Hhmm Ransomware (Virus Removal)

Hhmm ransomware is a dangerous form of computer virus that only concentrates on infecting the system in order to take control of the majority of the system’s files. Users will discover their data to be useless and unavailable because it is known that this crypto-virus uses a complicated algorithmic pattern to lock the files. The virus also adds a second Hhmm file extension while encrypting data. As a result, abc.doc, a common file, will become abc.doc.hhmm.

How does the Hhmm malware get onto a computer?

The Hhmm virus can enter a computer in a number of ways, but the most common way for it to contact victims is through phishing emails. The threat is included in a dishonest email that poses as a legitimate letter from a well-known corporation or organization. It typically uses alluring topic matter related to business, such as payment method, delivery, inquiry, remittance, fund transfer, and similar content.

Hhmm ransomware executes the malicious code and begins infecting the computer as soon as the user opens the attached file. Its initialization tasks include looking for target files such as documents, photographs, movies, images, archives, zip files, and more on the drive and the local network. The information will thereafter become useless and unavailable as Hhmm begins to encrypt it using a sophisticated cipher algorithm.

Apart from emails, users who execute malicious installers like cracked software or dubious freebies may infect their machines with the Hhmm ransomware. In addition, Hhmm ransomware or other related types of crypto-virus, such as VVOO and VVMM, may be contracted by links from social media platforms, compromised websites, and spam forums.

Screenshot of Hhmm Files

Paying the ransom demand

The Hhmm ransomware will produce a ransom note notifying victims that their computer or network has been hijacked and that important data has already been encrypted at the end of the attack. For this specific attack, the hackers are pleading with victims to email them at datarestorehelp@airmail.cc.

As usual, ransom money is required before the attackers can give the victim a tool for file recovery. Unfortunately, more recent ransomware versions are pressuring users to pay because, if they refuse, hackers will threaten to reveal their private files to the world. Additionally, attackers are willing to destroy the relevant private key from their server after a specified amount of time has passed without payment of the ransom demand, which would result in irreversible data loss.

Technical Details
Threat Name Hhmm Ransomware, Stop/Djvu
Threat Type Crypto-virus, File Locker, Encryption Virus
File Extension .hhmm
Ransomware Note File _readme.txt
Attacker’s email support@freshmail.top
datarestorehelp@airmail.cc.

Backup your files

One important step before proceeding with the procedures below is to backup your files. Ransomware are not the same. Each has its unique sets of payloads aside from encrypting the files with complex method. Others tend to delete the infected files after certain period, while others keep them concealed on hidden places. In addition, ransomware decryption tools are not guaranteed to be perfect, there are instances that files suffer from damages during the decryption process.

So, create a backup copy of your entire Hhmm encrypted files right now.

Hhmm Ransomware Removal Guide

First thing to do is remove the Hhmm virus before attempting the decryption. Remember that as long as the ransomware is active, it will repeatedly encrypt the files on the compromised computer.

Infection of Hhmm ransom virus is dangerous to the system because it can inject files that runs each time Windows starts. To prevent the malicious files from loading, Windows operating system must run with minimal process and it can be done through SafeMode With Networking.

Quick Fix - Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner for Windows

Combo Cleaner is a trusted PC security and optimization tool equipped with powerful virus and malware detection engine. This program can get rid of ransomware like Hhmm through this procedure.

1. Download the application from the following page:

2. Save the file to your preferred location.

3. Double-click the downloaded file CCSetup.exe and install with the default settings.

CC for Windows Installation

4. At the end of the setup process, click Finish to run Combo Cleaner.

5. The tool will update the signature file, please wait for this process to complete.

6. To begin checking for threats like Hhmm ransomware, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.

CC for Windows Start Scan

7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete Hhmm ransomware including all malicious objects from the computer.

Free features of Combo Cleaner for Windows include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus, privacy scanner, and to delete identified threats, users have to upgrade to a premium version.

Please continue with the succeeding removal procedures if your are comfortable to manually get rid of the threat and malicious items linked with it.

Step 1 : Temporarily Disable System Restore on Windows OS

Because Hhmm ransomware and relevant virus is capable of reinstating itself by exploiting the System Restore of Windows, we suggests that you temporary disable System Restore while executing the steps. This option is also helpful to effectively run a full scan on the computer.

