How to remove HELLO Ransomware (Virus Removal Guide)

HELLO is a file-encrypting ransomware, which will encrypt the personal documents found on victim’s, appending the .HELLO extension to encrypted files. The HELLO ransomware then displays a message which offers to decrypt the data if a payment of 0.05 in Bitcoins is made.

Hello ransomware virus

We cannot help your recover your files, and we recommend that you use ShadowExplorer or (free) file recovery software to restore your documents. This guide was written to help you remove the infection itself, and if a 100% proven method to recover the encrypted files is found we will update this guide.

There is no decryption tool available for the HELLO Ransomware. However, you can try to search these webpages for updates:


1. What is the HELLO ransomware?

  • Ransomware name: HELLO Ransomware
  • Added Extension: .HELLO
  • Ransomware note: HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt
  • Ransom: 0.05 in Bitcoins

The HELLO ransomware restricts access to data by encrypting files with the .hello extension. It then attempts to extort money from victims by asking for “ransom,” in form of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, in exchange for access to data.

The HELLO ransomware targets all versions of Windows including Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. This infection is notable due to how it encrypts the user’s files – namely, it uses AES-265 and RSA encryption method – in order to ensure that the affected user has no choice but to purchase the private key.

When HELLO ransomware infects a PC it will scan all the drive letters for targeted file types, encrypt them, and then append the .HELLO extension to them. Once these files are encrypted, they will no longer able to be opened by your normal programs. When HELLO ransomware has finished encrypting the victim’s files, it will also display a HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt ransom note. These HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt ransom notes include informations about what happened to your files and how you can pay the ransom.

The message of the HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt ransom note is:

Ooops, your files have been encrypted!

-What Happen to my computer?
Your important files are encrypted
Many of your documents , photos , passwords , databases and other files are no
longer accessible because they have been encrypted . Maybe you are busy looking for way to
recover your files , but do not waste your time . Nobody can recover your files without
our decryption KEY
-Can i Recover My Files?
Sure.We guarantee that you can recover all your files safely and easily
But You have not so enough time .
So If you want to decrypt all your files, you need to pay .
You only have 12H to submit the payment.After that price will be doubled Also,
If the transaction is not completed within 24 hours your files will be permanently deleted.
How To buy bitcoins hxxps://www.bitcoin.com/buy-bitcoin
And Send the the correct amount to this address 0.05 BTC 17pXroP4MruitJzpTa88FAPAGD5q5QAPzb

When the infection has finished scanning your computer it will also delete all of the Shadow Volume Copies that are on the affected computer. It does this so that you cannot use the shadow volume copies to restore your encrypted files.


2. How did the HELLO ransomware get on my computer?

The HELLO ransomware is distributed via spam email containing infected attachments or links to malicious websites. Cyber-criminals spam out an email, with forged header information, tricking you into believing that it is from a shipping company like DHL or FedEx. The email tells you that they tried to deliver a package to you, but failed for some reason. Sometimes the emails claim to be notifications of a shipment you have made. Either way, you can’t resist being curious as to what the email is referring to – and open the attached file (or click on a link embedded inside the email). And with that, your computer is infected with the HELLO ransomware.


3. Is it possible to decrypt files encrypted by HELLO ransomware?

No, at this time it’s not possible to recover the files encrypted by the HELLO ransomware.

HELLO ransomware is notable due to how it encrypts the user’s files – namely, it uses AES-265 and RSA encryption method – in order to ensure that the affected user has no choice but to purchase the private key. The RSA public key can only be decrypted with its corresponding private key. Since the AES key is hidden using RSA encryption and the RSA private key is not available, decrypting the files is not feasible as of this writing.

Brute forcing the decryption key is not realistic due to the length of time required to break an AES encryption key. Unfortunately, once the HELLO encryption of the data is complete, decryption is not feasible without paying the ransom.
Because the needed private key to unlock the encrypted file is only available through the cyber criminals, victims may be tempted to purchase it and pay the exorbitant fee. However, doing so may encourage these bad guys to continue and even expand their operations. We strongly suggest that you do not send any money to these cyber criminals, and instead address to the law enforcement agency in your country to report this attack.

