Fisakalzb virus Removal Guide
What is Fisakalzb ransomware?
Fisakalzb ransomware leaves users' personal files useless after using encryption algorithms
Ransomware infections can cause permanent data loss
The Fisakalzb ransomware is a dangerous program that uses complicated encryption algorithms to lock users' personal files, like photos, videos, and documents. This variant specifically belongs to the Snatch ransomware family. The file-locking virus appends the .fisakalzb extension to every infected file, changes the icons to white pages, and encrypts them so they cannot be opened. If users don't have backups of their data, this infection could result in permanent data loss.
|TYPE||Ransomware, cryptovirus, data locking malware|
|MALWARE FAMILY||Snatch ransomware|
|DISTRIBUTION||Email attachments, peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms, software vulnerabilities|
|RANSOM NOTE||HOW TO RESTORE YOUR FILES.TXT|
|FILE RECOVERY||It is almost impossible to recover the files if you do not have backups|
|MALWARE REMOVAL||Scan your machine with anti-malware software to eliminate malicious files. This will not recover your files.|
|SYSTEM FIX||You can avoid operating system damage with ReimageIntego maintenance tool, which can fix damaged files|
The ransom note
When Fisakalzb ransomware finishes encrypting users' files, it generates a ransom note HOW TO RESTORE YOUR FILES.TXT on the machine.
All your files are encrypted!
Email me if you want to get your files back – I will do it very quickly!
The subject like must contain an encryption extension or the name of your company!
Do not rename encrypted files, you may lose them forever.
You may be a victim of fraud. Free decryption as a guarantee.
Send us up to 3 files for free decryption.
The total file size should be no more than 1MB! (not in the archive), and the files should not contain valuable information.
To contact us, we recommend that you create an email address at protonmail.com or tutanota.com
Because gmail and other public email programs can block our messages!
If you do not receive a response from us for a long time, check your spam folder.
Customer service TOX ID:
Only emergency! Use if support is not responding
The ransom note explains to users what happened to their files. If they want to get their data back, they are required to contact cyber criminals. The ransom amount is not specified in the message, which means it is most likely negotiated privately.
Threat actors offer to decrypt up to 3 files for free to appear trustworthy. However, we strongly advise against contacting them. Many previous ransomware attack victims say that they never received the promised decryption tools after paying. Although it is almost impossible to recover encrypted data if you do not have backups, it is too risky.
Do not trust the cybercriminals as they are not required to deliver decryption keys
The most common ways that people get infected with ransomware are by downloading software from Torrent websites or peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms. Some users think they can save money by looking for “cracked” software, but these platforms are unregulated and you never know if the packages contain malicious files.
Social engineering is a term for when criminals use manipulation tactics to dupe people. They might send an email that looks like it’s from a familiar company but includes an infected attachment or malicious link. If you open it, the infection launches and can cause damage. For this reason, only open attachments or click links in emails if you know the sender personally.
A critical, yet often overlooked tip is to ensure that your software and operating system are always updated. By neglecting updates, you're giving hackers the chance to exploit vulnerabilities in order to deliver malicious programs. To keep your system protected, install security patches as soon as they're released by software developers.
Use professional security tools
The first thing you need to do is disconnect the affected machine from the local network. If you're at home, simply unplugging the ethernet cable or disabling Wi-Fi should suffice. However, if this occurred on a work machine, it might be more complicated to fix, so scroll down for separate instructions tailored to that scenario.
You shouldn't try to recover your data yourself unless you're confident in your IT skills, as attempting to do so before removing the malware can result in permanent loss. Similarly, if the malware isn't eliminated first, it can encrypt your files again – and it won't stop until the malicious program causing it is removed.
Use anti-malware tools like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes, which will automatically scan your system for any related files or entries. In some cases, malware can prevent you from using antivirus software, so you need to access Safe Mode and perform a full system scan:
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing the 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 the 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 the Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Click Restart.
- Press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
Fix system damage
After a malware infection, you can expect decreased performance, increased instability, and general usability issues. In some cases, this will necessitate a complete Windows reinstallation. This is because malware can easily alter the Windows registry database- which controls bootup and other crucial functions- delete or corrupt DLL files, and damage system files beyond repair.
