What is Poqw Ransomware?
Poqw ransomware is a new variant of the notorious STOP/Djvu group. This dubious file-encrypting malware has the ability to encrypt all the files on your PC. It renames files to mark them locked by appending the “.poqw” extension after rendering your files useless.
For example, a file named “sample.jpg” will appear as “sample.jpg.poqw”. Victims will need decryption tools and private keys to regain access to such files. Cybercriminals demand huge ransom money in BitCoin (cryptocurrency) to provide those tools.
After Poqw ransomware attack, victims cannot access their documents, pictures, videos, audio, archives, databases, backups, and more. This virus places a ransom note “_readme.txt” on the desktop and in compromised folders to demand ransom from users. This guide is aimed to help you remove this virus and restore your files without paying money to ransomware creators.
About Poqw File Virus
Poqw File Virus is a dangerous threat that blackmails innocent users by taking their files hostage. It uses a powerful encryption algorithm to restrict access to your personal data. As mentioned above, it is a part of the STOP/Djvu family and unfortunately, it is not decryptable. Victims are advised to remove the infection and explore data recovery alternatives other than paying ransom fees.
Creators of this threat advise victims to purchase the decryption tool and unique key. They launch a new variant almost every week, making it difficult to find a permanent solution. It will keep encrypting new files until you remove this threat completely from your PC. Removing this threat will not restore your files, but it will prevent further damage. You cannot recover data from the backup until you get rid of this infection.
We strongly advise you not to make any contact with attackers. They will try to convenience you to pay the ransom money without even trying alternate methods. Cybercriminals also suggest that trying anything will completely destroy your files and you will never be able to recover your data. They might also send more threats to infect your other devices.
How does it infect your PC?
Creators of threats like Poqw Ransomware use various methods to spread their creations. Spam emails are one of the most used methods to target innocent users. Emails containing malicious attachments and links are used as carriers to distribute harmful threats. When you get an email from an unknown person or organization that carries some attachments, do not open them. Do not click on links without verifying the sender and always scan attached files before opening.
Poqw Ransomware can also get distributed via bundled freeware downloads and Peer-to-Peer sharing networks. Cracked software or illegal patches (activation tools) and fake software updates are also used to spread infections. Visiting porn or torrent sites can also expose your system to lots of unwanted threats and viruses.
Poqw Ransomware: Threat Analysis
Do Not Pay Ransom Money
The note left by the Poqw Ransomware says that the price of the decryptor is set to $980 in Bitcoins. But there is bait too. Virus creators are offering a 50% discount to victims who are willing to pay within 72 hours. So if the user agrees to pay during the first 72 hours of the infection, the ransom fee will be $ 490.
It is a trick used by cybercriminals to force their victims to pay money quickly without seeking advice from anyone else. In most cases, it is hard to restore files without a decryption key but it is also not guaranteed that you will get that after paying.
We advise our readers not to trust the attackers. It is all a scam and they are only interested in money. You cannot trace Bitcoin payments and it is also not reversible. So in case of fraud, you will lose both your money and the data. Stop/Djvu variants are also known to leave Trojans behind to steal users’ personal and financial information. It is also used to open backdoors through which the next variant can attack your PC again.
Ransom note “_readme.txt” contains the following text message :
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: hxxps://we.tl/t-Oc0xgfzC7q 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Reserve e-mail address to contact us: email@example.com Your personal ID: -
How does Ransomware operate?
When your computer gets infected by ransomware, your access to your files is ceased immediately. It is the primary work of any file-encrypting malware. This is a scare technique used by cyber criminals to create Panic among victims.
Users normally lose their minds when they suddenly lose access to all of their important files and documents all at once. When a ransomware threat gets into your PC, it does not cause any alarms or errors. It silently scans your entire system and then encrypts all of your data once.
Then it will strategically place the ransom notes on your computer where you can easily notice them. Some threats place notes in text format, some as pop-up windows, and some even change the desktop wallpaper. This particular .Poqw Ransomware is a strain of Stop/Djvu family and it places ransom notes in text format in all the compromised folders.
After notifying victims’ about the encryption, attackers force them to pay the ransom money quickly. This is why note contains threatening messages, and offers. This virus offers a 50% discount on ransom price to victims who pay within 72 hours.
Ransomware threats might also offer free decryption of some of the files as proof. It is another technique to get victims to establish communication with cyber criminals. Once the negotiations start, they easily lure in innocent users to pay the money by using various threats.
How To Remove Poqw File Virus
Automatic Poqw Ransomware Removal Guide
It can be hectic to remove threats from an infected PC but the use of powerful Anti-Malware can make it quite easy. SpyHunter anti-malware can help you to remove Trojans, Ransomware, Spyware, Adware, PUPs, etc. easily. You can scan your system for Poqw Ransomware and all other hidden threats at once. All you need to do is to download this software and run a new scan on your PC.
