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 its developers a ransom (purchase decryption software and key). It renames encrypted files by adding the ".FTCODE" extension to their filenames, for example, it renames a file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.FTCODE", and so on. Also, FTCODE creates a file named "READ_ME_NOW.htm" which contains instructions on how to pay a ransom.

"READ_ME_NOW.htm" contains victim's personal ID, key and a link which contains further instructions. It is stated that victims should not rename or try to decrypt their files using some other software, because it cause permanent data loss. To get further instructions on how to purchase decryption software and key, victims have to download Tor browser and open the provided link. As stated in the Tor website, price of a decryption is 0.06 of Bitcoin, however, it will be increased after 72 hours (3 days) after encryption. The longer victims will not pay a ransom, the higher the price of decryption will get. Victims can use this website to decrypt one file for free by uploading it through the provided tool. Basically, victims are encouraged to pay cyber criminals as soon as possible. However, it is not recommended to do that because they might not provide decryption software and key. In other words, there is a high possibility that people who will trust/pay these cyber criminals will get scammed. Unfortunately, it is impossible to decrypt files without tools that only FTCODE developers have. Typically, ransomware-type programs encrypt files with strong encryption algorithms that are impossible to 'crack'. In most cases the only way to avoid having to pay a ransom (purchase decryption tools from cyber criminals) and recover files for free is to restore them from a created backup.

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

FTCODE decrypt instructions

There are many other ransomware-type programs that operate like FTCODE, here are some examples: Badday, Galacti-Crypter and Local. Typically, these malicious programs lock files and are used to blackmail victims by forcing them to pay a ransom. Most common (and main) differences usually are price of a decryption and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that is used to encrypt files. As a rule, it is impossible to decrypt files without the tools that can be provided only by cyber criminals who designed ransomware, unless ransomware is not completed (contains bugs, flaws, etc.). That is why is is always a good idea to have data backed up and store it on a remote server or unplugged storage device. Having a backup becomes very useful in these situations and helps to avoid monetary, and data loss.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Research shows that cyber criminals spread FTCODE through emails, they send emails with malicious files attached to them and 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 (like .exe), archive files like ZIP, RAR, and so on. Also, they spread FTCODE via Trojans named GootKit and JasperLoader. Trojans are malicious programs that usually infect systems after their installation. Once a Trojan is installed, it starts to spread other malware by installing it on already infected computers. However, the aforementioned Trojans could be used to infect systems with other malware too.

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 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), 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?

In order to prevent computers from being infected with ransomware or other high-risk malware, we advise to avoid using various third party software downloaders/installers or other unreliable download sources like Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), unofficial pages, and so on. The safest way to download files and programs is to use official websites and direct links. Furthermore, we also recommend to 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 (it requires paid activation), then it should be activated properly. It means that none of the third party, unofficial tools should be used for that. It is not legal to activate programs through them and these tools often lead to installations of malware. One more way to keep systems (and files) safe is to protect them by having a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and scanning computers 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's .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's 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 that is used to distribute FTCODE (a .doc file in Italian language):

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 the added file extension has been changed (it now adds a random string [potentially victim's unique ID]) but it also starts playing a song by Rammstein. There's no need to say that this band has nothing to do with FTCODE ransomware. The created ransom note, website, etc. remains the same.

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

FTCODE Rammstein song

Screenshot of files encrypted by 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 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), 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.

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 "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 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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