This is the issue that ReimageIntego was created to address. This software can fix a lot of problems caused by Fisakalzb ransomware, including Blue screen errors, freezes, registry errors, damaged DLLs, and more. By using this maintenance tool, you can avoid having to reinstall Windows:
- Download the application by clicking on the link above
- Click on the ReimageRepair.exe
- If User Account Control (UAC) shows up, select Yes
- Press Install and wait till the program finishes the installation process
- The analysis of your machine will begin immediately
- Once complete, check the results – they will be listed in the Summary
- You can now click on each of the issues and fix them manually
- If you see many problems that you find difficult to fix, we recommend you purchase the license and fix them automatically.
File recovery options
Anti-malware software cannot fix files that are already corrupted – their only purpose is to detect and then eliminate any suspicious processes in your system. The reality is, however, that restoration can occur only with a decryption key or software which exclusively cybercriminals have access to.
Without backup files, you may never see your data again. Data recovery software is an option, though we cannot guarantee that it will work. If you want to try it, follow these steps: copy the encrypted files and save them on a USB drive or another storage device. Remember to remove Fisakalzb ransomware before proceeding.
Before you begin, several pointers are essential while dealing with this situation:
- Since the encrypted data on your computer might permanently be damaged by security or data recovery software, you should first make backups of it – use a USB flash drive or another storage.
- Only attempt to recover your files using this method after you perform a scan with anti-malware software.
Install data recovery software
- Download Data Recovery Pro.
- Double-click the installer to launch it.
- Follow on-screen instructions to install the software.
- As soon as you press Finish, you can use the app.
- Select Everything or pick individual folders where you want the files to be recovered from.
- Press Next.
- At the bottom, enable Deep scan and pick which Disks you want to be scanned.
- Press Scan and wait till it is complete.
- You can now pick which folders/files to recover – don't forget you also have the option to search by the file name!
- Press Recover to retrieve your files.
Getting rid of Fisakalzb virus. Follow these steps
Isolate the infected computer
Some ransomware strains aim to infect not only one computer but hijack the entire network. As soon as one of the machines is infected, malware can spread via network and encrypt files everywhere else, including Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. If your computer is connected to a network, it is important to isolate it to prevent re-infection after ransomware removal is complete.
The easiest way to disconnect a PC from everything is simply to plug out the ethernet cable. However, in the corporate environment, this might be extremely difficult to do (also would take a long time). The method below will disconnect from all the networks, including local and the internet, isolating each of the machines involved.
- Type in Control Panel in Windows search and press Enter
- Go to Network and Internet
- Click Network and Sharing Center
- On the left, pick Change adapter settings
- Right-click on your connection (for example, Ethernet), and select Disable
- Confirm with Yes.
If you are using some type of cloud storage you are connected to, you should disconnect from it immediately. It is also advisable to disconnect all the external devices, such as USB flash sticks, external HDDs, etc. Once the malware elimination process is finished, you can connect your computers to the network and internet, as explained above, but by pressing Enable instead.
Find a working decryptor for your files
File encryption is a process that is similar to applying a password to a particular file or folder. However, from a technical point of view, encryption is fundamentally different due to its complexity. By using encryption, threat actors use a unique set of alphanumeric characters as a password that can not easily be deciphered if the process is performed correctly.
There are several algorithms that can be used to lock data (whether for good or bad reasons); for example, AES uses the symmetric method of encryption, meaning that the key used to lock and unlock files is the same. Unfortunately, it is only accessible to the attackers who hold it on a remote server – they ask for a payment in exchange for it. This simple principle is what allows ransomware authors to prosper in this illegal business.
While many high-profile ransomware strains such as Djvu or Dharma use immaculate encryption methods, there are plenty of failures that can be observed within the code of some novice malware developers. For example, the keys could be stored locally, which would allow users to regain access to their files without paying. In some cases, ransomware does not even encrypt files due to bugs, although victims might believe the opposite due to the ransom note that shows up right after the infection and data encryption is completed.
