Also Known As: SYSTEM FAILURE virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

SYSTEM FAILURE ransomware removal instructions


SYSTEM FAILURE is a high-risk ransomware infection discovered by Michael Gillespie. After successful infiltration, SYSTEM FAILURE encrypts most stored files and appends filenames with a random string  (e.g., "sample.jpg" might be renamed to a filename such as "sample.jpg.eB4wgUJ"). Encrypted data instantly becomes unusable. After successful encryption, SYSTEM FAILURE generates an HTML file ("DECRYPT-FILES.html") and stores a copy in every existing folder. Additionally, SYSTEM FAILURE ransomware changes the desktop wallpaper.

The new HTML file delivers a message stating that data is encrypted and that a unique decryption key is necessary to restore it. According to SYSTEM FAILURE's desktop wallpaper, data is encrypted using RSA-2048 - an asymmetric encryption algorithm. If this is the case, unique public (encryption) and private (decryption) keys are generated for each victim. Note that victims cannot access them, since developers store all keys on a remote server. The message states that, to receive their decryption key, each victim must pay a ransom, since restoring data without the private key is impossible. The cost is not specified - all details are provided after victims make contact with these people via an email address provided. Cyber criminals typically demand $500-$1500 in Bitcoins, Ethereum, Monero, DASH, or another cryptocurrency. Victims are also allowed to attach one selected file, which will supposedly be restored and returned as a 'guarantee' that decryption is possible and that these people can be trusted. Regardless of the cost, do not pay. Criminals often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, they simply end up being scammed and their data remains encrypted. You should never attempt to contact these people or send any money. Unfortunately, SYSTEM FAILURE is undecryptable ransomware - there are no tools capable of cracking its encryption and restoring data free of charge. You can only restore everything from a backup, if one has been created.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

SYSTEM FAILURE decrypt instructions

SYSTEM FAILURE shares similarities with dozens of other ransomware-type infections such as yG, Qbtex, and Codnat. Most ransomware infections compromise data by encryption so that cyber criminals can make ransom demands for file recovery. In most cases, the only major differences are size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm used. The cryptographies used (e.g., RSA, AES, etc.) generate unique decryption keys. In such cases, manual decryption is impossible unless the virus is still in development or has certain bugs/flaws. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular backups, however, store them on a remote server or unplugged storage device, since locally stored backups are compromised together with regular data. We also recommend that you have multiple backup copies stored in different locations, in case the server/hardware is damaged.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware infections are proliferated using spam email campaigns, third party software download sources, trojans, and fake software updaters/cracks. Spam campaigns are used to send hundreds of thousands of emails that contain malicious attachments (links/files), together with messages encouraging users to open them. The messages often present attachments as important documents (e.g., invoices, bills, receipts, etc.) in attempts to give the impression of legitimacy and trick users into opening them. Third party download sources are also used in a similar way. Criminals use peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, freeware download websites, free file hosting sites and other similar sources to present malicious executables as legitimate software. In this way, users are tricked into manually downloading and installing malware. Trojans are malicious applications that stealthily infiltrate computers and inject them with additional malware. Fake updaters infect computers by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than the /promised updates. Finally, fake software cracks have identical behavior as fake updaters. The purpose of cracking tools is to activate paid software free of charge, however, since criminals often use them to proliferate malware, users are much more likely to infect their computers than gain access to paid features. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior.

Threat Summary:
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension random string
Ransom Demanding Message DECRYPT-FILES.html file
Cyber Criminal Contact
Detection Names (248c960c1ae54103dea5bfae924f28e2.exe) Avast (Win32:Adware-gen [Adw]), AVG (Win32:Adware-gen [Adw]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Adware.Kazy.734873), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Cryptor.cit), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand payment of a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
Damage All files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password-stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.

To eliminate SYSTEM FAILURE virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, to prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the Internet, and downloading, installing and updating software. Handle received email attachments with care. Files/links that are irrelevant should never be opened. Attachments received from suspicious/unrecognizable email address should be ignored. Download software from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus these tools should never be used. Similar rules apply to software updates. Keeping installed applications and operating systems up-to-date is paramount. To achieve this, however, you should employ implemented functions or tools provided by the official developers. Be aware that software piracy is a cyber crime and the risk of infections is extremely high. Therefore, never attempt to crack installed applications. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also very important, since these tools can detect and eliminate malware before the system is harmed. If your computer is already infected with SYSTEM FAILURE, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in SYSTEM FAILURE ransomware HTML file ("DECRYPT-FILES.html"):



Attention! Your documents, photos, databases, and other important files have been encrypted!


The only way to decrypt your files, is to buy the private key from us.

You can decrypt one of your files for free, as a proof that we have the method to decrypt the rest of your data.

In order to receive the private key contact us via email:

Remember to hurry up, as your email address may not be avaliable for very long.
Buying the key immediatly will guarantee that 100% of your files will be restored.

Below you will see a big base64 blob, you will need to email us and copy this blob to us.
you can click on it, and it will be copied into the clipboard.

If you have troubles copying it, just send us the file you are currently reading, as an attachment.

Base64: -

Screenshot of SYSTEM FAILURE ransomware desktop wallpaper:

SYSTEM FAILURE ransomware desktop wallpaper

Text presented within this desktop wallpaper:

Dear *****, your files have been encrypted by RSA-2048 and ChaCha algorithms

The only way to restore them is to buy decryptor

These algorithms are one of the strongest

You can read about them at wikipedia

If you understand important of situation you can restore all files by following instructions in DECRYPT-FILES.html file

You can decrypt 1 file for free as a proof of work

We know that this is a home computer

So we will give you appropriate price for recovering

Screenshot of files encrypted by SYSTEM FAILURE (random string extension):

Files encrypted by SYSTEM FAILURE

SYSTEM FAILURE ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of SYSTEM FAILURE 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 SYSTEM FAILURE 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 SYSTEM FAILURE 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 SYSTEM FAILURE 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 SYSTEM FAILURE 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 SYSTEM FAILURE 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 SYSTEM FAILURE, 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 SYSTEM FAILURE 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 SYSTEM FAILURE ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of SYSTEM FAILURE virus on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of SYSTEM FAILURE virus today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW with Spyhunter

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Spyhunter:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.