FILE Ransomware Virus (.FILE Extension) — Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith
The File virus falls within the Phobos ransomware family. A harmful program of such sort encrypts all the data on your computer (photos, documents, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its own extension to every file.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review

It is better to prevent, than repair and repent!

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.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware 6-day trial available.
EULA | Privacy Policy | GridinSoft

@topcybersecuritySubscribe to our Telegram channel to be the first to know about news and our exclusive materials on information security.

File virus: what is known so far?

☝️ A strictly correct description for the File would be “a Phobos family ransomware-type malicious agent”.

The scheme of renaming is this: .FILE. After the encryption, a file named, for example, “report.docx” will be changed to “report.docx.id[1E857D00-3145].[teamchic@yandex.com].FILE”.

The ransom note most probably contains instructions on how to buy the decryption tool from the File developers. You can obtain this decoding tool after contacting teamchic@yandex.com, teamchica@yandex.com, teamchic@jabb.im (Jabber), teamchic@exploit.im (Jabber) via email. That is it.

File overview:
NameFile Virus
Ransomware family1Phobos ransomware
Extension.FILE
Contactteamchic@yandex.com, teamchica@yandex.com, teamchic@jabb.im (Jabber), teamchic@exploit.im (Jabber)
Detection2Trojan-Ransom.Win32.PornoAsset.cwhs, Win32/Agent.WRQ, Win32/Adware.Neoreklami.MB
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .FILE extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by File virus

The note accompanying the File ransomware provides the following dispiriting information:

All your files have been encrypted!


All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail teamchic@yandex.com
Write this ID in the title of your message -
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to this e-mail:teamchica@yandex.com
If there is no response from our mail, you can install the Jabber client and write to us in support of teamchic@jabb.im or teamchic@exploit.im
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.
hxxps://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/


Jabber client installation instructions:


Download the jabber (Pidgin) client from hxxps://pidgin.im/download/windows/
After installation, the Pidgin client will prompt you to create a new account.
Click "Add"
In the "Protocol" field, select XMPP
In "Username" - come up with any name
In the field "domain" - enter any jabber-server, there are a lot of them, for example - exploit.im
Create a password
At the bottom, put a tick "Create account"
Click add
If you selected "domain" - exploit.im, then a new window should appear in which you will need to re-enter your data:
User
password
You will need to follow the link to the captcha (there you will see the characters that you need to enter in the field below)
If you don't understand our Pidgin client installation instructions, you can find many installation tutorials on youtube - hxxps://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=pidgin+jabber+install


Attention!
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.

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

File Virus - encrypted .FILE files

An example of encrypted .FILE files.

How did my computer get infected with File ransomware?

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

There are currently three most exploited methods for hackers to have ransomware acting in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer-to-peer file transfer.

If you access your mailbox and see letters that look just like notifications from utility services companies, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose “from” field is unknown to you, beware of opening those letters. They are very likely to have a ransomware item enclosed in them. Therefore, it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with letters like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan virus model3. A Trojan is a program that gets into your machine pretending to be something else. Imagine, you download an installer for some program you want or an update for some program. But 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 have to make sure that you can trust the resource of the things you’re downloading. The best way is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer-to-peer file transfer protocols like torrent trackers or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never guess what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the directory containing the downloaded items with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is done.

How to remove the File virus?

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

Often tamperers would unblock some of your files so you know that they do have the decryption tool. As File virus is a relatively recent ransomware, anti-malware designers have not yet found a way to undo its work. Nevertheless, the anti-ransomware instruments are constantly updated, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Of course, if the criminals do the job of encoding victim’s essential files, the desperate person will most likely fulfill their demands. Nevertheless, paying a ransom does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your data back. It is still risky. After obtaining the ransom, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption code to the injured party. There were reports of racketeers simply vanishing after getting the money without even writing back.

The optimal solution against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud disk or at least on an external drive. Of course, that might be insufficient. Your most crucial thing could be that file you were working upon when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the OS is rolled back.

File is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. Examples of those are Vvew, Vvwq, Oori, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the File are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is the same: files become encoded, their extensions altered, ransom notes are created in each folder containing encoded files.

Some lucky victims were able to decode the arrested files with the help of the free software provided by anti-ransomware developers. Sometimes the hackers accidentally send the decryption code to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the user to restore the files. But of course, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a bandits’ tool to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How to avoid ransomware infection?

File ransomware has no endless power, neither does any similar malware.

You can defend your computer from ransomware attack in several easy steps:

  • Never open any letters from unknown mailboxes with strange addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (how can you win in a money prize draw without even taking part in it?). If the email subject is more or less something you are expecting, check all elements of the dubious email with caution. A hoax email will surely contain mistakes.
  • Avoid using cracked or unknown software. Trojan viruses are often shared as a part of cracked software, possibly under the guise of “patch” preventing the license check. But dubious programs are difficult to tell from trustworthy software, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. Try to find information on this program on the anti-malware forums, but the best way is not to use such software.
  • And finally, to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, scan them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful armor for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft4

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft5.

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 computer.

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 system for File 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

FAQ

🤔 Are the “.FILE” files accessible?

Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.FILE” 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 File virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?

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

GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with actual threats. The virus that has infiltrated your PC is must be still active and launching checks from time to time to encode any new files you might create on your PC after the attack. As it has been mentioned above, the File 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 after some time.

🤔 What actions should I take if the File ransomware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation code.

If that happened, you need to have a flash memory card with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the procedure. The point is that the ransomware runs automatically as the system launches and encrypts any new files created or brought into your system. To stop this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital applications to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 And what should I do now?

Many of the encoded files might still be within your reach

  • If you sent or received your important files by email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You might have shared images or videos with your friends or family members. Just ask them to post those images back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, 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 notebook, phone, flash memory, etc.

HINT: You can employ data recovery programs6 to get your lost data back since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, removing the original ones. In the video below, you can see 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 anti-malware 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.

I need your help to share this article.

It is your turn to help other people. I have written this guide to help users like you. You can use the buttons below to share this on your favorite social media Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.
Brendan Smith
How to Remove FILE Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: FILE Virus

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

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

Sending
User Review
4.1 (10 votes)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

References

  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. Encyclopedia of threats.
  3. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  4. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  5. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  6. Here’s the list of the top 10 file recovery tools of 2021.

About the author

Brendan Smith

Journalist, researcher, web content developer, grant proposal editor. Efficient and proficient on multiple platforms and in diverse media. Computer technology and security are my specialties.

Leave a Reply

Sending

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.