Protect computers from FTCODE ransomware attacks

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

FTCODE ransomware removal instructions

What is FTCODE?

FTCODE ransomware is designed to encrypt data and force victims to pay developers a ransom (purchase decryption software and a key). It renames encrypted files by adding the ".FTCODE" extension to filenames. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.FTCODE". FTCODE also creates a file named "READ_ME_NOW.htm", which contains instructions about how to pay the ransom.

"READ_ME_NOW.htm" contains the victim's personal ID, key, and a link to further instructions. It is stated that victims should not rename or try to decrypt their files using other software, since this will cause permanent data loss. To get further instructions about how to purchase decryption software and keys, victims must download the Tor browser and open the link provided. The Tor website states that cost of decryption is 0.06 of Bitcoin, however, this will be increased after 72 hours (three days) after encryption. The longer victims delay paying the ransom, the higher the cost of decryption. Victims can use this website to decrypt one file free of charge by uploading it through the tool provided. Victims are encouraged to pay cyber criminals immediately, however, you are advised against this, since they might not provide decryption software or keys. People who trust and pay these cyber criminals will probably be scammed. Unfortunately, it is impossible to decrypt files without tools held only by FTCODE developers. Typically, ransomware-type programs encrypt files with strong encryption algorithms that are impossible to 'crack'. In most cases, the only way to avoid ransoms (purchasing decryption tools from cyber criminals) and recover files free of charge, is to restore them from a backup.

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

FTCODE decrypt instructions

Many other ransomware-type programs have similar operation to FTCODE. Some examples are Badday, Galacti-Crypter, and Local. Typically, these malicious programs lock files and are used to blackmail victims by forcing them to pay ransoms. Common differences are cost of a decryption and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) used to encrypt files. Generally, it is impossible to decrypt files without tools that can be provided only by the cyber criminals who designed the ransomware, unless ransomware is not complete (contains bugs, flaws, etc.). Therefore, have data backed up and store it on a remote server or unplugged storage device. A backup in these situations can avoid monetary and data loss.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Research shows that cyber criminals proliferate FTCODE through emails, which they send with malicious files attached. They hope that recipients will open them. Typically, opening attached files leads to installation of ransomware or other malware. Examples of files that cyber criminals usually attach are PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, executable files (.exe), archive files such as ZIP, RAR, and so on. They also proliferate FTCODE via Trojans named GootKit and JasperLoader. Trojans are malicious programs that usually infect systems after installation. Once a Trojan is installed, it starts to proliferate other malware by installing it on already infected computers.

Threat Summary:
Name FTCODE virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension .FTCODE
Ransom Demanding Message READ_ME_NOW.htm and Tor website.
Ransom Amount $500/$2500/$5000/$25000
Bitcoin Wallet Address 1PAgEJnSxur6s6MdzCG611SY84GUWXXnEQ
Detection Names ALYac (Trojan.Ransom.Powershell), ESET-NOD32 (PowerShell/Filecoder.V), GData (Script.Trojan.Agent.6KV82P), Microsoft (Ransom:VBS/Ftcode!MSR), 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), GootKit and JasperLoader trojans, 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.
Removal

To eliminate FTCODE 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

To prevent computers from infected with ransomware or other high-risk malware, avoid using third party software downloaders/installers or other dubious download sources such as Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), unofficial pages, and so on. The safest way to download files and programs is using official websites and direct links. Avoid using unofficial/fake updating tools to update software. It should be updated through implemented functions or tools that are designed by official developers. Attachments or web links that are presented in irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially if they are received from unknown/suspicious addresses. If installed software is not free (requires paid activation), it should be activated properly. Do not use third party, unofficial tools ('cracks') - it is illegal to activate programs through these tools, the use of which can often lead to installation of malware. Keep systems and files safe by protecting them with reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed. Scan your computer with it regularly. If your computer is already infected with FTCODE, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in FTCODE ransomware .htm file ("READ_ME_NOW.htm"):

All your files was encrypted!
Your personal ID: -

Your personal KEY: -

1. Download Tor browser - hxxps://www.torproject.org/download/

2. Install Tor browser

3. Open Tor Browser

4. Open link in TOR browser: hxxp://qvo5sd7p5yazwbrgioky7rdu4vslxrcaeruhjr7ztn3t2pihp56ewlqd.onion/?guid=a1ba97b1-8713-427c-828a-b056ae7fe9b8

5. Follow the instructions on this page

***** Warning*****
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.

Screenshot of FTCODE Tor website:

FTCODE website

Text in this page:

Price of private key and decrypt software is 0.06 Bitcoin ( ~$500 ) !
Yes, You can Decrypt Files Encrypted!!!
Available discounts
first 3 days     $500
3 - 5 days     $2 500
5 -10 days     $5 000
10 -30 days     $25 000
Delete your private key :-(
    
Remaining: 2 Days 23 Hours 59 Minutes 5 Seconds
Discount -90% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is ~$ 500
FREE AUTO decrypt! a few seconds file size < 1mb
encrypted file:     
    
How to Buy Bitcoin
Send 0.06 Bitcoin to: 1PAgEJnSxur6s6MdzCG611SY84GUWXXnEQ

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)

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.

Malicious attachment used to distribute FTCODE (a .doc file in Italian):

email attachment that is used to infect computers with FTCODE

Screenshot of files encrypted by FTCODE (".FTCODE" extension):

Files encrypted by FTCODE

Update October 9, 2019 - Cyber criminals have recently released an updated variant of FTCODE ransomware. Not only has the added file extension been changed (it now adds a random string [potentially victim's unique ID]), but it also starts playing a song by Rammstein. Needless to say, this band has nothing to do with FTCODE ransomware. The created ransom message, website, etc. remain identical.

Screenshot of .mp3 file (Rammstein song) created by the updated FTCODE ransomware:

FTCODE Rammstein song

Screenshot of files encrypted by the updated FTCODE ransomware:

Files compromised by updated FTCODE ransomware (random extension)

Threat Summary:
Name FTCODE virus (updated variant)
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension Random string.
Ransom Demanding Message READ_ME_NOW.htm and Tor website.
Ransom Amount $500/$2500/$5000/$25000
Bitcoin Wallet Address 1PAgEJnSxur6s6MdzCG611SY84GUWXXnEQ
Detection Names Qihoo-360 (Virus.vbs.qexvmc.1085), Rising (Trojan.Filecoder!8.68 (TOPIS:E0:3sP80EI4T7D)), Dr.Web vxCube (MALWARE), 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), GootKit and JasperLoader trojans, 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.
Removal

To eliminate FTCODE 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.

Update October 24, 2019 - Gabriele Pipi from the Certego Purple Team has recently released a beta version of FTCODE ransomware decrypter, which can help some victims to restore their data. All instructions and the decryption tool itself can be found in Gabriele's Github web page. Note that if you make any mistakes whilst entering commands and/or performing other steps, your data might potentially be permanently damaged. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you backup the compromised data before trying to decrypt it.

Update January 21, 2020 - Crooks have recently released an upadted version of FTCODE ransomware which has been implemented with a new feature - account stealing. Before encrypting data, FTCODE hijacks web browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox), as well as email clients (Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird) and extracts various account credentials that are saved within these programs. Stolen data is saved in a remote server and can be used for various purposes - blackmailing victims, stealing their money and so on so forth.

FTCODE ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of FTCODE 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 FTCODE 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 FTCODE 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 FTCODE 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 FTCODE 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 FTCODE 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 FTCODE, 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 FTCODE 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 FTCODE 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 pcrisk.com 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.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
FTCODE virus 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 FTCODE virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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