FTCode is the name of a data locker ransomware that appends the extension .FTCODE to encrypted files. Once started on a computer system, FTCode performs many malicious operations by creating and executing harmful files. The main purpose of this threat is to extort a ransom fee from its victims. That’s why it reaches certain personal files that store valuable information and encodes them. The ransomware uses a ransom message for the extortion. This message is stored in a file named READ_ME_NOW which is dropped on the infected machine.
|Short Description||A ransomware that is designed to encrypt valuable files stored on infected computers and then extort a ransom from victims.|
|Symptoms||Important files are encrypted and renamed with the extension .FTCODE|
A ransom message forces victims to load a web page with more infromation on how to pay a hefty ransom.
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails; Email Attachments; Corrupted Websites; Software Installers|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by FTCode |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss FTCode.|
|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.|
FTCode Virus Ransomware March 2020 Italy Attacks
A recent attack campaign carrying the FTCode virus has been detected once again. One of the major infection attempts this month is designed against to attack networks located in Italy. Two domain names associated are being used by the hackers to send out and coordinate the attacks. This means that it is very likely that the malware servers are part of a large botnet or a private infrastructure which is specifically commissioned to lead to the ransomware infections.
A common infection mechanism is the creation of malware code files — many of the ransomware strains are packed in ZIP files and sent via phishing emails or hosted on hacker-controlled sites. As soon as they are opened by the victims the infection will begin, a sophisticated execution sequence will be started. The virus will be installed as part of a several step process — this is intentional in order not to raise awareness about the virus. Like the previous versions the FTCode virus will launch its own dangerous set of actions — they can be customized depending on the desired outcome.
Before the ransomware engine is run a network connection will be initiated from the compromised machines to the hacker-controlled servers. This will allow the criminals to hijack data, steal files and also spy on the users.
In January 2020 a new release of the FTCODE virus has been released. It has been found in an ongoing attack campaign after the holiday season. The main distribution technique used by the hackers is the creation of multiple infected malicious documents — they are of all of popular formats (text files, presentations, databases and spreadsheets) and include malicious macros. In order for the FTCODE virus code to be run the victims will be prompted to run them, the quoted reason would be that this is required in order to correctly view the contents of the files. This will deliver and execute a PowerShell code which will commence the ransomware infection. To protect itself from security systems the output of the requests will be stored in memory only.
The new ransomware is labeled as FTCODE version 1117.1 which is different from previous versions. At the moment most of the files that are sent are sent via SPAM email messages — they use social engineering techniques and phishing tactics aiming to impersonate well-known companies and services or personal messages.
This new FTCODE virus will also start a security bypass function which will create a system shortcut file which will ensure that it will be run every time the computer is booted. A decoy document will be run first which will trick some of the signatures that are used by most security solutions.
The ransom note created by the FTCODE ransomware is called READ_ME_NOW.htm and its appearance in a folder can signal such a virus infection. One of the additions in this version of the ransomware is a credentials theft component that is compatible with most desktop web browsers and email clients including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, Google Chrome and Microsoft Outlook.
Before encrypting a folder the virus will check drives if there is a 50 kb of free space available. The latest sample also includes a list of the extensions that are to be processed:
.sql, .mp4, .7z, .rar, .m4a, .wma, .avi, .wmv, .csv, .d3dbsp, .zip, .sie, .sum, .ibank, .tl3, .tl2, .qdf, .gdb, .tax, .pkpass, .bc6, .pc7, .bkp, .qic, .bkf, .sidn, .sidd, .mddata, .itl, .itdb, .icxs, .hvitm, .sb, .fos, .mov, .vdf, .ztmp, .sis, .sid, .ncf, .menu, .layout, .dmp, .blob, .esm, .vcf, .vtf, .dazip, .fpk, .mlx, .kf, .iwd, .vpk, .tor, .psk, .rim, .w3x, .fsh, .ntl, .arch00, .lvl, .snx, .cfr, .ff, .vpp_pc, .lrf, .m2, .mcmeta, .vfs0, .mpqe, .kdb, .db0, .dba, .rofl, .apk, .re4, .saav, .lbf, .slm, .bik, .epk, .rgss3a, .pak, .big, .wal, wallet, .wotreplay, .xxx, .desc, .py, .m3u, .flv, .js, .css, .rb, .png, .jpeg, .txt, .p7c, .p7b, .p12, .pfx, .pem, .crt, .cer, .der, .x3f, .srw, .pef, .ptx, .r3d, .rw2, .rwl, .raw, .raf, .orf, .nrw, .mrwref, .mef, .erf, .kdc, .dcr, .cr2, .crw, .bay, .sr2, .srf, .arw, .3fr, .dng, .jpe, .jpg, .cdr, .indd, .ai, .eps, .pdf, .pdd, .psd, .pdbf, .mdf, .wb2, .rtf, .wpd, .dxg, .xf, .dwg, .pst, .accdb, .mdb, .pptm, .pptx, .ppt, .xlk, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xls, .wps, .docm, .docx, .doc, .odb, .odc, .odm, .odp, .ods and .odt.
