Remove Fresh Ransomware (Decrypt .fresh Files)

Fresh ransomware is another hazardous computer infection. It is believed to be a member of Dharma malware group that is notorious in encrypting victim’s files with RSA-AES technique making it impossible to access after the attack. Aside from locking the files, the virus also appends .fresh files extension as identifier that it is encrypted by this specific ransomware. Attackers gave an option for computer users to recover their .fresh files by instructing them to transfer ransom money on designated Bitcoin wallet. In return, victim is going to receive the Fresh Decryption tool.

How Fresh ransomware infects the computer?

Like the entire family of Dharma, Fresh ransomware common spread tactics is relying on internet connected world of computers. The virus basically spreads online via the following channels:

Phishing Emails

Fresh ransomware virus is typically attached to spam email messages purporting to be from a reputable company. The message was tailored to influence email recipient into opening the attached file that eventually initiates the Fresh ransomware attack.

Cracked Software

A number of cracked programs from different online location are now serving installer files that are found to be Fresh ransomware carriers. Executing the installer or accompanied serial key generator will launch the virus attack.

Web Injectors

Drive-by-download websites equipped with script to inject Fresh ransomware on visitor’s computer is another contributor to the wide spread of ransomware including Fresh crypto-virus. Most of these malicious websites do not require intervention or action of the part of web user as it automatically executes once it senses new visitor on the page.

The Fresh ransomware Infection

The moment that the virus is executed on the computer, it scout the local drive for target files. Then, Fresh ransomware encrypts them with sophisticated algorithm that scrambles the core data. Along the way, the virus appends .fresh file extension to the infected data. On that note, the simple photo.jpg will turn into photo.jpg.fresh after the encryption process.

In order for victims to recover all .fresh infected files, they must contact the attackers at given email address freshkart@420blaze.it. It is specifically mentioned on the ransom note that victims must remit ransom payment to attackers. This is the only way to retrieve the Fresh ransomware decryption tool and relevant unique keys that are required in restoring all .fresh files to their previous format.

Fresh Ransomware

Technical Details
Threat Name:Fresh Ransomware, Dharma, CrySiS
Threat Type:Crypto-virus, File Locker, Encryption Virus
File Extension:.fresh
Attacker’s email:freshkart@420blaze.it
Discovered by:@JakubKroustek
Virus Alias:Avast : Win32:RansomX-gen [Ransom]
AVG : Win32:RansomX-gen [Ransom] Avira : TR/Dropper.Gen
BitDefender : Trojan.Ransom.Crysis.E
ClamAV : Win.Trojan.Dharma-6668198-0
Comodo : TrojWare.Win32.Crysis.D@6sd9xy
DrWeb : Trojan.Encoder.3953
Emsisoft : Trojan.Ransom.Crysis.E (B)
ESET-NOD32 : A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Crysis.P
Fortinet : W32/Crysis.W!tr.ransom
F-Secure : Trojan.TR/Dropper.Gen
Kaspersky : Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Crusis.to
Malwarebytes : Ransom.Crysis
McAfee : Ransom-Dharma!E065BD3D92D7
Microsoft : Ransom:Win32/Wadhrama!hoa
Sophos AV : Troj/Criakl-G
Symantec : Ransom.Crysis
TrendMicro : Ransom.Win32.CRYSIS.SM
Webroot : W32.Ransom.Gen

Backup your files

One important step before proceeding with the procedures below is to backup your files. Ransomware are not the same. Each has its unique sets of payloads aside from encrypting the files with complex method. Others tend to delete the infected files after certain period, while others keep them concealed on hidden places. In addition, ransomware decryption tools are not guaranteed to be perfect, there are instances that files suffer from damages during the decryption process.

So, create a backup copy of your entire Fresh encrypted files right now.

Fresh Ransomware Removal Guide

First thing to do is remove the Fresh virus before attempting the decryption. Remember that as long as the ransomware is active, it will repeatedly encrypt the files on the compromised computer.

Infection of Fresh ransom virus is dangerous to the system because it can inject files that runs each time Windows starts. To prevent the malicious files from loading, Windows operating system must run with minimal process and it can be done through SafeMode With Networking.

