How to uninstall Eight ransomware from your computer

Also Known As: Eight virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

Eight ransomware removal instructions

What is Eight ransomware?

Eight is malicious software and part of the Phobos ransomware family. It encrypts files, changes their filenames, creates a ransom message and displays another in a pop-up window. Eight renames encrypted files by adding the victim's ID and use_harrd@protonmail.com email address, and by appending the ".eight" extension to filenames. For example, it would rename a file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.id[1E857D00-2776].[use_harrd@protonmail.com].eight", and so on. It creates a ransom message within a text file (".info.txt") and displays another in a pop-up window ("info.hta"). Updated variants of this ransomware use ".[bondy.weinholt@aol.com].eight", ".[fidelako@int.pl].eight", ".[shelfit@airmail.cc].eight", ".[bertylarwayorstoner@jabb.im].eight", ".[ICQ@HONESTHORSE].eight", ".[robertwels@airmail.cc].eight", ".[sorysorysory@cock.li].eight", ".[helprecoveryfiles@cock.li].eight", ".[ezequielanthon@aol.com].eight", ".[xsupportx@countermail.com].eight", ".[messi_tr_2020@protonmail.com].eight", ".[mccreight.ellery@tutanota.com].eight", ".[verious1@cock.li].eight", ".[willi.stroud@aol.com].eight", ".[foxbox@xmpp.cz].eight", ".[hershel_houghton@aol.com].eight", ".[jewkeswilmer@aol.com].eight", ".[patiscaje@airmail.cc].eight", ".[decryptfilesonlinebuy@pm.me].eight", ".[ICQ@Horseleader].eight", ".[Bk_Data@protonmail.com].eight", ".[Petya20@tuta.io].eight", ".[SupportC4@elude.in].eight", ".[decrypt2021@elude.in].eight", ".[wang_team888@aol.com].eight", ".[barnabas_simpson@aol.com].eight", ".[emerson.parkerdd@aol.com].eight" and ".[brokenbrow.teodorico@aol.com].eight" extensions for encrypted files.

The ".info.txt" text file contains two email addresses (se_harrd@protonmail.com and useHHard@cock.li), which can be used to contact Eight's developers. The pop-up window states that the cost of a decryption tool depends on how quickly they are contacted. Before making payment, victims are permitted to send up to five files to Eight's developers, which they offer to decrypt free of charge. It is mentioned that these files should not contain valuable information. Victims are also warned not to rename encrypted files or try to decrypt them with other software, since this might cause permanent data loss or increase cost of decryption. Unfortunately, there are no other tools capable of decrypting files compromised by Eight ransomware. Therefore, only the developers have the correct tools. Despite this, do not trust cyber criminals (pay any ransom), since there is a high probability that you will be scammed. Victims often receive no decryption tools even after payment. In such cases, the only way to recover files free of charge is to restore them from a backup. Note that removing ransomware prevents further encryption, however, already encrypted files remain inaccessible even after removal.

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

Eight decrypt instructions (info.hta)

There are many programs that are categorized as ransomware. Some examples are Teslarvng, CoronaVi2022 and MDEN. Generally, this software locks (encrypts) files and keeps them inaccessible unusable unless victims decrypt them with specific tools/keys that can be purchased from ransomware developers. Common variables are cost of decryption, and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses to encrypt files. It is generally impossible to decrypt files without tools held only by the cyber criminals, unless the ransomware contains bugs/flaws or is not finished. In most cases, the only way to avoid data and financial loss caused by ransomware is to restore files from a backup. Therefore, all data should be backed up on remote servers or unplugged storage devices.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Most cyber criminals proliferate ransomware and other malicious programs using one of the following methods: spam campaigns/emails, Trojans, untrusted software download channels, software 'cracking' tools and fake updaters. Malware is often spread by sending emails with malicious attachments (or web links that download malicious files). Typically, cyber criminals attach Microsoft Office documents, archive files (ZIP, RAR), executable files (.exe), PDF documents or JavaScript files. When opened/executed, these infect operating systems with malware. Trojans are malicious programs that cause damage only if they are already installed on the computer. When installed, they open 'backdoors' for other programs of this kind to infiltrate. Trojans often cause chain infections in this way. Examples of dubious software download channels are free file hosting, freeware download websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial pages, third party installers, etc. Cyber criminals often use these to host malicious files. Users who open files that are downloaded through such sources risk causing installation of malware. Software 'cracking'/unofficial activation tools supposedly activate licensed software free of charge (bypass paid activation), however, they often install malware and do not activate any software. Fake software updaters usually cause damage by exploiting vulnerabilities of outdated software that is installed on the operating system, or by installing malicious software rather than updates and fixes.

