Remove Cerber Ransomware and Decrypt Files

Cerber Ransomware is a dangerous ransom virus which was made to lock your computer and deny access to your own files. Just like other ransomware, this new threat will encrypt certain files on the computer. It also changes file extensions to .Cerber one and demand payment before you can regain access and reverse these changes. It demands user to pay an amount of 1.24 Bitcoins or roughly $500.

Normally, Cerber virus attacks a computer with the help of another malware, trojan, or virus. It find flaws on the system which it will utilized as an entry point so that the process is hidden to most antivirus programs. In fact, once Cerber Ransomware is inside the PC, it instantly disables any security function running on the target computer.

The lock window contains the following messages:

CERBER
Your documents, photos, databases, and other important files have been encrypted! To decrypt your files, follow the instructions…

Cerber Ransomware looks for important files like documents, spreadsheet, images, music, and videos. Two new documents is then added which gives instructions to users on how to decrypt affected files. In addition, Cerber Ransomware blocks access to certain web sites especially security pages where you can download tools and utilities that are useful in cleaning the PC from threats.

Cerber Ransomware

System Restore of Windows may help in resolving issues with viruses and malware. However, it will not settle problems with encrypted files. If your computer is running on Windows Vista/7 or later, perhaps ‘Previous Versions’ may help restore files from backup.

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 Cerber encrypted files right now.

Cerber Ransomware Removal Guide

First thing to do is remove the Cerber 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 Cerber 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.

Stage 1 : Temporarily Disable System Restore on Windows OS

Because Cerber 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 Cerber ransomware. This feature is vital in reinstating the operating system to previous normal working condition in case of problems or conflicts occurs.

Stage 2 : Start Windows in Safe Mode With Networking

Windows 10 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.

Stage 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 Cerber virus. Aside from our suggested tool, you may also run your own security program.

To remove Cerber 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 Cerber.

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.

Screnshot of Sophos Installer

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 Cerber 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 Cerber and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

Screenshot of Sophos Virus Scan

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

Stage 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 Cerber 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 Cerber 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 Cerber ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.

Recover Files from Cerber Ransomware Infection

On this section, we will provide ways to decrypt files infected with Cerber 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.

Use Cerber Decryption Tool by Trend Micro

1. Download the program Ransomware File Decryptor by Trend Micro.
RansomwareFileDecryptor Download Link (this will open on a new window)

2. Save the file to your hard drive, Desktop, or any location.

3. Once the download completed, decompress the file and double-click to run.

4. If it prompts for End User License Agreement (EULA), please Accept to proceed.

5. The tool will launch the main user interface. Click on Select button.

RansomwareFileDecryptor

6. Under "Select Ransomware Name", please choose Cerber. Then, press OK to save your choice.

Cerber Decryptor

7. On main interface, click on Select & Decrypt button. See image below for reference.

Decrypt Cerber

8. Select a file or Folder that was encrypted by Cerber. This tool can either decrypt single file or all files inside the folder and sub-folders.

Scan Cerber

9. This Cerber decryptor tool will start scanning the computer and immediately decrypt files. Recovery time may vary depending on quantity of affected files and folders.

Decrypting Cerber infected files with Emsisoft Tools

This service from Emsisoft is helpful in unlocking encrypted files without paying the ransom. It gives three ways to detect the ransomware and provide suitable recovery method:

Upload ransom note – This is usually the .txt or .hta files that was generated by Cerber ransomware.

Upload the encrypted file – The actual encrypted file. Choose the one that is less than 8MB in size.

Contact information – Enter the email address or any links provided as it appears in the ransom note of Cerber virus.

Emsisoft Tools

After submitting any of the appropriate data, Emsisoft will attempt to identify the ransomware and provide keys if there are available.

Option 1: Windows Previous Version Tool

Windows Vista and Windows 7 have 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 Cerber virus, please follow these steps:

1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.

2. Right-click on the affected files or folders. From the drop-down list, please click on Restore 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 Cerber. Instead, it restores files from backup copy.

Option 2: Use ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Cerber 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 Cerber 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 Cerber ransomware infection.

shadow3

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 Cerber 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 Cerber ransomware was able to infect the computer. To minimize the possible infection, staying away from the common sources of this virus is crucial.

How Cerber ransomware can infect your computer?