Do not forget to enable back System Restore after completing the removal of Hhmm ransomware. This feature is vital in reinstating the operating system to previous normal working condition in case of problems or conflicts occurs.

Step 2 : Start Windows in Safe Mode With Networking

Windows 10/11 Guide

1. Click on Windows logo and select Power icon when options pop-ups.
2. Select Restart from the options while pressing Shift key on the keyboard.
3. Choose an Option window will appear, select the Troubleshoot button.
4. On next window, please choose Advanced Option.
5. On Advanced Option window, click on Startup Settings and then, click Restart button to reboot the computer.
6. When Windows boot on Startup Settings, press function key F5 or number 5 on keyboard.

A simpler alternative for Windows 10 users is to scan the computer with Microsoft Defender Offline. This will run a virus scan in the recovery environment.

Windows 8 Guide

1. Click Windows Start icon at the lower left section of the screen.
2. Open Search window and type Advanced in the field. It will open General PC Settings.
3. Click on Advanced Startup and then, click on Restart Now button.
4. Once the computer starts in Advanced Startup option menu, select Troubleshoot.
5. Next, click on Advanced Options to reveal the next section.
6. Click Startup settings and then, click Restart button to boot the PC in Startup Settings.
7. Use function key F5 or number key 5 to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

Step 3 : Scan the Computer with Sophos Antivirus

Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Hhmm virus. Aside from our suggested tool, you may also run your own security program.

To remove Hhmm ransomware automatically, scanning the computer with this efficient anti-malware tool is suggested. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering hazardous ransomware like Hhmm.

1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.

2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process.

3. On first windows of installation wizard, click Next to continue. Then, it will display the program’s License Agreement. You need to Accept the terms in order to proceed. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.

Screenshot of Sophos EULA Page

4. On succeeding windows, click Next or Continue to carry on with the installation. After completing the installation process, Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool.

5. Internet connection is required when running this virus scanner in order to download important updates. Make sure that everything is up-to-date to effectively remove Hhmm ransomware and other relevant viruses.

6. Click the Start Scanning button to inspect the computer. This will check the system for presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to Hhmm ransomware and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

Screenshot of Sophos Virus Scan

The above procedures should have totally eliminated Hhmm ransomware. However, if you found that there are still remnants of the virus, please proceed to succeeding procedures below.

Step 4 : Double-check with Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool

1. Download the free scanner called Malicious Software Removal Tool.

Download MSRT

2. The tool automatically checks the operating system and suggest appropriate download version. Click on Download button to begin. Save the file to a convenient location, preferably on Desktop.

3. After downloading the file, Windows will prompt that download has completed. Click Run to start scanning for Hhmm ransomware. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.

MSRT Icon

4. The tool will display Welcome screen, click Next. Please note the message "This tool is not a replacement for an antivirus product." You must understand that this program is made specifically to find and remove malware, viruses, Trojans, and other harmful elements on the computer. It was not designed to protect the computer.

MSRT Welcome

5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Hhmm ransom virus entities and other harmful files left on the computer will be found and removed. For advanced computer user, you can opt for Customized Scan, if there are other drives or folders you wanted to include in this scan.

MSRT Scan

6. Full scan may take a while, please wait for Malicious Software Removal Tool to complete the tasks. However, you may cancel the scan anytime by clicking on the Cancel button.

MSRT Scan

7. After scanning, the tool will reveal all identified threats. There may be other threats that our first scan fails to detect. Please remove/delete all detected items.

8. When removal procedure is complete, you may now close Malicious Software Removal Tool. We hope that Hhmm ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.

Recover Files from Hhmm Ransomware Infection

On this section, we will provide ways to decrypt files infected with Hhmm ransomware. Aside from dedicated decryption software and common tools, other options for file recovery are provided. As much as we can, we will update this area whenever there is new and more suitable decryption tool was made available.

Decrypting Hhmm infected files with Emsisoft Tools

This service from Emsisoft is helpful in unlocking encrypted files without paying the ransom. The page provides the list of ransomware decryption tools. All you have to do is look for the specific tool and start recovering the Hhmm encrypted file.