It will find all the threats and viruses in no time and save you lots of time and effort. This amazing software also provides 24X7 customer support and one-on-one Spyware HelpDesk support for Custom Malware removal. Advanced System Guard feature detects and removes threats in real-time. It has a very User-Friendly Interface and regular Malware definition updates make it most effective against the latest attacks.
How SpyHunter 5 Anti-Malware Works
- You will begin by downloading the software on your system for which you have to click on the below download button.
- Once the software has been downloaded, double-click on SpyHunter-Installer.exe to install the Anti-Malware program on your PC and proceed with the setup.
- After installation, you will need to launch the Anti-Malware application. From the welcome screen click on the Start Scan Now button to initiate a new scan of your PC.
- Once the scanning process begins, it will take some time to run a thorough diagnostic of your PC and find all hidden threats and malware.
- Soon you will find a complete list of all the threats on your system screen. Then you will need to click on the Next button to delete all the viruses.
How To Decrypt .Poqw Files
As there is no Poqw Ransomware decryptor available, you will need to use alternate options to restore your files. The first one is to use the backup. If you have created a backup of your important files then it is going to be quite easy. However, if you don’t have any backup files or they also got encrypted by the virus then you will have to try a data recovery software.
We recommend using Stellar Data Recovery software because it is a powerful and trusted data recovery software. Paying ransom money is not ideal because it will only motivate hackers to carry out more attacks. You can wait for any free decryptor to be launched but it can take forever. Download the free trial version of data recovery and scan your PC for files. It may be able to recover some of your files and save you lots of money.
- Click on the below download button to get started instantly with the data recovery process on your PC.
- After the download click on the installer file and complete the software installation. Then launch the application and select the Data type to recover, and click the Next button.
- After the selection of data, you will need to select the location from where you want to recover data. Choose the location and then click on the Scan button.
- The software will take some time to scan your system. You will see a list of all the files that can be recovered. You can preview them or click on the Recover button to save them.
Manual Poqw Ransomware Removal Guide
Start PC in safe mode with networking
- Click on the Windows and R keys together on your keyboard to open the Windows Run Box.
- Now you will need to type in MSConfig and then click the OK button.
- The System configuration settings box will appear on your computer screen.
- Click on the Boot tab, check the Safe Boot option, and select the network box,
- Finally, you will have to click on Apply and then press the OK button.
Kill Malicious Process From Task Manager
- Open the Windows Rub box again on your PC by pressing the Windows and R keys together on your keyboard.
- This time you will have to type in taskmgr and then click the OK button to open Windows Task Manager. Look for any unknown or malicious running on your system.
- Select the process which is taking lots of systems resources and then click on the End Task button.
Uninstall Poqw Ransomware from Control Panel
- Again you will need to open the Windows Run Box, so press the Windows and R keys together.
- This time you need to open the Windows Control Panel, so type in appwiz.cpl and then click the OK button.
- Programs and Features windows will appear on your computer screen with a list of all the installed applications.
- Now you need to look for any unknown or virus related program and then Uninstall it from your PC.
Remove Poqw Ransomware From Registry Editor
- Again open the Windows Run Box on your PC by using the Windows and R keys.
- To open the Windows Registry Editor, type in Regedit and click the OK button.
- Now you will have to find the virus related registry files and remove them.
- Press CTRL and F keys together on the keyboard to start a Find query.
- Type the virus name and click on Find Next button to find malicious entries and delete them.
Remove Malicious IP addresses from Windows Hosts Files
- To open the Windows hosts file, simply press the Windows and R keys together on the keyboard.
- Type C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc in Run Box and then click the OK button.
- Now you will need to access the Windows hosts file using Notepad.
- Most threats add malicious IP addresses here to automatically connect to remote servers.
- Delete all the malicious IP addresses below the localhost and save the file.
Delete Virus related files from your PC
When malware infects your system, it normally creates several malicious files and spread them at different locations. After you remove the malware, these leftover files help them to get back to your computer. Remove all virus related files at once by following the below instruction :
- Open the Windows Run Box again by using the Windows and R keys together.
- Now you will open the below paths one by one using the Run Box and remove malicious files.
For the first four options, look for any recent folder related to the Poqw Ransomware and remove them. For the Temp folder, you can delete all the files at once. Use Ctrl, Shift, and Delete keys together for permanent removal.
Remove Poqw Ransomware via system restore
- You will again need the Windows Run Box, so press the Windows and R keys together.
- Open the Command Prompt by typing in cmd and then clicking the OK button.
- Type cd restore and press Enter, then type rstrui.exe and press Enter.
- The System Restore window will get opened instantly then click on the Next button.
- Choose a System Restore point you have created in the past and click the Next button.
- Finally, when you will hit the Yes button, the system restoration process with start immediately.
Note: System restore to remove a virus will only work if you have a restore point set on your PC. Otherwise, no changes will be made to your system and it will not remove any threats. Be advised, restoring the computer to a previous version does not always guarantee virus removal. Most viruses delete restore points, so don’t get disappointed if this trick does not work for you.