The method of infecting the computers was found to be similar as other common viruses. Though, ransomware like Cerber 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, Cerber 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, Cerber 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)

For Windows 10 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 Cerber ransomware infection, but it can protect the folder and files in general. Follow the steps to enable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10.

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 Cerber or any type of ransomware.

Controlled Folder Access

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

Add 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 Cerber. 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.

About the author

63 thoughts on “Remove Cerber Ransomware and Decrypt Files”

  1. Alex Chinnappa

    Thank you for your help guys but only files in C folder is visible. I need files mainly from E folder.

  2. I cannot recover all my data , please help me to recover my data from encryption which is in .cerber format

  3. I need help. My whole PC was affected by this virus. All I have left on my PC are .ceber files. Can any one assist to recover my files?

  4. Dr. Mark Haus

    Thanks for the info.
    So far I did all I possibly can using the guides given from various websites.
    So far I hope I have removed the culprit, but still unable to decrypt the files.
    Every files had turned .cerber. Yes, I agree to many that we should not pay Cerber
    Yes, I also agree that we should do regular back up or that System setting what knot. Lesson learned.
    I hope that one day soon, some good souls will come out with a Cerber Decryptor tools.
    Keep calm & hope for the best.
    Thank you.

    PS- I lost a very important file. A video of my beautiful late grandmother. She passed away early this year. I hope someday the file can recover, decrypt with the help of you good people out there.

  5. praveen kumar G

    My D drive and E drive has been completely washed out with this cerber virus. Can anyone please advice me on this on how to remove this virus. I don’t have restore versions to took my back up. I have lot of important files related to my work. Please help me on this, I am waiting.

  6. For last couple of weeks I’m searching for a solution to this Cerber ransomware. I had no idea of such malicious bug before. friends we all are victims. we lost invaluable things like memory of my dearest mother who passed way 3 moths back and lovely memory of childhood of my kids. Waiting with a hope soon Decrypter will come.
    friends if you find any thing please share to kumar.cbphs@gmail.com

  7. I got this problem. Don’t know how this cerber got into my computer. Hoping to solve this problem.

  8. I have the private key Cerber generated to encrypt my files. Is there a program which will use this key to decrypt my files?

  9. @os2wiz, I believe after getting the key, they will also provide the Decryptor program which will only work for your key.

  10. This virus is very dangerous I think. I have search many sites for this but, no use.

    Finally I got a solution for C:/ drive files. I got all the files back to normal format and for this, thanks to malwarefixes team. With the use of “Windows Previous Version Tool” at least I got some important files back.

    Simply right click on folder which you want to restore to normal format and click on “Restore previous versions” and select date. Click on “Copy” and give path where you want copy this folder.

    Bad thing is, except drive “C”, we were unable to get our files back to normal format from drives like D,E,F etc…

  11. SOLVED…

    With the use of “ShadowExplorer” software, we were able to recovered data from rom other drives as well. I got my files back to normal format. Feeling very happy that I got almost all files.

    Download and use “Shadow Explorer” software and you can easily get your files back.

    Thanks to Malwarefixes team for their effort. This site is very helpful. Giving good information to users without any cost (money).

    Once again thank to MALWAREFIXES TEAM!

  12. Dharmesh Panchal

    I lost my all type file like jpg, video, word ,excel, music. All files shows extensions like .cerber. Help decrypt my file

  13. I follow the instructions above but I can’t solve the problem because I have windows XP and with Shadow Explorer we cannot recover the files. Do you have any idea what can I do?

  14. I’ve tried to restore files with Panda Ransomware Decrypt in the advanced mode, but it the following error:
    Invalid or inaccessible folder selected, please select a valid folder or drive to search for encrypted files.
    What does this mean?

  15. Thanks. This was really helpful. I got off easy because only the PDF’s and a few unimportant images were infected before I noticed. Panda decoder is not helping and I don’t have previous versions but the rest is working. Thanks.

  16. Please let us known if somebody has a decryption tool.
    We had the problem on a XP PC, so there are no Shadow copies of the files.
    Thanks in advance.

  17. The Cerber decryption tool doesn’t work for me as described. I can’t select multiple files for decryption, and when I run a scan on an entire folder, it comes back with ONE infected file and no action taken. What am I doing wrong?

  18. Peter Maccabe

    I am finding this crazy. Never had something like this in 15 years.. I got rid of Cerber Ransomware with use of this program. Now HOW DO I AT LEAST RESTORE PICTURES AND FILES? Am using windows 10… Wish I had backed up but I didn’t.. Any help would be appreciated.

