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 of stored files. Additionally, SYSTEM FAILURE appends filenames with a random string  (e.g., "sample.jpg" would be renamed to "sample.jpg.eB4wgUJ"). Encrypted data instantly becomes unusable. After successful encryption, SYSTEM FAILURE generates an html file ("DECRYPT-FILES.html") and drops a copy in every existing folder. Additionally, SYSTEM FAILURE ransomware changes victim's desktop wallpaper.

The created 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 that is the case, then unique public (encryption) and private (decryption) keys are generated for each victim.  However, victims cannot access it, because developers store all keys in a remote server. The delivered message states that in order to receive the decryption key each victim has to pay a ransom, since restoring data without the private key is impossible. The price isn't specified - all details will be provided after victims will contact these persons via provided email address. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that cyber criminals typically ask for $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 sent back as a guarantee that the decryption is actually possible and that these persons can be trusted. Yet no matter how low or high the price is, it should never be paid. Crooks are notorious for ignoring victims, once payments are submitted. In other words, simply end up getting scammed and their data remains encrypted. Hence, you should never attempt to contact these persons and certainly not send them any money. Unluckily, SYSTEM FAILURE is an undecryptable ransomware - there are no tools capable of cracking its encryption and restoring data for free. The only thing victims can do is restore everything from a backup, if there is one created.

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

SYSTEM FAILURE decrypt instructions

SYSTEM FAILURE shares many similarities with dozens of other ransomware-type infections, such as yG, Qbtex, Codnat, and so on so forth. Vast majority of ransomware infections are designed to compromise (typically, to encrypt) data so that cyber criminals could make ransom demands by offering a paid recovery. In most cases the only major differences are size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm used. The problem is that in most cases used cryptographies (e.g., RSA, AES, etc.) generate unique decryption keys. In such cases manual decryption is impossible, unless the virus is still in development and/or has certain bugs/flaws. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups. However, it is important to store backups in a remote server or either unplugged storage device, since locally stored backups will be compromised alongside with the regular data. We also recommend to have multiple backup copies stored in different locations, just in case the used server/hardware is damaged.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware infections are typically proliferated using email spam 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), alongside with messages encouraging users to open them. Messages often present attachments as some important documents (e.g., invoices, bills, receipts, etc.) just to create the impression of legitimacy and increase the chance of tricking users into opening. Third party download sources are also used in a similar way. Crooks use peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, freeware download websites, free file hosting sites and other similar sources to present malicious executables as legitimate software. This way users get tricked into downloading and installing malware manually, by themselves. Trojans are basically malicious applications that stealthily infiltrate computers and inject them with additional malware. Fake updaters infect computers by exploiting outdated software's bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware instead of the actual/promised updates. Last but not least are fake software cracks, which behave virtually exactly the same as fake updaters. The purpose of cracking tools is to activate paid software for free. Yet since crooks often use them to spread malware, users are way more likely to infect their computers rather than gaining access to paid features. To sum up, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and reckless 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 Can't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay 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?

Everyone should know that the key to computer safety is caution. Hence, to prevent this situation users must be very cautious when browsing the Internet, as well as downloading, installing and updating software. Always 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 as well. You should download software only from official sources, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, which is why such tools should never be used. Similar rules apply to software updates. Keeping installed applications and operating system up-to-date is paramount. To achieve this, however, you should employ implemented functions or tools provided by the official developers only. Be aware that software piracy is a cyber crime and, on top of that, the risk of infections is extremely high. Hence, you should never attempt to crack any installed applications. Lastly, having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also very important, because tools of this type will help you to 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's 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's 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 "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default this feature automatically protects files stored in 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's more information on how to get this update and add 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: