Ransomware dubbed .charck files virus has recently been detected in the wild. As identified by security researchers it belongs to the infamous STOP ransomware family. When started on a computer system this threat interferes with essential system settings and then encrypts valuable files. Since it utilizes a combination of two sophisticated cipher algorithms to encrypt target files, the latter remain completely unusable after this process. To mark corrupted files, .charck ransomware uses an extension of the same name. To extort a ransom fee for .charck files decryption, it drops a ransom note file called _readme.txt
If you are a victim of STOP .charck ransomware we recommend you to read thoroughly this removal guide. It will help you to remove .charck ransomware and give you some clues on how to potentially recover .charck files.
|.charck Files Virus
|Created to encrypt valualbe files stored on compromised computers and afterward urges victims to pay ransom.
|Files are encrypted and renamed with the .charck file extension. A ransom note file called _readme.txt is dropped and loaded on screen to extort ransom payment.
|Spam Emails, Email Attachments
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.charck Files Virus – Distribution
It is most likely that hackers have launched massive e-mail spam campaigns that attempt to deliver the malicious payload file of .charck files virus on users’ devices. This technique is called malspam and it is associated with the spread of almost every ransomware that appears in the wild.
The e-mails which are part of malspam campaigns usually present file attachments of common types. To make you more prone to download and open the attachment on your computer system without considering the risk of this action, the text in these messages suggests that the presented file contains information of great importance. So files are usually introduced as:
- Reports for closed accounts.
- Banking documents.
- Invoices for a purchase.
- Receipt for a purchase.
- Notification letters for a refund.
- Documents for cancelled order.
The .charck ransomware may also be injected into the code of various corrupted websites. Once loaded in the browser, these websites could drop its payload on the background and activate it with the help of malicious scripts.
.charck Files Virus (STOP Ransomware) – Overview
A large number of STOP variants have been infecting online users since the end of 2017. Last week strains associated with the extensions .promored, .pulsar1, .promorad2 and .kroput have been released in active attack campaigns. Latest detections of STOP ransomware reveal that hackers shifted to a version that uses the extension .charck to mark files it corrupts.
When the so-called .charck files virus loads on your system it initiates a series of malicious operations that enable it to pass through several attack stages without being detected. To prevent being detected by active security measures, .charck ransomware could spawn certain Windows processes and keep running on the system disguised as a legitimate file.
Furthermore, the ransomware is likely to access the Windows Registry Editor and install malicious values under the keys that will enable its automatic execution on each system start. So while dealing with the removal of .charck crypto virus, make sure to check the registry keys Run and RunOnce for present malicious entries.
Soon after, the threat completes all attack stages it drops a text file named _readme.txt and loads it on computer’s screen. This file contains a ransom message that is telling the following:
———————————————- ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED ———————————————–
Don’t worry, you can return all your files!
All your files documents, photos, databases 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 do we give to you?
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
Don’t try to use third-party decrypt tools because it will destroy your files.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours.
To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
Your personal ID:
[redacted 43 alphanumeric chars]
According to this message, the only way to recover files is to pay hackers an unspecified ransom fee in cryptocurrency and obtain a decryption tool. However, please don’t forget that the authors of this message are cyber criminals. They can decide to fool you once again by sending you an ineffective decryption tool or even by neglecting your e-mail messages. So before you rush into contacting them and paying the demanded ransom do consider the help of the secure steps available in our removal guide.
.charck Files Virus – Encryption Process
During the encryption stage, .charck files virus activates a built-in encryption module that scans all drives for target files and encodes them with the help of two sophisticated cipher algorithms (AES and RSA). Following encryption, corrupted files cannot be opened. In addition, they have the extension .charck appended to their names.
Encrypted by this STOP ransomware variant could be:
- Audio files
- Video files
- Document files
- Image files
- Backup files
- Banking credentials, etc
Remove .charck Files Virus (STOP Ransomware) and Attempt to Restore Data
The so-called .charck files virus is a threat with highly complex code designed to corrupt both system settings and valuable data. So the only way to use your infected system in a secure manner again is to remove all malicious files and objects created by the ransomware. For the purpose, you could use our removal guide that reveals how to clean and secure your system step by step. In addition, in the guide, you will find several alternative data recovery approaches that may be helpful in attempting to restore files encrypted by STOP .charck ransomware. We remind you to back up all encrypted files to an external drive before the recovery process.
.charck Files Virus-FAQ
What is .charck Files Virus Ransomware?
.charck Files 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.
What Does .charck Files Virus 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 .charck Files Virus Infect?
Via several ways..charck Files 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.
Another way you may become a victim of .charck Files 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 ..charck Files Virus files?
You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the ..charck Files Virus 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 ..charck Files Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore "..charck Files Virus" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore ..charck Files 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 .charck Files 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 .charck Files Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..charck Files Virus 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 .charck Files 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.
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 .charck Files Virus Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this .charck Files 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.
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