Foqe is ransomware. It’s a malicious program that breaks user files, installs other malware, and then demands money in exchange for fixing the files. Antivirus scanners detect Foqe as Encoder, Filecoder, Ransom, Cryptor, Trojan, and other names.
Besides getting your files back (which might not be possible), it’s important to delete Foqe and the malware that came with it, reset your passwords, and restore the system settings that Foqe broke.
Foqe Ransomware quicklinks
- How Foqe ransomware works
- The initial infection
- File encryption
- How to remove Foqe ransomware
- How to get the “foqe” files back
- Important -- edit the hosts file to unblock security websites
- Find and edit the hosts file
- Download and run the antivirus program
- Automatic Malware removal tools
- How to recover Foqe Ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
- Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
- 1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt:
- 2.Restore System files and settings.
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Foqe Ransomware encrypted files
About Foqe ransomware:
|How Foqe infects computers||Downloaded in pirated files, game cheats from unreliable websites,
downloads and installs more malware,
changes some system settings.
|How to remove Foqe||Restore system settings,
make backups of the encrypted files,
reset your passwords.
|How to fix the files||Try the free decryptor,
recover deleted files,
manually repair the files that can be repaired.
How Foqe ransomware works
The initial infection
- They spread with infected pirated installers, cracking tools, modding and cheating software.
- They install the Azorult trojan, which acts as spyware (reading your data saved in the browser and other online apps), as well as a downloader fro adware (so, Foqe might cause pop-ps and redirects in your browser).
- They break various settings on the infected PC. They delete restore point data, antivirus updates, disable Task Manager, block a bunch of websites (including ours), and may show fake Windows Update messages to discourage the victim from investigating the issues.
The main feature of the Foqe ransomware is that it breaks files. It encrypts them (partially, which is why some data recovery might still be possible) and then changes their names to use the “foqe” extension and the FOQE file type.
Think of encryption as a way to scramble information and turn in into random noise. There’s nothing left, but you can reverse it if you happen to have the correct decryption tool and the decryption key, which is a long number unique to each victim.
The people responsible for Foqe want to make money, so, after Foqe scrambles the victim’s files, it leaves ransom notes with the contact information of the criminals. It’s from $490 to $980 to fix the files, or more than that if the criminals feel greedy that day.
How to remove Foqe ransomware
Deleting Foqe and the other malware is important for the security of your computer. Just remember – if you want to try to fix the encrypted files, you need to save them somewhere where they won’t get accidentally deleted.
You may need to fix the Task Manager, fix the hosts file (instructions below), and update or reinstall your antivirus program. Then, you can delete Foqe and the other threats with an antivirus tool, such as Spyhunter or Malwarebytes. You may need to use safe mode.
Or you can reset Windows, though if you do that, remember to check for malicious files after doing the reset.
Then, make sure that your computer is clean, and reset your passwords. Foqe is known to install spyware that might have stolen your credentials – they could be used to hack your accounts.
How to get the “foqe” files back
If you didn’t have a backup of your important files when Foqe attacked(always good to make backups regularly), you might want to know if there’s a way to restore the data that it encrypted.
First, check your drives and all the folders. It’s possible that Foqe skipped over some of them.
As for the files that it did encrypt, there are a few options to get them back:
- Decrypt them – perfect, but might be impossible or very expensive.
- Restore deleted files by scanning your drive with a forensic tool – difficult and unreliable.
- Repair the files – only works on some file types, is difficult/expensive, and results in some data being lost (such as part of a picture being cut off).
The only way to decrypt the files encrypted by Foqe is by:
- Paying the ransom to the criminals to get your unique decryption key.
- Or by hoping that your encryption/decryption pair is not unique and someone else pays the ransom.
Emsisoft has a free tool for decrypting the files. Scan yours with it and it’ll tell you if your decryption key is unique or not.
By the way, don’t pay the ransom unless you’re fine with losing your money and your files. The people behind Foqe are not reliable and there’s no way to hold them accountable.
I also can’t promise anything for repairing files. Automated tools may or may not be helpful. You might be able to open some audio files and some archives. Manual effort might be needed with other file types – here is an example of someone working on Djvu-encrypted files.
Important -- edit the hosts file to unblock security websitesTL DR : The hosts file is edited to block security sites Before the virus can be removed, it's necessary to fix the hosts file (the file which controls which addresses connect to which IPs). That is the reason the majority of security websites is inaccessible when infected with this particular parasite. This infection edits this file to stop certain websites, including anti-malware download sites, from being accessed from the infected computer, making browsers return the "This site can't be reached" error. Luckily, it's trivial to fix the file and remove the edits that were made to it.
Find and edit the hosts fileThe hosts file can be found on C:/Windows/System32/Drivers/etc/hosts. If you don't see it, change the settings to see hidden files.
- In the Start Menu, search for Control Panel.
- In the Control Panel, find Appearance and Personalization.
- Select Folder Options.
- Open the View tab.
- Open Advanced settings.
- Select "Show hidden files...".
- Select OK.
- Open the Start Menu and enter "notepad".
- When Notepad shows up in the result, right-click on it.
- In the menu, choose "Run as administrator"
- File->Open and browse for the hosts file.
Download and run the antivirus programAfter that, download antivirus programs and use them to remove the ransomware, the trojan, and other malware. Spyhunter (https://www.2-viruses.com/reviews/spyhunter/dwnld/).
Automatic Malware removal tools
How to recover Foqe Ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
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 Foqe Ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of Foqe RansomwareAfter restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to Foqe Ransomware. You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore Foqe Ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume CopiesIf 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 Foqe 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.
Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Foqe Ransomware encrypted filesThere 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 a data recovery program.
- Install and scan for recently deleted files.