  19. Please help me I lost all my photographs. If you guys have any decryption tool for cerber attack please please please send me. I am just a 17 year old kid from India so I do not have 500$. Please send me to tanmaydhara99@gmail.com. Thank you.

  20. Still no response to my note from August 6th.

    I seem to have a strange variant of the CERBER virus. The names of my affected files were NOT changed to [random].cerber. They all have their original names, e.g., brucefile.cerber.

    Can someone PLEASE come up with a key for this thing?

  21. Anything for Cerber 3? Literally my pictures just come up with a weird name and cannot be viewed, none of that telling me its encrypted or anything but they do end in .cerber3.

  22. Hi can anyone please help me.. my system is infected with .cerber virus in all the drive e ,f and d. I want many important files which has photos and documents. I have installed new OS but still all files are encrypted. Please send mail to vishinfy @ gmail.com to resolve the issue as soon as possible..

  23. Does it work on “.cerber3” files (cerber ransomware)? all my files was converted to this file format even to the external drive that was connected on my pc at the time of virus attack. I really need the files. Please help. Thanks

    Please send me updates to “nanjomasangcay @gmail.com” or “jho_nojoma @yahoo.com” on how to solve this issue. Thank you .

  24. I lost all my files. All files are encrypted in my personal PC. How can I decrypt it? Any body give me solution.
    email-id:: pannalarajasekhar @gmail.com

  25. I have been affected with this Cerber3 last week is there any way to recover my data I don’t even have a backup of it.

  26. Gautam Kumawat

    My PC has been affected with this virus on 13th September 2016 when I downloaded and installed desktop sharing software Ammyy. Hope someday there will be developed a Decrypter tool for Cerber 3.0. By that time I have resigned my valuable data to fate.

  27. Ivan Stoichkov

    Tengo el mismo problema que todos solo que a mi me pego en 3 servidores y una de ellos es contable, por el momento no hay una solucion definitiva para recuperar los archivos, seguramente aparecera en los proximos meses como se vaya infectando mas gente y esto resulte en un pandemonium, sin embargo es importante los respaldos constantes en medios extraibles y mantener actualizados nuestros sistemas operativos, antivirus y alti malware.

    Lo que estoy haciendo es colocar un disco duro nuevo y reinstalar sistemas operativo y aplicaciones, escanear los discos duros externamente, copiar los archivos infectados en otro disco duro, reintaslar el sistema operativo y apps para reiniciar la captura y recopilacion de archivos con cada usuario y esperar a que salga algun desencriptador.

    Tambien hay que enviar las evidencias a las compañias de antivirus y malware para ayudarles a encontar una cura.

    Trenmicro tiene un desencritador pero no funciona ara la version de cerber3, estare corriendo aplicaciones para recuperar archivos eliminados esperando recuperar algo mas de informacion.

    les mantendre informados en medida que avance mi caso.

    Bendiciones a todos y que pronto encontremos una cura para este mal.

  28. Hi, I am having same issue too with a student’s Laptop attacked by CERBER3 but still there is no fix found yet, gonna try for Shadow Explorer or will fight for CERBER 3 too, as Developer I am finding new ways to read its encryption to make its Decryption Tool As Soon As Possible.

  29. Going to format my Hard-disk :D
    Starting again, because I am not dead yet ;-)
    Farewell…

  30. The solution (in portuguese Brasil): basta renomear o arquivo de origem e o problema da criptografia está acabado. Por exemplo 124usxo.cerber para —.docx

  31. Hi, sorry if my English not good, my files been encrypted and I saw message on my screen. But when I rename something, my computer can read it like song. Any one have information to help me please.

  32. I am victim of Cerber3 ransomware and my all data encrypted and I can not find any file from my PC in any drive anyone have solutions, please help me to recover data from this virus.

  33. Sir, I lost my pic, excel file, and docs. Please help from this cerber3. maasales[@]rediffmail.com

  34. Please help me I have very important files and I am unable to recover it. Please help, its urgent.

  35. Vladimir Sarajlic

    Anything for Cerber 3? Literally my pictures just come up with a weird name and cannot be viewed, none of that telling me its encrypted or anything but they do end in .cerber3.

