THREAT REMOVAL

.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

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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
Name:874632c09503322f62525b0735e59e84.virus
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
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

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
e-mail:hackwand@protonmail.com

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:

→ “PNG .PSD .PSPIMAGE .TGA .THM .TIF .TIFF .YUV .AI .EPS .PS .SVG .INDD .PCT .PDF .XLR .XLS .XLSX .ACCDB .DB .DBF .MDB .PDB .SQL .APK .APP .BAT .CGI .COM .EXE .GADGET .JAR .PIF .WSF .DEM .GAM .NES .ROM .SAV CAD Files .DWG .DXF GIS Files .GPX .KML .KMZ .ASP .ASPX .CER .CFM .CSR .CSS .HTM .HTML .JS .JSP .PHP .RSS .XHTML. DOC .DOCX .LOG .MSG .ODT .PAGES .RTF .TEX .TXT .WPD .WPS .CSV .DAT .GED .KEY .KEYCHAIN .PPS .PPT .PPTX ..INI .PRF Encoded Files .HQX .MIM .UUE .7Z .CBR .DEB .GZ .PKG .RAR .RPM .SITX .TAR.GZ .ZIP .ZIPX .BIN .CUE .DMG .ISO .MDF .TOAST .VCD SDF .TAR .TAX2014 .TAX2015 .VCF .XML Audio Files .AIF .IFF .M3U .M4A .MID .MP3 .MPA .WAV .WMA Video Files .3G2 .3GP .ASF .AVI .FLV .M4V .MOV .MP4 .MPG .RM .SRT .SWF .VOB .WMV 3D .3DM .3DS .MAX .OBJ R.BMP .DDS .GIF .JPG ..CRX .PLUGIN .FNT .FON .OTF .TTF .CAB .CPL .CUR .DESKTHEMEPACK .DLL .DMP .DRV .ICNS .ICO .LNK .SYS .CFG”

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.

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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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Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.

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.


OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove .Stinger from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .Stinger

OFFER

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


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
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.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall .Stinger and related software 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.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


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"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most 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.


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


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
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.

IMPORTANT!
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: 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.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


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

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


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.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

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

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .Stinger.

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 reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

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


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of .Stinger from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall .Stinger and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to .Stinger:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to .Stinger. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to .Stinger. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove .Stinger via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as .Stinger. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for .Stinger:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .Stinger.

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 reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

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


.Stinger FAQ

What is .Stinger ransomware and how does it work?

.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 algorithm how 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.

How does .Stinger ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..Stinger Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, 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.

After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.

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. At this point the ..Stinger files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

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.

One way to restore files, encrypted by .Stinger ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.

How Do I restore "..Stinger" files (Other Methods)?

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% guarantee that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How do I get rid of .Stinger ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate .Stinger ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..Stinger files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .Stinger ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.

What to Do If nothing works?

There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:

  • Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
  • Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
  • Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted it can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way to get back some of your files is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
  • You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.

More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.

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