Frend ransomware (Virus Removal Instructions) - Decryption Methods Included

Frend virus Removal Guide

What is Frend ransomware?

Frend ransomware is malware designed to lock up files and demand victims to contact hackers via email address

Frend ransomwareFrend ransomware is a file locker that comes from Dharma/Crysis family

Frend ransomware is a newly-discovered malware that stems from Dharma/Crysis family. The main executable, shafao.exe, is usually delivered with the help of spam emails, brute-force attacks, fake updates, pirated software installers, etc. When the infection is triggered, malware populates modifications all over the system and starts the encryption procedure. Databases, videos, music, pictures, documents, compressed files, and other data gets encrypted with the help of AES or DES cipher, and an extension .frend is added. Additionally, Frend virus drops a ransom note FILES ENCRYPTED.txt and a pop-up window that prompts victims to contact hackers via or To regain access to data, users are asked to pay ransom payment in Bitcoins, although most security experts[1] recommend refraining from contacting malware authors.

Name Frend
Type Ransomware
Family Dharma/Crysis
Main executable shafao.exe
Cipher AES or DES
File extension .frend
Ransom note FILES ENCRYPTED.txt
Contact or
Decryptable? No
Elimination Use anti-malware software like FortectIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner

Fend ransomware, along with many similar variants like ETH or Qwex, is well-known file-locking malware that is recognized by multiple AV vendors as:[2]

  • TR/Dropper.Gen
  • Ransom.Crysis.Generic
  • Trojan.Encoder.3953
  • TrojWare.Win32.Crysis.D@6sd9xy
  • Ransom:Win32/Wadhrama.C
  • Trojan.Ransom.Crysis.E

In total, 54 engines detect the threat at the time of the writing, so make sure you pick anti-virus software that can recognize and remove Fend ransomware. We suggest using Avira-based software FortectIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. In most cases, reputable security applications can also prevent malware from entering and corrupting files in the first place.

Unfortunately, most of those infected do not take adequate security measures and are surprised when they can't open files encrypted by .frend file virus. A brief .txt file informs victims about the infection:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email or

On the other hand, the pop-up window which is titled, explains to users what to do in detail. According to criminals, they can submit one file (not larger than 1MB) for test decryption to make sure the decryptor works. Additionally, Frend ransomware authors warn victims that modifying data in any way or trying other recovery methods will result in permanent data loss.

However, you should not trust bad actors. Be paying the ransom you confirm that the illegal business employed by Frend virus developers is lucrative, and they will keep producing new malware and infect more people. Additionally, you might never even receive the decryptor, so you are risking not only to lose your files permanently but also money.

Thus, do not pay criminals. Take care of Frend ransomware removal using anti-malware software and then opt for alternative data recovery methods if you do not have backups ready. We explain the procedure below.

Frend ransomware virusFrend is a ransomware-type virus that uses spam emails, weak RDP protection, exploits, repacked installers, fake updates and similar tricks to infect users

Ransomware is one of the most dangerous threats currently – here's what to do to protect yourself

With the appearance of modern ransomware viruses in 2013, the epidemic of file locking and demanding ransom began. Users all over the world faced a harsh reality: they either have to pay ransom in digital coins or lose their files forever. While most of users and organizations refuse to pay, a small percentage still do (although, only less than a half of those retrieve their files, according to reports)[3] and it proved to be one of the most successful money extortion methods. Thus, ransomware developers keep looking for sophisticated ways to infect users and make them pay.

Recovering from ransomware is difficult in most cases. Even if files can be decrypted with the official tool released by security researchers, it is still a procedure that requires times and patience. Therefore, to form a shield from the infection, follow these tips:

  • Use a reputable anti-malware solution at all times;
  • Backup your data regularly;
  • Patch software and the operating system as soon as updates are released;
  • Avoid dubious websites;
  • Watch out for attachments and hyperlinks in spam emails;
  • Scan each downloaded executable file[4] with tools like Virus Total;
  • Use ad-block.

Terminate Frend ransomware and protect your files from further compromise

As long as Frend virus will remain on your system, every single file that uses a particular file extension (hackers target the most commonly used files, like .pdf, .jpg, .dat, .html, .txt, .mpg and so on) will be encrypted as soon as it enters your computer. Therefore, you need to remove Frend ransomware and only then proceed with file recover and the operation of the machine. Furthermore, crypto malware can often be installed via other trojans, so there is a chance that your device is infected much more thank you initially thought.

Use anti-malware software for full Frend ransomware removal. If you notice that the virus is tampering with the security software, you should enter Safe Mode with Networking as explained below. Additionally, you could also try System Restore. Once you complete the elimination, you can start recovering files from backups or by using third-party software.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of Frend virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

To remove Frend virus in a safe environment, enter Safe Mode with Networking as explained below:

Important! →
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
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. 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.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

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:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. 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:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. 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).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. 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 Frend using System Restore

System Restore is another solution for termination of the cyber threat:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Frend. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with FortectIntego and make sure that Frend removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Frend from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

If your files are encrypted by Frend, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro might be useful when trying to recover from Frend ransomware

This tool was originally designed to recover files that were accidentally damaged or deleted. However, it might also be useful when the data is encrypted by ransomware. Download the application and try this method.

  • 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 Frend ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Take advantage of Windows Previous Versions feature

If you had System Restore enabled before ransomware infected your computer, you might be able to retrieve separate files using this method.

  • 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 might be useful under certain conditions

This tool would be able to help your if malware failed to delete Shadow Volume Copies.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • 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.

No decryptor is currently available

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Frend and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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