Ahihi Ransomware

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

Ahihi ransomware removal instructions

What is Ahihi?

Discovered by MalwareHunterTeam, Ahihi is a ransomware-type computer infection that infiltrates computers and encrypts all data stored, thus making it impossible for users to access their files. Most ransomware infections add a specific extension to each encrypted file, however, Ahihi does not take this action. This virus creates a ransom demand message within a "README.txt" text file and runs a process in Task Manager called "BangLuongThang02".

Unlike most ransomware-type programs, Ahihi does not make ransom demands. The "README.txt" file simply contains a message stating that all files have been encrypted and victims cannot recover them. Despite this, it is very likely that the Ahihi virus will be updated in sometime in the future and then start making ransom demands. Cyber criminals who develop these malicious programs use cryptography algorithms (symmetric or asymmetric) that generate unique decryption keys. Ransomware developers usually store these keys (or tools) on remote servers that can be accessed only by them. Generally, it is impossible to recover files (decrypt them) without these keys. Cyber criminals use this situation to their advantage by blackmailing victims. Even if it was possible to contact Ahihi's developers, we do not recommend that you do this. Most cyber criminals (ransomware developers) ignore victims after tools or keys required for decryption are purchased (i.e. ransoms are paid). Unfortunately, there are no free tools available to decrypt files encrypted by Ahihi. The only free solution in these cases is to use a data backup created earlier and restore files (data) from there.

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

Ahihi decrypt instructions

Most ransomware programs are very similar. Examples of other ransomware-type infections include BlackRouter, Boom, and Vulston. They are designed to encrypt data and keep it in that state until the ransom is paid (a decryption tool is purchased). The main differences between these malicious programs are cryptography algorithm used to encrypt data and size of ransom (i.e. the cost of tool or key required for successful decryption). Decryption without the involvement of cyber criminals (ransomware developers) is impossible, unless the virus is not fully developed or contains bugs/flaws. Therefore, create regular data backups and retain them on unplugged storage devices or remote servers, otherwise they will be encrypted together with other data stored on the computer.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is not known exactly how Ahihi's developers proliferate this malware, however, common methods include using spam email campaigns, fake software updaters, untrustworthy third party software download sources, and trojan-type infections. Spam campaigns infect computers through malicious email attachments, which are usually Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, archive files, executable files (.exe), and so on. Generally, opening these attachments results in download and installation of various malicious software (including ransomware). Fake software updaters exploit bugs and flaws of outdated software and download/install malware rather than the updates promised. Dubious software download sources such as P2P networks (eMule, torrents, and so on), free file hosting and freeware download websites, and other similar sources, present malicious executables (.exe files) or other infected files as legitimate. In fact, these sources are used simply to trick users into downloading and installing viruses. Trojans cause chain infections. If installed, they proliferate other computer infections. In summary, having these programs installed can be the reason for ransomware infections.

Threat Summary:
NameAhihi virus
Threat TypeRansomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
SymptomsCan't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methodsInfected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
DamageAll files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.
Removal

To eliminate Ahihi virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To avoid ransomware-type and other computer infections, browse the web, install, download and update software with care. Do not open attachments included within irrelevant emails received from unknown/untrustworthy addresses. To update software or operating systems, use only implemented functions or tools provided by official developers. Do not use third party tools. Furthermore, do not download software from untrustworthy and unofficial websites or using third party downloaders, peer-to-peer networks, and so on. Third party download/installation set-ups contain rogue apps that cause various computer infections or download/install rogue apps. Have reputable anti-spyware/anti-virus software installed and keep it enabled. If your computer is already infected with Ahihi, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Ahihi ransomware text file "README.txt" :

Your files have been encrypted. Unfortunately, you cannot get your files back. We are sorry ^.^ 

Screenshot of Ahihi malicious process in Task Manager running by the name "BangLuongThang02

ahihi malicious process in task manager called BangLuongThang02

Ahihi ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Ahihi 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 Ahihi 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 Ahihi 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 Ahihi 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 Ahihi 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 Ahihi 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 Ahihi, 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 Ahihi 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 Ahihi ransomware:

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.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
Ahihi virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ahihi virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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