FAUST Ransomware 🔐 (.FAUST File) — Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith
The Faust virus is classified as a variant of the Phobos ransomware family. This ransomware strain encrypts all data stored on the infected PC, encompassing images, documents, Excel sheets, music, videos, and other file types. It appends its unique extension to each encrypted file and generates info.txt text files in every directory that contains the 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 Faust virus?

☝️ An accurate designation for the Faust would be “a Phobos family ransomware-type malicious agent”.

During the encryption process, the files are renamed according to the following pattern: id[xxxxxxx].[contact_email].faust. For instance, a file named “report.docx” would be transformed into “report.docx.id[9ECFA84E-3421].[gardex_recofast@zohomail.eu].faust” after encryption.

Within each directory containing encrypted files, you will come across an info.txt file that serves as a ransom note. This note provides instructions on how to make the ransom payment and includes other pertinent information. Typically, the ransom note outlines the process for acquiring the decryption tool from the malicious actors. To obtain the decryption tool, you are instructed to contact gardex_recofast@zohomail.eu via email. This encapsulates the general framework of this malicious campaign.

Faust abstract:
NameFaust Virus
Ransomware family1Phobos ransomware
Ransomware noteinfo.txt
DetectionTrojan-Ransom.Win32.Blocker.pef, Win32/GenKryptik.GCGO, Win32/Filecoder.OKE
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .faust extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Faust virus

The info.txt file coming in package with the Faust ransomware provides the following frustrating information:

!!!All of your files are encrypted!!!
To decrypt them send e-mail to this address: gardex_recofast@zohomail.eu.
If we don\'t answer in 24h., send e-mail to this address: annawong@onionmail.org 

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

Faust Virus - encrypted .faust files

An example of encrypted .faust files.

How did my computer get infected with Faust ransomware?

There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware infiltration.

Nowadays, there are three most popular ways for hackers to have ransomware planted in your system. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer file transfer.

If you open your inbox and see letters that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose mailer is unknown to you, be wary of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a ransomware item enclosed in them. Therefore, it is even more dangerous to download any attachments that come with letters like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan virus scheme2. A Trojan is a program that infiltrates into your PC disguised as something legal. Imagine, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some software. However, what is unboxed reveals itself a harmful program that compromises your data. As the installation package 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 use the software companies’ official websites.

As for the peer-to-peer networks like torrent trackers 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. So you’d better be using trustworthy websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the directory containing the downloaded files with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is finished.

How do I get rid of the Faust virus?

It is crucial to note that besides encrypting your files, the Faust virus will most likely deploy the Azorult Spyware on your machine to seize your credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Often tamperers would unblock some of your files to prove that they really have the decryption program. As Faust virus is a relatively recent ransomware, safety measures designers have not yet found a method to reverse its work. However, the decryption instruments are constantly upgraded, so the solution may soon arrive.

Understandably, if the tamperers succeed in encoding victim’s critical data, the desperate person will probably fulfill their demands. Nevertheless, paying a ransom gives no guarantee that you’re getting your data back. It is still dangerous. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption key to the injured party. There were reports about criminals just disappearing after getting the money without even writing back.

The optimal countermeasure to ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud disk or at least on an external drive. Obviously, that might be not enough. The most important thing could be that file you were working upon when it all went down. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also wise to scan your drives with the anti-malware utility after the OS is rolled back.

There are other ransomware products, besides Faust, that work similarly. Examples of those are Nuis, Tury, Powd, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Faust are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is almost identical: documents become blocked, their extensions altered, ransom notes are created in every folder containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate victims were able to decode the blocked files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-malware specialists. Sometimes the criminals mistakenly send the decoding code to the wronged in the ransom note. Such an epic fail allows the user to restore the files. But naturally, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a bandits’ technology to pull the money out of their victims.

How to avert ransomware infiltration?

Faust ransomware doesn’t have a endless power, neither does any similar malware.

You can armour your PC from its injection in three easy steps:

  • Ignore any letters from unknown mailers with strange addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are expecting, scrutinize all elements of the suspicious letter with caution. A hoax email will surely contain mistakes.
  • Avoid using cracked or unknown programs. Trojan viruses are often distributed as an element of cracked software, possibly under the guise of “patch” which prevents the license check. But dubious programs are difficult to tell from trustworthy ones, as trojans may also have the functionality you seek. You can try searching for information about this software product on the anti-malware message boards, but the optimal way is not to use such programs at all.
  • And finally, to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, scan them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a powerful armor for your personal computer.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft3

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft4.

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 system.

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 PC for Faust 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 finished, 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 “.faust” files accessible?

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

🤔 The encrypted files are very important to me. How can I decrypt them quickly?

Hopefully, you have made a copy of those important files. Otherwise, you might try to employ System Restore. The only question is whether you have saved any Restore Points that would be helpful now. The rest of the methods require patience.

🤔 You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Faust virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?

No way! Your encrypted files are no threat to your PC.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with real viruses. The virus that has infected your computer is probably still functional and it scans your system from time to time to arrest any new files you might create on your computer after the initial attack. As it has been said above, the Faust malware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide malefactors with easy access to your computer in the future.

🤔 What should I do if the Faust virus has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation key.

In such an unfortunate situation, you need to prepare a flash memory card with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. The point is that the ransomware runs automatically as the system launches and encodes any new files created or imported into your computer. To block this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential applications to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 And what should I do now?

Some of the blocked data can be located elsewhere.

  • If you sent or received your critical files through email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You may have shared images or videos with your friends or family members. Simply ask them to send those images back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Web, you can try downloading them again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud disks might have all those files too.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old PC, a notebook, phone, flash memory, etc.

HINT: You can use file recovery utilities5 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware arrests the copies of your files, removing the authentic ones. In the video below, you can see how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, 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 governmental 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 FAUST Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: FAUST Virus

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

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  3. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  4. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/comparison
  5. Here are Best Data Recovery Software Of 2023.

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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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