Therefore, regardless of which crypto-malware affects your files, you should try to find the relevant decryptor if such exists. Security researchers are in a constant battle against cybercriminals. In some cases, they manage to create a working decryption tool that would allow victims to recover files for free.
Once you have identified which ransomware you are affected by, you should check the following links for a decryptor:
- No More Ransom Project
- Free Ransomware Decryptors by Kaspersky
- Free Ransomware Decryption Tools from Emsisoft
- Avast decryptors
If you can't find a decryptor that works for you, you should try the alternative methods we list below. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that it sometimes takes years for a working decryption tool to be developed, so there are always hopes for the future.
Create data backups to avoid file loss in the future
One of the many countermeasures for home users against ransomware is data backups. Even if your Windows get corrupted, you can reinstall everything from scratch and retrieve files from backups with minimal losses overall. Most importantly, you would not have to pay cybercriminals and risk your money as well.
Therefore, if you have already dealt with a ransomware attack, we strongly advise you to prepare backups for future use. There are two options available to you:
- Backup on a physical external drive, such as a USB flash drive or external HDD.
- Use cloud storage services.
The first method is not that convenient, however, as backups need to constantly be updated manually – although it is very reliable. Therefore, we highly advise choosing cloud storage instead – it is easy to set up and efficient to sustain. The problem with it is that storage space is limited unless you want to pay for the subscription.
Using Microsoft OneDrive
OneDrive is a built-in tool that comes with every modern Windows version. By default, you get 5 GB of storage that you can use for free. You can increase that storage space, but for a price. Here's how to setup backups for OneDrive:
- Click on the OneDrive icon within your system tray.
- Select Help & Settings > Settings.
- If you don't see your email under the Account tab, you should click Add an account and proceed with the on-screen instructions to set yourself up.
- Once done, move to the Backup tab and click Manage backup.
- Select Desktop, Documents, and Pictures, or a combination of whichever folders you want to backup.
- Press Start backup.
After this, all the files that are imported into the above-mentioned folders will be automatically backed for you. If you want to add other folders or files, you have to do that manually. For that, open File Explorer by pressing Win + E on your keyboard, and then click on the OneDrive icon. You should drag and drop folders you want to backup (or you can use Copy/Paste as well).
Using Google Drive
Google Drive is another great solution for free backups. The good news is that you get as much as 15GB for free by choosing this storage. There are also paid versions available, with significantly more storage to choose from.
You can access Google Drive via the web browser or use a desktop app you can download on the official website. If you want your files to be synced automatically, you will have to download the app, however.
- Download the Google Drive app installer and click on it.
- Wait a few seconds for it to be installed.
- Now click the arrow within your system tray – you should see Google Drive icon there, click it once.
- Click Get Started.
- Enter all the required information – your email/phone, and password.
- Now pick what you want to sync and backup. You can click on Choose Folder to add additional folders to the list.
- Once done, pick Next.
- Now you can select to sync items to be visible on your computer.
- Finally, press Start and wait till the sync is complete. Your files are now being backed up.
Report the incident to your local authorities
Ransomware is a huge business that is highly illegal, and authorities are very involved in catching malware operators. To have increased chances of identifying the culprits, the agencies need information. Therefore, by reporting the crime, you could help with stopping the cybercriminal activities and catching the threat actors. Make sure you include all the possible details, including how did you notice the attack, when it happened, etc. Additionally, providing documents such as ransom notes, examples of encrypted files, or malware executables would also be beneficial.
Law enforcement agencies typically deal with online fraud and cybercrime, although it depends on where you live. Here is the list of local authority groups that handle incidents like ransomware attacks, sorted by country:
- USA – Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3
- United Kingdom – ActionFraud
- Canada – Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
- Australia – ScamWatch
- New Zealand – ConsumerProtection
- Germany – Polizei
- France – Ministère de l'Intérieur
If your country is not listed above, you should contact the local police department or communications center.
How to prevent from getting ransomware
Access your website securely from any location
When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.
If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.
Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks
While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.
Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection.