I wrote this article to help you remove FireCrypt Ransomware. This FireCrypt Ransomware removal guide works for all Windows versions.
FireCrypt ransomware is a type of virus which encrypts files. The alternative term for this kind of infection is win-locker. FireCrypt ransomware uses AES-256 algorithm to encrypt files. This cipher creates a sophisticated pattern for rearranging the code schemes of the infected objects. FireCrypt ransomware targets 20 file types: .html, .htm, .txt, .doc, .docx, .asp, .aspx, .pdf, .csv, .csx, .php, .aep, .mdb, .sql, .sln, .jpg, .png, .psd, .mp3, .torrent. This is a brief list, compared to the diapason of other win-lockers. Some file types which often carry essential information (like Excel documents) remain intact. All infected files have the suffix .firecrypt appended to their names.
FireCrypt ransomware is spread through spam emails. The executable of the malignant programs is disguised as a .doc or .pdf file. The misleading email would be formulated to resemble a legitimate message from a reputable entity. The letter can be written on behalf of the national post, the district police department, a government institution, a bank, a courier firm, a shopping platform or a social network. The process of extracting the files of the win-locker would be prompted upon opening the attachment. You need to be cautious about your emails. Check the email address to confirm that the sender is who he claims to be.
The creator of FireCrypt ransomware has not put on the effort to make the infection as strong of a threat as other viruses of this category. The hacker has taken a shortcut in the development process. FireCrypt ransomware has been assembled using a malware builder. This technology is the easier approach to creating ransomware. The process of combining samples to build the tool is automated.
The renegade developer has chosen a malware builder called BleedGreen. This is a simple program with limited options. It gives the coder the chance to create the executable of the program, select its name and choose a customized icon. BleedGreen also provides the input parameters. Although the developer of FireCrypt ransomware has chosen the easy path, he has shown thorough knowledge on malware. The complexity of the win-locker’s code scheme is evidence to his prowess.
FireCrypt ransomware has an algorithm of tasks. The first step is to disable the process of the Task Manager. The clandestine program then proceeds with the encryption. Once this process is done, it leaves a ransom note on the desktop. The file’s name is generated using the following formula: [14 letters]-READ_ME.html. The message explains the actions of the malevolent program and lists the demands of the hacker. The creator of FireCrypt ransomware has set the ransom at $500 USD. The required sum has to be paid in bitcoins. This is the preferred monetary unit in most cases, since the transaction is protected. The recipient cannot be tracked down.
The owner of FireCrypt ransomware requires a confirmation on the payment. Upon completing the transaction, the user has to send him a message with his transaction details and user ID. The contact email address is email@example.com. To pressure victims, the hacker has set a tight deadline for completing the payment. People have a few days to meet his demands. The private key is stored on a remote server. It is scheduled to be deleted when the time runs out. Collaborating is not advised. The ransomware developer may not make good on his end of the deal. This is a common occurrence with these viruses.
FireCrypt ransomware has an additional function which sets it apart from other win-lockers. It runs distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. The secluded program downloads junk files to the hard disk drive. This task is run continuously. FireCrypt ransomware establishes a connection with a URL and downloads data from it. The sinister program connects to the website of the Telecommunication Authority of Pakistan. According to the owner of FireCrypt ransomware, the purpose is to launch an attack on the domain in time. In order for a successful attack to be launched, the virus would have to reside in thousands of systems at the same time.
It should be noted that FireCrypt ransomware is a later version of another win-locker by the name of Deadly for a Good Purpose ransomware. The two utilities share a common email address and bitcoin account. Their ransom notes are almost identical. The only difference is that the note of Deadly for a Good Purpose ransomware had a logo with its name at the top. FireCrypt ransomware has not had a logo made. Deadly for a Good Purpose appears to have been a prototype, as it was scheduled to start the encryption only if the infected device accounted for a date no earlier than January 1, 2017.
FireCrypt Ransomware Removal
Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, FireCrypt Ransomware deletes all shadow copies, stored in your computer. Luckily, the ransomware is not always able to delete the shadow copies. So your first try should be restoring the original files from shadow copies.
- Download ShadowExplorer from this link: http://www.shadowexplorer.com/downloads.html.
- Install ShadowExplorer
- Open ShadowExplorer and select C: drive on the left panel
- Choose at least a month ago date from the date field
- Navigate to the folder with encrypted files
- Right-click on the encrypted file
- Select “Export” and choose a destination for the original file
Method 2: Restore your encrypted files by using System Restore
- Go to Start –> All programs –> Accessories –> System tools –> System restore
- Click “Next“
- Choose a restore point, at least a month ago
- Click “Next“
- Choose Disk C: (should be selected by default)
- Click “Next“. Wait for a few minutes and the restore should be done.
Method 3: Restore your files using File Recovery Software
If none of the above method works, you should try to recover encrypted files by using File Recovery Software. Since FireCrypt Ransomware first makes a copy of the original file, then encrypts it and deletes the original one, you can successfully restore the original, using a File Recovery Software. Here are a few free File Recovery Software programs: