Home > Ransomware > .Stinger Files Ransom Virus – Remove and Restore Encrypted Data

.Stinger Files Ransom Virus – Remove and Restore Encrypted Data

This article has been created in order to explain what exactly is the .Stinger files virus and how to remove .Stinger ransomware plus how to restore files that have been encrypted by it without having to pay ransom.

The .Stinger files virus it the type of ransomware infection, that is created in order to terrorize victims into paying a hefty ransom fee to restore their files which are encrypted by the virus and can not be opened using any type of software. The .Stinger files virus aims to slither onto your computer undetected, use encryption mode, that makes your files seem corrupt and then add the .Stinger file suffix. The ransomware then aims to add a ransom note, called “About .Stinger unlocking instructions.txt”, whose primary purpose is to ask victims to get victims to contact hackcwand@protonmail.com.

Threat Summary

Name .Stinger
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description Encrypts the files on your computer and then asks you to contact the cyber-criminals via e-mail to get your files back.
Symptoms The primary symptoms are that the files have the .Stinger file extension and the infected PC also contains the ransom note, named “About .Stinger unlocking instructions.txt”.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss .Stinger.
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.

.Stinger Ransomware – How Does It Infect

The main methods of infection that are used by the .Stinger files virus may be active and passive methods of replicating the infection objects. If the virus uses active methods, that means that the cyber-criminals aim to proactively target a vast number of computers The main way to do this is by sending the victim spammed e-mail messages that aim to get you to open a malicious e-mail attachment within them. Such messages often pretend to come from big companies, like:

  • FedEx.
  • PayPal.
  • DHL.
  • eBay.
  • Amazon.

Often those e-mails have topics that grab your attention, for example “Your Amazon Order is almost complete”.

Besides active methods, the crooks may also spread their malicious files or web links via more passive ways, like uploading them on a website and wait for you to visit it, looking for something to download, but instead downloading the virus. This type of malicious SEO strategy often uses legitimate types of files, like:

  • Setups of programs.
  • Drivers.
  • Key generators.
  • Software license activators.
  • Other forms of setups.

In addition to this, the virus may also come as a forced update on your PC, in case it has previously been compromised by a Trojan or a program that has vulnerabilities.

.Stinger Ransomware – More Information + Activity

.Stinger files virus is the type of infection that holds your files hostage until you pay a hefty ransom in order to get them to work again. To do this, the ransomware virus may enter your PC via it’s main infection file. According to malware researchers who uploaded the sample on VirusTotal, the file has the following parameters:

→ SHA-256:ef294e69cda98f1a76367d07f009e340176f523fe2fb7495f6161046d4f0944f
Size:39.5 KB

After this has completed, the ransomware virus aims to run different scripts that make it perform a set of malicious actions on the infected computer, starting with dropping it’s malicious files. The files, also known as payload may be with random names, just like it’s main virus file and may exist in the following Windows directories:

  • %AppData%
  • %Local%
  • %LocalLow%
  • %Temp%
  • %Roaming%

After this has occurred, the ransomware virus may perform set of malicious activities that may make it run programs as an administrator on your computer. These are comprised primarily of touching system files of Windows and creating mutants. In addition to this, the .Stinger ransomware may also create copies of itself instead it’s main executable is manually removed.

The virus may also interfere with the Run and RunOnce registry keys by adding the following Registry entries to make it’s malicious file, that is responsible fr the file ecryption process run automatically on Windows boot:

→ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

In addition to this, the .Stinger files virus may also run commands to delete the shadow volume copies of Windows. These commands are likely run via a script that executes Windows command prompt as an administrator and enters the following vssadmin and bcedit command iterations:

→ process call create “cmd.exe /c vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /quiet & bcdedit.exe /set {default} recoveryenabled no & bcdedit.exe /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures”

The stinger virus, also makes sure that the victim sees it’s ransom note, begging with an ASCII skull. The note, created in several different langauges has the following message to victims:

Hello, friend, Please read the following
Your file has been locked, please do not close the system, or modify the extension name.
Please E-Mail me, unlock the cost USD 100.00

From the ransom note, it appears that the virus aims to get victims by further providing them with ransom instructions via e-mail.

