What is a Format file? A file with the .format extension is a file that has been locked by Format ransomware that similar to other ransomware (like Ndarod, Access, Bopador and so on). These security threats are also known as crypto viruses that use a strong encryption method in order to encrypt users’ data. It’s not possible to open the files by simply changing the file extension. The documents, photos and music will be decrypted only if users pay for the private key that will decrypt these files.
- How to remove Format ransomware
- How to decrypt .format files
- Format decryption tool
- How to restore .format files
- How to protect your PC system from Format ransomware virus?
Format virus was created by attackers to encrypt various files on the user’s personal computer, using a strong encryption algorithm with long key, which makes it impossible for the user to independently decrypt the locked documents, photos and music that have received .format extension. Format ransomware can encrypt almost all types of files, including common as:
.pst, .itm, .wpe, .wpd, .bkf, .wmf, .sidn, .x3f, .db0, .fsh, .wav, .forge, .zip, .wma, .wdb, .xll, .cdr, .wmv, .mp4, .crw, .avi, .wmd, .y, .sis, .srw, .odm, .sb, .wbmp, .wp6, .lvl, .2bp, .jpe, .ptx, .menu, .wire, .tor, .wdp, .apk, .doc, .map, .mddata, .hplg, .ods, .pdf, .rb, .dba, .xwp, .ff, .xmind, .sidd, .ws, .fos, .pptx, .xar, .xyw, .vfs0, .xxx, .kdc, .xlsm, .zip, .rofl, .pak, .bsa, .xbplate, .vcf, .3ds, .das, .mrwref, .mef, .cfr, .srf, .xpm, .x3f, .xls, .ppt, .cr2, .xy3, .wps, .mov, .ai, .docx, .qic, .0, .xbdoc, .dng, .m3u, .1, .desc, .layout, .css, .wpa, .ntl, .xlsb, .pef, .rgss3a, .itdb, .js, .psk, .ysp, .1st, .xf, .xlk, .vpp_pc, .z3d, .mpqge, .slm, .raf, .wpl, .wcf, .blob, .vtf, .xlsm, .litemod, .itl, .wpb, .dxg, .docm, .wri, .wgz, .sum, .wbz, .zdb, .mlx, .xlgc, .webp, .odp, .bc7, .upk, .indd, .der, .bik, .pfx, .sid, .epk, .kdb, .pptm, .sav, .m2, .sie, .dbf, .webdoc, .arw, .icxs, .xdl, .p7c, .vpk, .gho, .xdb, .ibank, .zabw, .syncdb, .bay, .csv, .cer, .xml, .wp7, .w3x, .wp4, .t12, .xlsx, .jpg, .kf, .x3d, .wsc, .dazip, .xx, .flv, .sr2, .xld, .mdb, .wps, .wotreplay, .erf, .rim, .rtf, .arch00, .wp, .iwd, .py, .wmo, .rw2, .hvpl, .re4, .t13, .nrw, .tax, .wpd, .dmp, .odb, .lbf, .mdbackup, .zw, .eps, .yal, .accdb, .snx, .z, .yml, .pdd, .wn, .r3d, .wsd, .mdf, .wpg, .svg, .gdb, wallet, .crt, .wmv, .ztmp, .esm, .rwl, .ltx, .wbd, .wot, .p7b, .wm, .vdf, .odc, .dwg, .bc6, .mcmeta, .xmmap, .orf, .lrf, .rar, .zi, .pem, .ybk, .wb2, .xyp, .txt, .sql, .fpk, .wma, .wp5, .qdf, .p12, .raw, .wsh, .wbm, .wpw, .x, .pkpass, .bar, .hkx, .hkdb, .zdc, .7z, .jpeg, .odt, .wbc, .d3dbsp, .asset, .psd, .3fr, .iwi, .png, .dcr, .big, .cas, .zif, .3dm
All encrypted files become useless and get the .format extension and each directory containing the locked files contains a ransom note informing the victim about the presence of crypto malware in the computer and its destructive impact on the target files. The cyber frauds inform each user that he has the ability to recover encrypted files only paying a ransom. After transferring the specified amount to scammers, the victim will receive a special code key from them, which will help to unlock files affected by the Format ransomware virus. If the money for the purchase of a key for decrypting files will be transferred to the online criminals within 72 hours, they are ready to give the user a discount of 50%.
ATTENTION! Don't worry, you can return all your files! All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key. The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you. This software will decrypt all your encrypted files. What guarantees you have? You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free. But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information. You can get and look video overview decrypt tool: https://we.tl/t-2P5WrE5b9f Price of private key and decrypt software is $980. Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $490. Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment. Check your e-mail "Spam" or "Junk" folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours. To get this software you need write on our e-mail: email@example.com
|Type||Filecoder, Crypto malware, File locker, Ransomware, Crypto virus|
|Encrypted files extension||.format|
|Contact||@datarestore (telegram), firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ransom amount||$980/$490 in Bitcoins|
|Symptoms||Your personal files fail to open. All of your photos, documents and music have a different file extension appended to the filenames. Your file directories contain a ‘ransom note’ file that is usually a .txt file.|
|Distribution ways||Malicious spam (also known as ‘malspam’). Exploit kits (cybercriminals use ransomware packaged in an ‘exploit kit’ that can find a vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player, PDF reader, Windows operating system, Browser). Social media posts (they can be used to entice users to download malicious software with a built-in ransomware downloader or click a misleading link). Torrent web sites.|
|Removal||To remove Format ransomware use the removal guide|
|Decryption||To decrypt Format ransomware use the steps|
After reading this post, you will know how to deal with the Format virus. It is important for you to remember that we also cannot guarantee you an absolute solution to all your Format ransomware problems. We can advise you a way that might help. Nevertheless, this way is worth your attention because there is still a possibility that it will help you remove Format and recover personal files which have been locked with ransomware virus.
