The EFS Ransomware is a ransomware that is currently set against target end users on a global scale. There is no information available about the hacking group behind it. It is believed to be a new iteration of the famous ransomware family. This is one of the reasons why we believe that the hackers are experienced.
Once the EFS Ransomware has started it will execute its built-in sequence of dangerous commands. Depending on local conditions or the specific hacker instructions various actions will take place. The file encryption will begin after them — the encrypting component will use a built-in list of target file type extensions. In the end the victim files will be renamed with a designated extension.
|The ransomware encrypts files on your computer machine and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly restore them.
|The ransomware will blackmail the victims to pay them a decryption fee. Sensitive user data may be encrypted by the ransomware code.
|Spam Emails, Email Attachments
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Security researchers have discovered a malware threat known as the EFS ransomware which is categorized as a file encrypting virus however it infects using a very dangerous method. This particular threat is named after the file system used by Microsoft when encryption has been enabled. The EFS file system has been an integral part of the range of systems offered by the company since the Windows 2000 version. EFS allows for selective encryption of folders and files in comparison to other solutions (like BitLocker) which are useful only when whole drives are selected. The process is transparent to the users and the required decryption key is only partially stored in a file — the other half will be generated from the account password of the users. The advantage of using EFS is that once it is configured it will not prompt the users for credentials when accessing the data.
The exact infection mechanism is organized in the following sequence:
- Using a special algorithm the EFS virus will generate a special key that will be recorded by the main engine.
- A certificate for this key will be generated by the virus engine and added to the personal certification store.
- The EFS system implementation will switch the key from the original to the one generated by the virus.
- The ransomware will use the EFS functionality in order to process target user data and folders.
- The key used by the ransomware will be stored in memory only and deleted from the hard disk storage.
Such infections are possible on most modern 32-bit versions of Microsoft Windows. There are several distinct advantages of using this over traditional ransomware: it works directly at a deep kernel level — the made changes will not be noticed by most security software. EFS ransomware can affect even limited accounts as the enabling of this feature doesn’t require administrative privileges.
A particularly dangerous feature of this ransomware is that it can actively block any security software that can be used to scan or potential threats — the virus was not detected by many anti-virus programs, firewalls, sandbox environments or virtual machines.
There are multiple possible infection routes that can be used to deliver the malware. A prime example is the sending of phishing email messages that can be either masked as company/service notifications or personal messages. The other popular way is to host the necessary EFS virus installation scripts and code into hacker-controlled web pages. Both the sites and the emails may come from similar sounding domain names to often used portals and have stolen design and content from authentic sources.
Virus code can also be found within dangerous file carriers — the criminals will typically create documents across all popular file formats: presentations, text documents, databases and spreadsheets. Once they are opened by the users a prompt will appear asking them to enable the built-in contents. The other popular mechanism is to create dangerous application installers — they are usually of popular software which is often downloaded by end users. They are made by taking the legitimate files from their official sources and modifying them with the respective code.
What’s particularly dangerous about these threats is that they can also be found from within browser hijackers — these are dangerous extensions made for the most popular web browsers. To make them appear as interesting the developers will present them from stolen or fake credentials both on the official repositories and third-party sites using fake reviews and identities.
Remove EFS Ransomware
If your computer system got infected with the EFS Files ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.
What is EFS Virus Ransomware?
EFS Virus is a ransomware infection - the malicious software that enters your computer silently and blocks either access to the computer itself or encrypt your files.
Many ransomware viruses use sophisticated encryption algorithms to make your files inaccessible. The goal of ransomware infections is to demand that you pay a ransom payment to get access to your files back.
What Does EFS Virus Ransomware Do?
Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
How Does EFS Virus Infect?
Via several ways.EFS Virus Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, containing virus attachment. This attachment is usually masked as an important document, like an invoice, bank document or even a plane ticket and it looks very convincing to users.
Another way you may become a victim of EFS Virus is if you download a fake installer, crack or patch from a low reputation website or if you click on a virus link. Many users report getting a ransomware infection by downloading torrents.
How to Open .EFS Virus files?
You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .EFS Virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .EFS Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".EFS Virus" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .EFS Virus files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of EFS Virus Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate EFS Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .EFS Virus files.
Can I Report Ransomware to Authorities?
In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.
Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:
Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can EFS Virus Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Can a Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the EFS Virus Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this EFS Virus how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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