This article aims to show you how to remove QkG ransomware entirely from the infected PC and how to restore encrypted files.
QkG ransomware strain has been recently detected by security researchers. An infection with QkG ransomware leads to encryption of all word files stored on the host. The threat is reported to use the XOR encryption for corruption of target files and is believed to be under development. After encryption, all encrypted files remain with unchanged names and extensions. How they can be recognized is by a ransom note that appears when an opening is initiated. The creators of QkG ransomware demand a ransom payment in Bitcoins for file decryption.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files on your computer and demands a ransom.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will encrypt your DOC and DOCX files making them inaccessible. It will then drop a ransom note and open it automatically.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss QkG.|
|Data Recovery Tool||Windows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.|
QkG Ransomware – Spread Techniques
One of the most common ways for distribution of ransomware payloads is spam email messages. They usually contain file attachments that carry out the malicious code or present links to a corrupted web page. In order to make users more prone to interact with the infected elements, as this results in an infection with QkG ransomware, crooks spoof the email address and the sender’s name. Usually, they pose as representatives of popular and trustworthy businesses, governmental institutions, websites, etc.
At this point, the QkG ransomware is known to be exclusively distributed via corrupted Microsoft Office documents that have malicious macros embedded in them. What triggers the infection is the button “Enable Editing” that appears at the top of the document. It enables the execution of the malicious macro scripts attached to the document and that lead to infection with QkG ransomware.
QkG Ransomware – Technical Insight
When the QkG crypto virus’ payload penetrates the system, it may initiate a download of additional malicious files from its C2 server or create a few itself. The folders that are often used by ransomware threats to store their files are:
Once QkG ransomware establishes its files on the system it triggers a consequence of processes to fulfill the attack to its end. As a result, it may access the Windows Registry to modify the values in specific keys. These keys are usually the Run and RunOnce as they control the performance of all currently running processes. The ransomware may use them to open its ransom note and set its payload to start automatically on each Windows load.
Furthermore, it is possible that QkG crypto virus will run the command line below to delete all Shadow Volume copies stored on the PC:
→vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet
QkG Ransomware – Encryption Process
QkG ransomware employs the XOR cipher algorithm to encrypt all files that have the DOC and DOCX extensions. Security researchers report that the QkG ransomware is designed to encipher Microsoft Word files only. So all files that store audio records, videos, presentations, projects, spreadsheets, databases, and images are likely to work correctly after the infection. However, the QkG Ransomware is under development, and it is possible that its creators will release a new variant that targets other file formats.
What happens with encrypted files is that their original content becomes inaccessible. Unlike other data locker ransomware, QkG does not change the names and the extension of the corrupted files but appends a ransom note to them. So each encrypted file displays the following ransom note once it is opened:
And it reads:
I’m QkG@PTM17! by TNA@MHT-TT2
Send $300 to BTC Address: 14zA1NdTgtesLWZxtysLQQtsuKzjFbpydg
Contact Email: ***
The hacker with a nickname QkG@PTM17! demands a ransom of $300 in Bitcoins for data decryption solution. If you fall a victim of the QkG ransomware, be advised to avoid funding criminals’ vicious activities by paying them the ransom. Better try to deal with the problem by yourself. Some of the possible ways are described in the instructions at the end of this article. Any negotiations with criminals are also better to be restricted.
Remove QkG Ransomware and Decrypt Files
In case of infection with QkG ransomware, you have delete it as soon as possible. The removal guide below aims to help all infected users to get rid of the threat. We have listed two approaches – manual and automatic. Both of them include a detailed description of all actions that should be fulfilled at each step. Have in mind that QkG ransomware has a complex code which makes it manual removal a hard task and some leftovers may remain on the PC. For maximum efficiency security researchers recommend scanning the machine with an advanced anti-malware that will catch all malicious files and objects so you can then remove them with a few mouse clicks.
Don’t forget to back up all encrypted files on an external drive and then try to recover them via alternative data recovery solutions.
What is QkG Ransomware?
QkG 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 QkG 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 QkG?
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 QkG Infect?
Via several ways.QkG 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 QkG 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 .QkG files?
You can't. At this point, the .QkG 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 .QkG files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".QkG" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .QkG 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 QkG 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 QkG ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .QkG files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like QkG 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 QkG 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 QkG Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this QkG 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.
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