FlatChestWare – another Hidden-Tear based virus
FlatChestWare is a file-encrypting virus that is based on the HiddenTear project. This Trojan uses AES-256 cryptography and appends .flat file extension to each of the targeted files. After successful data encryption, it runs a program window with a ransom note where users are asked to pay $250.
After the infiltration, FlatChestWare virus shows a fake Windows Update window that looks like ordinary User Account Control (UAC) prompt. This trickery tries to make victims click an obfuscated button to launch malicious activities:
Restart your computer to finish installing important updates
Windows can't update important files and services while the system is using them. Make sure to save your files before restarting.
[“Restart now” button] [“Postpone” button]
Undoubtedly, the majority of users agree to install updates by clicking “Restart now” option. However, instead of getting important updates, users allow malware to delete Shadow Volume Copies and other cause other system changes. Therefore, malicious activities start if a user is tricked into hitting the button.
As soon as the computer is rebooted, FlatChestWare delivers a ransom-demanding message. Crooks inform about encrypted image, audio, video, text and other popular files. It is said that only their decryption software can help victims to restore their files.
HiddenTear, as well as the majority of its variants, is decryptable. Thus, you might be able to restore your files without paying the ransom. However, first of all, you should remove FlatChestWare from the PC. Do not follow criminals’ orders to disable your anti-virus. You should do the opposite.
Professional anti-virus or anti-malware is capable of performing FlatChestWare removal quickly and without causing damage to the system. Ransomware might make various changes in the system or affect the legitimate process, so it’s important to terminate malicious components safely. You should choose Reimage or Malwarebytes for this task.
Developers use several strategies to spread malicious payload
The virus is executed from the FlatChestWare.exe file. According to the latest research data, the virus is looking for unprotected servers and tries to get remote access to the computer. Thus, if it finds opened ports and can take advantage of Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), it launches the attack.
However, FlatChestWare might also be distributed via malicious spam emails that include infected link or attachment. Thus, you should remain vigilant with received emails and do not rush to open any provided content.
Security experts from Estonia, users should also follow all security advise and avoid high-risk sites, illegal downloads, clicking on suspicious ads. We want to add, that it’s also important to backup files and strengthen computer’s security with professional antivirus.
Obliterate FlatChestWare ransomware with powerful security tool
Computer users are advised to use powerful antivirus or anti-malware to remove FlatChestWare from the PC safely and quickly. Attempts to locate and delete ransomware-related files from the PC might end up with a damaged system and even bigger problems.
Thus, invest in professional software that will not only performs FlatChestWare removal but also protects from cyber threats in the future. Reimage, Malwarebytes or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security should be considered as these tools. The instructions how to install, update and run a system scan with a malware removal program are presented at the end of the article.
To remove FlatChestWare virus, follow these steps:
Remove FlatChestWare using Safe Mode with Networking
If you cannot install or run security software, follow these steps and try again:/GI]
Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking
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 Safe Mode with Networking 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 Networking in Startup Settings window.
Step 2: Remove FlatChestWare
Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete FlatChestWare removal.
If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.
Bonus: Recover your dataGuide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove FlatChestWare 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 FlatChestWare, you can use several methods to restore them:
Data Recovery Pro is useful after FlatChestWare attack
This tool helps to recover corrupted files. Thus, it might help after the ransomware attack as well. We cannot promise that it will restore all of the files, but some of them will be saved for sure!
- 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 FlatChestWare ransomware;
- Restore them.
Windows Previous Versions feature
You can access individual files and copy them if System Restore has been enabled before ransomware attack.
- 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”.
ShadowExplorer can help if Shadow Volume Copies were not deleted
If ransomware left Shadow Volume Copies untouched, follow these steps to use this recovery tool:
- 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.
HiddenTear decryptor might decrypt files with .flat extension
FlatChestWare is Hidden-Tear based virus that is decryptable. The majority of its variants are decryptable as well. Thus, this tool might help you as well. You can download it from here.