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free virus filesDo you want to learn more about the Free virus infection?

What is Free Virus

In the unfortunate event that you have just realised that Free virus infected your PC and data, don’t let anxiety overwhelm you as there are secure ways to deal with this problem.

First, let’s start by saying that Free is a ransomware infection developed to cause serious damage to computer systems and encode personal files. It belongs to the STOP Ransomware family of threats. Why is this important? Because this information makes it easier for you to search for updates for the decryption tool.

Free malware primarily aims to encrypt files on your computer without being detected. That’s why it runs malicious files and objects that try to evade active security measures and misuse system functionalities. Following encryption, the ransomware creates its ransom note _readme.txt to instruct victims on how they could act to obtain the decryption tool and key.

The instructions in this article will help you to remove Free from your infected computer system and show you how to potentially restore .free files.

Free Summary

Name Free
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Malicious Extension .free
Ransom Demanding Note _readme.txt
Short Description Developed to encrypt personal files and force victims to pay a ransom for a specific decryption tool. A variant of the STOP Ransomware virus family.
Symptoms Files that store important data are encrypted and renamed with the .free malicious extension. A file names _readme.txt shows as a ransom note that insists on a ransom payment.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable Files, Torrents
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Free Ransomware – Infection In Detail

Free ransomware virus enters computer systems just like its predecessors – Koom Virus and Rigd Virus. Those STOP ransomware strains are all distributed via the following methods:

  • Files attached to various legitimate-like e-mail messages. Malicious attachments could be presented as important documents, order confirmations, bank records, etc.
  • Various bogus site where Free virus infection payload appear as a useful program or a crack for licensed software.

The infection begins the moment you happen to open the malicious installer of Free virus. The threat passes through a few attack stages, first of which is the creation of additional malicious files and objects. Its traits could be found in the following specific system folders:

  • %LocalLow%
  • %Roaming%
  • %AppData%
  • %Temp%

Windows Registry changes, as well as shadow volume copies elimination, are likely to occur after the sequential execution of created malicious files.

.free Files

What this ransomware aims to achieve is to persuade its victims to pay a hefty ransom fee to hackers. That’s why Free virus features a built-in cipher module designed to encrypt target personal files. Essential system files won’t be damaged by ransomware because this will prevent the system from working correctly. Still, the presence of all malicious files will keep it vulnerable to additional malware attacks.

The reason why you cannot open and use .free files is the strong AES encryption cipher they have been locked by. This encryption, also known as Advanced Encryption Standard, aims to replace data from your original file with data from the cipher.

The files that could be corrupted in case that your computer is compromised by Free virus ransomware are:

  • Pictures.
  • Videos.
  • Databases.
  • Archives.
  • Audio files.
  • Photoshop files.
  • Documents of all types.
  • Presentations.

Ransom Demanding Note

At the end of the attack, Free virus reveals that it demands money to be paid to the crooks standing behind the vicious campaigns.

The ransomware adds the _readme.txt ransom note file and shows it on the screen to inform the following:

readme-txt-ransom-note-sensorstechforum-ransomware-removal-guide

Note that the free decryption tool released by Emsisoft works with STOP ransomware variants that use OFFLINE KEYS to lock files. If your data is locked with an ONLINE KEY, decryption with this tool will be impossible. Emsisoft decryptor cannot decrypt files encrypted with the ONLINE KEY due to the type of encryption used by the criminals.

That being said means that the only other reliable alternative for victims whose files have been encoded with an ONLINE KEY is to backup/save encrypted data and keep it until a possible future solution is available. For the decryption of all .free files you should keep following the news about any updates for this STOP ransomware strain or run the decryptor on regular basis to check if Emsisoft has been able to obtain and add the private key for the specific threat variant.

All victims have one more option and it is to try the help of alternative data recovery methods which does not guarantee 100% efficiency but could retrieve some of the files.

You should NOT under any circumstances pay any ransom sum to cybercriminals. This action does not guarantee recovery of your .free files.

Remove Free Virus Ransomware and Try to Restore Files

For the complete removal of Free ransomware from infected computers, you should fulfull a few steps which you could find in the instructions below. The instructions are made to help you delete all of the Free malicious files. Note that if you want to save time and be sure that all harmful files and objects are gone forever, you should consider completing the automatic steps in this guide. They show how you can use a malware removal tool tested to be working for the entire removal of ransomware threats like Free virus. Another benefit of using the help of professional anti-malware software is that it will keep your system protected from now on.

Gergana Ivanova

Highly motivated writer with 5+ years of experience writing for ransomware, malware, adware, PUPs, and other cybersecurity-related issues. As a writer, I strive to create content that is based on thorough technical research. I find joy in the process of creating articles that are easy to understand, informative, and useful. Follow me on Twitter (@IRGergana) for the latest in the field of computer, mobile, and online security.

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Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.

As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.

How to recognize trustworthy sources:

  • Always check "About Us" web page.
  • Profile of the content creator.
  • Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
  • Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.


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REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove Free virus from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Free virus

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 Free 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. 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 Free virus 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 Free virus 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 Free virus 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.

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Free virus.

Ransomware infections and Free virus aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of Free virus from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Free virus 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 Free virus:

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 Free virus. 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 Free virus. 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 Free 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:

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 Free virus. 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.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Free virus:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Free virus.

Ransomware infections and Free virus aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Free virus FAQ

What is Free virus ransomware and how does it work?

Free 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 algorithm how 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.

How does Free virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Free virus Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, 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.

After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.

Another way, you may become a victim of Free 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 .Free virus files?

You can't. At this point the .Free virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Free virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Free virus ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.

How Do I restore ".Free virus" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Free virus files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How do I get rid of Free virus ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate Free virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Free virus files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Free virus ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.

What to Do If nothing works?

There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:

  • Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
  • Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
  • Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted it can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way to get back some of your files is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
  • You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.

More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.

How to 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:

Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.

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