Threat Summary:
Name Eight virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension .eight
Ransom Demand Message info.txt, info.hta
Cyber Criminal Contact use_harrd@protonmail.com, useHHard@cock.li
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Ulise.99735), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Phobos.C), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), 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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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections

It is not safe to open attachments or web links that are attached to/included in irrelevant emails, especially if such emails are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. If there is any reason to believe that an email is untrusted, leave the contents unopened. All files and programs should be downloaded from official and trustworthy websites (and through direct links). All the other channels/tools mentioned above should not be trusted or used. The same applies to installation through third party installers. Software must be updated and activated only with implemented functions and tools designed by official developers. Furthermore, it is illegal to activate any licensed software with 'cracking' (unofficial activation) tools. Keep systems safe by regularly scanning them for threats with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If your computer is already infected with Eight, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Eight ransomware pop-up window ("info.hta"):

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 use_harrd@protonmail.com
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00-2776
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to this e-mail:useHHard@cock.li
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 5 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.
https://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/
Attention!
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 Eight text file ("info.txt"):

Eight ransomware text file (info.txt)

Text in this message:

!!!All of your files are encrypted!!!
To decrypt them send e-mail to this address: use_harrd@protonmail.com.
If we don't answer in 24h., send e-mail to this address: useHHard@cock.li

Screenshot of files encrypted by Eight (".eight" extension):

Files encrypted by Eight ransomware (.eight extension)

Update 21 April 2020 - Criminals have recently released a different version of Eight ransomware. The appended file extension remains the same, however, the HTML application ("info.hta") and text file ("info.txt") are different.

Screenshot of the updated HTML application window ("info.hta"):

Updated Eight ransomware info.hta file

Text presented within:

Files are locked* but not corrupted
Your computer is infected with a virus.
Files are locked* but not corrupted.
Send an email hershel_houghton@aol.com, specify in the subject unique identifier 1- and you will definitely be helped to recover.
*you can send us a couple of files and we will return the restored ones to prove that only we can do it
IMPORTANT:
1. the infection was due to vulnerabilities in your software
2. if you want to make sure that it is impossible to recover files using third-party software, do this not on all files, otherwise you may lose all data.
3. only communication through our email can guarantee file recovery for you. We are not responsible for the actions of third parties who promise to help you - most often they are scammers.
4. if we do not respond to you within 24 hours, send a message to the email excentrique_inventeur@aol.com
5. if you need an alternative communication channel - write a request by e-mail
6. our goal is to return your data, but if you do not contact us, we will not succeed

Screenshot of the updated text file ("info.txt"):

Updated Eight ransomware info.txt file

Text presented within:

Your computer is infected with a virus.
Files are locked* but not corrupted.

Send an email hershel_houghton@aol.com and you will definitely be helped to recover.

*you can send us a couple of files and we will return the restored ones to prove that only we can do it

IMPORTANT:
1. the infection was due to vulnerabilities in your software
2. if you want to make sure that it is impossible to recover files using third-party software, do this not on all files, otherwise you may lose all data.
3. only communication through our email can guarantee file recovery for you. We are not responsible for the actions of third parties who promise to help you - most often they are scammers.
4. if we do not respond to you within 24 hours, send a message to the email excentrique_inventeur@aol.com
5. if you need an alternative communication channel - write a request by e-mail
6. our goal is to return your data, but if you do not contact us, we will not succeed

Eight 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:
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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 Eight 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 Eight 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 Eight 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 Eight 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 Eight, 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 Eight 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, and 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 Eight 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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Eight 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 Eight virus on your mobile device.
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