Facebook Ransomware

Also Known As: Facebook virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Facebook ransomware removal instructions

What is Facebook?

First discovered by malware security researcher, Leo, Facebook (ransomware) is file-encryption malware that behaves similarly to ransomware-type viruses. Immediately after infiltration, Facebook encrypts most stored data and appends filenames with the ".facebook.facebook" extension (i.e., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.facebook.facebook"). Compromised data immediately becomes unusable. After successful encryption, Facebook opens a pop-up window.

The main difference between Facebook and regular ransomware is that it is not designed to generate revenue. The opened pop-up window contains a message (in both Russian and English) claiming that files are encrypted and that encryption/decryption keys have not been saved. For this reason, restoring data is impossible. Unfortunately, this is accurate. Ransomware developers generate revenue by encrypting users' files and selling (or claiming to sell) decryption keys for hundreds of even thousands of dollars. They provide users with decryption instructions and contact information. Facebook, however, provides no such information. The message merely states that files are encrypted and can never be restored. Note that the pop-up window's background contains Mark Zuckerberg's photo and a message stating that he is the one responsible for the decryption - "My name is Mark Zuckerberg and I have encrypted your files without saving any encryption keys." This is false - neither Facebook nor Zuckerberg have anything to do with this malware. Facebook is probably designed to troll regular users by simply "wiping" their computers (possibly causing extensive damage and disruption). Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of decrypting data compromised by Facebook. Therefore, you can only restore everything from a backup.

Screenshot of a message and photo displayed after encryption:

Facebook decrypt instructions

Although Facebook does not make ransom demands, it can still be compared to dozens of other ransomware-type viruses, such as CryptON, RansomAES, GANDCRAB 3, and MMM. These viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, and yet their behavior is identical - all encrypt data and makes ransom demands. In most cases, ransomware-type viruses have just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, most employ algorithms (e.g., RSA, AES, etc.) that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the malware is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally or similar), restoring files manually without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, it is very important to store them on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or unplugged storage device (e.g., Flash drive, external hard drive or similar), otherwise ransomware encrypts backups as well.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

To proliferate ransomware, developers often use spam emails (malicious attachments), third party software download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, peer-to-peer networks, etc.), fake software update tools, and trojans. Malicious attachments typically come in the format of JavaScript files or MS Office documents. Once opened, these files execute scripts designed to stealthily download and install malware. Unofficial download networks present malware as legitimate software. Therefore, users are tricked into downloading and installing viruses. Fake updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or downloading and installing viruses rather than updates. Trojans are probably the simplest ones - they open "backdoors" for other viruses to infiltrate the system.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet. Never open email attachments that seem irrelevant or have been received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses. These emails should be deleted immediately, without reading. Furthermore, download your applications from official sources only (using direct download links) and avoid using third party download/installation tools, since they often include rogue programs. The same rule applies to updating software. Installed applications should be kept up-to-date, however, since malware is distributed using fake updaters, renew software using implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount.

Text presented in Facebook malware pop-up:

Что случилось с моим компьютером?
Ваши важные файлы зашифрованы. Многие из ваших документов, фотографий, видео, баз данных и других файлов больше не доступны, поскольку они были зашифрованы. Не тратьте свое время на поиск способа восстановления файлов. Никто не может восстановить ваши файлы.
Могу ли я восстановить мои файлы?
Нет. Меня зовут Марк Цукерберг, и я зашифровал ваши файлы, не сохраняя никаких ключей шифрования. Я ценю, что вы выполняете мою программу, потому что вы позволили мне разрушить больше жизней.
What Happened to My Computer?
Your important files are encrypted. Many of your documents, photos, videos, databases and other files are no longer accessible because they have been encrypted. Do not waste your time looking for a way to recover your files. Nobody can recover your files.
Can I Recover My Files?
No. My name is Mark Zuckerberg and I have encrypted your files without saving any encryption keys. I appreciate you executing my program because you have allowed me to ruin more lives.
"A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa."

Screenshot of files encrypted by Facebook (".facebook.facebook" extension):

Files encrypted by Facebook

Update 7 December, 2018 - Facebook ransomware's developers have released an updated variant of this ransomware which has a different pop-up window, file extension and now also creates a .rt file containing ransom-demanding message. This version has been developed using an open-source ransomware project called Hidden Tear.

Screenshot of updated Facebook ransomware's  pop-up:

Facebook ransomware pop-up window

Text presented within this pop-up:

oops Your files are encrypted.

Please click the button that says "How to decrypt my files"


[How to Decrypt your files.]

[Give me back my files!"

Screenshot of Facebook ransomware's rtf file ("READ_IT.rtf"):

Facebook ransomware rtf file

Text presented within this file:

Files has been encrypted with hidden tear

Send me some bitcoins or kebab

And I also hate night clubs, desserts, being drunk.

Screenshot of files encrypted by the updated version of Facebook ransomware (".Facebook" extension):

Files encrypted by new version of Facebook ransomware

Facebook ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Facebook virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Facebook virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the Facebook virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the Facebook ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Facebook ransomware files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of Facebook are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.

To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by Facebook, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

To protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Facebook ransomware.

Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.

Controll Folder Access

Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.

Other tools known to remove Facebook ransomware: