FAST Virus 🔐 (.FAST Files) — How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Fast virus falls under the ransomware type of infection. Harmful software of this type encrypts all the data on your computer (images, documents, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its extra extension to every file, leaving the #FILEENCRYPTED.txt files in each directory containing encrypted files.
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When we talk about the intrusion of unfamiliar programs into your computer’s work, the proverb “Forewarned is forearmed” describes the situation as accurately as possible. Gridinsoft Anti-Malware is exactly the tool that is always useful to have in your armory: fast, efficient, up-to-date. It is appropriate to use it as an emergency help at the slightest suspicion of infection.
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What is Fast virus?

☝️ A strictly accurate designation for the Fast would be “a ransomware malicious agent”.

The renaming will be executed according to the following pattern: EMAIL=[xxxxxx]ID=[xxxxxx].FAST. During the encryption, a file entitled, for example, “report.docx” will be changed to “report.docx.EMAIL=[[email protected]]ID=[A883F7AA2ED1B445].FAST”.

In each directory with the encoded files, a #FILEENCRYPTED.txt text file will be found. It is a ransom money note. It contains information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the racketeers. You can obtain this decryptor after contacting [email protected] by email. That is how they do it.

Fast abstract:
Name Fast Virus
Extension .FAST
Ransomware note #FILEENCRYPTED.txt
Contact [email protected]
Detection Virus.Virut.Gen, Troj/EncPk-AQ, Trojan:Win32/Zenpack!ic
Symptoms Your files (photos, videos, documents) get a .FAST extension and you can’t open them.
Fix Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Fast virus

The #FILEENCRYPTED.txt file accompanying the Fast malware states the following:

ATTENTION!
At the moment, your system is not protected.
We can fix itand restore files.
To get started, send a file to decrypt trial.
You can trust us after opening the test file.
To restore the system write to both : fastd[email protected] and [email protected]
Your Decryption ID: -

In the image below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Fast looks like. Each filename has the “.FAST” extension appended to it.

Fast Virus - encrypted .FAST files

That is how encrypted “.FAST” files look.

How did my computer get infected with Fast ransomware?

There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware injection.

There are currently three most exploited ways for tamperers to have ransomware acting in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan infiltration and peer networks.

If you access your inbox and see letters that look like familiar notifications from utility services companies, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is strange to you, beware of opening those emails. They are very likely to have a ransomware item attached to them. Therefore, it is even riskier to open any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan horse scheme. A Trojan is a program that gets into your computer pretending to be something different. Imagine, you download an installer for some program you want or an update for some program. However, what is unpacked turns out to be a harmful program that encodes your data. As the update wizard can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the files you’re downloading. The best thing is to trust the software companies’ official websites.

As for the peer file transfer protocols like BitTorrent or eMule, the danger is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never know what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the folder containing the downloaded objects with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is done.

How do I get rid of the Fast virus?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your files, the Fast virus will probably deploy Vidar Stealer on your machine to get access to credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned spyware can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Often tamperers would unblock some of your files to prove that they indeed have the decryption tool. As Fast virus is a relatively recent ransomware, security software designers have not yet found a way to reverse its work. However, the decoding tools are frequently upgraded, so the solution may soon be available.

Understandably, if the malefactors do the job of encrypting victim’s essential data, the desperate person will most likely comply with their demands. Nevertheless, paying to criminals gives no guarantee that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still dangerous. After getting the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports about hackers simply vanishing after getting the ransom without even bothering to reply.

The best countermeasure to ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud storage or at least on an external disk. Surely, that might be insufficient. Your most important thing could be that one you were working on when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the OS is rolled back.

Fast is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. For instance, Xaro, Xatz, Sato, and some others. The two main differences between them and the Fast are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is almost identical: files become encoded, their extensions altered, ransom notes appear in every directory containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate people were able to decrypt the blocked files with the aid of the free software provided by anti-malware experts. Sometimes the criminals mistakenly send the decryption code to the wronged in the ransom note. Such an epic fail allows the victim to restore the files. But obviously, one should never expect such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a bandits’ technology to pull the money out of their victims.

How to avoid ransomware attack?

Fast ransomware doesn’t have a superpower, neither does any similar malware.

You can defend your computer from ransomware injection within three easy steps:

  • Ignore any letters from unknown mailers with unknown addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (can you win in a money prize draw without even taking part in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are expecting, check all elements of the questionable letter carefully. A hoax email will surely have a mistake.
  • Do not use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojan viruses are often distributed as a part of cracked products, possibly as a “patch” to prevent the license check. But untrusted programs are very hard to tell from trustworthy software, because trojans may also have the functionality you seek. Try searching for information on this program on the anti-malware message boards, but the optimal solution is not to use such programs at all.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful defense for your PC.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft1

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft2.

Download Removal Tool.

You can download GridinSoft Anti-Malware by clicking the button below:

Run the setup file.

When setup file has finished downloading, double-click on the setup-antimalware-fix.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your PC.

Run Setup.exe

An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Setup

Press “Install” button.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Install

Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Splash-Screen

Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your computer for Fast infections and other malicious programs. This process can take a 20-30 minutes, so I suggest you periodically check on the status of the scan process.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scanning

Click on “Clean Now”.

When the scan has completed, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the “Clean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 Are the “.FAST” files accessible?

Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.FAST” files first. Then you will be able to open them.

🤔 I really need to decrypt those “.FAST” files ASAP. How can I do that?

It’s good if you have fаr-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.

🤔 Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the Fast virus?

Absolutely not! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your computer off the actual viruses. The ransomware that has infiltrated your PC is probably still functional and running scans from time to time to encrypt any new files you might create on your PC after the infection. As it has already been said, the Fast ransomware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide hackers with easy access to your system in the future.

🤔 What should I do if the Fast ransomware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation code.

In such an unfortunate situation, you need to prepare a flash memory card with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to do the cleaning. You see, the ransomware runs automatically as the system launches and encodes any new files created or imported into your machine. To stop this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 What could help the situation right now?

Many of the encrypted files might still be at your disposal

  • If you sent or received your important files via email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You may have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Simply ask them to give those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try doing it again.
  • Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud drives might have all those files as well.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a portable device, mobile, external storage, etc.

HINT: You can employ data recovery programs3 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware encrypts the copies of your files, removing the authentic ones. In the tutorial below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but be advised: you won’t be able to do it before you eradicate the ransomware itself with an antivirus program.

Also, you can contact the following official fraud and scam sites to report this attack:

To report the attack, you can contact local executive boards. For instance, if you live in USA, you can have a talk with FBI Local field office, IC3 or Secret Service.

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Brendan Smith
How to Remove FAST Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: FAST Virus

Description: FAST Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .FAST extension. So, you can't use them at all.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  2. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  3. Here’s the list of Top 10 Data Recovery Software Of 2023.

About the author

Brendan Smith

I'm Brendan Smith, a passionate journalist, researcher, and web content developer. With a keen interest in computer technology and security, I specialize in delivering high-quality content that educates and empowers readers in navigating the digital landscape.

With a focus on computer technology and security, I am committed to sharing my knowledge and insights to help individuals and organizations protect themselves in the digital age. My expertise in cybersecurity principles, data privacy, and best practices allows me to provide practical tips and advice that readers can implement to enhance their online security.

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