An interesting ransomware virus has been detected out into the wild. Unlike conventional ransom infections of the lockscreen type, this virus does not want money, but asks the victims to complete various surveys. This is a very interesting concept and it is unique by it’s kind because it was present primarily in unwanted programs such as adware and browser hijackers up to this point. What researchers believe FileIce does is it displays the user surveys and locks the screen primarily because those surveys may help collect information for certain interests or make profit via survey schemes. Anyone who has fallen into the trap of FileIce and has gotten their computers infected by this malware should be advised that the virus can be removed. We advise you to read this article for more information on FileIce and to learn how to remove the malware completely from your computer.
|Short Description||The virus heavily modifies the registry entries of the victim computer allowing it to administratively lock the screen.|
|Symptoms||If you are infected with FileIce you may see a prompt asking you to choose which survey you want to complete in order to get access back to your computer. Getting access back after completing the survey is not guaranteed.|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by FileIce |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss FileIce Ransomware.|
How Is FileIce Distributed
FileIce may undertake several very specific methods to spread it’s files. The primary spreading technique it uses is via spammed e-mail messages that may contain two types of infectors:
- Malcious attachments that are usually in a .zip or .rar archives.
- Malicious URLs that cause infection by inducing a forced browser redirect after being clicked on.
And the message itself seems like your average spam message as well. It may appear as if it is sent by someone important, like banking manager or social media website, like a fake Facebook request for example. There are also cases where the file attachments may appear like an invoice, receipt or another important document. However, they are do not even come close to being legitimate and once opened, the infection process begins.
What Does FileIce Do?
FileIce(dot net) is originally a legitimate service for completing online surveys and receiving different type of rewards for them. The service legitimately offers financial compensation for completed surveys. Here is what the website promises:
The virus, cleverly enough is designed to infect your computer and begin to heavily modify the registry entries of it. The registry keys it may attack could be associated with:
- Boot options. (Run and RunOnce keys)
- Windows Lockscreen registry keys.
- Registry keys for a screensaver or wallpaper.
After some or all of those keys are modified by FileIce, the virus sets path to malicious modules that directly display it’s lockscreen message, seemingly blocking all access of the user to his or her computer:
The locked screen displays a menu from which victims can choose what type of service to complete and it is even coded to connect them to those surveys while their computer remains locked:
FileIce Lockscreen – Summary and Removal
To put it in perspective, the ransomware creator of this virus hopes for a low-risk type of profit via FileIce survey schemes and he relies primarily on the victims that are infected to complete the surveys. It is not guaranteed that you will restore your access to your computer after you complete one or more surveys and this is why it is recommended to take a different type of approach and remove FileIce from your computer.
You can achieve the successful removal of FileIce by performing several different activities. One of those is to immediately boot your computer in safe mode, to disable third-party software from running and only enable crucial to windows processes. This will grand you temporary administrative access to your computer. We have posted instructions below on how to successfully boot your computer into safe mode.
After you have booted you can choose from the steps below wether you want to hunt for the files and registry entries belonging to FileIce manually or you want to do it automatically with an anti-malware scanner. Malware researchers and security experts always recommend choosing the second options because scanning your computer for malware will help detect all associated objects with FileIce and remove your locked screen. Not only this but, it will also detect other malware that may have also infected your computer, remove it as well and protect your system against future threats.