Flow Crypter 4 Virus — How to Detect and Remove It from Your Computer

Flow Crypter 4 Virus — How to Detect and Remove It from Your Computer

The Flow Crypter 4 virus is a dangerous malware instance that is currently being sold on the underground hacker markets. As a result of the virus infections the hacker controllers can sabotage the victim’s data. Flow Crypter’s main purpose is to encrypt the files on the victim PC, leaving behind a custom file extension and a ransom note, asking victims to pay a hefty ransom to get the files to work again. If your computer has been infected by one of the variants of Flow Crypter 4, please read this article as it aims to help you learn how you can remove Flow Crypter 4 from your computer and how you can try and restore files, encrypted by it.

Threat Summary

NameFlow Crypter 4
TypeAdvanced Malware, Trojan, Ransomware
Short DescriptionThe malware can enable the hacker operators to access the whole computer, spy on the victims and encrypt sensitive user data.
SymptomsIn most cases the victims are not aware of the infections.
Distribution MethodThe attacks can be caused by software vulnerabilities, interaction with malware emails or sites.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Flow Crypter 4


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Flow Crypter 4.
Data Recovery ToolWindows 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.

Flow Crypter 4 Virus – Methods of Distribution

The Flow Crypter 4 virus is a dangerous new malware that can be distributed using different tactics. Depending on the targets the hacker operators can choose the most appropriate strategy. In most cases this means that the malware code is delivered in a script or a file that is sent to the victims.

A common method is the coordination of email spam messages that utilize various social engineering tricks. There are two main types that are usually deployed:

  • Malware Attachments — The hackers send out the files directly to the messages by posing as legitimate software. The body contents may contain elaborate descriptions in order to manipulate the users into interacting with the malware component.
  • Hyperlinks — Malware links that lead to offsite hosted instances of the Flow Crypter 4 virus.

In a similar way the criminal controllers can also use two other methods. The first type is the use of infected documents that contain dangerous cripts. The hackers mask them as containing information of user interest and can be of different types: rich text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once the files are opened by the victims they will be shown a notification message that asks them to enable the built-in commands. If this is done the virus infection will follow.

The other strategy is to bundle the code into software installers that are distributed on fake download portals and through email messages. In certain situations the victims may be able to evade the infections by unchecking certain options during the installation process.

Practically all malware samples can also be distributed on file sharing networks like BitTorrent or fake download portals.

The Flow Crypter 4 virus can also be distributed using plugins like browser hijackers. They are usually made compatible with the most popular web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Usually they are distributed on the official browser extension repositories using fake software developer credentials and user reviews.

Of course just like any other advanced malware the hackers can attempt to direct vulnerability testing against the intended victims. This is done by using attack frameworks that are loaded with specific software exploits. If the target devices are found to be vulnerable the virus will be automatically loaded into the compromised host.

Flow Crypter 4 Virus – In-Depth Analysis

Once the Flow Crypter 4 virus infections have been initiated a complex behavior pattern is executed. The main malware engine has been identified to follow a several step process that uses different components to initiate the various steps. The first and most important of all is the stealth protection which is among the first to be launched. It is able to scan for any running anti-virus solutions, as well as sandbox and debugging environments. The list of affected software also includes virtual machines and system software that may interfere with its execution. The malware engine can automatically bypass the engines or altogether remove them. The hacker operators can also instruct the virus samples to remove themselves to avoid detection. The developers of the Flow Crypter 4 virus list that the following products can be bypassed by the engine:

Ad-Aware Pro, AhnLab V3 Internet Security, Arcavir Antivirus 2014, avast! Internet Security,
AVG Anti-Virus, Avira Antivirus Suite, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Clam AntiVirus, COMODO Internet Security,
Emsisoft Anti-Malware, eScan Antivirus, ESET NOD32 Antivirus, F-PROT Antivirus for Windows, F-Secure Internet Security 2014,
G Data AntiVirus, IKARUS anti virus, Jiangmin Antivirus 2011, K7 UltimaSecurity, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Malwarebyes Anti-Malware,
McAfee Viruscan Enterprise, Nano Antivirus, Outpost Antivirus Pro, Panda Global Protection 2014, Quick Heal Internet Security,
Solo Antivirus, Sophos Anti-Virus, SUPERAntiSpyware, Symantec Endpoint Protection,
TOtal Defence Anti-Virus 2011, Trend Micro Titanium IS, TrustPost Antivirus, Twister Antivirus, VBA32 Anti-Virus,
VirIT eXplorer, Windows Defender, Zillya! Internet Security,

Once this has been done the malware engine can utilize several different types of injection types:

  • Windows Registry — By infecting the Windows registry the Flow Crypter 4 virus sample can cause other applications or operating system services to stop working.
  • Itself — The application can be loaded as a separate running process with adminsitrative privileges that can spawn many of its own iterations. Such behavior can make it very difficult for the users to recover their systems.
  • Svchost — This is a system processs. This type of infections makes it very difficult to detect the virus instances.
  • VBC — Such infections rely on scripts that can execute a chain of commands.
  • winlogon — By injecting itself to the winlogon service the Flow Crypter 4 virus can modify the boot options. As a result the victims may be unable the start the recovery option of the operating system.

Once the virus has infected appropriately the host it can be programmed to cause a wide variety of malicious actions. The hacker controllers can change the icons of target data or bulk rename or delete them.

The main goal of the virus is to allow the hackers to encrypt user files in a way similar to ransomware components. However in comparison to them the malware operators may not deliver ransom notes with the intent of blackmailing the victims. Instead the hackers focus on sabotage and further network infections. They can choose different encryption methods in order to achieve the maximum amount of damage.

At the moment there are several subscription Flow Crypter 4 virus packages that buyers can choose:

  • Silver Package — 1 Month for $25
  • Bronze Package — 3 Months for $45
  • Gold Package — 6 Months for $70
  • Platinum Package — Lifetime access for $100

Remove Flow Crypter 4 Virus and Restore Affected Files

If your computer got infected with the Flow Crypter 4 Virus virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this Virus as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the Virus and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.


Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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