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.
|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|
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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:
- Trojan ( 004cd5d01 )
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:
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
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.
Please don’t worry, we can help you to RESTORE your server to original
state and decrypt all your files quickly and safely!
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
HOW TO RECOVER FILES???
Please write us to the e-mail (write on English or use professional translator):
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.
What is FoxRansom Virus Ransomware?
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 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 FoxRansom Virus 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 FoxRansom Virus?
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 FoxRansom Virus Infect?
Via several ways.FoxRansom Virus 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 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 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 .FoxRansom Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".FoxRansom Virus" Files?
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% 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 FoxRansom Virus 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 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.
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 FoxRansom Virus 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 FoxRansom Virus Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this FoxRansom Virus 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.
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.
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