This article will aid you remove FORMA ransomware effectively. Follow the ransomware removal instructions at the end.
FORMA is the name of a ransomware cryptovirus. The ransomware is a variant of HiddenTear and is written to append the extension .locked to all encrypted files. The FORMA virus might still be in development according to malware researchers, but it will encrypt your files if your computer gets infected. Keep on reading below to see how you could try to potentially restore some of your files.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files on your computer and displays a ransom message afterward.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will encrypt your files and put the extension .locked to them after it finishes its encryption process.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss FORMA.|
|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.|
FORMA Virus – Delivery Methods
FORMA ransomware could deliver its infection with various methods. A payload dropper which initiates the malicious script for this ransomware is being spread around the World Wide Web, and researchers have gotten their hands on a malware sample. If that file lands on your computer system and you somehow execute it – your computer system will become infected. You can see the detections of such a file on the VirusTotal service right here:
FORMA ransomware might also distribute its payload file on social media and file-sharing services. Freeware which is found on the Web can be presented as helpful also be hiding the malicious script for the cryptovirus. Refrain from opening files right after you have downloaded them. You should first scan them with a security tool, while also checking their size and signatures for anything that seems out of the ordinary. You should read the tips for preventing ransomware found in our forums.
FORMA Virus – Technical Information
FORMA is a virus that encrypts your files and extorts you to pay a ransom to get them decrypted. Malware researchers have discovered that it is a variant of the HiddenTear open-source project.
FORMA ransomware might make entries in the Windows Registry to achieve persistence, and could launch or repress processes in a Windows environment. Such entries are typically designed in a way to launch the virus automatically with each start of the Windows operating system.
That ransom message appears inside a file called “ODSZYFRFUJ_PLIKI_TERAZ.txt” which can be seen in the form of a picture background as seen in the screenshot here:
The original note in Polish reads the following:
UWAGA !!! WSZYSTKIE TWOJE PLIKI ZOSTALY ZAKODOWANE KLUCZEM SZYFRUJACYM! ODZYSKANIE PLIKOW JEST MOZLIWE TYLKO ZA POMOCA KLUCZA DESZYFRUJACEGO. NIC STRACONEGO, PRZEZ NASTĘPNE 48h POSIADAMY TWÓJ KLUCZ DESZYFRUJĄCY NA NASZYM SERWERZE! SKONTAKTUJ SIE POD ADRES EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org ABY ODZYSKAC DOSTEP DO PLIKOW – UWAGA! PO 48h OD ZASZYFROWANIA PLIKÓW TWÓJ KLUCZ DESZYFRUJĄCY ZOSTAJE AUTOMATYCZNIE USUNIĘTY Z NASZEGO SERWERA A ODZYSKANIE PLIKÓW STANIE SIĘ NIE MOŻLIWE. W ŻADNYM WYPADKU NIE ZAMYKAJ KOMPUTERA ANI PROGRAMU DESZYFRUJĄCEGO – MOŻE TO SPOWODOWAĆ UTRUDNIENIE W PRZYWRÓCENIU PLIKÓW. GWARANTUJEMY ODZYSKANIE WSZYSTKICH PLIKOW!
A rough machine translation from Polish to English reads:
ATTENTION !!! ALL YOUR FILES WERE CALLED WITH A CHARACTER KEY! RECOVERY OF FILES IS POSSIBLE ONLY WITH THE AID OF A DESZYRUIZING KEY. NOTHING LOST, BY THE NEXT 48h, WE HAVE YOUR KEY THAT IS TRANSFERS ON OUR SERVER! CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com TO RECOVER ACCESS TO FILES – ATTENTION! AFTER 48 HOURS FROM FILE ERADING, YOUR SATISFACTION KEY IS AUTOMATICALLY DELETED FROM OUR SERVER AND THE RECOVERY OF FILES IS NOT POSSIBLE. IN NO EVENT, DO NOT CLOSE A COMPUTER OR A DESIRACKING PROGRAM – IT MAY CAUSE THE IMPROVEMENT IN THE RETRIEVATION OF FILES. WE GUARANTEE THE RECOVERY OF ALL FILES!
