THREAT REMOVAL

Remove FoxRansom Virus (Hidden Tear) and Restore .fox Files

FoxRansom Virus image ransomware note .fox extension

The FoxRansom Virus is a ransomware strain of the Hidden Tear family targeting primarily Hungarian-speaking computer users. The captured samples carry the initial infection commands, we presume that further updates to it may include newer components and additional instructions. Our article provides an overview of the virus operations and it also may be helpful in attempting to remove the virus.

Threat Summary

Name FoxRansom Virus
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The ransomware encrypts sensitive information on your computer system with the .fox extensions and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
Symptoms The ransomware will encrypt your files with a strong encryption algorithm.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss FoxRansom Virus.
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.

FoxRansom Virus – Distribution Ways

The FoxRansom virus is a newly discovered ransomware threat, the first infections were reported last week in a targeted attack. It appears that the first wave of infections are directed against Hungarian-speaking users.

Due to the low number of captured samples the analysis does not reveal which is the main infection technique. One of the primary ways is to send out SPAM email messages that usually containing phishing elements. They are images and text taken from popular Internet services that are placed in the message contents. They coerce the users into interacting with malicious elements which can essentially leads to the infection. The dangerous files can be either linked or attached directly.

The hackers can also make use of fake download sites that can spread the dangerous files. They use a similar methodology to the emails and combined they are the most popular way for spreading malware payload droppers. Two of the most common types are the following:

  • Application Installers — The criminals can take the legitimate setup files of popular software and infect them with the virus file. The list includes instances such as creativity suites, productivity apps or system utilities. They are taken from the official vendor sites and modified with the FoxRansom virus code.
  • Documents — Using a similar method the criminals can infect documents of various types: spreadsheets, presentations, databases or rich text documents. Whenever the victims files are opened a prompt will appear asking the users to enable the built-in scripts. Once this is done the infection will follow.

Various scripts can be used to spread the threats to legitimate sites as well. This is done via malicious ads that can include banners, pop-ups, in-line links and etc. In addition the virus files can be distributed via file sharing networks as well. A popular choice is BitTorrent where illegal pirate content is usually found.

In advanced infection campaigns the hacker operators can make use of browser hijackers. They represent malicious extensions made for the most popular web browsers. They are usually uploaded to the various web repositories under names that attribute useful features. The strains are uploaded via fake developer credentials and include elaborate descriptions. In certain cases they can even integrate fake user reviews as well. Once they are installed on the victim computers the built-in behavior pattern will start. Typically the modifications will trigger a default settings change (home page, search engine and the new tabs page) which is done in order to redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled page. Following this the next steps are to induce the actual ransomware delivery.

FoxRansom Virus – In-Depth Analysis

Once the FoxRansom virus infection begins a complex behavior pattern will be initiated. The security analysis that this is a threat based on the Hidden Tear that primarily seeks to target Hungarian-speaking users. This gives the experts the notion that the attackers may be from Hungarian descent. It appears that the hacker controllers have either acquired the Hidden Tear source code and modified it for this purpose. The other scenario lists that it they have paid for the custom sample to be created, such services are readily available on the hacker underground markets.

Typically such infections begin with a a data harvesting component that can extract strings grouped into two main types:

  • Anonymous Campaign Metrics — The FoxRansom virus can collect data that can be used to optimize the campaigns. The data set may include information such as a full report of the installed hardware components and certain user-set variables. They are used to generate profiles of the infected hosts.
  • Private User Data — Information collected by the ransomware can include data that can expose the identity of the victims: their real name, address, phone number, interests, location and etc.

A next step would be to utilize the collected info by the next component called stealth protection, it is used to scan the infected host for an running software that can stop the virus infection from running properly. The list includes applications such as anti-virus programs, sandbox environments and virtual machine hosts. Their real-time engines can be disabled and the associated programs can be entirely removed.

After the infiltration process has complete the ransomware engine will commence with the system changes. The analysis shows that there are several malicious actions that are undertaken by the engine. The first one is the removal of backup data — the malware identifies all Shadow Volume Copies and System Restore data. This prevents file restore unless a professional-grade solution is used. Refer to our instructions for details on this step.

