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FRS ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Ransomware

FRS ransomware virus oriented to Chinese PC users

FRS Ransomware virus

FRS ransomware is a crypto-virus, which is similar to FCP Randowmare. Usually, it infects PCs via malicious spam email[1] attachments or compromised Remote Desktop Manager utilities. Once installed, it targets Desktop, Saved Games, Favorites, Searches Videos, and Pictures folders to lock the most popular file types, including .doc, .docx, .pdf, .jpg, .png, .avi, .mp3, etc. Each file encrypted by FRS ransomware virus gets a .FRS file extension, which will supposedly be encrypted by running a FRS_Decryptor.exe file. However, experts recommend the victims to try restoring the “locked” files by simply renaming them because this pretend-to-be ransomware might not be using encryption algorithm. 

As soon as files are corrupted, the virus changes the default desktop wallpaper with Chinese national flag (Chinese_national_flag.png) and generates a READ_ME_HELP_ME.txt ransom note. The ransom note is initially written in the Chinese language; thus obviously the virus is oriented to Chinese-speaking users. Nonetheless, the .txt file contains a translation into English. The ransom note says:

Oops! Your important files have been encrypted!

Is the content of your files not readable? It is normal because your important files have been encrypted by the “FRS Ransomware.” It means your files are NOT DAMAGED! Your files are just encrypted. From not it is not possible to use your files until they will be decrypted. The only way to decrypt your files safely is use special decryption tool “FRS Decryptor.” Please wait for “FRS Decryptor” to start automatically. If “FRS Decryptor” does not start automatically, open “FRS Decryptor” on the desktop.

Once the FRS ransomware virus payload is being executed, it attacks the following locations by corrupted the content with the following encryption scheme *.*” *.*.FRS. For this purpose, it activates Command Prompt in the background and runs the following commands:

Desktop\*.*” *.*.FRS
ren “C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Saved Games\*.*” *.*.FRS
ren “C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Links\*.*” *.*.FRS
ren “C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Favorites\*.*” *.*.FRS
ren “C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Searches\*.*” *.*.FRS
ren “C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Videos\*.*” *.*.FRS
ren “C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Pictures\

Unfortunately, it's not yet clear is it possible to decrypt files locked by FRS ransomware. If the virus continues the work of its ancestor (FPCRansomware), it might be that the ransomware did not encrypted files, but simply renamed them in a way that the system could not recognize them. Thus, try to unlock the supposedly locked files manually by simply renaming them. 

If the files haven't been renamed but locked, you may attempt to open a FRS_Decryptor.exe decryptor available  on the desktop. However, this file is dubbed as an official FRS decryptor, but allows decrypting only a few files for free. Those who opt for restoring the rest of the data have to purchase an “Advanced Edition,” but the amount of a ransom is not indicated.  

By the way, the fact that it's compiled with “Quick Batch File Compiler”[2] makes it different from the other ransomware viruses. In other words, it's developers used the Batch Converter to convert ransomware-related Batch scripts into .EXE format (FRS.exe), thus making the development process more manageable. Besides, using a Quick Batch File Compiler allows crooks to conceal malicious batch file's operations from an end user by encrypting and protecting the ultimately converted .EXE file from the changes.

Anyway, it's not advisable to pay the ransom as you can only lose your money for nothing. Thanatos ransomware is one of the examples proving the fact that ransomware developers are not concerned about people's files. All they want is monetary support, which would let them continue cyber attacks.

Instead of paying the ransom, you should remove FRS ransomware from the system with one of these tools – Reimage, Malwarebytes or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security. Indeed, you can use another security tool, but make sure to choose a powerful and reputable one. After the FRS ransomware removal, you can decrypt files from backups or try alternative decryption methods. Explicit information on how to decrypt files locked by FRS is included at the end of this article.

Restrain from opening misleading email attachments

For the last couple of decades, social engineering attacks[3] are the most successful method employed by hackers to initiate malicious activities through human interactions. Although Baiting and Scareware work, phishing scam tricks millions of PC users to download malware, ransomware and other cyber infections each day.

The most frequently ransomware dissemination strategy is dubbed as spam. It includes email and text message campaigns, which are aimed at creating a sense of urgency or curiosity. Crooks generate email messages via spam bots and attach ransomware payloads in the form of .exe, .doc, .docx, . png, .avix, and similar formats. Such emails can mimic official authorities or online services, which urge to open the attachment. If the victim falls for the trick, he or she opens the attachment (enabling Macros is required), and unintentionally executes the ransomware payload. Cybersecurity experts from avirus.hu[4] claim that there's only one way to prevent ransomware payloads from being accidentally downloaded – bypass misleading email attachments. You should use email filters and report suspicious-looking emails as spam all the time.

Elimination of FRS ransomware virus

Do not waste your time trying to remove FRS ransomware manually because it's not possible. The only way to get rid of this cyber infection is to run a full system scan with a reputable and updated anti-virus. According to AV-Tests,[5] the bulk of AV engines (53 out of 68) are capable of detecting the virus and initiating full FRS ransomware removal.

To delete the FRS crypto-malware automatically, you can use one of these tools: Reimage, Malwarebytes or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security. After the removal, plug-in the external storage of the backups and recover your files from it. In case you don't have backups, try file encryption methods given below:

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To remove FRS virus, follow these steps:

Remove FRS using Safe Mode with Networking

You should disable the virus in order to remove it automatically without any obstacles. If, however, it blocks your anti-virus, you should follow these steps to boot your PC into Safe Mode with Networking:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    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 Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    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 Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove FRS

    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 FRS removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove FRS using System Restore

  • 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 FRS. 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 Reimage and make sure that FRS removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove FRS 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 FRS, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro – a tool to restore damaged files

Data Recovery Pro is not an official decryptor, so there's no hundred percent guarantee that it will unlock your files. However, this tool is used to crack ramsomware codes quite frequently, so it's worth giving a try. 

  • 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 FRS ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Enable Windows Previous Versions feature

If you are used to creating System Restore Points regularly, then you can try to recovery your files using the previous file versions. Note that this option will help to recover individual files, not all data at once. 

  • 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”.

ShadoExplorer – another option to restore the lost files

To check whether the FRS ransomware deletes Shadow Volume Copies or not, follow these steps:

  • 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.

Free FRS ransomware decryptor is not available

Do not trust the FRS_Decryptor.exe file available on the desktop. It's not clear whether this supposed-to-be-decryptor is not the executable of another virus. n

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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