The note of the FORMA ransomware states that your files are encrypted. The ransom payment for potentially unlocking your files is not stated. However, even if it was, you should NOT under any circumstances pay any ransom. Your files may not get restored, and nobody could guarantee that. Moreover, giving money to cybercriminals will likely motivate them to create more ransomware viruses or commit other crimes.
The screenshot you see above is of the background lockscreen that is created upon the encryption of your system.
FORMA Virus – Encryption Process
As FORMA ransomware is a HiddenTear variant it could seek to encrypt files with these extensions:
→.txt, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .pdf, .pps, .ppt, .pptx, .odt, .gif, .jpg, .png, .db, .csv, .sql, .mdb.sln.php, .asp, .aspx, .html, .xml, .psd, .frm, .myd, .myi, .dbf, .mp3, .mp4, .avi, .mov, .mpg, .rm, .wmv, .m4a, .mpa, .wav, .sav, .gam, .log, .ged, .msg, .myo, .tax, .ynab, .ifx, .ofx, .qfx, .qif, .qdf, .tax2013, .tax2014, .tax2015, .box, .ncf, .nsf, .ntf, .lwp
Every single file that gets encrypted will receive the same extension appended to it, which is .locked. The encryption algorithm which is implemented is undoubtedly AES since it is a variant of the HiddenTear open-source ransomware project.
The FORMA cryptovirus could be set to erase all the Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows operating system with the help of the following command:
→vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet
If the command stated above is executed that would make the encryption process even more efficient as it will eliminate one of the possible ways for restoring your data. If your computer machine was infected with this ransomware and your files are locked, read on through to find out how you could potentially recover your data.
Remove FORMA Virus and Restore .locked Files
If your computer got infected with the FORMA ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove FORMA
Step 2: Uninstall FORMA and related malware 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by FORMA on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by FORMA there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Step 4: Scan for FORMA with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
Ransomware Automatic Removal - Video Guide
Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by FORMA.
Ransomware infections and FORMA 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.
Simply click on the link and on the website menus on the top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.
What is FORMA Ransomware?
FORMA 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 FORMA Ransomware Damage My Computer?
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. It can encrypt your files and make them inaccessible, preventing you from using your computer or accessing your data. Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Ransomware, like FORMA?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. Ransomware 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. The best way to protect yourself is to invest in robust cyber security measures, such as backup solutions and anti-malware software.
How Does FORMA Ransomware Infect My Computer?
Via several ways.FORMA 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 FORMA 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 .FORMA files?
You can't. At this point, the .FORMA files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.
What to Do If Ransomware Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .FORMA files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
One way to restore files, encrypted by FORMA ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, be 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.
Can I Restore ".FORMA" Files (Other Methods)?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .FORMA 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 Do I Get Rid of FORMA 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 FORMA ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .FORMA files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like FORMA ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with 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 I Cannot Recover Ransomware Encrypted Files?
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:
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 Prevent FORMA 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. In addition, it is also important to keep your passwords secure and to avoid visiting websites or downloading applications from untrusted sources. Finally, ensure you have adequate backup and recovery procedures in place to restore your system to its pre-attack state, should a ransomware attack occur.
Can FORMA 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. In many cases, the malware authors or attackers will threaten to delete the data or publish it online unless the ransom is paid. This means that if a user is infected with ransomware, their data can be stolen and held for ransom. It is important to be aware of this threat and take precautions to protect yourself and your data.
Can Ransomware Affect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can affect 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 to 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 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, 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 FORMA Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this FORMA 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.
1. How to Recognize Spam Emails with Ransomware
2. How Does Ransomware Encryption Work?
3. How to Decrypt Ransomware Files
4. Ransomware Getting Greedier and Bigger, Attacks Increase by 40%
5. 1 in 5 Americans Victim of Ransomware
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.