Hello XD ransomware - How to keep your computer safe
Ransomware is a form of a virus that infects your device by encrypting files and demanding money in return for decryption. Hello XD ransomware is a notoriously used malware by hackers that is no different than other ransomware when it comes to the purpose of use.
In short, cybercriminals hack the computer through ransomware software and leave a note where they ask the victim to contact them and send money if they want to get the data back.
How does Hello XD manage to hack?
Hacking can be done through various means like sending emails with malware or distributing it through unsafe websites like torrents etc. Clicking on bad links, downloading music or videos from an illegal source, or installing software illegally by using cracking tools can easily make ransomware land on your computer.
Also, cybercriminals aren’t amateurs, they know how to target companies and get what they want. From an individual to big companies, these attackers do not discriminate between targets and go after just anyone who ends up with an infected device to make some money.
How to identify that Hello XD ransomware infect your computer?
Attackers using this particular malware rename all files with “.hello” in them. For instance, a document would be renamed to document.hello or 2.jpg would become 2.jpg.hello and you won’t be able to access any of these files. You’ll also spot a new text file named “Hello.txt” which contains the threats and instructions made by the attackers.
When you open this file with a ransom note, you’ll find a ghost-like doll which is the trademark of Hello XD. Then, you’ll read how these cybercriminals have encrypted your files and given only 96 hours to you for paying a specific price which will increase if you take any more time than the prescribed hours.
They also threaten you to not use any malware-removing software or get any help or else you’ll lose all data for good. Moreover, you can get any two files decrypted as a demo for free but it should be less than 1 MB and shouldn’t contain any significant information. So, when you get a message with the name Hello XD, you’ll know that it is this ransomware that has invaded your computer.
How to get rid of Hello XD ransomware?
The number one step is identification. You must make sure which type of ransomware has invaded your computer. To do that you can use free websites like ID Ransomware to ensure which ransomware your computer is dealing with.
After you have made sure that your computer is infected by Hello XD ransomware, you can try several solutions. Your one option could be to pay the asked amount to the hackers. But paying the ransom is never recommended or encouraged by the authorities that deal in the field of cybercrime.
It is also said that getting your data back after paying money isn’t guaranteed as most people and companies have experienced data loss even after sending in the ransom.
However, some get the key to recover their files. It is a difficult decision for the parties involved but if you aren’t someone who has data on the line and own backups, you can avoid the payment option and move on to the next one.
So, what could you do? Well, there are online solutions that can help you remove ransomware from the computer. Firstly, you could also take your case to the authorities that deal in the cybercrime department to start an investigation against these hackers. Australians can file a complaint on ScamWatch while people in the UK can call it Action Fraud. US residents can go to the FTC site to report this cybercrime.
Next, you can look at other possibilities like finding the right decryption tool to get the files back. If you get that you can recover files and also remove the ransomware using the software. While it isn’t 100% guaranteed that you can successfully remove the virus unless you take professional help, this option might or might not work out for you.
If you do have backups saved on HDD or a cloud server, you can clean out everything in the computer and install new Windows plus reformat the hard disk. Then, you can reinstall the stuff back to the computer from the backup device.
New findings about Hello XD:
The recent news about the Hello XD ransomware reveals that its improved version is now installing a backdoor in the computers to steal the login details of their victims. This step can be used to further blackmail the victims by exposing their sensitive/confidential documents on the internet or encrypting data on the cloud by hacking the ID.
So, you could take measures by logging out of your cloud software or uninstalling it until the problem goes away. Also, you must eject all drives attached to the computer and disconnect the internet, especially if you’re on a shared network.
You can keep your computer safe by making the best internet practices a part of your life. Being prepared for such attacks in advance keeps you on the safe side. So, take precautions and do your best to stay away from platforms spreading ransomware.