Stage 1 : Temporarily Disable System Restore on Windows OS

Because Fresh and relevant virus is capable of reinstating itself by exploiting the System Restore of Windows, we suggests that you temporary disable System Restore while executing the steps. This option is also helpful to effectively run a full scan on the computer.

Do not forget to enable back System Restore after completing the removal of Fresh ransomware. This feature is vital in reinstating the operating system to previous normal working condition in case of problems or conflicts occurs.

Stage 2 : Start Windows in Safe Mode With Networking

Windows 10 Guide

1. Click on Windows logo and select Power icon when options pop-ups.
2. Select Restart from the options while pressing Shift key on the keyboard.
3. Choose an Option window will appear, select the Troubleshoot button.
4. On next window, please choose Advanced Option.
5. On Advanced Option window, click on Startup Settings and then, click Restart button to reboot the computer.
6. When Windows boot on Startup Settings, press function key F5 or number 5 on keyboard.

A simpler alternative for Windows 10 users is to scan the computer with Microsoft Defender Offline. This will run a virus scan in the recovery environment.

Windows 8 Guide

1. Click Windows Start icon at the lower left section of the screen.
2. Open Search window and type Advanced in the field. It will open General PC Settings.
3. Click on Advanced Startup and then, click on Restart Now button.
4. Once the computer starts in Advanced Startup option menu, select Troubleshoot.
5. Next, click on Advanced Options to reveal the next section.
6. Click Startup settings and then, click Restart button to boot the PC in Startup Settings.
7. Use function key F5 or number key 5 to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

Stage 3 : Scan the Computer with Anti-Malware Tool

Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Fresh virus. Aside from our suggested tool, you may also run your own security program.

To remove Fresh automatically, scanning the computer with this efficient anti-malware tool is suggested. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering hazardous ransomware like Fresh.

1. Download free anti-malware scanner called MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.

2. After downloading, install the program. It may run automatically or you have to double-click on the downloaded file MBSetup.exe.

3. Carry out the installation with default setup process.

4. After the installation process, click the Get Started button to launch the program.

5. Continue with the prompts until the main program opens.

6. On the main console, click on Scan to run most complete detection method to find hidden objects associated to Fresh ransomware.

7. Scanning may take a while. Please wait until the anti-malware tool is done with the checking.

MBAM Scan

8. Once the scan has completed, the tool will display the list of detected threats. Remove all identified malicious items and restart the computer if necessary.

Stage 4 : Double-check with Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool

1. Download the free scanner called Malicious Software Removal Tool.

Download MSRT

2. The tool automatically checks the operating system and suggest appropriate download version. Click on Download button to begin. Save the file to a convenient location, preferably on Desktop.

3. After downloading the file, Windows will prompt that download has completed. Click Run to start scanning for Fresh ransomware. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.

MSRT Icon

4. The tool will display Welcome screen, click Next. Please note the message "This tool is not a replacement for an antivirus product." You must understand that this program is made specifically to find and remove malware, viruses, Trojans, and other harmful elements on the computer. It was not designed to protect the computer.

MSRT Welcome

5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Fresh ransom virus entities and other harmful files left on the computer will be found and removed. For advanced computer user, you can opt for Customized Scan, if there are other drives or folders you wanted to include in this scan.

MSRT Scan

6. Full scan may take a while, please wait for Malicious Software Removal Tool to complete the tasks. However, you may cancel the scan anytime by clicking on the Cancel button.

MSRT Scan

7. After scanning, the tool will reveal all identified threats. There may be other threats that our first scan fails to detect. Please remove/delete all detected items.

8. When removal procedure is complete, you may now close Malicious Software Removal Tool. We hope that Fresh ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.

Recover Files from Fresh Ransomware Infection

On this section, we will provide ways to decrypt files infected with Fresh ransomware. Aside from dedicated decryption software and common tools, other options for file recovery are provided. As much as we can, we will update this area whenever there is new and more suitable decryption tool was made available.

Decrypting Fresh infected files with Emsisoft Tools

This service from Emsisoft is helpful in unlocking encrypted files without paying the ransom. It gives three ways to detect the ransomware and provide suitable recovery method:

Upload ransom note – This is usually the .txt or .hta files that was generated by Fresh ransomware.

Upload the encrypted file – The actual encrypted file. Choose the one that is less than 8MB in size.

