HELP Ransomware (.help Files) — How to remove virus?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Help virus falls within the VoidCrypt ransomware family. Ransomware of this type encrypts all the data on your PC (photos, documents, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its extra extension to every file, creating the Decrypt-me.txt text files in each folder with the encrypted files.
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Help virus: what is known so far?

☝️ A scientifically accurate denomination for the Help would be “a VoidCrypt family ransomware-type infection”.

The scheme of renaming is the following: [email].[idxxxxxx].help. After the encryption, a file entitled, for example, “report.docx” will be turned into “report.docx.[helpdecryption138@tutanota.io][VB-3180CVCOQWC].help”.

In every directory with the encrypted files, a Decrypt-me.txt text file will be found. It is a ransom money note. It contains information about the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other information. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the tamperers. You can obtain this decoding tool after contacting helpdecryption138@tutanota.io via email. That is it.

Help summary:
NameHelp Virus
Ransomware family1VoidCrypt ransomware
Extension.[email].[idxxxxxx].help
Ransomware noteDecrypt-me.txt
Contacthelpdecryption138@tutanota.io
Detection2TrojanSpy:Win32/Delgent, Trojan.Ransom.Magniber, Trojan:MSIL/Tnega.SM!MTB
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .[email].[idxxxxxx].help extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Help virus

In the picture below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Help looks like. Each filename has the “.[email].[idxxxxxx].help” extension appended to it.

Help Virus - encrypted .[email].[idxxxxxx].help files

An example of encrypted .[email].[idxxxxxx].help files.

How did my machine catch Help ransomware?

There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware injection.

There are currently three most exploited methods for tamperers to have ransomware acting in your system. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer-to-peer networks.

If you open your mailbox and see letters that look just like notifications from utility services providers, delivery agencies like FedEx, Internet providers, and whatnot, but whose addresser is strange to you, be wary of opening those emails. They are most likely to have a malicious item attached to them. So it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan virus model3. A Trojan is a program that gets into your PC pretending to be something else. For example, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some software. But what is unpacked reveals itself a harmful program that compromises your data. As the installation file can have any name and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the resource of the stuff you’re downloading. The optimal way is to use the software companies’ official websites.

As for the peer networks like BitTorrent or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Internet. You can never guess what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy resources. Also, it is reasonable to scan the folder containing the downloaded objects with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is complete.

How to remove the Help virus?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Help virus will probably deploy the Azorult Spyware on your machine to get access to credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned program can derive your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Often criminals would unblock some of your files to prove that they indeed have the decryption tool. Since Help virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures developers have not yet found a way to undo its work. However, the decoding tools are frequently updated, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Understandably, if the hackers do the job of encrypting someone’s critical files, the desperate person will most likely fulfill their demands. Nevertheless, paying a ransom gives no guarantee that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still risky. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption key to the victim. There were reports of malefactors just disappearing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.

The optimal solution against ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud disk or at least on an external drive. Of course, that might be not enough. The most important thing could be that one you were working on when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also wise to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the system is rolled back.

There are other ransomware products, besides Help, that work similarly. Examples of those are Qbaa, Fgui, Rtgf, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Help are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: documents become blocked, their extensions changed, ransom notes are created in every folder containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate users were able to decrypt the blocked files with the aid of the free software provided by anti-ransomware developers. Sometimes the hackers mistakenly send the decoding key to the victims in the ransom readme. Such an epic fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But of course, one should never expect such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a bandits’ instrument to pull the money out of their victims.

How сan I avert ransomware infiltration?

Help ransomware has no superpower, neither does any similar malware.

You can protect yourself from ransomware attack taking several easy steps:

  • Never open any emails from unknown senders with unknown addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are expecting (how can you win in a money prize draw without even taking part in it?). If the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, scrutinize all elements of the suspicious letter with caution. A fake email will surely contain a mistake.
  • Do not use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojans are often shared as a part of cracked products, most likely under the guise of “patch” to prevent the license check. But potentially dangerous programs are difficult to tell from trustworthy ones, as trojans may also have the functionality you seek. You can try searching for information on this program on the anti-malware message boards, but the best way is not to use such programs at all.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful armor for your PC.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft4

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft5.

Download Removal Tool.

You can download GridinSoft Anti-Malware by clicking the button below:

Run the setup file.

When setup file has finished downloading, double-click on the setup-antimalware-fix.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your system.

Run Setup.exe

An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Setup

Press “Install” button.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Install

Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Splash-Screen

Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your system for Help infections and other malicious programs. This process can take a 20-30 minutes, so I suggest you periodically check on the status of the scan process.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scanning

Click on “Clean Now”.

When the scan has finished, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the “Clean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 Can I somehow access “.[email].[idxxxxxx].help” files?

There’s no way to do it, unless the files “.[email].[idxxxxxx].help” files are decrypted.

🤔 I really need to decrypt those “.[email].[idxxxxxx].help” files ASAP. How can I do that?

If the “.[email].[idxxxxxx].help” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. The rest of the methods require patience.

🤔 Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the Help virus?

No way! Your encrypted files are no threat to your PC.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will remove the malware from your system. The ransomware that has infected your system is must be still functional and it scans your system periodically to arrest any new files you might create on your computer after the attack. As it has already been said, the Help ransomware comes with the company. 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 should I do if the Help virus has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation code.

If that happened, you need to prepare a flash memory drive with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. You see, the ransomware runs automatically as the system boots and encodes any new files created or imported into your system. To suppress this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 What can I do right now?

Many of the encrypted files might still be within your reach

  • If you sent or received your critical files via email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You may have shared images or videos with your friends or family members. Simply ask them to give those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Web, you can try doing it again.
  • Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud drives might have all those files too.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old computer, a laptop, phone, external storage, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can use data recovery utilities6 to get your lost data back since ransomware arrests the copies of your files, deleting the original ones. In the tutorial below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but be advised: you can do it only after you kill the virus with an antivirus program.

Also, you can contact the following governmental fraud and scam sites to report this attack:

To report the attack, you can contact local executive boards. For instance, if you live in USA, you can have a talk with FBI Local field office, IC3 or Secret Service.

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Brendan Smith
How to Remove HELP Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: HELP Virus

Description: HELP Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .[email].[idxxxxxx].help extension. So, you can't use them at all.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. Encyclopedia of threats.
  3. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  4. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  5. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products/
  6. Here are the top 10 file recovery tools of 2021.

About the author

Brendan Smith

Journalist, researcher, web content developer, grant proposal editor. Efficient and proficient on multiple platforms and in diverse media. Computer technology and security are my specialties.

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