Hardbit Ransomware

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Hardbit belongs to the malicious software category of file-encrypting Ransomware. Once in your system, Hardbit begins to encrypt specific files types stored on the computer, rendering them inaccessible to anyone not in possession of a special decryption key. 

Hardbit Ransomware

Getting infected with data-encrypting Ransomware is not a nice thing. Web users or companies who become victims of this type of malware are typically deprived of access to their most needed files, while at the same time they are asked to pay a ransom in exchange for a decryption key. In many cases, the hackers behind the Ransomware viruses like Hardbit and XHAMSTER pretend to be legal authorities and tend to scare users into believing they themselves have committed some type of illegal action, which they have to pay a fine for.

A recently reported infection of this type goes under the name of Hardbit and operates as a cryptovirus which secretly applies an encryption to the files, stored on the compromised computer, and asks for a certain amount of money in order to make them accessible again. Immediately after the attack, the hackers who have control of the infection place a ransom-demanding notification on the screen and threaten that if no payment is made, the files will remain inaccessible forever.

If you are reading this because you have been greeted by such a message, you may be feeling shocked and intimidated. Luckily, since you are on this page, we assume that you are most likely seeking for the most effective course of action that can help you avoid the ransom payment. That’s why, on this page, we have prepared some alternative solutions that don’t involve giving your money to the hackers. Just stay with us, and you will find a step-by-step removal guide, which you can use to remove Hardbit, and potentially recover some of the encrypted files by alternative means.

The Hardbit 2.0 virus

Computer infections such as the Hardbit 2.0 virus operate in a very specific way and this gives them a great advantage over most other viruses. Unlike infections with spyware, Trojans or rootkits, the Hardbit 2.0 virus rarely damages anything in the system.

Instead, it uses file encryption, which is, in fact, not a harmful process, as its main weapon. Here, we need to say that the file-encryption is one of the most reliable and unbreakable data-protection methods, which has a wide implementation in many sectors such as banking, insurance, health care, and other areas where digital data should be kept away from unauthorized access. The encrypted information can only be opened or used by the person who holds the corresponding decryption key. Ideally, this is the owner of the information. In the case of a Ransomware infection, however, the hackers are those who possess the decryption key, and they blackmail the victims to pay a ransom if they want to obtain it.

The Hardbit file encryption

The Hardbit file encryption is typically a complex and lengthy process that may take up to several hours to complete. And on some machines, the Hardbit file encryption may even end up slowing the entire system down, which can serve as a tell-tale sign of an ongoing infection.

As you can see, this horrible blackmailing scheme is all about extorting money from the shocked and desperate web users. Unfortunately, even paying the ransom does not give any guarantee about the future of the encrypted files. The hackers oftentimes vanish with the money without sending a decryption key. This risk, combined with the fact that sending money to the attackers only stimulates them to create more Ransomware gives, us a good reason to believe that paying the ransom is not a good idea. Therefore, we often advise our readers to seek alternative options, which focus on removing the malware instead of paying criminals.


Danger LevelHigh (Ransomware is by far the worst threat you can encounter)
SymptomsVery few and unnoticeable ones before the ransom notification comes up.
Distribution MethodFrom fake ads and fake system requests to spam emails and contagious web pages.
Detection Tool

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Remove Hardbit Virus


Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).



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Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 


Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

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    After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

    Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections.



    Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

    notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

    A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

    hosts_opt (1)


    If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

    Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:



    Go in Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.

    • Please note that ransomware may even include a fake Manufacturer name to its process. Make sure you check out every process here is legitimate.


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    Type Regedit in the windows search field and press EnterOnce inside, press CTRL and F together and type the virus’s Name. 

    Search for the ransomware  in your registries and delete the entries. Be extremely careful –  you can damage your system if you delete entries not related to the ransomware.

    Type each of the following in the Windows Search Field:

    1. %AppData%
    2. %LocalAppData%
    3. %ProgramData%
    4. %WinDir%
    5. %Temp%

    Delete everything in Temp. The rest just check out for anything recently added. Remember to leave us a comment if you run into any trouble!



    How to Decrypt Hardbit files

    We have a comprehensive (and daily updated) guide on how to decrypt your files. Check it out here.

    If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


    About the author


    Violet George

    Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.

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