French101 Ransomware
Ransomware | 04/16/2019

How To Remove French101 Ransomware- Malware Removal Guidelines

About: Newly discovered French101 Ransomware is invading systems across the world via spam e-mails & rendering user’s system files inaccessible. Every attempt to access the encrypted files is followed by a note demanding a ransom in bitcoin(s). R...  Read More  

| Ransomware | How To Remove French101 Ransomware- Malware Removal Guidelines

Guide to Remove French101 Ransomware

Are your system files encrypted? Are you finding it arduous to access your data or files? Do you observe an alien extension appended to the documents name? If yes, then the real culprit behind this unexpected disturbance can be a Ransomware program like French101 Ransomware.

French101

Continue to read to learn what menace French101 can cause & how to get rid of French101 Ransomware.

 

What Is French101 Ransomware

French101 is a malware crafted by Cyber crooks to extort money from the innocent users by encoding their data files & making them inaccessible.

Discovered by a security researcher named Pertovic, French101 ransomware stealthily marches in to the system along with spam e-mails & attachments. Following the system invasion, it encrypts all the important data & files of the user, hence making them completely inaccessible. Every attempt to open the encrypted files goes in vain.

A ransom note follows when users try to open an encoded file. The developers ask the users to pay the ransom in Bitcoins in order to purchase the decryption key & retrieve the encrypted files.

According to a detailed report by the security researchers, French101 Ransomware is a variant of the giant Scarab Ransomware family & encrypting files on the infected system via an AES Algorithm.

 

Threat Behavior of French101 Ransomware

French101, a crypto-extortionist malware is the recent menacing feather in the Ransomware world. This silent intruder breaks into the users’ system via spam e-mails, infected software, fake updates, adult content sites, torrent sites, shareware file downloads or bundled with other free third-party applications.

While most of the computer users are aware that malign threats like French101 Ransomware set foot in the systems via spam e-mails, cyber criminals always seem to be two steps ahead of the users.

You must have noticed e-mails with intriguing subjects flooding your inbox every now & then. These may include subject lines like- Bank Details, Credit Card Bills, You Won a Prize, Free Lottery Tickets etc. Please note that a mere click on these e-mails can infect your system with a myriad of malware including Ransomware.

Following the successful invasion, the Frech101 Ransomware initiates a highly sophisticated AES Algorithm & encrypts all the files on the targeted system. The Ransomware entitles an extensive identifier to each infected system. The identifier that is released on the infected system contains hundreds of random characters & extracted as a ransom note in the text format.

The text file containing Ransom Note is named as – “HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT”. It has been observed that the ransom note for French101 resembles Scarab’s, however the e-mail contacts mentioned in the note differ.

The note prompts the user to contact the cyber crooks via any of the below mentioned e-mails-

  • French101@protonmail.ch
  • French101@cock.li
  • French1010@india.com

The Ransom Note for the French101 Ransomware reads as follows:

Ransom note- French101

This dubious Ransomware infection takes below mentioned files extensions hostage:

  • Text Documents (.txt, .doc, .xis, .pdf).
  • Multi-media documents such as images, audio files, video files

 

French101 Ransomware – Distribution Tactics

The cybercriminals use various strategies for malware distribution which include –

  1. Software Bundling: Software bundling is the process in which a malicious program is distributed with other free software, to get an unnoticed entry into your computer system. When a user installs a free application, the malicious programs gains a front door entry with the free application, the user has downloaded. Thus, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the installation screens while installing these free applications.
  2. Infected Storage Devices: Your system can also get infected by using removable media such as USB hard drives and jump drives without scanning them with an anti-virus.
  3. Spam Emails – Spamming is the most economic and common method used for the distribution of such malware. The targeted users get genuine looking emails which contain .doc, .txt, and other similar attachments. These attachments can be named as anything which can grab the user’s attention and triggers him/her to open the attachment. As soon as the user opens this attachment, the malware infects the user’s computer system.
  4. Malicious Websites or Malevolent Advertisements: The malicious websites are the ones which are created just for promoting the malware infections. Such websites include but are not limited to porn sites, torrent sites and other free downloading platforms. By visiting such websites, the adware infects the user’s computer without permission. Fake advertisements and updates like Flash player and windows updates which ask the user to update to the latest version are a few examples. When the users click on such links, their computer system gets infected. That is why, it is highly recommended to resist clicking on such links. Also avoid clicking on advertisements offering free stuff such as Win an iPhones, cars or free overseas trips etc.

