HYDROX Virus πŸ” (.HYDROX Files) β€” How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Hydrox virus falls under the ransomware type of infection. Malware of this type encrypts all user’s data on the computer (photos, text files, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its specific extension to every file, creating the Hydrox Ransomware.txt text files in each directory with the encrypted files.
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What is Hydrox virus?

☝️ A scientifically accurate denomination for the Hydrox is “a ransomware-type infection”.

Hydrox appends its specific .hydrox extension to every file’s name. For example, a file entitled “photo.jpg” will be altered to “photo.jpg.hydrox”. In the same manner, the Excel file named “table.xlsx” will be renamed to “table.xlsx.hydrox”, and so on.

In each directory containing the encoded files, a Hydrox Ransomware.txt text file will appear. It is a ransom money note. It contains information about the ways of paying the ransom and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the racketeers. That is pretty much the scheme of the malefaction.

Hydrox outline:
NameHydrox Virus
Extension.hydrox
Ransomware noteHydrox Ransomware.txt
Detection1Win32/TrojanDownloader.Small.OCD, TrojanDropper:Win32/Vundo.AB, Trojan:MSIL/Tiny.AC!MTB
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .hydrox extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Hydrox virus

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

Hydrox Virus - encrypted .hydrox files

An example of encrypted .hydrox files.

How did Hydrox ransomware end up on my PC?

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

Nowadays, there are three most popular methods for malefactors to have ransomware settled in your system. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer file transfer.

If you access your mailbox and see emails that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose “from” field is unknown to you, beware of opening those emails. They are most likely to have a viral file attached to them. Thus it is even riskier to download any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan virus model2. A Trojan is a program that gets into your machine disguised as something different. For example, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some software. But what is unboxed reveals itself a harmful program that compromises your data. As the update wizard can have any name and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the resource of the files you’re downloading. The best way is to trust 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 know what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the directory containing the downloaded items with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is complete.

How do I get rid of the Hydrox virus?

It is important to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Hydrox virus will probably deploy the Azorult Spyware on your computer to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That spyware3 can derive your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Often racketeers would decode some of your files so you know that they indeed have the decryption tool. As Hydrox virus is a relatively new ransomware, security software developers have not yet found a way to undo its work. Nevertheless, the decryption instruments are constantly upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon arrive.

Understandably, if the tamperers succeed in encoding someone’s essential data, the hopeless person will probably comply with their demands. However, paying to criminals gives no guarantee that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still dangerous. After receiving the ransom, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports about hackers just vanishing after getting the ransom without even writing back.

The best 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 storage. Surely, that might be not enough. The most crucial thing could be that one you were working on when it all went down. But at least it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the system is rolled back.

Hydrox 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 Oori, Ooxa, Ggew, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Hydrox are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: files become inaccessible, their extensions altered, ransom notes emerge in every folder containing encoded files.

Some lucky victims were able to decrypt the blocked files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-ransomware experts. Sometimes the criminals mistakenly send the decoding key to the victims in the ransom note. Such an epic fail allows the victim to restore the files. But of course, one should never expect such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a bandits’ tool to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How do I avert ransomware attack?

Hydrox ransomware doesn’t have a superpower, so as any similar malware.

You can armour your computer from ransomware attack within three easy steps:

  • Ignore any emails from unknown mailboxes with strange addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are expecting (how can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). If the email subject is more or less something you are waiting for, scrutinize all elements of the questionable letter carefully. A hoax email will always have mistakes.
  • Avoid using cracked or unknown software. Trojan viruses are often spreaded as an element of cracked software, most likely as a β€œpatch” preventing the license check. Understandably, dubious programs are difficult to distinguish from trustworthy software, because trojans may also have the functionality you need. Try to find information on this software product on the anti-malware message boards, but the optimal solution is not to use such programs at all.
  • And finally, to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a powerful defense 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 computer.

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 β€œYes” 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 PC for Hydrox 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 β€œClean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

FAQ

πŸ€” How can I open “.hydrox” files?Can I somehow access “.hydrox” files?

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

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

If the β€œ.hydrox” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. 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.

πŸ€” If GridinSoft deletes the Hydrox malware, will it also delete my files that were encrypted?

No way! The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.

With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your PC off the actual threats. The ransomware that has infiltrated your device is most likely still active and it scans your system from time to time to encrypt any new files you might create on your PC after the infection. As it has been said above, the Hydrox virus does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide hackers with easy access to your PC after some time.

πŸ€” What should I do if the Hydrox ransomware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation code.

In such a case, you need to prepare a memory stick with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. The point is that the ransomware starts 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 essential programs to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

πŸ€” What can I do right now?

Some of the encrypted files can be found elsewhere.

  • If you exchanged your important files via email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You might have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Simply ask them to send those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Web, you can try to do it again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud drives might have all those files too.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a notebook, mobile, flash memory, etc.

HINT: You can use file recovery programs6 to get your lost data back since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, removing the authentic ones. In the tutorial below, you can learn how to use PhotoRec for such a recovery, but be advised: you can do it only after you remove the ransomware itself 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 HYDROX Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: HYDROX Virus

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

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. Encyclopedia of threats.
  2. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  3. You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective 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 best 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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