HorseLeader Ransomware is a file-encrypting infection that can successfully encrypt every single personal file you own if only it gets the chance to do it. Needless to say, protected Windows operating systems are much harder to break into, which is why this ransomware goes after vulnerable, unprotected systems instead. The users of these systems play an important role as well, and it is important for cybercriminals to trick them into clicking, opening, or taking a different kind of action to let malware in. In many cases, the launcher of this kind of malware hides within spam email attachments or bundled downloaders. That being said, the attackers can also use vulnerability exploits and other infections (e.g., trojans) to drop the dangerous malware. Since you are reading this report, we assume that you might have let this threat in already. Are you looking for information on how to delete HorseLeader Ransomware? If you are, we can provide you with it.
There is no doubt that HorseLeader Ransomware is very similar to HorseDeal Ransomware, both of which are part of the GarrantyDecrypt family. The HorseDeal variant avoids encrypting files if the system’s language is Kazakh, Belarusian, Tajik, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyz, Tatar, Azerbaijani, or Armenian. That is likely to be the case with the new variant as well. Both infections are also likely to delete shadow volume copies, which makes it impossible to use a system restore point. This is exactly why our research team always recommends creating copies of personal files outside the computer. Use external drives, online storage systems, or other solutions to guard the copies of the most important files. If you have secured your personal files in this way already, once you remove HorseLeader Ransomware from your operating system, you will be able to replace the corrupted files. Unfortunately, at this point, the files with the “.horseleader” extension attached to their names cannot be salvaged in any other way. What about the solution offered by the attackers?
Once all files are encrypted, HorseLeader Ransomware drops a ransom note (either in a form of a .txt file or a Desktop wallpaper image) that instructs to contact the attackers at @Horseleader (ICQ) or email@example.com (XMPP). Note that the HorseDeal variant asked to contact @bigbosshorse and firstname.lastname@example.org. If you contact the attackers, they will demand something from you, and that is most likely to be money. Even if you have enough to cover the ransom – or whatever else the attackers might request – you should keep your money to yourself. Why? That is because it is unlikely that the attackers’ offers and promises can be trusted. It is most likely that once you pay the ransom, you will find yourself in the same position that you were before the payment. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are ruthless, and because they cannot be held accountable, no one can force them to give you what might be promised. At the end of the day, can we expect anything more from cybercriminals? Of course, we cannot, and so all there is left for us to do is to remove HorseLeader Ransomware.
How successful you are with the removal of HorseLeader Ransomware depends on which method you choose to eradicate this malware. If you are going to do it manually, you could face the obstacle of identifying the launcher file, which, arguably, is the most important file and, perhaps, the only file that you absolutely need to delete from your operating system right away. We do not know where this file is on your operating system, and we know that its name could be deceptive. For example, it could take on a name of a legitimate service or application. If you are not able to identify and delete HorseLeader Ransomware files manually, it might be time to install legitimate anti-malware software. Many Windows users dread this for some reason, but once you install this software, you will not need to worry about facing new threats. Of course, just to be safe, you also want to always create backup copies of all personal files, and you want to store them someplace safe.