What Is Qowd Virus?
Ransomware known as Qowd, part of the STOP/DJVU virus family, is a malicious threat that can encrypt files with a strong encryption algorithm. Victims are then required to pay a ransom to access the decryption key needed to unlock the files.
Qowd Virus – Why Is My Windows Infected?Qowd ransomware is typically spread through malicious emails, websites, and downloads that have obfuscated files. Therefore, it is important to exercise caution when downloading and opening files from unknown sources.
Qowd Virus – How Did I Get Infected?Qowd ransomware can be spread through malicious emails, websites, and downloads, so it is important to be cautious when downloading and opening files from unknown sources.
Two of the primary means of infecting computers with viruses, such as this one, are:
- If it is sent to you as an e-mail attachment or a URL.
- By being downloaded from a shady site.
Qowd Virus – What Does It Do?
Once Qowd ransomware is installed on your computer, it will encrypt your data and demand a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. It will also change the file extensions of all encrypted files to .qowd.
The main objective of this ransomware is to first leave its payload files that may be situated in the following Windows directories:
Then, the malware drops its extortion note, that is called _readme.txt:
Qowd Virus – Details
|Qowd virus, also known as UDS:Trojan.Win32.Chapak.gen, Ransom:Win32/StopCrypt.KM!MTB, Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj], Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj], A Variant Of Win32/GenKryptik.FHJB – more detections of this virus on VirusTotal
|The ransomware encrypts files on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
|The Qowd Virus ransomware will encrypt your files by appending the .qowd extension to them.
|Ransom Demanding Note
|Spam Emails, Email Attachments
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What Are .qowd Files
The .qowd encrypted files are files that have been encoded using AES encryption algorithm by DJVU ransomware. The files can only be opened with a decryption key that can be obtained by paying the ransom.
The virus may run a scan, that can result in detecting and encoding the following types of files:
- Videos (.mp4, .avi, etc.).
- Audio (.mp3, .wav, etc.).
- Picture file kinds (.jpg, .png, .etc).
- Archive file formats (.zip, .rar, etc).
- Documents of different types (.docx, .pptx, etc.).
Then, the virus leaves the files, looking like the following:
How to Open .qowd Files
The .qowd encrypted files cannot be opened without the decryption key corresponding to its cipher. The only way to obtain the key is to pay the ransom demanded by the ransomware or have a decryptor.
What To Do If My Files Are .qowd?
If your files have been encrypted by Qowd ransomware, the only ways to get them back is to have backup, pay the ransom or to check if researchers develop a free decryptor. It is important to keep in mind that there is no guarantee that the decryption key will work, and paying the ransom does not guarantee that you will get your files back.
How To Protect Windows from Qowd In The Future?
To protect yourself from DJVU ransomware, it is important to be careful when downloading and opening files from unknown sources. It is also important to know how you can safely store your files to protect them from ransomware.
How to Remove Qowd Virus?
To remove Qowd from your computer, you should use a reliable anti-malware program. Make sure to run a full system scan to ensure that all malicious components are removed.
How to Decrypt / Fix .qowd Files?
The only way to decrypt .qowd encrypted files is to use the decryption key that is provided by the ransomware developers after paying the ransom. It is important to keep in mind that there is no guarantee that the key will work, and paying the ransom does not guarantee that you will get your files back. This is why we reccomend first trying out the STOP Ransomware decryption steps linked here.
What is Qowd Ransomware?
Qowd 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.
What Does Qowd Ransomware Do?
Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
How Does Qowd Infect?
Via several ways.Qowd 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.
Another way you may become a victim of Qowd 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 .Qowd files?
You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .Qowd files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key 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 .Qowd files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Qowd" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Qowd 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 Qowd 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 Qowd ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Qowd files.
Can I 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 Qowd 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.
Can a 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 Qowd Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Qowd 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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