How to remove Alka Virus and Restore .alka Files
THREAT REMOVAL

How to Remove Alka Virus from Infected PC?

This removal guide shows detailed information about Alka virus as well as illustrated instructions on how to remove this ransomware from the infected PC. You will also be presented with several alternative data recovery methods.

Alka Virus Removal

According to the information shared by the security researcher Michael Gillespie, the founder of Alka virus, the threat is the latest strain of a vicious ransomware family dubbed STOP/Djvu. Like its predecessors, Alka is designed to corrupt computer operating systems with the goal to pass through several attack stages. During the attack, the ransomware encrypts files and appends the .alka extension to their filenames. The primary goal of Alka is to force you to contact hackers at helpmanager@firemail.cc or helpmanager@iran.ir so that they can send you back their demands. Typically, what they ask for is a ransom fee for a decryption tool and a unique key. The amount of the ransom varies from $490 to $980 in Bitcoin.

Unfortunately, most data locker ransomware like Alka lock files with strong cipher algorithms that can be decrypted by specific tools only. However, we don’t recommend that you pay hackers the ransom as there is a real chance that you will get scammed once again. Lots of times victims who pay the ransom don’t receive the key or the decrypter. The best way to recover .alka files is from a previously created backup.

Threat Summary

NameAlka
File Extension.alka
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts files on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
SymptomsThe Alka ransomware will encrypt your files by appending a malicious extension to them. Then it will demand a ransom fee for their recovery.
Ransom Demanding Note_readme.txt
Ransom Fee$490 – $980 in Bitcoin
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Alka.

What is Alka Ransomware?

Alka is a ransomware infection that has recently been spotted in the wild. As a strain of one of the most vicious ransomware families – STOP, the threat disrupts system security and encodes personal files. In the beginning, the ransomware corrupts system settings that help it to evade detection and hide malicious files. Beware that when an infection with Alka ransomware occurs, some major registry keys in the Registry Editor are contaminated. The reason is that their functionalities can enable it to launch malicious files every time the infected system is started.

As for the spread of Alks, techniques like spam emails, email attachments, hacked web pages, and corrupted freeware installers are likely to be utilized. Since malspam propagation technique enables hackers to spread their malicious code on a large scale it is considered to be the main one. Malwpam or massive email spam campaigns that try to deliver malicious code has its traits.

So how to recognize an email that endangers the overall security of your PC and data stored on its drives? First: Does the email have an attached file of common type or a link presented as a button, an image, a plain URL or another clickable form? If the answer is positive then avoid interacting with these elements. If you believe that you should view the content then scan the file / link with online malware scanners like VirusTotal. The results will provide information about the security level of the content.

Among the most popular Windows file types that are used by malware are executable files, documents and other Microsoft Office files, application files, script files, PDFs, temporary files and other.

.Alka File Extension

All initial malicious changes performed by the ransomware aim to enable it to reach the data encryption stage. During this stage, the ransomware launches a strong cipher algorithm to encrypt personal files. All drives and folders are scanned for commonly used types of files as they are likely to store valuable user data. As a result of encryption, corrupted files receive the malicious extension .alka .

Unfortunately, encrypted files remain inaccessible after encryption. The malicious file extension .alka may appear at the end of document, music, project, database, image, video, backup, archive, and audio files. It should be noted that in order to remain unnoticed Alka displays a fake Windows update pop-up during the encryption:

fake Windows update pop-up hides the encryption

At the end of the attack, Alka virus drops a ransom message to extort a ransom fee from victims. In fact, the primary goal of Alka virus is to blackmail you into paying a ransom fee to hackers. So its ransom note called _readme.txt informs that the decryption of corrupted files can be realized after you pay hackers a ransom fee ($490 – $980 in Bitcoin). Here is the full text content of this file:

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:
https://we.tl/t-7YSRbcuaMa
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:
helpmanager@firemail.cc

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
helpmanager@iran.ir

Your personal ID:

Here you can see a screenshot of the Alka ransom message that is forcing you to pay a ransom to decrypt compromised files:

Alka decrypt instructions (_redme.txt)

You should NOT under any circumstances contact cybercriminals or pay any ransom sum to them. This action does not guarantee the recovery of your encrypted .alka files.

At this point, STOP ransomware strains associated with .alka extension are not decryptable by Michael Gillespie or Emsisoft free decryption tools. However, as soon as we notice security researchers’ announcement about an update that supports the decryption of Alka STOP ransomware variants we will update this article with information on how to decrypt files for free.

How to Remove Alka Virus

The so-called Alka ransomware virus is a threat with a highly complex code that disrupts system security in order to encrypt personal files. Hence the infected system could be used in a secure manner again only after you remove all malicious files and objects created by the ransomware. The steps presented in the ransomware removal guide below will help you with the complete removal process. Beware that the manual ransomware removal is suitable for more experienced computer users. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual steps navigate to the automatic part of the guide. It is also worth mentioning that personal data remains encrypted even after the complete removal of Alka virus. Its removal only prevents it from causing further encryptions and security issues.

Step 5 from our Alka ransomware removal guide presents alternative data recovery methods that may be efficient for the recovery of encrypted files. Beware that you should make copies of all encrypted files and save them on a flash drive for example before the beginning of the recovery process.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has completed a bachelor degree in Marketing from the University of National and World Economy. She has been with the STF team for four years, researching malware and reporting on the latest infections.

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3 Comments

  1. AvatarZax

    I’m looking forward for this, i got my pc infected by alka, i need to recover my files as soon as the discryption tool found. I did remove the virus but my files still not recover yet. Tell me when the Tool ready

    Reply
  2. AvatarKevin

    Ik ben ook benieuwd :(

    Reply
  3. AvatarSasanti

    Hello Mr./s. Author, please give me permission to share your article to my friends, thankyou :)

    Reply

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