Other changes that can occur include various changes to the Windows registry — modifications both to the user-installed applications and the operating system are possible. As a result may not be able to access certain functions or software and will experience significant performance issues.

In certain cases Hidden Tear infections like the FoxRansom virus can start a Trojan infection. This module creates a secure connection to a hacker-controlled server from where the operators can spy on the victims in real time. This also allows them to steal all kinds of data, overtake control of the machine at all times and deploy other threats.

In addition the hackers can program it to infect the computers as a persistent threat. This means that it will modify the boot options thereby starting once the computer is powered on and disabling the access to the recovery menu. This will also make it very difficult to use most manual removal methods.

Alternative names under which is known are the following:

  • HEUR/AGEN.1001382
  • MSIL/Filecoder.Y!tr
  • Malware/Win32.Generic.C1020407
  • Ransom_CRYPTEAR.SM0
  • Ransomware-FTD!457758293DA0
  • Trojan ( 004cd5d01 )
  • Trojan.Ransom.HiddenTear
  • Trojan.Win32.Encoder.ffvudw
  • Trojan[Ransom]/MSIL.Ryzerlo
  • W32/S-9f9d40c6!Eldorado
  • Win32.Trojan.Fakedoc.Auto

FoxRansom Virus — Encryption

The encryption engine utilizes the same behavior pattern as previous Hidden Tear based malware. Following the completion of all components the associated encryption engine is started. It uses a strong cipher that targets sensitive user data, an example list can include the following:

  • Archives
  • Databases
  • Backups
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Music

As soon as the process is complete it will rename all affected files with the .fox encryption. A ransomware note will be generated in a file called READ_IT.TXT which will be placed on the victim’s desktop and reads the following contents:

Your machine and files have been locked by the FoxRansom virus!

Update 20 August 2018: Soon after the initial release of the ransomare a new campaign was identified. The difference with the original is a newer ransomware note possibily indicating a shift of strategy. In most cases this is an indication that a campaign utilizing more delivery methods.

The newer ransomware notes are presented in a HTML or DOC formats as they include rich text formating:

HOW TO RECOVER YOUR FILES INSTRUCTION

ATTENTION!!!

We are really sorry to inform you that ALL YOUR FILES WERE ENCRYPTED
by our automatic software. It became possible because of bad server security.
ATTENTION!!!
Please don’t worry, we can help you to RESTORE your server to original
state and decrypt all your files quickly and safely!

INFORMATION
Files are not broken!!!
Files were encrypted with AES-128+RSA-2048 crypto algorithms.
There is no way to decrypt your files without unique decryption key and special
software. Your unique decryption key is securely stored on our server. for our safety,
all information about your server and your decryption key will be automatically
DELETED AFTER 7 DAYS! You will irrevocably lose all your data!
* Please note that all attempts to recover your files by yourself or using third party
tools will result only in irrevocable loss of your data!
* Please note that you can recover files only with your unique decryption key, which
stored on our side. If you will use the help of third parties, you will only add a
middleman.

HOW TO RECOVER FILES???
Please write us to the e-mail (write on English or use professional translator):
PabFox@protonmail.com
FoxHelp@cock.li
FoxHelp@tutanota.com

You have to send your message on each of our 3 emails due to the fact that the
message may not reach their intended recipient for a variety of reasons!

In subject line write your personal ID:

The reports showcase that the victims originate from Spain.

Remove FoxRansom Ransomware Virus and Restore .fox Files

If your computer got infected with the FoxRansom 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.

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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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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.


OFFER

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 FoxRansom Virus from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom Virus.

Ransomware infections and FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom Virus from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom Virus:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by FoxRansom Virus.

Ransomware infections and FoxRansom 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.


FoxRansom Virus FAQ

What is FoxRansom Virus ransomware and how does it work?

FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom Virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom 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 .FoxRansom Virus files?

You can't. At this point the .FoxRansom 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 .FoxRansom Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by FoxRansom 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 ".FoxRansom 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 .FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom 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 FoxRansom Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .FoxRansom Virus files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like FoxRansom 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.

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