Uninstall Cerber v4.0 virus (Detailed Removal Instructions)

Cerber v4.0 virus Removal Guide

Description of Cerber v4.0 ransomware virus

Recent information about Cerber v4.0 ransomware virus

It hasn’t taken long for Cerber v4.0 virus to join the dark side of the web. Indeed, the creators of the virus are dedicated to their dirty job. Since the first version of the Cerber virus has been released, they created several versions of it soon. At the beginning of August cyber world was threatened by Cerber 2.0 and one month later, in early September, Cerber 3.0 came out in the daylight. Virus researchers spotted the newest version of the ransomware at the beginning of October. The virus belongs to RaaS (ransomware-as-a-service) category and authors have been selling it on the dark market. This distribution and monetization strategy was developed in early 2015, and now it becomes more and more popular in hackers’ world. The creators of the ransomware benefit in two ways: for selling the virus and generating revenue collected by ransomware distributors. According to the developers, the newest ransomware is more powerful and stronger than its predecessors. One of the major unique features is that malware has a better defence system against antivirus programs. Indeed, Cerber v4.0 removal might be more complicated and difficult. However, if you encounter it, you should still try your best to get rid of it immediately. We still recommend using FortectIntego and at the end of the article we provided detailed instructions how to access the program and remove Cerber v4.0 completely.

Ransomware also spreads via malicious email campaigns and malvertising. However, once it gets inside it causes more damage than before. Cerber v4.0 ransomware is capable of encrypting even more different types of files and appends random file extensions to all encrypted files. Meanwhile, previous versions of the ransomware put .CERBER3 file extension. So, data decryption became more complicated. However, we still do not recommend paying the ransom, even if it seems like the only option. The hackers prepared a brand new ransom note which is delivered in HTA format instead of usual TXT file format. Talking about the content, it stays more or less the same. Victims have to pay the ransom using Bitcoins via Tor browser. Another new feature of the Cerber v4.0 malware is that it can shut down the database processes and steal the information from them.

Cerber v4.0 dissemination techniques

Even though Cerber v4.0 virus is a new player on the dark web, it is already known that three different malvertising campaigns help to spread it.

  • Magnitude exploit kit. An unknown team of hackers has been using this exploit kit since they day one. It’s the first and the most popular distribution campaign.
  • PseudoDarkleech. It’s the second group of hackers who use the RIG exploit kit for virus distribution. They are known for spreading such viruses as CryptMIC and CryptXXX. Previously they have been using Neutrino exploit kit.
  • Neutrino exploit kit. It’s the third and last malware dissemination technique. It’s the smallest campaign of all of three; however, it is still active and dangerous.

These malicious files are spreading via malicious spam emails and malvertising. The exploit kit is delivered with macro-enabled documents and once victim opens it and activates macros, the Cerber ransomware v4.0 virus gets inside and starts corrupting the files located on the computer. We want to remind one more time to be careful with emails and do not open or download attached files from unknown senders. Always double check the information and make sure that you can trust the sender. The second method for ransomware distribution is malicious advertisements. Usually, these ads are placed on suspicious and compromised websites such as gaming, gambling, and adult-related Internet sites. It’s better to avoid them than deal with complicated Cerber v4.0 removal later.

Virus researchers have noticed an increasing number of the ransomware attacks. Hackers become better every single day in tricking people into opening suspicious email attachments and cause damage for thousands of computers daily. Unfortunately, there are no file decryption tools created yet that can help to decrypt corrupted files. As we already mentioned, the virus uses even more complicated encoding algorithm. We recommend taking precautions before you encounter ransomware attack. Make backup copies of your files and store them in the external devices. Then you can be sure that at least the majority of your files are safe after the ransomware attack. Having backups helps to calm down a little and concentrate on virus elimination.

Guide for ransomware elimination

Cerber v4.0 ransomware is a strong and dangerous virus. Its removal might be more difficult compared with previous versions of Cerber. As we already mentioned, this malware can bypass antivirus programs. There are high chances that it is capable of blocking access to security programs or they might not detect it. At the end of the article, we provided a step-by-step guide how to remove Cerber v4.0 from the system. Please, follow them carefully and attentively. Moreover, you will still need malware removal tools for virus elimination. We strongly recommend using one of these programs FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. After the last step of virus elimination, do not forget to scan the computer with antivirus program one more time – just to be sure that this dangerous computer infection has been eliminated completely.

After Cerber v4.0 removal, you can try to recover at least few corrupted files. We explained several methods that might be useful bellow. However, we cannot assure that they will be successful. But we encourage you to try them – maybe they will be effective, and you will be able to recover the most important data.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Security Tools
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Security Tools
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of Cerber v4.0 virus. Follow these steps

In-depth guide for the Cerber v4.0 elimination

Important! →
The elimination guide can appear too difficult if you are not tech-savvy. It requires some knowledge of computer processes since it includes system changes that need to be performed correctly. You need to take steps carefully and follow the guide avoiding any issues created due to improper setting changes. Automatic methods might suit you better if you find the guide too difficult.

Step 1. Launch Safe Mode with Networking

Safe Mode environment offers better results of manual virus removal

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Go to Start.
  2. Choose Shutdown, then Restart, and OK.
  3. When your computer boots, start pressing the F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) a few times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  4. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
    Safe Mode option
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click the Start button and choose Settings.
    Settings of the system
  2. Scroll down to find Update & Security.
    Update & security section in settings
  3. On the left, pick Recovery.
  4. Scroll to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Choose Troubleshoot.
  7. Go to Advanced options.
    Troubleshooting options
  8. Select Startup Settings.
    Advanced section
  9. Press Restart.
    Choose the Safe Mode
  10. Choose 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

Step 2. End questionable processes

You can rely on Windows Task Manager that finds all the random processes in the background. When the intruder is triggering any processes, you can shut them down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    More options of Task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes.
  4. Look for anything suspicious.
  5. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Task manager
  6. Go back to the Process tab, right-click and pick End Task.
  7. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check the program in Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard again.
  2. Go to the Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious app and pick Disable.
    Disable process

Step 4. Find and eliminate virus files

Data related to the infection can be hidden in various places. Follow the steps and you can find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup option
  2. Select the drive (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in) you want to clean.
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Choose the disk clean up
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Eliminate Cerber v4.0 using System Restore

  • Step 1: Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Go to Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. As soon as your computer starts, start pressing F8 key repeatedly before the Windows logo shows up.
    3. Choose Command Prompt from the list Choose 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Click on the Power button at the Windows login screen, and then press and hold Shift key on your keyboard. Then click Restart.
    2. Then select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and click Restart.
    3. Once your computer starts, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of options in Startup Settings. Choose 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option
  • Step 2: Perform a system restore to recover files and settings
    1. When the Command Prompt window appears, type in cd restore and press Enter. Type 'cd restore' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    2. Then type rstrui.exe and hit Enter.. Type 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    3. In a new window that shows up, click the Next button and choose a restore point that was created before the infiltration of Cerber v4.0 and then click on the Next button again. When 'System Restore' wizard comes up, click 'Next'. Choose a preferable restore point and click 'Next'
    4. To start system restore, click Yes. Hit 'Yes' and start system restore
    After restoring the computer system to an antecedent date, install and check your computer with FortectIntego to uncover any remains of Cerber v4.0.

Bonus: Restore your files

Using the tutorial provided above you should be able to eliminate Cerber v4.0 from the infected device. novirus.uk team has also prepared an in-depth data recovery guide which you will also find above.

Unfortunately, it is still impossible to recover files encrypted by Cerber v4.0 virus. We do not believe that paying the ransom is an option, so you should not sponsor the criminals for several reasons. You may not get a necessary decryption key or it may deliver more malicious files to your PC. We have explained three methods that might help to restore at least some of your lost data without using Cerber Decrypted offered by the hackers.

There are a couple of methods you can apply to recover data encrypted by Cerber v4.0:

Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro is not created for restoring files encrypted by Cerber v4.0 specifically. However, there is a possibility that this tool might recover at least some of your files. Before using this tool, you have to eliminate the virus from the system.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Install Data Recovery on your computer following the steps indicated in the software’s Setup;
  • Run the program to scan your device for the data encrypted by Cerber v4.0 ransomware;
  • Recover the data.


Ransomware might have deleted Volume Shadow Copies from your PC. If it failed in doing it, you can benefit from ShadowExplorer by following these steps:

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Install Shadow Explorer on your computer following the instructions in the software’s Setup Wizard;
  • Run the program. Navigate to the menu on the top-left corner and select a disk containing your encrypted files. Look through the available folders;
  • When you find the folder you want to recover, right-click it and select “Export”. Also, choose where the recovered data will be stored.

It is strongly recommended to take precautions and secure your computer from malware attacks. To protect your PC from Cerber v4.0 and other dangerous viruses, you should install and keep a powerful malware removal tool, for instance, FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Securely connect to your website wherever you are

Sometimes you may need to log in to a content management system or server more often, especially if you are actively working on a blog, website, or different project that needs constant maintenance or that requires frequent content updates or other changes. Avoiding this problem can be easy if you choose a dedicated/fixed IP address. It's a static IP address that only belongs to a specific device and does not change when you are in different locations. 

VPN service providers such as Private Internet Access can help you with these settings. This tool can help you control your online reputation and successfully manage your projects wherever you are. It is important to prevent different IP addresses from connecting to your website. With a dedicated/fixed IP address, VPN service, and secure access to a content management system, your project will remain secure.

Reduce the threat of viruses by backing up your data

Due to their own careless behavior, computer users can suffer various losses caused by cyber infections. Viruses can affect the functionality of the software or directly corrupt data on your system by encrypting it. These problems can disrupt the system and cause you to lose personal data permanently. There is no such threat if you have the latest backups, as you can easily recover lost data and get back to work.

It is recommended to update the backups in parallel each time the system is modified. This way, you will be able to access the latest saved data after an unexpected virus attack or system failure. By having the latest copies of important documents and projects, you will avoid serious inconveniences. File backups are especially useful if malware attacks your system unexpectedly. We recommend using the Data Recovery Pro program to restore the system.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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