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.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files on your computer machine and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly restore them.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will blackmail the victims to pay them a decryption fee. Sensitive user data may be encrypted by the ransomware code.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss EFS Virus.|
|Data Recovery Tool||Windows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.|
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.
- Guide 1: How to Remove EFS Virus from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of EFS Virus on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove EFS Virus in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase EFS Virus from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall EFS Virus from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove EFS Virus from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate EFS Virus from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable EFS Virus Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove EFS Virus from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove EFS Virus
Step 2: Uninstall EFS Virus and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by EFS Virus on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by EFS Virus there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of EFS Virus from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall EFS Virus and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove EFS Virus via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove EFS Virus files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as EFS Virus, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove EFS Virus from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase EFS Virus from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall EFS Virus from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove EFS Virus from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the EFS Virus will be removed.
Eliminate EFS Virus from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.
Remove Push Notifications caused by EFS Virus from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".