Facebook ransomware — a dangerous cyber threat which wipes out the data on the PC
Facebook ransomware is a dangerous infection which appends .facebook.facebook extension and makes files unusable.
Questions about Facebook ransomware virus
Facebook ransomware is a file-encrypting virus which is designed to encrypt the essential data on the computer without leaving much choice for recovery. Compromised files contain .facebook.facebook extension, and the victim receives a pop-up window that informs about the attack. Although, this version of the virus does not aim to generate profit rather than operates as a data wiper.
|Distribution||Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing sites, spam emails, malicious links|
|Elimination||The only way to uninstall Facebook ransomware for good is with a robust anti-malware software. We recommend ReimageIntego|
Once the computer is infected with Facebook ransomware, users receive the following pop-up with M. Zuckerberg's picture on the background and a message written in both, English and Russian:
What Happened to My Computer?
Your important files are encrypted. Many of your documents, photos, videos, databases and other files are no longer accessible because they have been encrypted. Do not waste your time looking for a way to recover your files. Nobody can recover your files.
Can I Recover My Files?
No. My name is Mark Zuckerberg and I have encrypted your files without saving any encryption keys. I appreciate you executing my program because you have allowed me to ruin more lives.
“A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.”
Despite the content of the message, Mark Zuckerberg is not related to this virus in any way. This is merely an attempt to scare novice computer users by stating false facts. Thus, consider Facebook ransomware removal immediately.
It is evident that the developer of the malicious program does not target profit. In fact, there is no Facebook ransomware decryptor which could help you get back the access to the encoded data. However, you can try alternative recovery methods which can help you decrypt:
- Other files.
However, before heading to the decryption steps, you must get rid of Facebook ransomware in the first place. For that, we strongly advise you installing a professional malware removal software. Our top choice is ReimageIntego. Although, you can try using other reliable programs.
The original Facebook ransomware version demands a ransom
The original Facebook ransomware version came from the HiddenTear virus family that first emerged as educational ransomware (eduware) but was quickly taken advantage of by the evil-minded criminals who used it to create ransom-demanding spin-offs such as CryptoSpider, Mora Project, CryMore and many others.
Thousands have suffered from these virus attacks and lost access to their files indefinitely. In such cases, the only option the victims had is to eliminate the malware from their computers and prevent the risk of losing their future data. It comes naturally that it is just as important to remove Facebook malware in case you are infected.
In this image you can see Facebook virus locksreen that the malware drops on the computer after it is done encrypting files and appending them with .Facebook extensions.
Like its other counterparts, the so-called Facebook ransomware activates itself when its malicious executable — Facebook.exe gets deployed on the targeted system via malvertising , spam or other deceptive ways of distribution. As soon as it is on the PC, the virus drops a lockscreen, blocking the victim from accessing the computer’s or tablet’s desktop or other folders. The message on the lock screen reads:
oops Your files are encrypted.
Please click the button that says “How to decrypt
[Button] How to decrypt your files.
[Button] Give me back my files!
The code you see in the message is a Bitcoin wallet address to which the criminals demand a set amount of ransom to be sent. This address may change as the criminals try to cover up their tracks. More detailed instructions on how to make the payment presumably can be accessed by clicking the “How to decrypt your files” button, but we do not recommend doing that. You can never know if the criminals will not drop you off on another infectious website just to damage your PC even more.
Instead of following the instructions on the lock screen, it is better to perform Facebook virus removal and make sure the ransomware won’t lock any of the new files you create on your computer.
Ransomware can enter your system in multiple ways
Even though the vast of Facebook virus versions are distributed via this widely used social media platform itself, there are alternative ways how criminals spread more sophisticated variants of this cyber threat. Usually, hackers upload the payloads of the ransomware on peer-to-peer (P2P) websites or distribute via malicious spam emails.
Malspam campaigns are highly successful since the executable of the ransomware is sent to the potential victims’ computers disguised as some essential document, notification or official notice from governmental institutions. Likewise, the computer is immediately infected once the malicious file attachment is opened.
Typically, emails with malicious attachments will be automatically placed in the spam catalog of your email, but more cleverly built scams may slip through to your regular inbox as well, so you should be very careful when opening emails! Don’t take anything for granted just because it has “official” tag on it.
Uninstalling Facebook ransomware can help you get back the lost files
Even though the attackers claim that they do not have the decryption tool to recover encrypted data, you must perform Facebook ransomware removal. Keep in mind that such sophisticated cyber threats usually can open backdoors for other infections and damage your computer completely.
If Facebook virus is still active and prevents you from installing a professional antivirus, check the instructions at the end of this article and learn how to deactivate the ransomware. Later, remove Facebook ransomware from your PC with ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, or Malwarebytes.
Finally, Novirus.uk experts say that as all the malicious malware files are out of your PC, you may then proceed to data recovery. Below the article, you will find alternative recovery solutions with brief usage instructions.
To remove Facebook virus, follow these steps:
Manual Facebook removal using Safe Mode
You may try exiting the ransomware lock screen by running your PC in Safe Mode. Here is how to activate this feature:
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.
Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking
Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment.
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
- Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
- On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
- Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Press Restart.
- Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes
Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Click on More details.
- Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
- Right-click and select Open file location.
- Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
- Delete the contents of the malicious folder.
Step 3. Check program Startup
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Go to Startup tab.
- Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
Step 4. Delete virus files
Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:
- Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
- Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
- Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:
Temporary Internet Files
- Pick Clean up system files.
- You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):
After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.
Remove Facebook using System Restore
System Restore can also be helpful for bypassing some of the malicious virus functionalities. We explain how to perform it below.
Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Command Prompt from the list
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
- Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
- Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window.
Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
- Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.
- Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again..
- When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Facebook. After doing that, click Next.
- Now click Yes to start system restore.
Bonus: Recover your dataGuide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Facebook from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.
If your files are encrypted by Facebook, you can use several methods to restore them:
Data Recovery Pro application to the recovery of files encrypted by Facebook ransomware
We explain how to use the lightweight Data Recovery Pro application below:
- Download Data Recovery Pro;
- Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
- Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by Facebook ransomware;
- Restore them.
Files can be recovered with the help of Windows Previous Versions feature!
This method is for those, who had the System Restore feature enabled on their PCs prior to the virus attack. Files can be recovered like explained here:
- Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
- Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
- Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.
Dealing with data recovery with the help of Shadow Explorer
Shadow Explorer recreates files from Volume Shadow Copies saved on the computer. If these copies aren't affected by the virus, you may recover your data following the instructions here:
- Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
- Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
- Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
- Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Facebook and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
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Data backups are important – recover your lost files
Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.
While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.