The FTCode ransomware can include a dangerous web browser interaction component which is compatible with the most famous applications including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. The base engine will access the stored data and credentials and allow the hackers to impersonate the users, steal their identities and carry out blackmail campaigns. This is particularly dangerous as this is combined with the encryption of their private files making it very useful in such scenarios.
A recent campaign carrying the FTCode ransomware shows that a recent sample of the virus contains additional functionality. Apart from the already known modules the engine shows that it can interact with the installed web browsers — Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. This is done in order to extract sensitive data. Commonly this includes the following:
- Stored Form Data and Account Data
Information about the new attack was reported by a security researcher.
A recent example of the FTCode Ransomware has been found to be aimed against Italian-speaking users. The hackers are using the strategy of distributing office documents, in particular spreadsheets which will ask the users to enable the built-in macros. These files can be spread using several different strategies including the following:
- Social Networks — Using fake or hacked user profiles and pages the criminals can post links to the files or directly present them as useful data that is of interest to the targets. The criminals can use all popular techniques by posting the files publicly, in group chats and private messages.
- File-Sharing Networks — The hackers can upload the data over networks like BitTorrent which are popular for spreading both legitimate and pirate data.
- Phishing Emails — The criminals can also send out phishing email messages by impersonating companies and their notifications. By posting links to them the criminals will spread the files.
- Malware Sites — The same social engineering can be used with these files. Commonly they are hosted on safe sounding domain names which are also designed using social engineering tactics. They can be fake landing pages, download portals and even services. When the hackers want to the scam the victims into believing that they are accessing a safe page they will impersonate login prompts, registration windows and etc.
FTCode Ransomware — Update October 2019
A full extension list of the possible FTCode ransomware files that the users can see has been revealed by security experts. It includes the following:
.3fr, .7z, .accdb, .ai, .apk, .arch00, .arw, .asset, .avi, .bar, .bay, .bc6, .bc7, .big, .bik, .bkf, .bkp, .blob, .bsa, .cas, .cdr, .cer, .cfr, .cr2, .crt, .crw, .css, .csv, .d3dbsp, .das, .dazip, .db0, .dba, .dbf, .dcr, .der, .desc, .dmp, .dng, .doc, .docm, .docx, .dwg, .dxg, .epk, .eps, .erf, .esm, .ff, .flv, .forge, .fos, .fpk, .fsh, .gdb, .gho, .hkdb, .hkx, .hplg, .hvpl, .ibank, .icxs, .indd, .itdb, .itl, .itm, .iwd, .iwi, .jpe, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .kdb, .kdc, .kf, .layout, .lbf, .litemod, .lrf, .ltx, .lvl, .m2, .m3u, .m4a, .map, .mcmeta, .mdb, .mdbackup, .mddata, .mdf, .mef, .menu, .mlx, .mov, .mp4, .mpqge, .mrwref, .ncf, .nrw, .ntl, .odb, .odc, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt, .orf, .p12, .p7b, .p7c, .pak, .pdd, .pdf, .pef, .pem, .pfx, .pkpass, .png, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .psd, .psk, .pst, .ptx, .py, .qdf, .qic, .r3d, .raf, .rar, .raw, .rb, .re4, .rgss3a, .rim, .rofl, .rtf, .rw2, .rwl, .sav, .sb, .sid, .sidd, .sidn, .sie, .sis, .slm, .snx, .sql, .sr2, .srf, .srw, .sum, .svg, .syncdb, .t12, .t13, .tax, .tor, .txt, .upk, .vcf, .vdf, .vfs0, .vpk, .vpp_pc, .vtf, .w3x, .wb2, .wma, .wmo, .wmv, .wotreplay, .wpd, .wps, .x3f, .xf, .xlk, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xxx, .zip, .ztmp
Updates on the FTCode ransomware payment page were also noticed. Hacker shifted to a new scheme that offers victims several ransom discounts. The amount depends on the time after the attack as follows:
- First 3 days – $500
- 3 – 5 days – $2 500
- 5 – 10 days – $5 000
- 10 – 30 days – $25 000
- Delete your private key :-(
FTCode Ransomware – More About the Infection
FTCode ransomware is a malicious threat that is designed to corrupt computer systems by affecting some main system components. What is known for the spread of FTCode ransomware is that GootKit may be distributing it. GootKit is a Trojan horse that steals confidential information. It can also open a back door and download additional files on the compromised computer.
The ransomware has been reported to be released in massive spam email attacks. The emails that deliver malicious code represent a technique called malspam. The technique appears to be the most convenient way for the spread of ransomware on a large scale. So hackers often bet on it. It is known that the malicious software that is activating FTCode ransomware lands on computer systems as email attachments that are popular Windows file types.
The malicious code of this data locker ransomware may have landed on your computer after a download of a file that was attached to a legitimate-like email message. Emails that contain malicious files usually attempt to convince you that the attached files contain important information. Hence, they present the files as:
- Invoices coming from reputable sites, like PayPal, eBay, etc.
- Documents from that appear to be sent from your bank.
- An online order confirmation note.
- Receipt for a purchase.
