Fob ransomware removal instructions
What is Fob?
Fob is variant of WannaScream ransomware, this variant was discovered by Michael Gillespie. Fob encrypts victim's files, modifies their filenames, creates and displays a ransom note. It renames encrypted files by adding victim's ID and email@example.com email address and appending the ".Fob" extension to their filenames. For example, it renames a file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.[1E857D00[firstname.lastname@example.org].Fob", "2.jpg" to "2.jpg.[1E857D00[ email@example.com].Fob", etc. It launches one a ransom note from the created "info.hta" file and creates another note in a text file named "ReadMe.txt".
Cyber criminals behind this ransomware claim that victims cannot decrypt encrypted files without a tool that can be purchased only from them. To get instructions on how to pay for it victims supposed to write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or write to @Book545 on Telegram. It is stated that price of that tool depends on how fast victims will contact them. Also, before making a transaction victims can send up to 5 files for a free decryption. Victims are warned not to rename any of the encrypted files or try to decrypt them with some third party software because it may damage files (cause permanent data loss). Unfortunately, there are no free tools that could decrypt files encrypted by Fob, at least not at the moment. However, it is not recommended to trust cyber criminals (pay them a ransom), it is very likely that they will not send any decryption software even after a payment. Typically, in cases of ransomware attack the only way to recover files for free is to restore them from a backup. It is worthwhile to mention that unencrypted files can be prevented from being encrypted by uninstalling ransomware from the operating system. Although, encrypted files remain inaccessible/unusable even after its uninstallation.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
To sum up, malicious programs like Fob are designed to encrypt files and keeps them inaccessible unless victims decrypt them with a decryption tool and/or key that can be purchased from cyber criminals who designed that malware. As a rule, two main and most common variables are size of a ransom and encryption algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses to encrypt victim's files. Here are examples other ransomware: Moba, Pykw and Chinz. Usually, it is possible to decrypt data without decryption tools that can be purchased only from cyber criminals when ransomware contains some bugs, flaws, it is not finished. Nevertheless, it does not happen often and data loss caused by ransomware can be avoided only by restoring files from an existing backup. Therefore, it is recommended to always have data backed up and store it on a remote server (like Cloud) and/or unplugged storage device.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Encrypted Files Extension||.Fob|
|Ransom Demanding Message||info.hta, ReadMe.txt|
|Cyber Criminal Contactfirstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, @Book545 on Telegram|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Heur.Ransom.Imps.3), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Filecoder.LK), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Ransom.MSIL.Encoder.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Rogue Process Name||Antivirus (its name may vary)|
|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.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
It is recommended to ignore irrelevant emails that contain attachments or web links, especially if such emails are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. As a rule, such emails are disguised as important, official, sent from legitimate companies, organizations. Also, it is recommended to not to download (or install) software through third party downloaders (or installers), or any other tools of this kind (examples are mentioned in the previous paragraph). All software (and files should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct links. Installed software must be activated and/or updated only with tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers. Other (unofficial, third party) tools should never be used for that. It is worthwhile to mention that it is not legal to activate licensed programs with various 'cracking' tools. Additionally, it recommended to have a reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed on the operating system and scan it for threats regularly. If your computer is already infected with Fob, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in Fob ransomware's pop-up window ("info.hta"):
All your files have been encrypted by Wanna Scream!
due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Write this ID in the title of your message:-
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to this e-mail:email@example.com
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 4Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.
Screenshot of Fob's text file ("ReadMe.txt"):
Text in this file:
[+] All Your Files Have Been Encrypted [+]
[-] Do You Really Want To Restore Your Files?
[+] Write Us To The E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
[+] Write Us To The ID-Telegram : @Book545
[+] If you did not get any response until 24 hours later,Write to this E-Mail : email@example.com
[-] Write Your Unique-ID In The Title Of Your Message.
[+] Unique-ID : -
Screenshot of files encrypted by Fob (".Fob" extension):
Fob running in Task Manager as "Antivirus" (its process name may vary):
Fob ransomware removal:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Fob?
- STEP 1. Fob virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Fob ransomware removal using System Restore.
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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the Fob 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.
2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window, click "Next".
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 Fob ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).
6. In the opened window, click "Yes".
7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Fob 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 Fob 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.
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 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 Fob 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, and Desktop folders.
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:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- 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 Fob ransomware: