Html ransomware removal guide

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

Html ransomware removal instructions

What is Html virus?

First discovered by Jakub Kroustek and belonging to the Dharma ransomware family, Html is a high-risk infection designed to infiltrate systems and encrypt most stored data. During encryption, Html appends filenames with the ".html" extension plus the user's unique ID and developer's email address. For example, "sample.jpg" might be renamed to a filename such as "[].html". Encrypted data becomes unusable and Html then opens a pop-up window and stores the "RETURN FILES.txt" text file on the desktop. Updated variants of this ransomware use ".[].html", ".[].html", ".[].html" and ".[].html" extensions for encrypted files.

The pop-up window and text file inform victims of the encryption, whilst the text file simply encourages them to contact Html's developers. The pop-up window provides more detail. It states that data is encrypted using the RSA-1024 algorithm and that a unique decryption key (tool) is necessary to restore it. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. RSA-1024 is an asymmetric encryption algorithm, and thus each victim receives two unique keys: public (encryption) and private (decryption). Restoring data without the private key is impossible. Cyber criminals hide all private keys on a remote server and victims cannot access them unless they pay a ransom - cyber criminals promise to send a decryption tool (with the key embedded within) once the ransom is paid. Criminals also offer decryption of one file (less than 1 MB, non-archived) as 'proof' that they are capable of restoring data. Note that this is merely an attempt to gain the victim's trust. The cost and other payment details are provided via email. Thus, the size of ransom is currently unknown, however, it typically fluctuates between $500 and $1500 and criminals usually demand payment using Bitcoins, Monero, Dash, Ethereum, or other cryptocurrencies. Regardless of the cost, do not pay. Research shows that criminals often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying usually gives no positive result and users simply are scammed. All requests to contact these people or pay any ransom should be ignored. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking RSA-1024 encryption and restoring data compromised by Html free of charge. The only solution is to restore everything from a backup, if one has been created.

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

Html decrypt instructions

There are dozens of ransomware-type viruses that share similarities with Html. For example, Myskle, Ghost (Jamper), and DDT. As with Html, most of these infections encrypt data so that cyber criminals are able to blackmail victims by offering paid recovery of their files. These infections typically employ cryptographies such as RSA, AES, and others that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is still in development or has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is stored locally, is hard-coded, etc.), manual decryption without developers' involvement is impossible. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular backups, however, store them on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or unplugged storage device, since locally stored backups will be compromised with regular data. Be aware that there is always the chance that servers/storage devices can be damaged. For this reason, we recommend that you have multiple backup copies stored in different locations.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware infections are often proliferated using spam email campaigns, third party software download sources, fake software updaters/cracks, and trojan-type applications. Cyber criminals use spam campaigns to send hundreds of thousands of emails that contain messages encouraging recipients to open attached links/files, which are in fact malicious. The messages are likely to present attachments as "important documents" (e.g., invoices, bills, receipts, etc.). In this way, criminals attempt to give the impression of legitimacy and increase the chance of tricking recipients into opening the files. Unofficial download sources (free file hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer [P2P] networks, freeware download websites, etc.) are also used in a similar manner. Criminals present malicious executables as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into manually downloading/installing malware. Fake update tools usually inject malware by exploiting old software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. The same applies to fake cracks - rather than activating paid software, these applications stealthily download and install malware into the system. Trojans are malicious programs that stealthily infiltrate computers by injecting additional malware. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge of these threats and careless behavior.

Threat Summary:
Name html virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .html (this ransomware also appends filenames with the victim's unique ID and developer's email address).
Ransom Demanding Message Pop-up window, RETURN FILES.txt text file.
Cyber Criminal Contact
Detection Names Avast (Win32:RansomX-gen [Ransom]), BitDefender (Trojan.Ransom.Crysis.E), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Crysis.P), Kaspersky (, Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand payment of 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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, to prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Handle all received email attachments with care. Do not open files/links that are irrelevant or received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses. You are advised to download software from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus such tools should never be used. The same applies to software updates. Keep installed applications up-to-date, but use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Be aware that software piracy is a cyber crime and the risk of infection is extremely high. Therefore, never attempt to crack installed applications. Have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running. These tools can detect and eliminate malware before the system is harmed. If your computer is already infected with Html, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Html ransomware pop-up window:

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.)
When you make sure of decryption possibility transfer the money to our bitcoin wallet. As soon as we receive the money we will send you:
1. Decryption program.
2. Detailed instruction for decryption.
3. And individual keys for decrypting your files.
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 Html text file (RETURN FILES.txt):

Html text file

Text presented within this file:

All your data is encrypted!
for return write to mail:

Screenshot of files encrypted by Html (".html" extension):

Files encrypted by Html

Html ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes 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 Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

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 Html 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 Html 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 Html 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 Html 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 Html, 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 Html 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 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 Html 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 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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html virus QR code
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