888 ransomware removal instructions
What is 888?
First discovered by malware security researcher, Jakub Kroustek, 888 is a new variant of high-risk ransomware called Dharma. This malware is designed to encrypt most stored files. In doing so, 888 appends filenames with the ".888" extension plus the user's unique ID and developer's email address. For instance, "sample.jpg" might be renamed to something like "sample.jpg.id-1E857D00.[email@example.com].888". Following successful encryption, 888 generates a text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt", placed on the desktop) and opens a pop-up window.
The new text file contains a message stating that data is encrypted and that victims must contact developers if they wish to restore their data. The pop-up window, however, contains much more information: it states that, to decrypt data, victims must contact cyber criminals and also that a tool is necessary for decryption. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. It is currently not known whether 888 developers use a symmetric or asymmetric encryption algorithm. In any case, decryption requires a unique key generated individually for each victim. All keys are stored on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals. Therefore, to receive a decryption tool (with the key embedded within), victims must pay a ransom. The cost is not specified (all details are provided via email), however, the cost depends on how quickly victims decide to contact the developers. The amount must be paid using the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. In most cases, the size of ransom fluctuates between $500 and $1500. Regardless of the cost, do not pay. Research shows that cyber criminals often ignore victims once payments are submitted. Therefore, users are scammed. We strongly advise you to ignore all requests to pay ransoms or contact these people. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking 888 encryption and restoring data free of charge. Therefore, the only solution is to restore everything from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
The internet is full of ransomware-type viruses similar to 888. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) UNIT09, LockerGoga, Cyspt, XCry, and Ahihi. All of these viruses encrypt files and make ransom demands. In most cases, ransomware-type viruses have just two major differences: size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, most of these viruses employ algorithms such as RSA, AES, and others that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally, or similar), decrypting data manually (without developers involvement) is impossible. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, store them on remote servers and unplugged storage devices. Locally stored backups will probably be encrypted together with regular data.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
It is currently unconfirmed exactly how developers proliferate 888. In most cases, however, cyber criminals proliferate ransomware using the following methods: spam email campaigns, third party software download sources, fake software updaters, cracks, and trojans. Spam emails are delivered with deceptive messages encouraging users to open attached links/files, however, doing so often results in a computer infections. Unofficial download sources present malicious executables as legitimate software - criminals trick users into downloading and installing malware. Fake updaters infect computers by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. Software 'cracks' supposedly allow users to bypass software activation, however, criminals often use them to proliferate malware. Rather than activating applications, users infect their computers. Trojans are malicious applications that, once infiltrated, cause "chain infections". They stealthily download and install additional malware.
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Symptoms||Can'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 methods||Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.|
|Damage||All 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.|
To eliminate 888 virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Think twice before opening email attachments. Files/links that are irrelevant and those received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. Furthermore, download programs from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus these tools should not be used. The same rule applies to software updates. It is important to keep installed programs and operating systems up-to-date, however, this should be achieved through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. You should never attempt to crack programs, since using pirated software is considered a cyber crime and you also risk computer infection. We strongly recommend that you have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running, since these tools can detect and eliminate malware before any damage is done. The key to computer safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with 888, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in 888 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese e-mails:email@example.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.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
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 888 text file:
Text presented within this file:
all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email firstname.lastname@example.org
Screenshot of files encrypted by 888 (".888" extension):
888 ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of 888 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 888 virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is 888?
- STEP 1. 888 virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. 888 ransomware removal using System Restore.
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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the 888 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.
2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window, click "Next".
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 888 ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).
6. In the opened window, click "Yes".
7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining 888 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 888 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.
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 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 888 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.
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:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- 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 888 ransomware: