The HoeflerText Font Wasn't Found Scam

Also Known As: "The HoeflerText Font Wasnt Found" virus
Damage level: Severe

What is The HoeflerText Font Wasn't Found?

"The HoeflerText Font Wasn't Found" is a fake error message claiming that the Google Chrome Font Pack must be updated. Unlike other similar fake errors, "The HoeflerText Font Wasn't Found" is not displayed by malicious websites.

Cyber criminals hijack poorly-secured legitimate websites (mostly based on the WordPress content management system) and inject a Javascript code, which corrupts website text. Victims are then encouraged to download a 'font pack update' so that their websites are displayed properly.

Rather than updating the fonts, however, this download can lead to system infection with ransomware-type viruses.

Research shows that the aforementioned Javascript file checks the user's geo-location, operating system, and type of web browser. If users meet specified criteria (i.e. are located in a certain country, use Windows OS and the Google Chrome browser), the hijacked websites are displayed improperly.

The javascript file modifies text by inserting mis-encoded text symbols and other random characters. An error message is then displayed claiming that the "HoeflerText" font is missing and, therefore, victims must update Google Chrome Font Pack.

Judging on appearance alone, this pop-up may seem genuine, however, once user click "Update", ransomware-type malware is installed. This exploit kit is used to spread GandCrab, Locky, Merry Christmas, Spora, CryptoMix, and Cerber ransomware. 

Following infiltration, these viruses encrypt files and make ransom demands. Victims are unable to access their data until the ransom is paid. Cyber criminals demand thousands of dollars, but often ignore victims despite submitted payments. There is a high probability that paying will not deliver any positive result.

You can only restore your files/data from a backup. In any case, you should never trust the "The HoeflerText Font Wasn't Found" error - it is not genuine, and accepting the update will result in a high-risk computer infection.

The HoeflerText Font Wasnt Found decrypt instructions

There are dozens of fake error messages displayed by various malicious websites, however, most do not proliferate ransomware. They often claim that the system is infected or damaged in other ways. Victims are encouraged to call technical support, however, these claims are false - criminals attempt to trick victims into paying for support services that are not required.

Ransomware-type viruses are often very similar. All encrypt files and make ransom demands. The only major differences between ransomware-type viruses are size of ransom (which usually fluctuates between the equivalent of $500 and $1500 in Bitcoins) and type of encryption (symmetric/asymmetric) used. 

Distribution methods are also identical. Most ransomware is distributed via spam emails (malicious attachments), peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and other third party software download sources (torrents, freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, etc.), fake software updaters, and trojans.

Therefore, you should never open files received from suspicious emails or download software from unofficial sources. Furthermore, keep your installed applications up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite.

Bear in mind, however, that cyber criminals often employ fake updaters to proliferate various malware. Therefore, never update your software via third party tools. The key to computer safety is caution.

Here is how "The HoeflerText Font Wasn't Found" fake error appears (GIF):

The HoeflerText Font Wasnt Found GIF

Text presented within this error:

The web page you are trying to load is displayed incorrectly as it uses the “HoeflerText” font. To fix the error and display the text, your have to update the “Chrome Font Pack”

Manufacturer: Google Inc. All Rights Reserved
Current version: Chrome Font Pack 53.0.2785.89
Latest version: Chrome Font Pack 57.2.5284.21

Cyber criminals using this deceptive scheme are also targeting Firefox users:

HoeflerText font scam Firefox variant

Ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button.

Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button.

In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining ransomware files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of ransomware are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.

To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by ransomware, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

To protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs.

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.

Other tools known to remove ransomware infections:

▼ Show Discussion

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
The HoeflerText Font Wasnt Found virus QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of "The HoeflerText Font Wasnt Found" virus on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

Download Combo Cleaner

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.