Option 1: Windows Previous Version Tool

Windows has a feature called "Previous Versions." However, this tool is only usable if restore point was made prior to ransomware infection. To use this tool as "recovery option" for files encypted by Hhmm virus, please follow these steps:

1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.

2. Right-click on the affected files or folders and select Properties. From given tabs, please click on Previous Versions.

3. New window will open display all backup copy of files and folders you wanted to recover. Choose the appropriate file and click on Open, Copy, or Restore. Restoring selected files overwrites the current locked files on the computer. The tool is not actually recovering files encrypted by Hhmm ransomware. Instead, it restores files from backup copy.

Option 2: Use ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Hhmm Ransomware

Just like Previous Version tool, ShadowExplorer is taking advantage of shadow copy created by Windows. This tool allows you to retrieve older version of files before it was encrypted by Hhmm ransomware.

1. Download ShadowExplorer from the official web site.

2. Install the program with the default settings.

3. The program should run automatically after installation. If not, double-click on ShadowExplorer icon.

4. You can see the drop-down list on top of the console. Please select proper drive and the most recent point-in-time shadow copies of files you wish to restore prior to Hhmm ransomware infection.

Image of Shadow Explorer

5. Right-click on the Drive, Folder, or File you wish to restore and click Export...

6. Lastly, ShadowExplorer will prompt for location where you want to save the copy of recovered files.

How to protect the computer from Hhmm ransomware?

After the removal of the ransomware, it is important to prevent similar incident from happening again. In order to protect the computer effectively, computer user must know how Hhmm ransomware was able to infect the computer. To minimize the possible infection, staying away from the common sources of this virus is crucial.

How Hhmm ransomware can infect your computer?

The method of infecting the computers was found to be similar as other common viruses. Though, ransomware like Hhmm is seen to have efficient deployment via spam email messages, web injectors, malicious software installers, misleading online advertisements, and through another virus infection.

Once the virus is executed, it immediately infects the system. Then, Hhmm ransomware communicates to remote server so that unique key can be generated for the specific computer. After acquiring the key, it starts to decrypt target files using a complex method that is almost unbreakable. On the last stage of the attack, Hhmm ransomware demands for ransom money as payment for the decryption tool. To further understand the attack scheme, we have included an infographic below.

Infographic image of ransomware attack stages
You can print, download, or share the infographic by clicking the image.

Securing the computer against ransomware attack

Do a Regular File Back-up - Always backup your data on a separate storage devices such as external hard drives, optical discs, or online backup services.

Keep Your Software Updated - Make sure that you have the latest software updates especially on the operating system. Recent updates often contain vital security patches to help protect the computer against all forms of threats.

Install a Security Program - Protect the computer with effective anti-virus application using efficient real-time scanning. Regularly run a complete scan to check the computer for presence of malware.

Protect your files with Controlled Folder Access (Windows 10/11)

For Windows 10/11 users, aside from protecting the computer using anti-virus or anti-malware programs, one way to protect against ransomware attack is by using Controlled Folder Access. This feature of Windows Defender Security Center may not prevent the Hhmm ransomware infection, but it can protect the folder and files in general. Follow the steps to enable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10/11.

1. Go to Windows 10 Taskbar and search for Windows Defender Security Center.

2. Open Windows Defender Security Center and click on Virus & Threat Protection icon.

Virus and Threat Protection

3. On next window, please click on Ransomware Protection.

4. Under Controlled Folder Access section, switch the slider to On. That will enable the feature and protect the folder against Hhmm virus or any type of ransomware.

Controlled Folder Access

5. Click on Protected Folders link to include additional folders. Make sure that folders where important files are located should be included in the list.

Include Your Protected Folder

Troubleshooting Guide

Certain programs maybe blocked by Controlled Folder Access feature. To fix the issue, simply have the specific program to be white listed.

1. Under Protected Folders, click Allow an app through controlled folder access.

2. Next, click the Add an allowed app and include the target executable file.

This Controlled Folder Access feature is one way to protect files against Hhmm ransomware. Other important things to do in keeping files safe against ransomware is through early prevention like keeping programs updated, install an efficient security program, an do regular file backup on a separate media drive.

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