Bear Ransomware

Also Known As: Bear virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Bear ransomware removal instructions

What is Bear?

Discovered by Jakub Kroustek, the Bear virus is a new variant of Dharma ransomware-type infections. Like most infections of this type, Bear is designed to encrypt files and make them unusable until the ransom is paid. It renames each encrypted file by adding the ".Bear" extension and including an ID and email address. For example, "1.jpg" might become "1.jpg.id-1E857D00.[Grizzly@airmail.cc].Bear". It also creates a ransom demand message within the "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" text file and a pop-up window.

The message within "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" simply states that all data has been locked, and to decrypt files, ransomware victims must contact Bear developers using the grizzly@airmail.cc or grizzlymail@qq.com email addresses. The message within the pop-up window informs Bear victims that files have been encrypted due to a 'security problem' with the computer. An ID is also provided that must be used when contacting criminals. According to Bear developers, the cost (size of ransom) depends on how quickly they are contacted, and the decryption tool is provided only when the ransom is paid. These cyber criminals also offer 'free decryption' of one file as a gesture that they can be trusted. They urge people not to attempt to decrypt files using third party software - according to them, such attempts might result in permanent data loss or increased cost of decryption. Note that cyber criminals cannot be trusted and provide no decryption tools or keys, even if ransom demands are met. In summary, people are scammed. Unfortunately, there are currently no tools capable of decrypting files encrypted by Bear. It is not even known whether files are encrypted using a symmetric or asymmetric cryptography algorithm. Typically, a unique decryption key is generated for each victim, all keys are stored on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals. The best possible (free) solution is to retrieve files using an existing backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

Bear decrypt instructions

Other ransomware infections similar to Bear include DataWait, BlackHat and Epoblockl. These are just some examples from many ransomware-type viruses available. Typically, all ransomware infections are very similar and share the same purpose: to encrypt files and to demand payments in return for decryption tools/keys. Common differences between these viruses are ransom amount and cryptography algorithm used for encryption. In most cases, ransomware-type infections are uncrackable and victims are encouraged to contact cyber criminals. File recovery is possible only if a virus is not fully developed or contains bugs/flaws. To prevent data loss, we recommend that you maintain regular backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is difficult to determine exactly how cyber criminals proliferate the Bear virus, however, cyber criminals often proliferate these infections using spam email campaigns, trojans, untrustworthy software download sources, and fake software updaters. Spam email campaigns spread viruses through malicious email attachments (usually, Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, archive files, executables, and so on). The main purpose of these campaigns is to trick people into opening the attachments, which then allow download and installation of viruses. Trojans are malicious programs that proliferate other viruses, thus causing chain infections. Free file hosting and freeware download websites, various peer-to-peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), and other third party software download sources are often used by cyber criminals who present malicious files (executables) as legitimate. In these cases, they trick people into downloading and installing infections. Fake software updaters often download viruses rather than the updates or exploit outdated software bugs/flaws.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, browse the web, and download, install and update software with care. Do not open attachments or links that are presented in emails sent from unknown/unidentified addresses. If the email seem irrelevant, ignore it. Do not use third party downloaders, installers or other similar software. Research shows that these tools are often used to proliferate rogue applications or other unwanted software. We strongly recommend that you use official tools and functions to update installed software. Other sources might lead to inadvertent installation of unwanted software or even high-risk viruses. Have anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed (and active) - this can prevent computer infection. If your computer is already infected with Bear, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Bear ransomware pop-up window:

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail Grizzly@airmail.cc
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese e-mails:Grizzlymail@qq.com
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
https://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
http://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/
Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

Screenshot of Bear text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):

Bear text file

Text presented in Bear ransomware text file:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email Grizzly@airmail.cc or Grizzlymail@qq.com 

Screenshot of files encrypted by Bear (".Bear" extension):

Files encrypted by Bear

Bear ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Bear virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Bear virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

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 Bear 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 Bear 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 Bear 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 Bear 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 Bear, 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 such as Bear ransomware.

Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.

Controll Folder Access

Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.

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 Bear ransomware: