Heets ransomware removal instructions
What is Heets?
Heets is a malicious program that belongs to the Dharma family. These programs are categorized as ransomware. Like most computer infections of this type, cyber criminals employ Heets to encrypt data and make ransom demands. Once files are encrypted, they are renamed by adding the ".heets" extension, an email address, and a unique victim ID. For example, "1.jpg" might be be named to "1.jpg.id-1E857D00.[email@example.com].heets" after encryption. Heets also generates a ransom message within the "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" file and displays a ransom demand pop-up window.
The "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" file contains a few sentences stating that all files were encrypted and two email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) should be used to contact the cyber criminals who developed Heets ransomware. The pop-up window contains more details. There is an ID number that must be included in the email when contacting the ransomware developers. Heets's developers urge victims to contact them immediately, since (according to them) the cost of decryption depends on how quickly they are contacted. Once contacted, they should provide a cryptocurrency wallet address for the ransom payment, however, they also offer free decryption of one file that can be carried out prior to payment - this, supposedly 'proof' that they can be trusted and have the tool capable of decrypting the files encrypted by Heets. They urge victims not to use any other tools for decryption or to rename the encrypted files - they state that this might cause permanent damage/data loss or increase the cost of decryption. Even if these cyber criminals decrypt a file free of charge, they cannot be trusted. They ignore victims once payments are made and people are usually scammed. Unfortunately, most ransomware-type programs encrypt data using cryptography algorithms (symmetric or asymmetric). Therefore, encrypted data cannot be decrypted without using the correct tool. Only specific ransomware developers can provide these decryption tools, and they are not free. To retrieve files free of charge, we recommend that you use a data backup created before the computer was infected with ransomware.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
Most ransomware-type programs have similar behavior. They encrypt data and display ransom demand messages (pop-up windows, text files, desktop wallpapers, and so on). Common differences are cryptography used to encrypt data and cost of decryption. Note that cyber criminals design ransomware-type programs to be 'uncrackable' and thus there is no way to decrypt data free of charge, unless the ransomware is not fully developed or contains bugs/flaws. Therefore, generate regular data backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices. Otherwise, backups might be encrypted with other data stored on the computer. Some examples of other ransomware-type programs are VegaLocker, Jupstb, and KARLS.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
One of the most common ways ransomware developers proliferate these computer infections is through spam campaigns (emails). Cyber criminals send emails that contain malicious attachments designed to download and install ransomware (or other high-risk infections). Some examples of files that cyber criminals use are Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archive files (RAR, ZIP), executable files (.exe), and so on. These attachments can infect computers only if they are opened. Another way to become a victim of ransomware is through a malicious program called a Trojan. These programs cause chain infections - once installed, they install other malicious programs. Untrustworthy/unofficial websites such as freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, or tools such as Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, and so on) and other similar sources are also used by cyber criminals who attempt to infect people's computers. Using such channels to download files, users often download and install computer infections. Fake software updaters are used to install ransomware (or other malicious programs). These tools download and install infections rather than installing the promised updates, or they exploit bugs/flaws of outdated software installed on the system. Use of software cracking tools can also result in computers infections. These tools supposedly activate paid (licensed) software or operating systems free of charge (many tools operate in this way). Unfortunately, cyber criminals employ then to install malware - in this way, people often install ransomware (or other infections) rather than having any software activated.
|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 Heets virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
Do not to use software cracking tools. They are illegal (using them is classed as cyber crime) and can infect computers rather than activating software or operating systems. Download and update software with caution. Do not open attachments (or web links) included in emails received from unknown, untrustworthy or suspicious addresses. Avoid opening files that are attached to irrelevant emails. Use implemented functions or tools provided by official developers only when updating software that is installed on your computer. Various third party tools should not be used (fake, unofficial updaters). Avoid downloading software from untrustworthy/unofficial websites, using third party downloaders, or other sources mentioned earlier. Finally, have reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed and enabled. These tools can prevent computer infections by malicious programs. If your computer is already infected with Heets, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in Heets 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 Heets text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):
Text presented in Heets ransomware text file:
all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Screenshot of files encrypted by Heets (the ".heets" extension includes an email address and a unique ID):
Heets ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of Heets 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 Heets virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Heets?
- STEP 1. Heets virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Heets 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 Heets 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 Heets 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 Heets 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 Heets 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 Heets 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 Heets ransomware: