The infamous Dridex banking Trojan has now shifted towards ransomware in its FriedEx (also known as BitPaymer) variant.
Image Source: ESET
“Dridex has been a nightmare for computer users, companies and financial institutions for several years now, so much so that for many, it has become the first thing that comes to mind when talking about banking trojans”, ESET researchers said. According to their most recent findings, the authors of Dridex have also developed another high-profile malware family – the FriedEx ransomware, detected as Win32/Filecoder.FriedEx and Win64/ Filecoder.FriedEx.
This ransomware was previously known as BitPaymer, which was discovered by Michael Gillespie and was active in the summer of 2017.
BitPaymer is a cryptovirus that most likely was aimed mainly at corporations and big firms. The ransomware is coded to put the extension .locked to all files after the encryption process is finished along with a text document containing the ransom note instructions for each encrypted file. The BitPaymer virus demanded the ransom sum of 50 Bitcoin while posing an empty threat that the target’s files will get leaked on the Web.
In August, 2017 BitPaymer was targeting NHS hospitals in Scotland. FriedEx, however, appears to be targeting more high-profile companies and is mainly delivered via an RDP brute force attack.
According to ESET researchers, the ransomware encrypts each file with a randomly generated RC4 key, which is then encrypted using the hardcoded 1024-bit RSA public key and saved in the corresponding .readme_txt file.
In December 2017, the researchers closely analyzed the FriedEx samples and noticed the similarity in the code to Dridex.
Intrigued by the initial findings, the researchers “dug deep into the FriedEx samples, and found out that FriedEx uses the same techniques as Dridex to hide as much information about its behavior as possible”.
What does this mean? The ransomware resolves all system API calls, stores all strings in encrypted mode, searches for registry keys and values by hash. The result is a very low-profile binary which makes it difficult to tell what malicious activities are taking place. The covert behavior made researchers look deeper for further analysis, which led to a number of additional similarities. The conclusion is that the two malware families are designed by the same developers.
Researchers were also able to find several instances of Dridex and FriedEx which were compiled at the same time. This may have been a coincidence if it weren’t for all the other resemblances. In addition:
Not only do the compilations with the same date have time differences of several minutes at most (which implies Dridex guys probably compile both projects concurrently), but the randomly generated constants are also identical in these samples. These constants change with each compilation as a form of polymorphism, to make the analysis harder and to help avoid detection.
FriedEx Ransomware Removal Instructions
If your computer got infected with the FriedEx ransomware, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it gets chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.
What is FriedEx ransomware Ransomware?
FriedEx ransomware 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 algorithms 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.
Can FriedEx ransomware Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like FriedEx ransomware?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does FriedEx ransomware Infect?
Via several ways.FriedEx ransomware Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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 FriedEx ransomware 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 .FriedEx ransomware files?
You can't. At this point, the .FriedEx ransomware files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .FriedEx ransomware files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".FriedEx ransomware" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .FriedEx ransomware files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of FriedEx ransomware Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate FriedEx ransomware ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .FriedEx ransomware files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like FriedEx ransomware ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
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 can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way 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:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can FriedEx ransomware Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the FriedEx ransomware Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this FriedEx ransomware how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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