direct installation from an infected link/site – hackers often maintain fakes sites designed to fool search engines. Anyone looking for something specific on the internet may end up on such an engine and download the infected file.
  3. Online Ads and corrupted links in forums and blogs – another popular method. It involves the usage of bot networks and spam engines that saturate forums, blogs and message boards with spam links.
Threat HydraCrypt
Classification Ransomware
Security Alert
High. A ransomware virus is as bad as it gets
Negative Effects Encryption of user’s files, ransom demands, computer slowdown. 

HydraCrypt Ransomware Virus Removal

Step 1

Reveal Hidden Files. If you don’t know how to do this, ask us in the comments.

Step 2

Start Button => Search=> Copy/Paste “notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts” => Enter.

Hosts File

If you notice other IPs different from the localhost IPs – you might be in danger!

Localhost IPs

Ask for additional help in the comments.

Step 3

Right click on the Taskbar => Start Task Manager.

Start Windows Task Manager

Navigate to Processes.

Processes in Task Manager

Locate any suspicious processes associated with HydraCrypt. Right click on the process = > Open File Location => End Process = > Delete the directories with the suspicious files.

Step 4

Start Button => Search => Type:

  • %AppData%
  • %LocalAppData%
  • %ProgramData%
  • %WinDir%
  • %Temp%

Type in Search

Hit Enter after each new search. Check each Folder and delete recent entries.

Step 5

Get Your Files Back!

The only way you can do that is by backpedaling to a moment when you were not infected. You can achieve this in one of two ways:

  • System Restore. Start Button => Search field => Type System Restore=>Enter.
    Choose a Restore Point.
    Restore Point
    Click Next until the process has been completed.
  • Google and Download a Program called ShadowExplorer. Install and open it => Choose the Drive letter (C:, D:, F:, etc.) and date you want to restore information from => Right click on the files you want restored => Export.

If you run into any trouble – ask us for help in the comments section!

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Daniel Sadakov has a degree in Information Technology and specializes in web and mobile cyber security. He harbors a strong detestation for anything and everything malicious and has committed his resources and time to battling all manners of web and mobile threats. He has founded MobileSecurityZone.com , a website dedicated to covering the top tech stories and providing useful tips for the everyday user, in an effort to reach and help more people. In his off time he is an avid book reader, occasional PC gamer and affectionate football spectator. Daniel would hardly begrudge anyone who might call him a computer nerd, yet this might be just the thing one needs in case of a security issue.