Contact information – Enter the email address or any links provided as it appears in the ransom note of Fresh virus.

Emsisoft Tools

After submitting any of the appropriate data, Emsisoft will attempt to identify the ransomware and provide keys if there are available.

Option 1: Windows Previous Version Tool

Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a feature called Previous Versions. However, this tool is only usable if restore point was made prior to ransomware infection. To use this tool as "recovery option" for files encypted by Fresh virus, please follow these steps:

1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.

2. Right-click on the affected files or folders. From the drop-down list, please click on Restore previous versions.

3. New window will open display all backup copy of files and folders you wanted to recover. Choose the appropriate file and click on Open, Copy, or Restore. Restoring selected files overwrites the current locked files on the computer. The tool is not actually recovering files encrypted by Fresh. Instead, it restores files from backup copy.

Option 2: Use ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Fresh Ransomware

Just like Previous Version tool, ShadowExplorer is taking advantage of shadow copy created by Windows. This tool allows you to retrieve older version of files before it was encrypted by Fresh ransomware.

1. Download ShadowExplorer from the official web site.

2. Install the program with the default settings.

3. The program should run automatically after installation. If not, double-click on ShadowExplorer icon.

4. You can see the drop-down list on top of the console. Please select proper drive and the most recent point-in-time shadow copies of files you wish to restore prior to Fresh ransomware infection.

shadow3

5. Right-click on the Drive, Folder, or File you wish to restore and click Export...

6. Lastly, ShadowExplorer will prompt for location where you want to save the copy of recovered files.

How to protect the computer from Fresh ransomware?

After the removal of the ransomware, it is important to prevent similar incident from happening again. In order to protect the computer effectively, computer user must know how Fresh ransomware was able to infect the computer. To minimize the possible infection, staying away from the common sources of this virus is crucial.

How Fresh ransomware can infect your computer?

The method of infecting the computers was found to be similar as other common viruses. Though, ransomware like Fresh is seen to have efficient deployment via spam email messages, web injectors, malicious software installers, misleading online advertisements, and through another virus infection.

Once the virus is executed, it immediately infects the system. Then, Fresh ransomware communicates to remote server so that unique key can be generated for the specific computer. After acquiring the key, it starts to decrypt target files using a complex method that is almost unbreakable. On the last stage of the attack, Fresh ransomware demands for ransom money as payment for the decryption tool. To further understand the attack scheme, we have included an infographic below.

Infographic image of ransomware attack stages
You can print, download, or share the infographic by clicking the image.

Securing the computer against ransomware attack

Do a Regular File Back-up - Always backup your data on a separate storage devices such as external hard drives, optical discs, or online backup services.

Keep Your Software Updated - Make sure that you have the latest software updates especially on the operating system. Recent updates often contain vital security patches to help protect the computer against all forms of threats.

Install a Security Program - Protect the computer with effective anti-virus application using efficient real-time scanning. Regularly run a complete scan to check the computer for presence of malware.

Protect your files with Controlled Folder Access (Windows 10)

For Windows 10 users, aside from protecting the computer using anti-virus or anti-malware programs, one way to protect against ransomware attack is by using Controlled Folder Access. This feature of Windows Defender Security Center may not prevent the Fresh ransomware infection, but it can protect the folder and files in general. Follow the steps to enable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10.

1. Go to Windows 10 Taskbar and search for Windows Defender Security Center.

2. Open Windows Defender Security Center and click on Virus & Threat Protection icon.

Virus and Threat Protection

3. On next window, please click on Ransomware Protection.

4. Under Controlled Folder Access section, switch the slider to On. That will enable the feature and protect the folder against Fresh or any type of ransomware.

Controlled Folder Access

5. Click on Protected Folderslink to include additional folders. Make sure that folders where important files are located should be included in the list.

Add Protected Folder

Troubleshooting Guide

Certain programs maybe blocked by Controlled Folder Access feature. To fix the issue, simply have the specific program to be white listed.

1. Under Protected Folders, click Allow an app through controlled folder access.

2. Next, click the Add an allowed app and include the target executable file.

This Controlled Folder Access feature is one way to protect files against Fresh. Other important things to do in keeping files safe against ransomware is through early prevention like keeping programs updated, install an efficient security program, an do regular file backup on a separate media drive.

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