How to eliminate BORISHORSE ransomware infection?

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

BORISHORSE ransomware removal instructions


BORISHORSE is yet another variant if Dharma ransomware infection. The purpose of this malware is to stealthily infiltrate systems and to encrypt stored data. While doing so, BORISHORSE renames each compromised by file by appending victim's unique ID, developers' email address and ".BORISHORSE" extension (thus ransomware's name). For instance "1.jpg" would be renamed to something like "[1E857D00-2271].[].BORISHORSE". Additionally, BORISHORSE generates two files: "info.hta" (HTML application which displays a pop-up window) and "info.txt", dropping them on victim's desktop. BORISHORSE was firstly discovered by Raby.

The created text file contains a short message informing victims about the encryption and encouraging them to contact cyber criminals if they want to restore data. Meanwhile, pop-up window (HTML application) provides way more details. It basically says that developers are the only ones who can decrypt compromised data. In order to receive the decryption tool, each victim has to pay a ransom. The price isn't specified - all payment/decryption instructions are provided via email. Yet we should inform victims that the size of ransom usually fluctuates between $500 and $1500. The only thing that message notes is that payment must be submitted using Bitcoin cryptocurrency. BORISHORSE's developers also offer a free decryption of 3 files. However, the files cannot contain any valuable information and their total size cannot exceed 4MB (non archived). Crooks do this with an intention of gaining victim's trust. However, these persons should never be trusted, because ransomware developers in general are notorious for ignoring victims once payments are submitted. In other words, vast majority of victims send money and get nothing in return. For this reason, all encouragements to submit payments and even contact these persons should be ignored. Unluckily, there are no tools capable of cracking BORISHORSE's encryption and restoring data for free. The only possible solution is to restore everything from a backup.

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

BORISHORSE decrypt instructions

There are hundreds of ransomware-type infections that share similarities with BORISHORSE (i.e., Masok, ERIS RANSOMWARE v2, GermanWiper. Almost all of them are designed to compromise data (typically, by encrypting) so that developers could make ransom demands. The only major differences are size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, encryptions are often performed using cryptographies like RSA, AES, and other that generate unique decryption keys. For this reason, it is virtually impossible to restore data without developers interference. The only possible scenarios are ransomware being still in development and/or having certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is stored locally, it is hard-coded, or something like that). Ransomware present a strong case for maintaining regular data backups. However, storing them in a remote server or unplugged storage device is very important, because locally stored backups will be encrypted alongside with regular data. Additionally, we advise you to have multiple backup copies stored in different locations, due to the fact that there's always a chance that used server/storage device will be damaged.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware-type infections are typically proliferated using spam emails, third party software download sources, trojans, and fake software updaters/cracks. Spam campaigns are used send hundreds of thousands of deceptive emails that contain malicious attachments and messages presenting them as important documents (e.g., invoices, bills, receipts, etc.) Crooks do this to create the impression of legitimacy and trick recipients into opening. Unofficial download sources (Peer-to-Peer [P2P] networks [e.g., torrents, eMule, etc.], free file hosting websites, freeware download sites, and similar) are also used in a similar manner. Cyber criminals present malicious executables as legitimate/genuine software, thereby tricking recipients into manual download/installation of malware. Next go trojans, which are malicious lightweight applications that stealthily infiltrate computers with the intention to download and install additional malware. Fake software updaters usually infect systems by either abusing old software's bugs/flaws or simply downloading/installing malware instead of the promised updates. Same goes for fake cracking tools which inject malware rather than providing users with access to software's paid features. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and reckless behavior.

Threat Summary:
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .BORISHORSE (this ransomware also appends filenames with victim's unique ID and developers' email address).
Ransom Demanding Message info.hta (HTML application), info.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact, (Jabber client), (Jabber client)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Ulise.39944), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Phobos.C), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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 BORISHORSE 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 start with, users must be very cautious when browsing the Internet, as well as downloading, installing, and updating software. Always handle all email attachments with care. Files/links received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. Same goes for attachments that are irrelevant and do not concern you. Desired software should be downloaded only from official sources, preferably using direct download links. Proper software maintenance is also paramount. This means that you should always keep installed applications up-to-date and to achieve this use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Third party downloaders/installers/updaters typically include rogue apps, which is why such tools should not be used. Users should also know that software piracy is a cyber crime and, if that wasn't enough, the risk of infections is extremely high, since most of cracking tools are fake. Lastly, you should always have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running - tools of this type are more than likely to detect and eliminate most of infections before they harm the system. The key to computer safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with BORISHORSE, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in BORISHORSE ransomware's pop-up window ("info.hta" - HTML application):

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
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00-2271
If there is no response from our mail, you can install the Jabber client and write to us in support of
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 tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1-3 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 4Mb (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:
Jabber client installation instructions:
Download the jabber (Pidgin) client from hxxps://
After installation, the Pidgin client will prompt you to create a new account.
Click "Add"
In the "Protocol" field, select XMPP
In "Username" - come up with any name
In the field "domain" - enter any jabber-server, there are a lot of them, for example -
Create a password
At the bottom, put a tick "Create account"
Click add
If you selected "domain" -, then a new window should appear in which you will need to re-enter your data:
You will need to follow the link to the captcha (there you will see the characters that you need to enter in the field below)
If you don't understand our Pidgin client installation instructions, you can find many installation tutorials on youtube - hxxps://
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 BORISHORSE's text file ("info.txt"):

BORISHORSE text file

Text presented within this file:

Want return your files?Write to our xmpp account -
The easiest way - register here hxxps://
After download pidgin client hxxps://
Press Add account,choose protocol xmpp and put username from where are you sign up
Domain -
Put your password and press add
When you log in press Buddies --> Add Buddy-->and in Buddys username put beautydonkey
After you will see added account,click twice on it and write your message
You can send us 1-3 test files. The total size of files must be less than 10Mb (non archived),
we will decrypt them and send to you that we are real
If you have a problem with xmpp you can write to our mail

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

Files encrypted by BORISHORSE

BORISHORSE ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of BORISHORSE 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 BORISHORSE 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 BORISHORSE 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 BORISHORSE 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 BORISHORSE 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 BORISHORSE 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 BORISHORSE, 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 BORISHORSE ransomware.

Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes "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's more information on how to get this update and add 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 BORISHORSE 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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
BORISHORSE virus QR code
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