How to remove Format ransomware
We can assist you delete Format crypto malware, without the need to take your PC system to a professional. Simply follow the removal instructions below if you currently have the crypto virus on your computer and want to uninstall it. If you’ve any difficulty while trying to delete the crypto malware, feel free to ask for our assist in the comment section below. Read it once, after doing so, please print this page as you may need to shut down your internet browser or reboot your PC system.
How to delete Format virus with Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM)
Zemana is a malicious software scanner that is very useful for detecting and removing Format ransomware. The steps below will explain how to download, install, and use Zemana AntiMalware (ZAM) to scan your computer and remove crypto malware, spyware, worms, adware software, trojans, malware for free.
Zemana Free can be downloaded from the following link. Save it on your Windows desktop or in any other place.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
After the download is finished, run it and follow the prompts. Once installed, the Zemana Free will try to update itself and when this procedure is done, press the “Scan” button . Zemana Anti-Malware utility will begin scanning the whole machine to find out Format ransomware virus, other kinds of potential threats such as malicious software and trojans.
This task can take quite a while, so please be patient. All found threats will be marked. You can delete them all by simply press “Next” button.
The Zemana will delete Format ransomware, other kinds of potential threats such as malicious software and trojans and add items to the Quarantine.
Remove Format file virus with MalwareBytes Anti Malware (MBAM)
Remove Format ransomware manually is difficult and often the ransomware virus is not fully removed. Therefore, we suggest you to use the MalwareBytes Free that are fully clean your PC. Moreover, this free application will allow you to delete malware, PUPs, toolbars and adware that your PC can be infected too.
MalwareBytes can be downloaded from the following link. Save it directly to your MS Windows Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
After the download is done, close all windows on your machine. Further, start the file named mb3-setup. If the “User Account Control” prompt pops up like the one below, click the “Yes” button.
It will display the “Setup wizard” that will help you set up MalwareBytes Anti Malware on the personal computer. Follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
Once installation is finished successfully, click Finish button. Then MalwareBytes will automatically start and you can see its main window as on the image below.
Next, click the “Scan Now” button . MalwareBytes program will scan through the whole computer for the Format crypto malware and other security threats. When a malware, adware software or potentially unwanted apps are found, the number of the security threats will change accordingly.
After finished, the results are displayed in the scan report. Once you have selected what you want to remove from your system click “Quarantine Selected” button.
The MalwareBytes AntiMalware (MBAM) will begin to remove Format crypto malware and other security threats. After the clean up is finished, you can be prompted to restart your PC system. We advise you look at the following video, which completely explains the procedure of using the MalwareBytes Free to uninstall browser hijackers, adware and other malicious software.
Use KVRT to remove Format crypto virus from the system
KVRT is a free removal tool that can check your computer for a wide range of security threats such as the Format crypto malware, adware software, PUPs as well as other malware. It will perform a deep scan of your machine including hard drives and Windows registry. When a malware is detected, it will help you to remove all found threats from your computer by a simple click.
Download Kaspersky virus removal tool (KVRT) from the link below.
Author: Kaspersky® lab
Category: Security tools
Update: March 5, 2018
When the downloading process is complete, double-click on the KVRT icon. Once initialization process is finished, you will see the KVRT screen as displayed below.
Click Change Parameters and set a check near all your drives. Press OK to close the Parameters window. Next click Start scan button for scanning your machine for the Format ransomware virus and other malicious software. A system scan can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your machine.
After KVRT has finished scanning, it will show the Scan Results as shown below.
You may remove threats (move to Quarantine) by simply click on Continue to start a cleaning process.
How to decrypt .format files
You can damage personal files locked with Format crypto virus, or make them useless forever if you try to find the special code key on your own, which is almost impossible in view of its cryptographic complexity. It is very important to know and understand the level of importance of constantly backing up important files to various media, such as an Flash Drive, so that in case of damage to your PC system by ransomware you can always extract a copy of encrypted files.
Never pay the ransom! However, the victim who will pay the ransom to makers of the Format crypto virus cannot be completely sure of obtaining a unique key, because he is dealing with unscrupulous and dishonest people who are ready to commit any immoral actions, including hiding after receiving the ransom from the user, and not providing a decryption tool (key) to unlock encrypted personal files.