 

Threat Summary

Name: French101

Targeted Operating System: Windows

Category: Ransomware

Symptoms: User’s files are encrypted & inaccessible. All locked files are appended with .french101 extension & a ransom note demanding a ransom in bitcoin(s) prompts on the screen.

 

How to Remove French101 Ransomware from my System-

STEP A: Remove the services installed by French101 Ransomware from the System using Safe mode with Command Prompt

Windows 7/ Vista/ XP

  1. Click on Windows icon present in the lower left corner of the computer screen.
  2. Select and click Restart.
  3. When the screen goes blank, keep tapping F8 key until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  4. With the help of arrow keys on keyboard, Select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press the Enter Key. The system will then restart to Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
  5. Click on the username and enter the password (if any).

Windows 10 / Windows 8

  1. Press and hold the Shift Key and simultaneously click on the windows icon present in the lower left corner of your computer screen.
  2. While the Shift key is still pressed click on the Power button and then click on Restart.
  3. Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings.
  4. When the Startup Settings screen appears which is the first screen to appear after restart, select and click on Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt. The system will then restart to Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
  5. Click on the username and enter the password.

STEP B: Restore your system files and settings

Method 1 using Control Panel

  1. Click on the ‘Start’ button on the taskbar. This will open the Start menu.
  2. Click on the ‘Control Panel’ button in the Start menu. This will open the control panel window.
  3. In the Control Panel window, click on the ‘View by:’ button on the top right. Select the Large Icon option
  4. In the control Panel window click on the ‘Recovery Icon’. This will open a window that will ask ‘Restore the computer to an earlier point in time’.
  5. Click on the ‘Open system restore’ button. This will open the ‘system restore ’window where you need to click on the Next Button.
  6.  Select the restore point that is prior the infiltration of French101 Ransomware. After doing that, click Next.
  7. This will open the ‘Confirm your restore point’ dialog box. Click on Finish button. This will restore your system to a previous restore point before your system was infected by French101 Ransomware.

OR

Method 2 using Command Prompt

  1. Type cmd in the search box and click on the command prompt to open the Command Prompt window. box and clicking on it.
  2. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.(Ensure that you in the system32 directory of Windows folder in C Drive)
  3. Now type rstrui and press Enter again.
  4. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of French101 Ransomware. After doing that, click Next.
  5. This will open the ‘Confirm your restore point’ dialog box. Click on Finish button. This will restore your system to a previous restore point before your system was infected by French101 Ransomware.

 

OR

Method 3 : Directly type 'rstrui' in the search box

  1. Type ‘Rstrui’ in the search box present on the task bar. This will open the System restore dialog box.

Continue to follow steps 4 & 5 of Method 2 to restore the System Files and settings.

Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected –

  1. Keeping the Operating System Updated- In order to remain protected and avoid such infections, it is recommended to keep your Operating System updated by enabling the automatic update on your system. The systems with outdated or older versions of Operating System become an easy target for the attackers.
  2. Resist clicking on spam emails – One of the major techniques used for malware distribution is forwarding spam emails to the user. The system gets infected as soon as the user clicks on the attachment. These mails appear to be genuine, so be aware and resist falling for these tricks.
  3. Keep an eye on third party installations- It is quite important that you take due care while installing any third party applications for they are major source of such infections. Such malware programs come bundled with the free applications thereby requiring the user to remain cautious.
  4. Regular periodical backup- In order to keep your data and files safe, it is recommended to take regular back up of all your data and files either on an external drive or cloud.
  5. Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet security in your PC like BULL GUARD and Hitman Pro so that it remains safe.
  6. Enable the Ad Blocker/Popup Blocker in your browser- Enabling the popup blocker/ ad blocker in your chosen browser will help you to stay protected from annoying adware.

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