Payfast is a ransomware program that has recently joined the ransomware landscape. The malicious program belongs to the Zeppelin family of ransomware threats. It corrupts major system settings and leaves infected PCs extremely vulnerable to additional malware attacks. After a successful system corruption, the ransomware encrypts valuable data and forces its victims to pay a ransom fee to hackers.
The moment the ransomware encodes target files, they appear with the extension .payfast after their names. Encrypted files remain completely inaccessible. Still, a ransom payment is not the best option.
We strongly advise all victims of Payfast ransomware to refrain from contacting cybercriminals. Check out the ransomware removal that follows and find secure solutions.
Payfast Ransomware Summary
|Name||Payfast also known as Generic.Ransom.Buhtrap.9C5E365B (BitDefender), Generic.mg.c9f25947d0270120 (FireEye), Ransom.Win32.ZEPPELIN.SMTH (TrendMicro)|
|Malicious Extension||.payfast[victim’s ID number]|
|Short Description||A data locker ransomware that utilizes strong cihper algorithm to encrypt personal files stored on the infected computer. It demands a ransom for a decryption solution.|
|Symptoms||Important files are locked and renamed with the .payfast[victim’s ID number] extension. Corrupted files remain unusable until their code is reverted back to original state.|
|Ransom Messages||!!! ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED !!!.TXT|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Corrupted Websites, Software Installers|
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Payfast Virus (.payfast Files) – Overview
Payfast ransomware is a computer infection that obtains access to operating systems via shady techniques. Its infection files may be presented as important documents attached to deceptive emails. Such emails may pretend to be sent by a representative of a well-known company. Another channel of distribution may be various bogus sites that present ransomware files as useful applications.
When Payfast cryptovirus runs on a computer system, it damages some of the most important settings and then corrupts personal files. By appending the .payfast file extension to valuable personal files, the ransomware shows that these files are encrypted and currently inaccessible. Analysis of the code of this ransomware shows that hackers set it to add a special ID number for every next victim. The ID number can be seen after the .payfast extension. Here is the pattern used by the cryptovirus for renaming encrypted files:
picture.jpg becomes picture.jpg.payfast[victim’s ID number]
The program capable of restoring encrypted files is possessed by hackers. As long as they have the only available decryption tool, they can force victims to transfer a ransom fee. The extortion happens via a ransom message dubbed !!! ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED !!!.TXT. When it loads on the screen you can see the following window:
The purpose of this ransom message is clear – it aims to force victims to contact cyber criminals so that they can learn how to transfer a ransom fee of 0.013 BTC for the decryption tool. The amount varies from day to day as the BitCoin price moves up and down but currently, it is $621. Similar to the malicious extensions appended to corrupted files, the contact email addresses follow a pattern that includes the ID number of every victim. Hence, the email address presented by the ransom note may be firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or another which is very much alike those two.
To avoid being tricked once again, we recommend that you refrain from following instructions presented by the !!! ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED !!!.TXT file. There is no guarantee that hackers have a working decryption tool capable of restoring .payfast files. Instead, consider the completion of the removal steps below as they will help you to clean your system from malicious files. You can also attempt to recover .payfast files with alternative data recovery solutions.
Remove Payfast Ransomware Virus and Attempt to Restore Files
The so-called Payfast Ransomware is a threat with a highly complex code that disrupts system security in order to encrypt personal files. Hence the infected system could be used in a secure manner again only after the complete removal of all malicious files and objects created by the ransomware. That’s why it is recommendable that all steps presented in the ransomware removal guide below should be completed. Beware that manual ransomware removal is suitable for more experienced computer users. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual steps navigate to the automatic part of the guide.
What is Payfast Ransomware Ransomware?
Payfast 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 Payfast 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 Payfast 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 Payfast Ransomware Infect?
Via several ways.Payfast 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 Payfast 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 .Payfast Ransomware files?
You can't. At this point, the .Payfast 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 .Payfast Ransomware files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Payfast Ransomware" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Payfast 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 Payfast 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 Payfast Ransomware ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Payfast Ransomware files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Payfast 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 Payfast 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 Payfast Ransomware Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Payfast 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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