ERT Virus 🔐 (.ERT Files) — How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith

The Ert virus falls within the Xorist ransomware family. Harmful software of such sort encrypts all the data on your computer (images, documents, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its own extension to every file, leaving the КАК РАСШИФРОВАТЬ ФАЙЛЫ.txt text files in every directory containing encrypted files.

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What is Ert virus?

☝️ Ert is a Xorist family ransomware virus.

Ert adds its extra .ert extension to the name of each encrypted file. For instance, a file named “photo.jpg” will be turned into “photo.jpg.ert”. In the same manner, the Excel sheet with the name “table.xlsx” will be changed to “table.xlsx.ert”, and so on.

In each directory with the encrypted files, a КАК РАСШИФРОВАТЬ ФАЙЛЫ.txt text file will be created. It is a ransom money memo. It contains information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the Ert developers. You can obtain this decoding tool after contacting [email protected] via email. That is how they do it.

Ert Summary:

Name Ert Virus
Ransomware family1 Xorist ransomware
Extension .ert
Ransomware note КАК РАСШИФРОВАТЬ ФАЙЛЫ.txt
Contact [email protected]
Detection Trojan:Win32/Virtumonde.O Virus Removal, TrojanRansom.Stealc Virus Removal, Trojan:Win32/Inject.AL Virus Removal
Symptoms Your files (photos, videos, documents) have a .ert extension and you can’t open them.
Fix Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Ert virus

The КАК РАСШИФРОВАТЬ ФАЙЛЫ.txt file accompanying the Ert ransomware states the following:

Ваши файлы были зашифрованны. Для того что бы расшифровать свои файлы, Вам необходимо написать нам, на адрес почты, который указан ниже.


[email protected]


Ждем ответа сегодня до 20.03.2024, 12:00 дня по мск!!!, если не получим ответа, удаляем ключи расшифровки Ваших файлов.


Расшифровка файлов производиться нашим специалистом через AnyDesk или RDP


Укажите в письме цифру 1

In the screenshot below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Ert looks like. Each filename has the “.ert” extension appended to it.

Ert Virus - encrypted .ert files

That is how encrypted “.ert” files look.

How did Ert ransomware end up on my PC?

There are many possible ways of ransomware injection.

Nowadays, there are three most popular ways for criminals to have the Ert virus planted in your system. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer-to-peer networks.

  • If you open your inbox and see emails that look just like notifications from utility services providers, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose mailer is strange to you, beware of opening those letters. They are very likely to have a ransomware item attached to them. Thus it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with letters like these.
  • Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan virus scheme. A Trojan is a program that gets into your computer disguised as something else. Imagine, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some software. However, what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful agent that corrupts your data. Since the installation file can have any title and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the resource of the stuff you’re downloading. The best thing is to trust the software companies’ official websites.
  • As for the peer-to-peer networks like torrent trackers or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never guess what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the folder containing the downloaded items with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is finished.

How do I get rid of ransomware?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Ert virus will most likely install Vidar Stealer on your machine to get access to credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned program can extract your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Remove Ert with Gridinsoft Anti-Malware

We have also been using this software on our systems ever since, and it has always been successful in detecting viruses. It has blocked the most common Ransomware as shown from our tests with the software, and we assure you that it can remove Ert as well as other malware hiding on your computer.

Gridinsoft Anti-Malware - Main Screen

To use Gridinsoft for remove malicious threats, follow the steps below:

1. Begin by downloading Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, accessible via the blue button below or directly from the official website gridinsoft.com.

2.Once the Gridinsoft setup file (setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe) is downloaded, execute it by clicking on the file.

setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe

3.Follow the installation setup wizard's instructions diligently.

Gridinsoft Setup Wizard

4. Access the "Scan Tab" on the application's start screen and launch a comprehensive "Full Scan" to examine your entire computer. This inclusive scan encompasses the memory, startup items, the registry, services, drivers, and all files, ensuring that it detects malware hidden in all possible locations.

Scan for Ert Ransomware

Be patient, as the scan duration depends on the number of files and your computer's hardware capabilities. Use this time to relax or attend to other tasks.

5. Upon completion, Anti-Malware will present a detailed report containing all the detected malicious items and threats on your PC.

The Ert was Found

6. Select all the identified items from the report and confidently click the "Clean Now" button. This action will safely remove the malicious files from your computer, transferring them to the secure quarantine zone of the anti-malware program to prevent any further harmful actions.

The Ert has been removed

8. If prompted, restart your computer to finalize the full system scan procedure. This step is crucial to ensure thorough removal of any remaining threats. After the restart, Gridinsoft Anti-Malware will open and display a message confirming the completion of the scan.

Remember Gridinsoft offers a 6-day free trial. This means you can take advantage of the trial period at no cost to experience the full benefits of the software and prevent any future malware infections on your system. Embrace this opportunity to fortify your computer's security without any financial commitment.

Trojan Killer for “Ert” removal on locked PC

In situations where it becomes impossible to download antivirus applications directly onto the infected computer due to malware blocking access to websites, an alternative solution is to utilize the Trojan Killer application.

Trojan Killer - Main View

There is a really little number of security tools that are able to be set up on the USB drives, and antiviruses that can do so in most cases require to obtain quite an expensive license. For this instance, I can recommend you to use another solution of GridinSoft - Trojan Killer Portable. It has a 14-days cost-free trial mode that offers the entire features of the paid version. This term will definitely be 100% enough to wipe malware out.

