Update September 2019! What is STOP? What does STOP virus do? Is STOP going to encrypt your files? Can you decrypt files encrypted by STOP ransomware?
SIDENOTE: This post was originally published in May 2018. But we gave it an update in September 2019
This article will help you remove STOP ransomware totally. Follow the ransomware removal instructions provided at the end of the article.
STOP is the name of a virus that encrypts your files, while appending the .STOP extension to each file. Files are locked with both AES and RSA 1024-bit military grade encryption algorithms. The STOP cryptovirus will encrypt your data and when finished, it will demand money as a ransom to allegedly get your files restored. Keep on reading through the article to see how you could try to potentially recover some of your files.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files on your computer machine and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will encrypt your files with the help of the AES and RSA encryption algorithms. All locked files will have the .STOP extension appended to them.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by STOP Ransomware |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss STOP Ransomware.|
|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.|
STOP Ransomware – Update September 2019
STOP ransomware virus new variants September 2019:
The Retadup worm is a very dangerous threat which is described in several reports as one of the main carriers of STOP ransomware samples. A team of security experts have been able to devise a way of stopping the release of the worm which has rapidly decreased the number of infected computers with the STOP virus.
A large number of the domains and servers associated with the worm have been shut down by the experts. However this has not been enough to stop the spread of the STOP ransomware strains. It appears that while this worm is one of the most efficient sources of the infection, it isn’t the one and only.
In the meantime, security researcher Michael Gillespie, author of STOPDecrypter, reported that the operators of STOP ransomware have altered its code in newer versions. These changes make the way the decrypter work impossible, starting with .coharos, .gero, and .hese. Apparently, the cybercriminals started to utilize proper asymmetrical encryption, meaning the offline keys will no longer be valid for decryption after the release of the final keys Gillespie extracted.
The researcher is now working towards closing this decrypter, and continuing work on a new decrypter that will work only for the old versions of STOP (up to .carote). The new decrypter will completely replace STOPDecrypter once it’s released, and will work in a different way, the researcher said.
STOP Ransomware – Update August 2019
STOP ransomware virus continues to spread and bring new variants. These are the latest extensions that the STOP virus encrypts files with:
STOP (Djvu) Ransomware Decryptor
There is a decrypter tool released for STOP ransomware. The STOP decryption tool requires .NET Framework 4.5.2 installed or a later version. The tool was initially released for the .puma, .pumax, .pumas versions of the cryptovirus. Michael Gillespie reguralrly updates it to support newly discovered verions like .format, .access, .ndarod, .bopador, .novasof, .dodoc, .todar and other. You can download the tool via the Decryption Tool link here. The tool requires a pair of an original file and its encrypted version.
STOP Virus – Ways of Distribution
STOP ransomware might spread its infection in various ways. A payload dropper which initiates the malicious script for this ransomware is being spread around the World Wide Web, and researchers have gotten their hands on a malware sample. If that file lands on your computer system and you somehow execute it – your computer system will become infected. Here is a list of some malicious files known to be used for the activation of STOP ransomware:
STOP ransomware might also distribute its payload file on social media and file-sharing services. Freeware which is found on the Web can be presented as helpful also be hiding the malicious script for the cryptovirus. Refrain from opening files right after you have downloaded them. You should first scan them with a security tool, while also checking their size and signatures for anything that seems out of the ordinary. You should read the tips for preventing ransomware found in the forum section.
STOP Virus – In-Depth Overview
STOP is a virus that encrypts your files and shows a window with instructions on your computer screen. The extortionists want you to pay a ransom for the alleged restoration of your files.
STOP ransomware could make entries in the Windows Registry to achieve persistence, and could launch or repress processes in a Windows environment. Such entries are typically designed in a way to launch the virus automatically with each start of the Windows operating system.
After encryption the STOP virus will place a ransom note message inside a file called “!!!YourDataRestore!!!.txt”. You can see its contents from the following screenshot given down here:
The ransom note states the following:
All your important files were encrypted on this PC.
All files with .STOP extension are encrypted.
Encryption was produced using unique private key RSA-1024 generated for this computer.
To decrypt your files, you need to obtain private key + decrypt software.
To retrieve the private key and decrypt software, you need to contact us by email email@example.com send us an email your !!!YourDataRestore!!!.txt file and wait for further instructions.
For you to be sure, that we can decrypt your files – you can send us a 1-3 any not very big encrypted files and we will send you back it in a original form FREE.
Price for decryption $600 if you contact us first 72 hours.
Your personal id:[Redacted]
E-mail address to contact us:
Reserve email address to contact us:
The following e-mail address is used to contact the cybercriminals:
The note of the STOP ransomware states that your files are encrypted. You are demanded to pay 600 US dollars in 3 days’ time, otherwise the price will change. However, you should NOT under any circumstances pay any ransom. Your files may not get recovered, and nobody could give you a guarantee for that. Moreover, giving money to cybercriminals will most likely motivate them to create more ransomware viruses or commit different criminal acts.
STOP Virus – Encryption Process
What is known for the encryption process of the STOP ransomware is that every file that gets encrypted will receive the .STOP extension. The encryption algorithms used to lock the files are AES and RSA 1024-bit.
The targeted extensions of files which are sought to get encrypted are currently unknown and if a list is discovered, it will be posted here as the article gets updated. The files used most by users and which are probably encrypted are from the following categories:
- Audio files
- Video files
- Document files
- Image files
- Backup files
- Banking credentials, etc
The STOP cryptovirus could be set to erase all the Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows operating system with the help of the following command:
→vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet
In case the above-stated command is executed that will make the encryption process more efficient. That is due to the fact that the command eliminates one of the prominent ways to restore your data. If your computer device was infected with this ransomware and your files are locked, read on through to find out how you could potentially restore your files back to normal.
Remove STOP Ransomware Virus and Restore .STOP Files
If your computer got infected with the STOP ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of STOP ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below. 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.