What Is Piiq Virus?
Piiq Virus is the name of a ransomware virus, whose main purpose of activity is to get in the computers of victims and then encrypt their important images, documents, and other kinds of files. This virus aims to use the .piiq file extension and the AES encryption mode to scramble your files. It then leaves a _readme.txt ransom note file, whose main idea is to contain instructions on how you should pay ransom to the cyber-criminals who are behind this threat. The ransom is to be paid in BitCoin with the main idea of it being somewhere around $900 to $1000 USD in cryptocurrency money, or else the criminals threaten to not give you the AES decryption key for the .piiq files.
Read this article to learn more about how Piiq Virus functions and how to remove it from your computer effectively.
Piiq Virus Summary
|Name||Piiq Virus also known as Trojan.GenericKD.35978248, Trojan.Win32.Stop.j!c, Trojan.Ransom.Stop, Trojan.Ransom.Stop, A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HIMQ, Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Stop.qq – VirusTotal|
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files on your computer system and demands ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.|
|Symptoms||This variant of STOP ransomware will encrypt your files by appending the .mppq virus extension to them.|
|Ransom Demanding Note||_readme.txt|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Torrent Files|
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Piiq Virus – How Does It Work?
Piiq is a STOP/DJVU variant, which means it shares the same code as the other variants of the virus, like the recently appeared .igvm, .sspq and .iqll ones. These viruses may end up on your computer by being either sent to you via e-mail or by you downloading them from some suspicious website.
In case you have received an e-mail containing the virus, then it is most likely containing an attachment that poses as a seemingly legitimate form of document, for example:
- Flight or train tickets invoices.
- Documents that are important for you.
- Receipts for orders.
- Invoices for purchases you do not remember making.
If you have downloaded the virus yourself, then there is a good chance that it could reside on websites that promote different software for free download, such as:
- Cracks for software.
- Software activation files.
- Key generators or keygens.
- Patches for games or software.
Either way, once the infection-causing file is downloaded and executed, this ransomware may run scripts that connect to a remote host and download its payload files. They could have different names and often are located in the following Windows directories:
Among the files which are left by this virus on your computer, problably the most important is the ransom note, called _readme.txt. It contains the following extortion message written by the criminals behind this virus:
The crooks behind the .piiq ransomware have set it up to encrypt your files using Advanced Encryption Standard. This is an encryption mode that changes the key data of the file to make it seem broken or scrambled. The encryption ends with a unique decryption key being generated and the .piiq file extension is added at the end of each file. The virus may target the following files to encrypt them:
- Document files.
- Backups of Windows.
- Image file types (.jpg, .bmp, .png).
- Video file types.
- Database files
- Audio file kinds.
- Archive types of files.
The encrypted files may look like the following example:
After encryption, the files cannot be unlocked if you do not have a unique asymmetric decryption key that is held only by the criminals. If this key is an offline key, then the chances there will be a free decryptor for the .Piiq files in the near future is significantly higher. If the key is online, however, the chances drop drastically.
Delete Piiq virus Virus and Try to Restore Data
In order to be able to get rid of all variants of Piiq virus from your computer, we would strongly recommend that you follow the instructions that are laid out beneath this article. They have been created with the primary idea to help you delete any instances of this ransomware running on your computer plus they contain alternative methods via which you can try and get your files back if no free decryptor is available. For the best removal, security professionals strongly recommend using advanced anti-malware software. Such a program is created to automatically scan your computer and delete any virus file belonging to this ransomware in a safe way and protect it in the future as well.
What is Piiq virus Ransomware?
Piiq virus is a ransomware infection - the malicious software that enters your computer silently and blocks either access to the computer itself or encrypt your files.
Many ransomware viruses use sophisticated encryption algorithms to make your files inaccessible. The goal of ransomware infections is to demand that you pay a ransom payment to get access to your files back.
Can Piiq virus Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like Piiq virus?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does Piiq virus Infect?
Via several ways.Piiq virus Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, containing virus attachment.
This attachment is usually masked as an important document, like an invoice, bank document or even a plane ticket and it looks very convincing to users.
After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.
Another way you may become a victim of Piiq virus is if you download a fake installer, crack or patch from a low reputation website or if you click on a virus link. Many users report getting a ransomware infection by downloading torrents.
How to Open .Piiq virus files?
You can't. At this point, the .Piiq virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Piiq virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Piiq virus" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Piiq virus files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of Piiq virus Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate Piiq virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Piiq virus files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Piiq virus ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:
- Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
- Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
- Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
- You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.
More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.
How to Report Ransomware to Authorities?
In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.
Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:
Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can Piiq virus Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the Piiq virus Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Piiq virus how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.
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