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.|
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.
FTCode Ransomware — November 2019 Update
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.
FTCode Ransomware — October 2019 New Campaign
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.