THREAT REMOVAL

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

Name Flow Crypter 4
Type Advanced Malware, Trojan, Ransomware
Short Description The malware can enable the hacker operators to access the whole computer, spy on the victims and encrypt sensitive user data.
Symptoms In most cases the victims are not aware of the infections.
Distribution Method The attacks can be caused by software vulnerabilities, interaction with malware emails or sites.
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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.

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.

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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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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove Flow Crypter 4 from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Flow Crypter 4

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Flow Crypter 4 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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Flow Crypter 4 on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Flow Crypter 4 there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Flow Crypter 4 with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Flow Crypter 4 from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Flow Crypter 4 and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Flow Crypter 4:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Flow Crypter 4. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Flow Crypter 4. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • 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 Flow Crypter 4 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Flow Crypter 4. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Flow Crypter 4 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.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase Flow Crypter 4 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall Flow Crypter 4 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Flow Crypter 4 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".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Flow Crypter 4 will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate Flow Crypter 4 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.


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