Click on screenshot to zoom
Danger level 7
Type: Trojans
Common infection symptoms:
  • Slow Computer
  • System crashes
  • Connects to the internet without permission
  • Installs itself without permissions
  • Can't be uninstalled via Control Panel

Xiaoba 2.0 Ransomware

Cyber criminals update malicious applications they create from time to time to increase their chances to obtain money. Xiaoba 2.0 Ransomware is an updated version of XiaoBa Ransomware, a threat that was spotted in the wild some time ago by malware researchers. Without a doubt, they still share the same goal of extracting money from users, so if this infection ever enters your system, it will lock your files with a strong cipher, and then will demand money from you for the decryption of affected data. We can only imagine how badly you need your files back, but we still cannot let you transfer money to malicious software developers in such an unfortunate event because the chances are high that your files will stay as they are, i.e. they will not be decrypted. You will not get your money back in this case. The ransomware infection will not leave your system too no matter what you decide to do. Luckily, it deletes itself after it locks personal data on affected computers, so the removal of components it leaves behind will be quick and easy. You can find more information about the Xiaoba 2.0 Ransomware removal in the final paragraph.

Xiaoba 2.0 Ransomware starts working immediately after its executable is launched by the user. In other words, it encrypts personal files and then scatters a ransom note HELP_SOS.hta all over the affected computer. It locks almost everything, including media files and important users’ documents. All files it locks get this extension: .[]Encrypted_(random id).XIAOBA. Therefore, it will be obvious which files have been locked on your PC if this nasty infection ever slithers onto your computer and encrypts your files. You will be offered to purchase a decryptor for 0.5 Bitcoin (~3240 USD), but we hope that you will decline it. As mentioned, there is nothing smart about transferring money to malicious software developers because they might not unlock a single file. Cyber criminals only want users’ money, so they might change their intentions and do not give users a decryptor/unlock encrypted data once the money sent is received. Xiaoba 2.0 Ransomware has been thoroughly analyzed by specialists working at Research has shown that this malicious application also deletes volume snapshots so that it would be impossible to use the so-called shadow copies to retrieve files. Free decryption software is not available too, meaning that it might be impossible to get files back without the decryptor cyber criminals have. It does not mean that you should hurry to purchase it from them. What we recommend for you instead is retrieving files from a backup (this will work only if you created copies of the most important files regularly).

There is probably no need to say that users do not download malicious software on their computers consciously. Instead, threats slither onto computers illegally. As for Xiaoba 2.0 Ransomware, it is mainly distributed via malicious attachments spread via spam emails, according to malware researchers. Actually, it is the most common way to distribute all ransomware infections. It is, of course, not the only way to spread threats. Cyber criminals might drop malware on users’ PCs after they hack insecure Remote Desktop Protocol connections as well. Finally, users might download harmful threats from the web themselves. Unfortunately, they find out that the downloaded application is pure malware only after they notice the damage done. Being careful does not always help to avoid threats, especially sneaky malicious applications, so we highly recommend that you also keep an antimalware tool enabled on your computer. If malware ever tries to enter your system illegally, the automated antimalware scanner will make sure it cannot do that successfully.

Xiaoba 2.0 Ransomware removes itself after it locks users’ files, but you will still have to erase several components it drops on affected computers yourself. This will be a piece of cake if you use our manual removal guide (see below). As you can see, you need to remove two files HELP_SOS.hta and HELP_SOS.vbs only and check for recently downloaded suspicious files. You should remove malware from your PC without difficulty, but, unfortunately, it will not be easy to unlock encrypted data. Yes, it will stay encrypted even if you fully erase the ransomware infection from your computer.

Xiaoba 2.0 Ransomware removal guide

  1. Remove HELP_SOS.hta from your PC (you should find it in all affected folders).
  2. Remove HELP_SOS.vbs from the %TEMP% directory (tap Win+E, type %TEMP% in the URL bar, and tap Enter to access it).
  3. Check your Desktop and Downloads folders.
  4. Remove suspicious files downloaded recently.
  5. Empty Recycle bin.
  6. Use a diagnostic antimalware scanner to check whether malware is fully removed.
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