There is no such solution to this problem, which is suitable for everyone. However, paying for the private key is not an obvious answer. If you pay for it, remember that no one gives you a guarantee that you will receive it. There is also a possibility that even the hackers themselves do not have this key. Most probably, they are just trying to defraud you and use you in order to get money. You should try the steps in this article. The steps will help you completely uninstall Format ransomware and you will be able to restore some of the locked data without paying any money. Given the fact that fighting ransomware is incredibly difficult, we cannot promise you that you will defuse it. Nevertheless, it is still worth a try.
Format decryption tool
With some variants of Format file virus, it is possible to decrypt encrypted files using free tools listed below.
Michael Gillespie (@) released the Format decryption tool named STOPDecrypter. It can decrypt .Format files if they were locked by one of the known OFFLINE KEY’s retrieved by Michael Gillespie. Please check the twitter post for more info.
STOPDecrypter is a program that can be used for Format files decryption. One of the biggest advantages of using STOPDecrypter is that is free and easy to use. Also, it constantly keeps updating its ‘OFFLINE KEYs’ DB. Let’s see how to install STOPDecrypter and decrypt .Format files using this free tool.
- Installing the STOPDecrypter is simple. First you will need to download STOPDecrypter on your Windows Desktop from the following link.
- After the downloading process is done, close all applications and windows on your machine. Open a file location. Right-click on the icon that’s named STOPDecrypter.zip.
- Further, select ‘Extract all’ and follow the prompts.
- Once the extraction process is finished, run STOPDecrypter. Select Directory and press Decrypt button.
If STOPDecrypter does not help you to decrypt .Format files, in some cases, you have a chance to restore your files, which were encrypted by ransomware. This is possible due to the use of the tools named ShadowExplorer and PhotoRec. An example of recovering encrypted files is given below.
How to restore .format files
In some cases, you can restore files encrypted by Format crypto malware. Try both methods. Important to understand that we cannot guarantee that you will be able to restore all encrypted personal files.
Use shadow copies to restore .format files
In order to recover .format personal files encrypted by the Format ransomware from Shadow Volume Copies you can use a tool called ShadowExplorer. We recommend to use this solution as it is easier to find and restore the previous versions of the encrypted files you need in an easy-to-use interface.
First, visit the following page, then click the ‘Download’ button in order to download the latest version of ShadowExplorer.
Category: Security tools
Update: September 15, 2019
Once the download is complete, extract the downloaded file to a directory on your machine. This will create the necessary files like below.
Launch the ShadowExplorerPortable application. Now select the date (2) that you want to recover from and the drive (1) you wish to restore files (folders) from like below.
On right panel navigate to the file (folder) you want to recover. Right-click to the file or folder and click the Export button like below.
And finally, specify a folder (your Desktop) to save the shadow copy of encrypted file and click ‘OK’ button.
Recover .format files with PhotoRec
Before a file is encrypted, the Format ransomware virus makes a copy of this file, encrypts it, and then deletes the original file. This can allow you to restore your photos, documents and music using file recover programs like PhotoRec.
Download PhotoRec on your computer by clicking on the link below.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 1, 2018
When the download is done, open a directory in which you saved it. Right click to testdisk-7.0.win and choose Extract all. Follow the prompts. Next please open the testdisk-7.0 folder like below.
Double click on qphotorec_win to run PhotoRec for MS Windows. It’ll show a screen similar to the one below.
Select a drive to recover as on the image below.
You will see a list of available partitions. Choose a partition that holds encrypted photos, documents and music as shown on the image below.
Press File Formats button and specify file types to recover. You can to enable or disable the recovery of certain file types. When this is complete, click OK button.
Next, click Browse button to choose where recovered files should be written, then click Search.
Count of restored files is updated in real time. All restored documents, photos and music are written in a folder that you have selected on the previous step. You can to access the files even if the recovery process is not finished.
When the restore is finished, press on Quit button. Next, open the directory where recovered documents, photos and music are stored. You will see a contents as shown below.
All restored photos, documents and music are written in recup_dir.1, recup_dir.2 … sub-directories. If you’re searching for a specific file, then you can to sort your restored files by extension and/or date/time.
How to protect your PC system from Format ransomware virus?
Most antivirus programs already have built-in protection system against the ransomware. Therefore, if your system does not have an antivirus program, make sure you install it. As an extra protection, use the HitmanPro.Alert.
Run HitmanPro.Alert to protect your computer from Format ransomware
All-in-all, HitmanPro.Alert is a fantastic tool to protect your personal computer from any ransomware. If ransomware is detected, then HitmanPro.Alert automatically neutralizes malware and restores the encrypted files. HitmanPro.Alert is compatible with all versions of MS Windows OS from Windows XP to Windows 10.
HitmanPro Alert can be downloaded from the following link. Save it to your Desktop so that you can access the file easily.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 6, 2019
Once the download is done, open the file location. You will see an icon like below.
Double click the HitmanPro.Alert desktop icon. After the utility is started, you will be displayed a window where you can select a level of protection, as shown below.
Now click the Install button to activate the protection.
Once you have done the few simple steps shown above, your machine should be clean from Format crypto virus and other malware. Your machine will no longer encrypt your documents, photos and music. Unfortunately, if the guide does not help you, then you have caught a new ransomware virus, and then the best way – ask for help here.