The analyses published by the security researcher GrujaRS on its Twitter profile reveal that one of the files used for the FTCode ransomware activation is an infected Word document named Fattura-2019-951692.doc. When opened on a computer system, the document demands the activation of malicious macros that in turn trigger the FTCode ransomware.
Once the ransomware infects a target machine, it navigates to encryption process of personal files. Its authors are likely to configure it to detect and encode all commonly used files as they are more likely to store valuable information. Hence, corrupted by FTCode may be the following:
.PNG .PSD .PSPIMAGE .TGA .THM .TIF .TIFF .YUV .AI .EPS .PS .SVG .INDD .PCT .PDF .XLR .XLS .XLSX .ACCDB .DB .DBF .MDB .PDB .SQL .APK .APP .BAT .CGI .COM .EXE .GADGET .JAR .PIF .WSF .DEM .GAM .NES .ROM .SAV CAD Files .DWG .DXF GIS Files .GPX .KML .KMZ .ASP .ASPX .CER .CFM .CSR .CSS .HTM .HTML .JS .JSP .PHP .RSS .XHTML. DOC .DOCX .LOG .MSG .ODT .PAGES .RTF .TEX .TXT .WPD .WPS .CSV .DAT .GED .KEY .KEYCHAIN .PPS .PPT .PPTX ..INI .PRF Encoded Files .HQX .MIM .UUE .7Z .CBR .DEB .GZ .PKG .RAR .RPM .SITX .TAR.GZ .ZIP .ZIPX .BIN .CUE .DMG .ISO .MDF .TOAST .VCD SDF .TAR .TAX2014 .TAX2015 .VCF .XML Audio Files .AIF .IFF .M3U .M4A .MID .MP3 .MPA .WAV .WMA Video Files .3G2 .3GP .ASF .AVI .FLV .M4V .MOV .MP4 .MPG .RM .SRT .SWF .VOB .WMV 3D .3DM .3DS .MAX .OBJ R.BMP .DDS .GIF .JPG ..CRX .PLUGIN .FNT .FON .OTF .TTF .CAB .CPL .CUR .DESKTHEMEPACK .DLL .DMP .DRV .ICNS .ICO .LNK .SYS .CFG
A sure sign of an encrypted file is the .FTCODE extension appended by the ransomware. The fact that victims cannot open and use corrupted files is misused by hackers who extort a ransom fee for a .FTCODE files decryption tool.
The ransomware is designed to drop a ransom message file for the extortion process. This file is named READ_ME_NOW. All it informs is the following:
All your files was encrypted!
Your personal ID: *******-****-****-****-************
Your personal KEY:
1. Download Tor browser – https://www.torproject.org/download/
2. Install Tor browser
3. Open Tor browser
4. Open link in TOR browser http://qvo5sd7p5yazwbrgioky7rdu4vslxcaeruhjr7ztn3t2pihp56ewlqd.onion/?guid=[Your ID]
5. Follow the instructions on this page
Do not rename files
Do not try to back your data using third-party software, it may cause permanent data loss(If you do not believe us, and still try to – make copies of all files so that we can help you if third-party software harms them)
As evidence, we can for free back one file
Decoders of other users is not suitable to back your files – encryption key is created on your computer when the program is launched – it is unique
The analyses of FTCode made by the security researcher TG Soft give insight into the details mentioned on the payment page of this ransomware. Here is a picture of it:
Apparently, hackers insist that victims should pay a ransom of 1 BTC to receive the private decryption key for their .FTCODE files. They also offer a discount price of 0.2 BTC for the first 72 hours after infection. If these values are converted into United State Dollars, it becomes clear that at the moment of writing this article the discount price equals to $ 1,604.94 while the full price to the irrational $ 8,024.72
We know that it should go without saying, but victims of FTCode ransomware should not pay the required ransom to cybercriminals. On the one hand, hackers will be encouraged to continue spreading nasty malware infections like FTCode and harassing online users. On the other hand, there is information that victims who had paid the ransom received neither a key nor a decryption software.
Security researchers keep investigating the attacks with FTCode ransomware. Hopefully, they will find a way to crack its code and manage to release a free decryption tool for .FTCODE files. Meanwhile, we recommend you to consider the help of alternative data recovery methods and tools. More information about data recovery process could be found in the guide that follows.
How to Remove FTCode Ransomware
The so-called FTCode ransomware virus 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 FTCode ransomware. That’s why it is recommendable that all steps presented in the FTCode ransomware removal guide below should be completed. Beware that the 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.
Fix Computer Infected by FTCode Ransomware
- Guide 1: How to Remove FTCode from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of FTCode from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove FTCode from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase FTCode from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall FTCode from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove FTCode from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate FTCode from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove FTCode from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove FTCode
Step 2: Uninstall FTCode 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by FTCode 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 FTCode there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of FTCode from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall FTCode and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- 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 FTCode 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:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove FTCode files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as FTCode, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove FTCode from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase FTCode from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall FTCode from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove FTCode from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the FTCode will be removed.
Eliminate FTCode from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.