Important for Format Virus victims!
Files, encrypted by Format Virus could not be the only harm done to your computer. Format Virus may still be active on your machine and may spread to other computers on your network. To detect if you are still at risk and eliminate the threat, we recommend downloading SpyHunter.
A virus that encrypts files adding Format Virus as a file extension to them and then asks a ransom payoff for the decryption of the files upon contacting the e-mail has been reported to be out in the wild. The virus has been dubbed by malware researchers as the Format Virus ransomware and also be what appears to be a part of the notorious Format Virus ransom variants. The malware is very specific in it’s methods of encryption, attacking only critical files that are often used. Anyone who was infected by the Format Virus ransomware should read this article to learn how to remove Format Virus after which decrypt the files for free.
Infects the computer after which encrypts important documents and holds them hostage until a ransom is paid.
Signs of Presence
Files are encrypted with a custom file extension and users are extorted to pay ransom to get the data to work again..
Via malicious e-mail spam and set of infection tools.
This interesting variant of this malware has the ability to infect user PCs via either a malicious URL or an e-mail attachment that has a malicious character. Not only this, but the malware also has the ability to spread in social media, on suspicious websites and posing as a fake key generator or other fake software.
After you have opened the malicious files belonging to Format Virus ransomware, the infection may proceed, depending on the infection malware. This type of malware is heavily obfuscated intermediary malicious file that has the ability to be executed in an obfuscated manner. Once the file has been executed, it begins to immediately either extract the malicious payload of Format Virus or download the payload from a distribution website.
After the payload has been downloaded, it may be located in one of the below-mentioned directories:
Then, Format Virus deletes the shadow copies of the infected computer and it may perform that without the user noticing by executing the vssadmin command in “/quiet” mode, for example:
In addition to this, the Format Virus ransomware also has support for widely used file types which if it detects, encrypts immediately. The exact number of file types it may encrypt is huge, but most likely the following often used files are encrypted:
Microsoft Word Files.
Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.
Power Point presentations.
After the files that have been enciphered by Format Virus ransomware the virus may perform other activities like leave a ransom notifications asking to contact the e-mail on the files or even change the wallpaper. Either way, you will know, you have been infected.
What to Do If I Am Infected by Format Virus Ransomware
In case you have seen your files encrypted with the extension displayed above, malware researchers recommend to seek your own solution and not pay the ransom. Fortunately, for this specific threat, there is a decryption tool available for free. This is why it is advisable to first remove the Format Virus ransomware from your computer. It is strongly advisable to remove this virus via an advanced anti-malware program for maximum effectiveness.
Preparation before removal of Format Virus:
1.Make sure to backup your files. 2.Make sure to have this instructions page always open so that you can follow the steps. 3.Be patient as the removal may take some time.
Step 1: Reboot your computer in Safe Mode:
1) Hold Windows Key and R
2) A run Window will appear, in it type “msconfig” and hit Enter
3) After the Window appears go to the Boot tab and select Safe Boot
Step 2: Cut out Format Virus in Task Manager
1) Press CTRL+ESC+SHIFT at the same time.
2)Locate the “Details” tab and find malicious process of Format Virus. Right-click on it and click on “End Process”.
Step 3: Eliminate Format Virus‘s Malicious Registries.
For most Windows variants:
1) Hold Windows Button and R. In the “Run” box type “regedit” and hit “Enter”.
2) Hold CTRL+F keys and type Format Virus or the file name of the malicious executable of the virus which is usually located in %AppData%, %Temp%, %Local%, %Roaming% or %SystemDrive%. Usually, most viruses tend to set entries with random names in the “Run” and “RunOnce” sub-keys.
3) You can also find the virus’s malicious files by right-clicking on the value and seeing it’s data. After having located malicious registry objects, some of which are usually in the Run and RunOnce subkeys delete them permanently and restart your computer. Here is how to find and delete keys for different versions.
Step 4: Scan for and remove all virus files, related to Format Virus and secure your system.
If you are in Safe Mode, boot back into normal mode and follow the steps below
2) Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser.
3) After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for the program to update.
4) If the program does not start to scan automatically, click on the “Start Scan” button.
5) After SpyHunter has completed with your system`s scan, click on the “Next” button to clear it.
6) Once your computer is clean, it is advisable to restart it.
Step 5:Recover files encrypted by the Format Virus Ransomware.
Method 1:Using Shadow Explorer. In case you have enabled File history on your Windows Machine one thing you can do is to use Shadow Explorer to get your files back. Unfortunately some ransomware viruses may delete those shadow volume copies with an administrative command to prevent you from doing just that.
Method 2: If you try to decrypt your files using third-party decryption tools. There are many antivirus providers who have decrypted multiple ransomware viruses the last couple of years and posted decryptors for them. Chances are if your ransomware virus uses the same encryption code used by a decryptable virus, you may get the files back. However, this is also not a guarantee, so you might want to try this method with copies of the original encrypted files, because if a third-party program tampers with their encrypted structure, they may be damaged permanently. Most of the currently available decryptors for ransomware viruses can be seen if you visit the NoMoreRansom project – a project that is the result of combined efforts of researchers worldwide to create decryption software for all ransomware viruses. Simply go there by clicking on the following LINK and find your ransomware version decrypter and try it, but always remember to do a BACKUP first.
Method 3: Using Data Recovery tools. This method is suggested by multiple experts in the field. It can be used to scan your hard drive’s sectors and hence scramble the encrypted files anew as if they were deleted. Most ransomware viruses usually delete a file and create an encrypted copy to prevent such programs for restoring the files, but not all are this sophisticated. So you may have a chance of restoring some of your files with this method. Here are several data recovery programs which you can try and restore at least some of your files: