FireCrypt ransomware - How to remove?
FireCrypt is an exceptional example from the crypto-ransomware category. Of course this is not a feature we should celebrate: we should fear it. FireCrypt combines a strategy of encrypting files with a DDoS attack. This example is a rather well-made, featuring a lot of innovative details that transform this virus into a novelty for the researchers’ eyes. Luckily, the DDoS attack which is attempted to be implemented by FireCrypt was discovered to be not as massive or influential as the hackers would have anticipated. The virus comes in a form of a building kit which has the capacities of designing a different executable for each successful infiltration. In addition to that, ransomware lacks capacities in this area since different infections have more freedom. Nevertheless, the file that FireCrypt generates might be different for each victim. The attack can fully turn to the most important objectives only if the victim launches the executable that FireCrypt virus creates. In this phase, FireCrypt virus is rather helpless. It might have an extension of a regular file, but after opening it, a victim officially becomes compromised by a ransomware. The creators of this FireCrypt virus seem to be more professional: their attempts make the detection more complicated.
FireCrypt ransomware just gonna stand there and watch your files burn
After victim opens the file, generated by FireCrypt virus, the payload can begin the necessary processes. Before scanning computer system for potential files to encrypt, ransomware is going to turn off the Task Manager. After that, AES-256 algorithm is going to ruin files by making them impossible to launch. The research about this variant indicates that the targeted amount of extensions is not impressive: only twenty types in total are in danger of becoming encoded. To mark the data that gets corrupted, FireCrypt virus feels free to leave a clear symbol: .firecrypt extension.
For some ransomware infections, this would be the end of difficult processes. However, FireCrypt shows a superiority by initiating (or rather attempting to) a DDoS attack. However, for such process to be victorious, ransomware would have to infect a number of victims in approximately the same time. The results that are attempted to be reached via a DDoS attack and a ransomware virus contradict each other. For this reason, we question whether this innovative detail in FireCrypt is necessary. Also, after multifarious executables have been encoded with AES-256 cipher, the virus enters a link and installs completely unnecessary data in the compromised system. IT specialists doubt whether this attempt to jeopardize a website is going to work out to the hackers advantage.
Encryption of the files that FireCrypt ransomware initiates: is it permanent?
Creators of ransomware are unpredictable: they might disappear as soon as you send a transaction of bitcoins. That is why we feel obliged to inform you that paying the ransom is not a good idea. FireCrypt virus requires 500 US dollars, sent via bitcoin payment system. This means that hackers are anticipating to receive 0.55 BTC per victim. We hope that people won’t feel desperate enough to pay this demanded fee. Maybe it is just a matter of time until a free tool for decryption will be released by reliable IT researchers. If you have not been infected with FireCrypt or any other ransomware, you should attempt to keep it this way. However, it is recommended to create backups of your files: you can never know when a ransomware virus is going to strike. If you will have your data easily retrievable from online storages, no ransomware will pose as a threat.
FireCrypt virus and its invasion
FireCrypt virus can be downloaded because of a malicious spam campaign, targeting various email owners. Always be extremely careful while checking your inbox for new messages. Attempt to separate legitimate ones from those that seem quite suspicious: this trick might save your from a ransomware infection. In addition to that, do not browse the Internet carelessly: visit only those domains that won’ be identified as potentially dangerous or distributing content that is. If you are concerned with the possible ways to remove FireCrypt virus, you should make copies of the encrypted data (in case during removal they are ruined). Then, exploit a reliable anti-malware tool which will detect whether your system requires urgent repair. Reimage, Spyhunter or Hitman are a possible selections for this automatic option. Scroll down to read more about removal/decryption of files.
How to recover FireCrypt ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
Using System Restore to restore PC to previous state
1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
for Windows 7 / Vista/ XP
- Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
- Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
for Windows 8 / 10
- Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart.
- Choose Troubleshoot → Advanced Options → Startup Settings and click Restart.
- When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings.
2. Restore System files and settings.
- When Command Prompt mode loads, enter cd restore and press Enter.
- Then enter rstrui.exe and press Enter again.
- Click “Next” in the windows that appeared.
- Select one of the Restore Points that are available before FireCrypt ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
3. Complete removal of FireCrypt ransomware
4. Restore FireCrypt ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
If you do not use System Restore option on your operating system, there is a chance to use shadow copy snapshots. They store copies of your files that point of time when the system restore snapshot was created. Usually FireCrypt ransomware tries to delete all possible Shadow Volume Copies, so this methods may not work on all computers. However, it may fail to do so.
Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There are two ways to retrieve your files via Shadow Volume Copy. You can do it using native Windows Previous Versions or via Shadow Explorer.
a) Native Windows Previous Versions
Right-click on an encrypted file and select Properties>Previous versions tab. Now you will see all available copies of that particular file and the time when it was stored in a Shadow Volume Copy. Choose the version of the file you want to retrieve and click Copy if you want to save it to some directory of your own, or Restore if you want to replace existing, encrypted file. If you want to see the content of file first, just click Open.
b) Shadow Explorer
It is a program that can be found online for free. You can download either a full or a portable version of Shadow Explorer. Open the program. On the left top corner select the drive where the file you are looking for is a stored. You will see all folders on that drive. To retrieve a whole folder, right-click on it and select “Export”. Then choose where you want it to be stored.
5. Use Data Recovery programs to recover FireCrypt ransomware encrypted files
There are several data recovery programs that might recover encrypted files as well. This does not work in all cases but you can try this:
- We suggest using another PC and connect the infected hard drive as slave. It is still possible to do this on infected PC though.
- Download Data Recovery Pro (commercial)
- Install and scan for recently deleted files.
Note: In many cases it is impossible to restore data files affected by modern ransomware. Thus I recommend using decent cloud backup software as precaution. We recommend checking out Carbonite, BackBlaze, CrashPlan or Mozy Home.