Restore the files encrypted by HELLO ransomware with recovery software

In some cases, it may be possible to recover previous versions of the encrypted files using System Restore or other recovery software used to obtain “shadow copies” of files.

Option 1: Restore your files encrypted by HELLO ransomware with ShadowExplorer

HELLO ransomware will attempt to delete all shadow copies when you first start any executable on your computer after becoming infected. Thankfully, the infection is not always able to remove the shadow copies, so you should continue to try restoring your files using this method.

  1. You can download ShadowExplorer from the below link:
    SHADOW EXPLORER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “ShadowExplorer”)
  2. Once you have downloaded and installed ShadowExplorer, you can follow the below video guide on how to restore your files while using this program.

Alternatively, you can use the System Restore to try to recover the encrypted documents.

Option 2: Restore your files encrypted by HELLO ransomware with File Recovery Software

When HELLO encrypts a file it first makes a copy of it, encrypts the copy, and then deletes the original. Due to this you can use file recovery software such as:


4. How to remove the HELLO ransomware (Virus Removal Guide)

It’s important to understand that by starting the removal process you risk losing your files, as we cannot guarantee that you will be able to recover them. Furthermore, your files may be permanently compromised when trying to remove this infection or trying to recover the encrypted documents.Malwarebytes and HitmanPro can detect and remove this infection, however these programs cannot recover your encrypted files.

STEP 1: Use Malwarebytes to remove the HELLO Ransomware

Malwarebytes is a powerful on-demand scanner which will remove the HELLO Ransomware from your machine. It is important to note that Malwarebytes will run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

  1. You can download download Malwarebytes from the below link.
    MALWAREBYTES DOWNLOAD LINK (This link open a new page from where you can download “Malwarebytes”)
  2. When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the “mb3-setup-consumer” file to install Malwarebytes on your computer.
    Malwarebytes installer
    You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow Malwarebytes to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    Malwarebytes User Account Control Prompt
  3. When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
    Setup Malwarebytes installer
    To install Malwarebytes on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
    Completing the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard
  4. Once installed, Malwarebytes will automatically start and update the antivirus database. To start a system scan you can click on the “Scan Now” button.
    Perform a system scan with Malwarebytes
  5. Malwarebytes will now start scanning your computer for malicious programs.
    This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Malwarebytes scanning for malware
  6. When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected.
    To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine Selected” button.
    Malwarebytes Quarantine Selected
  7. Malwarebytes will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found.
    To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
    Malwarebytes removing malware from computer
    When the malware removal process is complete, you can close Malwarebytes and continue with the rest of the instructions.

STEP 2: Double-check for the HELLO ransomware with HitmanPro

HitmanPro finds and removes malware, adware, bots, and other threats that even the best antivirus suite can oftentimes miss. It’s designed to run alongside your antivirus suite, firewall, and other security tools.

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “HitmanPro”)
  2. When HitmanPro has finished downloading, double-click on the “hitmanpro” file to install this program on your computer.
    HitmanPro icon
    You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow HitmanPro to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    HitmanPro User Account Control Pop-up
  3. When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Now click on the Next button to continue with the scan process.
    HitmanPro setup process
  4. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malware.
    HitmanPro scanning for HELLO ransomware width=
  5. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the “Next” button, to remove malware.
    HitmanPro detected malware
  6. Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    Activate HitmanPro to remove malware
    When the process is complete, you can close HitmanPro and continue with the rest of the instructions.

5. How to protect your PC from the HELLO ransomware

To protect your computer from the HELLO ransomware, you should always have an antivirus installed on your computer and always have a backup for your personal documents.

As an extra protection method against this type of ransowamre, you can use HitmanPro.Alert, which will prevent any file encrypting malware from running.


Your computer should now be free of the HELLO ransomware infection. If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove HELLO ransomware, please do one of the following:

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STELIAN PILICI
I've started MalwareTips in 2010 to help people solve their computer problems. My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.

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