How to uninstall Vhd ransomware from a computer?

Also Known As: Vhd virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Vhd ransomware removal instructions

What is Vhd?

Vhd ransomware was discovered by Jirehlov Solace. Typically, software of this type is designed to encrypt victims files, rename them and create and/or display some ransom note or multiple notes. This ransomware renames encrypted files by appending the ".vhd" extension to their filenames. For instance, it renames "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.vhd", and so on. It changes file icons too. Vhd creates a ransom note which is a text file named "HowToDecrypt.txt".

As explained in the "HowToDecrypt.txt" text file, the only way for victims to get their files back (decrypt data) is by using a unique decryption key. Its price depend on how fast victims will write Vhd's developers an email to miclejaps@msgden.net or stevenjoker@msgden.net. It is mentioned that after three days decryption will become more complicated, however, it is not explained why. Either way, cyber criminals behind Vhd encourage victims to contact them as soon as possible. Typically, victims who contact ransomware developers receive instructions on how to pay a ransom/purchase a decryption software and/or key. As a rule, cyber criminals insist to be paid in Bitcoins or some other cryptocurrency. In one way or another, most of the times victims cannot decrypt their files without tools that only cyber criminals who designed ransomware have. Unfortunately, victims who pay a ransom usually get scammed - cyber criminals do not send them a decryption tool and/or key even after a transaction. In most cases victims can recover their files for free only if they have a backup of data that was created before ransomware attack. It is worthwhile to mention that files remain encrypted even after removal of ransomware. However, by uninstalling ransomware victims prevent it from causing any further data loss (encryptions).

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

Vhd decrypt instructions (HowToDecrypt.txt)

There are many more ransomware-type programs that are designed to encrypt victim's files and create ransom note in a form of text file or pop-up window too. In most cases the main differences between them are cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that is used to encrypt data and price of a decryption. Here are some examples of other ransomware: Npsk, ProLock and Velar. There are not many cases where files can be decrypted without having to use tools that only developers of a particular ransomware have. In other words, files can be decrypted without their tools only if ransomware is not finished (has some bugs, flaws) and it does not happen often. Therefore, it is important to always have data backed up and keep it on unplugged storage device and/or remote server like Cloud.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Most commonly used ways to spread ransomware and other malware are by using spam campaigns (emails), untrustworthy software download channels, fake software updating tools, unofficial software activation ('cracking') programs and Trojans. Cyber criminals send emails that contain malicious attachments and hope that recipients will open/execute them. If opened, those files install one or another malicious program. Typically, they attach Microsoft Office documents, executable files (like .exe), JavaScript files, archives like ZIP, RAR or PDF documents. Also, they can send emails with website links in them that are designed to download malicious files. Another way to spread malicious software is through various questionable file and software download channels. For example, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, free file hosting or freeware download pages and third party downloaders. Cyber criminals can use them to host, distribute malicious files. Users who use such channels to download programs and files risk to download files that, if opened, would install some malware. Fake software updaters, if used, can infect systems by installing malicious software instead of updating or fixing installed one. Also, they can be designed to infect systems by exploiting bugs, flaws of outdated software. Software 'cracking' tools supposed to activate software for free when normally users have to pay for that. However, these tools can be, and often are designed to install malicious software. Simply said, users who attempt to bypass paid activation often infect their computers with some high-risk malware. Trojans are malicious program that can be designed to cause additional damage. When installed, they cause chain infections by installing some other malicious software.

Threat Summary:
Name Vhd virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .vhd
Ransom Demanding Message HowToDecrypt.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact miclejaps@msgden.net, stevenjoker@msgden.net
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Dh-A [Heur]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Graftor.717353), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Filecoder.OBF), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Agent.awny), 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.
Removal

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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Irrelevant emails that contain attachments (or web links), are sent from unknown/suspicious addresses should not be trusted. If there is a reason to think that it may be not safe to open email contents, then they should be left unopened. Furthermore, it is not safe to download, install software through third party downloaders, installers, and other channels of this kind. It is recommended to use only official websites and direct download links for that. Installed software should be updated and activated (if necessary) with tools or functions that are provided by official software developers. Tools that supposed to activate licensed programs for free are not legal and can be the reason behind installation of various malware. And finally, operating system should be regularly scanned for threats with up-to-date and reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. Detected threats have to be eliminated as soon as possible. If your computer is already infected with Vhd, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Vhd ransomware's text file ("HowToDecrypt.txt"):

All data on your pc were encrypted with strongest encryption method.

The only way to get your data back is to purchase unique key for you.

* You can get cheaper price if you contact us as soon as possible. *

After three days from now, it will be difficult to recover your data.

Good Luck.

contact address:
miclejaps@msgden.net

stevenjoker@msgden.net

Screenshot of files encrypted by Vhd (".vhd" extension):

Files encrypted by Vhd ransomware (.vhd extension)

Vhd 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:
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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 Vhd 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 Vhd 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 Vhd 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 Vhd 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 Vhd, 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 Vhd 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 Vhd 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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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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Vhd virus QR code
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