.Sting Files Virus – Encryption Process

The .Stinger virus begins encrypting files on the infected computer by firstly scanning for different file types to encrypt, like the following often used file types:


In addition to this, the ransomware virus may refrain from encrypting system files of Windows by skipping them, via using some sort of a white list. The encrypted files are often documents, images, videos and other types of such files. The ransomware virus uses the encryption mode to change the files structure. This results in the files becoming no longer able to be opened and having the .Stinger file suffix added to them:

Remove .Stinger Ransomware and Restore Files Encrypted by It

In order to remove .Stinger files ransomware, recommendations are to follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They are created by being separated in manual and automatic removal instructions. If you want to remove this ransomware manually, you should however, have some experience in malware removal. For maximum effectiveness however, recommendations by experts are download an advanced anti-malware software which will not only automatically remove .Stinger files virus but also make sure that your PC stays protected against such infections in the future too.

Furthermore, if you want to try and restore your encrypted files without having to pay ransom recommendations are to try the alternative steps for file recovery underneath in “2. Restore files encrypted by .Stinger Files Virus”. They may not be 100% guarantee you will be able to restore your files, but with their aid you may be able to recover some of them.

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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Step 1: Scan for .Stinger with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.

It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.

2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 2

3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 3

4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 4

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Ransomware Automatic Removal - Video Guide

Step 2: Uninstall .Stinger and related malware from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:

1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.
delete ransomware from windows step 1

2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.
delete ransomware from windows step 2

3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
delete ransomware from windows step 3Follow the instructions above and you will successfully delete most unwanted and malicious programs.

Step 3: Clean any registries, created by .Stinger on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by .Stinger there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
delete ransomware virus registries step 1

2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.
delete ransomware virus registries step 2

3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
delete ransomware virus registries step 3 Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .Stinger


Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows Key + R.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 1

2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 2

3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
remove ransomware in safe mode step 3
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.

4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 4

5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 5

Step 5: Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .Stinger.

Method 1: Use STOP Decrypter by Emsisoft.

Not all variants of this ransomware can be decrypted for free, but we have added the decryptor used by researchers that is often updated with the variants which become eventually decrypted. You can try and decrypt your files using the instructions below, but if they do not work, then unfortunately your variant of the ransomware virus is not decryptable.

Follow the instructions below to use the Emsisoft decrypter and decrypt your files for free. You can download the Emsisoft decryption tool linked here and then follow the steps provided below:

1 Right-click on the decrypter and click on Run as Administrator as shown below:

stop ransomware decryptor step 1

2. Agree with the license terms:

stop ransomware decryptor step 2

3. Click on "Add Folder" and then add the folders where you want files decrypted as shown underneath:

stop ransomware decryptor step 3

4. Click on "Decrypt" and wait for your files to be decoded.

stop ransomware decryptor step 4

Note: Credit for the decryptor goes to Emsisoft researchers who have made the breakthrough with this virus.

Method 2: Use data recovery software

Ransomware infections and .Stinger aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on the top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


What is .Stinger Ransomware?

.Stinger 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 .Stinger 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 .Stinger Infect?

Via several ways..Stinger 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 .Stinger 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 ..Stinger files?

You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the ..Stinger 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 ..Stinger files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

Can I Restore "..Stinger" Files?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore ..Stinger 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 .Stinger 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 .Stinger ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..Stinger 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 .Stinger 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.

In many cases, the malware authors or attackers will threaten to delete the data or publish it online unless the ransom is paid.

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 .Stinger Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this .Stinger 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.

Furthermore, the research behind the .Stinger ransomware threat is backed with VirusTotal and the NoMoreRansom project.

To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.

As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.

How to recognize trustworthy sources:

  • Always check "About Us" web page.
  • Profile of the content creator.
  • Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
  • Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.

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