Trojan Killer is a valuable tool in your cybersecurity arsenal, helping you to effectively remove malware from infected computers. Now, we will walk you through the process of using Trojan Killer from a USB flash drive to scan and remove malware on an infected PC. Remember, always obtain permission to scan and remove malware from a computer that you do not own.

Step 1: Download & Install Trojan Killer on a Clean Computer:

1. Go to the official GridinSoft website (gridinsoft.com) and download Trojan Killer to a computer that is not infected.

Download Trojan Killer

2. Insert a USB flash drive into this computer.

3. Install Trojan Killer to the "removable drive" following the on-screen instructions.

Install Trojan Killer to Removable Drive

4. Once the installation is complete, launch Trojan Killer.

Step 2: Update Signature Databases:

5. After launching Trojan Killer, ensure that your computer is connected to the Internet.

6. Click "Update" icon to download the latest signature databases, which will ensure the tool can detect the most recent threats.

Click Update Button

Step 3: Scan the Infected PC:

7. Safely eject the USB flash drive from the clean computer.

8. Boot the infected computer to the Safe Mode.

9. Insert the USB flash drive.

10. Run tk.exe

11. Once the program is open, click on "Full Scan" to begin the malware scanning process.

Searching Ert Virus

Step 4: Remove Found Threats:

12. After the scan is complete, Trojan Killer will display a list of detected threats.

Searching Ert Finished

13. Click on "Cure PC!" to remove the identified malware from the infected PC.

14. Follow any additional on-screen prompts to complete the removal process.

Restart needed

Step 5: Restart Your Computer:

15. Once the threats are removed, click on "Restart PC" to reboot your computer.

16. Remove the USB flash drive from the infected computer.

Congratulations on effectively removing Ert and the concealed threats from your computer! You can now have peace of mind, knowing that they won't resurface again. Thanks to Gridinsoft's capabilities and commitment to cybersecurity, your system is now protected.

Sometimes criminals would unblock some of your files to prove that they do have the decryption program. As Ert virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures developers have not yet found a method to reverse its work. However, the decoding instruments are constantly updated, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Sure thing, if the evildoers do the job of encoding victim’s essential data, the hopeless person will probably comply with their demands. Nevertheless, paying to criminals gives no guarantee that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still dangerous. After receiving the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports of ransomware developers simply vanishing after getting the money without even writing back.

The optimal solution against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud drive or at least on an external drive. Of course, that might be not enough. Your most crucial thing could be that one you were working upon when it all happened. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the OS is rolled back.

Ert is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. Examples of those are Vook, Looy, Kool, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Ert are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is almost identical: files become encrypted, their extensions altered, ransom notes are found in each folder containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate people were able to decode the arrested files with the help of the free software provided by anti-ransomware experts. Sometimes the racketeers accidentally send the decryption code to the victims in the ransom note. Such an extraordinary fail allows the user to restore the files. But of course, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a tamperers’ technology to pull the money out of their victims.

How сan I avoid ransomware injection?

Ert ransomware has no endless power, so as any similar malware.

You can protect yourself from ransomware attack within three easy steps:

  • Never open any letters from unknown senders with strange addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are expecting (how can you win in a money prize draw without participating in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are expecting, scrutinize all elements of the dubious letter with caution. A hoax letter will always contain a mistake.
  • Never use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojans are often shared as an element of cracked products, possibly under the guise of “patch” which prevents the license check. But potentially dangerous programs are very hard to tell from trustworthy ones, because trojans may also have the functionality you need. You can try searching for information about this software product on the anti-malware forums, but the best solution is not to use such programs at all.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a perfect defense for your PC.

Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 How can I open “.ert” files?Is it possible to open“.ert” files?

Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.ert” files first. Then you will be able to open them.

🤔 The encrypted files are very important to me. How can I decrypt them quickly?

Hopefully, you have made a copy of those important files. In case you haven’t, there is still a chance that you do have a Restore Point from some time ago to roll back the whole system to the moment when it had no virus yet, but already had your files. All other solutions require time.

🤔 You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Ert virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?

No way! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will delete actual infections from your PC. The malware that has infected your system is must be still functional and it scans your system every so often to encrypt any new files you might create on your computer after the initial attack. As it has been said above, the Ert malware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide malefactors with easy access to your system in the future.

🤔 What to do if the Ert malware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation key.

In such a case, you need to have a flash memory card with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to do the cleaning. The point is that the ransomware runs automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or brought into your machine. To suppress this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital applications to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 What could help the situation right now?

Many of the blocked files might still be at your disposal

  • If you exchanged your important files through email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You may have shared images or videos with your friends or family members. Just ask them to give those images back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Internet, you can try downloading them again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud disks might have all those files too.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a laptop, phone, memory stick, etc.

HINT: You can employ file recovery utilities2 to get your lost data back since ransomware arrests the copies of your files, deleting the authentic ones. In the tutorial below, you can see how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but be advised: you can do it only after you eradicate the virus with an anti-malware program.

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References

  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. Here are Best Data Recovery Software Of 2024.

About the author

Brendan Smith

I'm Brendan Smith, a passionate journalist, researcher, and web content developer. With a keen interest in computer technology and security, I specialize in delivering high-quality content that educates and empowers readers in navigating the digital landscape.

With a focus on computer technology and security, I am committed to sharing my knowledge and insights to help individuals and organizations protect themselves in the digital age. My expertise in cybersecurity principles, data privacy, and best practices allows me to provide practical tips and advice that readers can implement to enhance their online security.

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