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What is Hofos ransomware? And how does it implement its attack?

Hofos ransomware is a newly discovered file-encrypting virus that uses the “.hofos” string in marking the files it encrypts. Based on the code snippets of this ransomware and its ransom note, it appears to be another variant of Djvu/STOP ransomware. Nothing much has changed in this new variant except for the extension it uses.

Hofos Ransomware

This new crypto-malware relies on a modular and complex infection engine that scans the infected system first in search of any programs that could interfere with its attack. It looks for specific signatures that might belong to antivirus programs, debug environments, as well as virtual machine hosts. Once it finds them, their real-time engines will either be removed or bypassed. After these changes, it will modify some registry keys and sub-keys in the Windows Registry to make its removal difficult for users.

Subsequently, it begins to encrypt important files in the system using military-grade encryption and appends the .hofos extension to every encrypted file. It then opens the “_readme.txt” file which contains the following message:

“Don’t worry my friend, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents, and other important are encrypted with the strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase a decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees do you have?
You can send one of your encrypted files from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. The file must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
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The price of the private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that’s the price for you is $490.
Please note that you’ll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail “Spam” or “Junk” folder if you don’t get an answer for more than 6 hours.
To get this software you need writes on our e-mail:
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Reserve an e-mail address to contact us:
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Don’t waste both your money and time in paying the ransom demanded by the crooks behind Hofos ransomware because one thing’s for sure – the moment they receive the ransom payment, these crooks won’t give you the time of the day so it’s best you look for other ways to recover your important files but for the meantime, you need to prioritize the removal of Hofos ransomware.

How is the malicious payload of Hofos ransomware distributed over the web?

The malicious payload of Hofos ransomware may be disseminated using malicious spam email campaigns. Its developers attach an obfuscated attachment to emails that once opened, will run a malicious script on computers that will launch Hofos ransomware. This is why you need to be more careful in opening and downloading attachments from suspicious-looking emails as they might contain Hofos’s malicious payload.

Eliminate Hofos ransomware from your infected computer with the help of the following removal guide.

Step_1: First, tap the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard to open the Task Manager.

Step_2: After opening the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab and look for any suspicious-looking process that takes up most of your CPU’s resources and is most likely related to Hofos ransomware.

Step_3: After that, close the Task Manager.

Step_4: Tap Win + R, type in appwiz.cpl and click OK or tap Enter to open Programs and Features under Control Panel.

Step_5: Under the list of installed programs, look for Hofos ransomware or anything similar and then uninstall it.

Step_6: Next, close the Control Panel and tap Win + E keys to launch File Explorer.

Step_7: Navigate to the following locations below and look for the malicious files of Hofos ransomware such as _readme.txt and [random].exe and other suspicious files, then delete all of them.

  • %TEMP%
  • %WINDIR%\System32\Tasks
  • %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Templates\
  • %USERPROFILE%\Downloads
  • %USERPROFILE%\Desktop

Step_8: Close the File Explorer.

Before you proceed to the next steps below, make sure that you are tech-savvy enough to the point where you know exactly how to use and navigate your computer’s Registry. Keep in mind that any changes you make will highly impact your computer. To save you trouble and time, you can just use Restoro, this system tool is proven to be safe and excellent enough that hackers won’t be able to hack into it. But if you can manage Windows Registry well, then by all means go on to the next steps.

Step_9: Tap Win + R to open Run and then type in Regedit in the field and tap enter to pull up Windows Registry.

Step_10: Navigate to the following path:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
  • HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

Step_11: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Hofos ransomware.

Step_12: Close the Registry Editor and empty the Recycle Bin.

Try to recover your encrypted files using the Shadow Volume copies

Restoring your encrypted files using Windows Previous Versions feature will only be effective if Hofos ransomware hasn’t deleted the shadow copies of your files. But still, this is one of the best and free methods there is, so it’s definitely worth a shot.

To restore the encrypted file, right-click on it and select Properties, a new window will pop up, then proceed to Previous Versions. It will load the file’s previous version before it was modified. After it loads, select any of the previous versions displayed on the list like the one in the illustration below. And then click the Restore button.

Congratulations, you have just removed Hofos Ransomware in Windows 10 all by yourself. If you would like to read more helpful articles and tips about various software and hardware visit fixmypcfree.com daily.

Now that’s how you remove Hofos Ransomware in Windows 10 on a computer. On the other hand, if your computer is going through some system-related issues that have to get fixed, there is a one-click solution known as Restoro you could check out to resolve them.

This program is a useful tool that could repair corrupted registries and optimize your PC’s overall performance. Aside from that, it also cleans out your computer for any junk or corrupted files that help you eliminate any unwanted files from your system. This is basically a solution that’s within your grasp with just a click. It’s easy to use as it is user-friendly. For a complete set of instructions in downloading and using it, refer to the steps below

Perform a full system scan using Restoro. To do so, follow the instructions below.

  1. Download and install Restoro from the official site.
  2. Once the installation process is completed, run Restoro to perform a full system scan.
    restoro laptop1
  3. After the scan is completed click the “Start Repair” button.
    restoro laptop2
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