How to uninstall Hack For Life ransomware?

Also Known As: Hack For Life virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

Hack For Life ransomware removal instructions

What is Hack For Life ransomware?

Hack For Life is a part of ransomware family which is called Ouroboros. Like most program of this type it encrypts files with a strong encryption algorithm, renames all encrypted files and provides victims with instructions on what they supposed to do next. Hack For Life encrypts files with a combination of AES-256 encryption and RSA encryption, renames encrypted files by adding email address, victim's ID and appending the ".encrypt" extension to their filenames. For example, it changes "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.Email=[]ID=[DVUFDJUXNQURNNDV].encrypt", etc. It creates a ransom note named "Unlock_All_Files.txt".

As stated in the ransom note ("Unlock_All_Files.txt"), Hack For Life encrypts files with a military grade encryption algorithm which was developed in year 2020 and is being constantly updated. Victims can decrypt their files with a decryption tool that can be purchased only from Hack For Life's developers. In order to get instructions on how to purchase it victims have to write an email to and provide the assigned ID. Also, victims are offered a free decryption of some files, they can attach those files to their email. It is mentioned that price of a decryption tool depends on how fast Hack For Life's developers will be contacted. The starting price is unknown, however, it is stated that it will be doubled after 48 hours and tripled after one week. Therefore, victims supposed to pay a ransom as soon as possible. It is common that victims who trust cyber criminals (pay them a ransom) get scammed - they do not receive any tools that supposed to decrypt encrypted files even after a payment. Unfortunately, there are no other tools that could be capable o decrypting files encrypted by Hack For Life. Also, files remain encrypted even after uninstallation of ransomware (though, its removal prevents it from causing further encryptions). Typically, the only way to recover files after ransomware attack is to restore them from a created backup.

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

Hack For Life decrypt instructions (Unlock_All_Files.txt)

A couple examples of other programs of this type are Gate, LX and Tongda2000. As a rule, ransomware is designed to encrypt files and create some ransom note that contains instructions on how to contact cyber criminals, pay a ransom and/or other information. Two main variables usually are price of a decryption tool and/or key and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that is used to lock (encrypt) files. Usually there is no way to decrypt files without tools that only cyber criminals behind a particular ransomware have. That becomes possible only if ransomware has some bugs, flaws, is still in a development state. In most cases data (and financial) loss can be avoided only by restoring files from a backup. That is why it is important to have data backed up and store it on a remote server and/or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malicious software usually are proliferated through spam campaigns, Trojans, unreliable software download channels, software 'cracking' tools and fake, third party software updaters. To srpead malware via spam campaigns cyber criminals send emails that contain website links that are designed to download malicious files or malicious attachments. Some examples of files that they usually attach to their emails are Microsoft Office documents, Java Script files, PDF documents, executable files (like .exe), and archive files (like ZIP, RAR). They seek to deceive recipients into opening the attachment (or file downloaded through a link) that, if opened, installs malicious software. Third party downloaders, free file hosting, freeware download pages, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial pages and other similar channels can be used as tools to host malicious files. By opening files downloaded through such channels users risk to install malicious software. Trojans are programs that can be designed to cause chain infections: when installed, they install other malware (e.g., ransomware). Unofficial, third party activation ('cracking') tools are used by people who seek to activate licensed software for free (bypass its activation). However, these tools often are designed to install malicious programs instead of activating installed software. Fake software updating too, if used, cause damage either by installing malware instead of updating, fixing installed software, or by exploiting bugs, flaws of outdated programs.

Threat Summary:
Name Hack For Life virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .encrypt
Ransom Demanding Message Unlock_All_Files.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact
Detection Names Avast (Win64:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Ursu.747827), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win64/Filecoder.AY), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Sorena.k), 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.

To eliminate malware infections our security researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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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?

Website links and attachments in irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially if such emails are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. If a received email looks suspicious, then its contents should be left unopened. The safest way to download software is by using official websites and direct download. None of the other channels that are mentioned in the paragraph above can be trusted. Installed programs have to be updated and activated (if necessary) with implemented functions (or tools) that are designed/provided by official developers. It is worthwhile to mention that it is not legal to bypass activations with various 'cracking' tool. And finally, it is recommended to regularly scan computers with some reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and always remove detected threats as soon as possible. If your computer is already infected with Hack For Life, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Hack For Life ransomware's text file ("Unlock_All_Files.txt"):

>> Hack For Life <<
All Your Files Has Been Locked!
If you think you can decrypt the files we would be happy :)
But all your files are protected by strong encryption with AES RSA 256 using military-grade encryption algorithm
This encryption algorithm has been developed in year 2020 and is constantly being updated
Video Decrypt: hxxps://
What does this mean ?
This means that the structure and data within your files have been irrevocably changed,
you will not be able to work with them, read them or see them,
it is the same thing as losing them forever, but with our help, you can restore them.
You Can Send some Files that not Contains Valuable Data To make Sure That Your Files Can be Back with our Tool
Contact : or hxxps://
What are the guarantees that I can decrypt my files after paying the ransom?
Your main guarantee is the ability to decrypt test files.
This means that we can decrypt all your files after paying the ransom.
We have no reason to deceive you after receiving the ransom, since we are not barbarians and moreover it will harm our business.
You Have 2days to Decide to Pay
after 2 Days Decryption Price will Be Double
And after 1 week it will be triple Try to Contact late and You will know
Therefore, we recommend that you make payment within a few hours.
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Again, we emphasize that no one can decrypt files, so don't be a victim of fraud.
It's just a business
Warning : If you email us late You may miss the Decrypt program Because our emails are blocked quickly So it is better as soon as they read email Email us ;)
You Can Learn How to Buy Bitcoin From This links Below
>> Hack For Security <<

Screenshot of files encrypted by Hack For Life (".encrypt" extension):

Files encrypted by Hack For Life ransomware (.encrypt extension)

Hack For Life ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: 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 malware. 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 Hack For Life 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 Hack For Life 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 Hack For Life 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 Hack For Life 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 Hack For Life, 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 Hack For Life 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 Hack For Life 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.

QR Code
Hack For Life 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 Hack For Life virus on your mobile device.
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