  36. Hey I am also a victim of Cerber3 Ransomware attack. I also have lost my entire data and I tried all the way as described in the Malwarefixes.com but the trend Micro tool is not able to decrypt the files. If any one has a solution please let me know.

    Thanks and All the best Guys.

  37. I am victim of cerber3 ransomware and my all data encrypted and I can not find any file from my PC in any drive anyone have solutions please help me to recover data from this virus

  38. My Laptop has blacked out completely. It starts and goes to the point of windows and user selection are but after that there is a black screen. Please help I had a backup but due to my external drive being used at the time of the virus invading my laptop, all my backup flash drive and the other laptops have been affected. I need help!

  39. Ahmed_kurdistan

    Hey friends , solving this problem is hard , but you can just change extension . for ex : if you know your file is “mp4” so just change “cerber3” to “mp4” ,
    it worked like this for me , i hope it works for you too , :)

  40. Dear Sir,
    In my laptop files like doc, xls, jpeg etc. are attacked Cerber.3. Please help me convert to original format.

  41. Hamid Omarkhail

    Hello to all friends,
    I have lost some of my files and some are decrypted. How can i find and download the CERBER RONSOMWARE software, I need help. Please guide me.

  42. Recently, my files encrypted by Cerber ransomware with extension “.b1a5”. This is latest development in CERBER. Please let me know if there is any decryption software for this.

  43. My files was encrypted with .b823 extension. Renaming the extension doesn’t work. Please help me how to bet back my files. Thanks in advance.

  44. Hello I am also victim of Cerber3 ransomware. If anyone got its solution please reply here.

  45. I recently got infected by this ransomware Cerber! All my files have been encrypted. the file ext. is .affa. (cerber ransomware 4.0.1)
    can anyone please find a solution for this one.

  46. Recently got infected by this ransomware Cerber! All my files have been encrypted. the file ext. is .affa. (Cerber ransomware 4.0.1)
    Can anyone please find a solution for this one?

  47. My PC just got affected by this virus thing. I real need help ASAP. Guys, can anyone help me, I cannot even open my document because of this thing. Any one who have a setup of Crber Decryptor, please send me web site where I can download it myself.

  48. I tried TrendMicro and Sophos but none is actually working. Please I need help on this. Which other software can I make use of?

  49. If someone find a software to solve this out would pay very happy 30 euro to buy it. No second thought. The man who find the solution will be withy a lot of money very quick. I am victim too, extension is .a944

  50. If everyone would actually read the solution provided it will most likely help recover your files. The main issue here is going to be the network shares. Better hope you had a backup of them. The other main issue is the system restore too many leave this as default and there are likely few restore points and sometimes they are a ways back. You ARE going to lose everything between that point and now.

    If people would just have a decent backup off site and stop clicking on email attachments these issues would quit cropping up!

    Use the tools recommended above. Also, if you can do a system Restore to a date before the infection, that will remove the software that did this. Then use the tools like the shadow explorer to recover files and folders! Do run the anti-virus and malware tools to make sure things are gone! Remember to clear all temp folders and caches with CCleaner or similar tool. If more people above in the comments would actually spend 2 minutes and read the directions instead of saying help and running around like a chicken with their heads cut off there would be less issues and more fixes.

    Face it ransomware is here to stay. Avoid the risky behavior and opening and blindly following prompts and you will avoid 99+% of the malware and viruses out there.

    Thanks to the Malwarefixes people for the very well done instructions and tool links.

  51. Dear Sir,
    In my laptop files like doc, xls, jpeg etc… are attacked by Cerber3. Please help me convert to original format.

  52. @Col Temp

    I wish to thank you for your advice. I did a system restore three times from 3 different dates. The last one took. I had only just last Sunday restored temporarily back to XP as W7 on my hard drive had failed and I managed to do my college work and recover some documents – then this Ransomware began to plague me. ESET was catching and cleaning all of them but it was still going on and multiplying into the 100’s. So l saw your note above and decided to restore. And thank you so much all appears well. And no pop-ups from ESET. I will take note of your advice and I will be very careful and back up.

  53. Please help, my whole file in my computer was encrypted with .84e0 extension with HELP_HELP_HELP files. I have tried with all malware remover and Decryptor apps but it can not bring my data back. what should I do?

  54. Hi I am new victim of .Adobe Ransomware in FEB 2019 failed to recover my all files and I have no 650 $ please support if any one have some solution for it.

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