THREAT REMOVAL

.STOPDATA Ransomware Virus – How to Remove It and Restore Files

This article has been created with the purpose to help explain to you what is the new version of STOP ransomware and how to remove it plus how to try and restore .STOPDATA files, encrypted by it on your PC.

A new variant of the STOP Ransomware virus, released back in January 2018, has been detected by security researchers to append the .STOPDATA file extension to the files, encrypted by it and then ask from victims to pay a hefty ransom fee in order to get the encrypted files recovered back to their normal working state. In the events that your computer has been affected by the .STOPDATA ransomware virus, we recommend that you read this article thoroughly so that you can understand more about it plus learn how you can remove it from your computer and how you can try and restore as many files as possible without having to pay ransom.

Threat Summary

Name .STOPDATA Virus
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
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 .STOPDATA extension appended to them.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss .STOPDATA Virus.
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.

.STOPDATA Virus – Methods of Distribution

In order to be spread onto the computers of victims, the .STOPDATA files virus may be spread via various different types of methods. The ransomware has a payload which is dropped by an intermediary malware known as dropper. This dropper may be spread via different ways, the main ones of which are believed to be via e-mail messages that are sent directly to the victim. These e-mails often have malicious e-mail attachments embedded by them and those attachments have the main goal initiating the infection dropper. The e-mails often have convincing messages embedded in them and they often pretend to be legitimate Windows companies, such as:

  • PayPal.
  • DHL.
  • FedEx.
  • Image files
  • Amazon.
  • eBay.

In addition to being sent to victims, the malicious file, infecting computers with the .STOPDATA virus may also be sent to victims via a drive-by download web link on social media sites or even uploaded on websites, while posing as seemingly legitimate programs, from the likes of:

  • Setups of software.
  • Cracks.
  • Keygens.
  • Patches.
  • Fixes.
  • Portable programs.

.STOPDATA Ransomware – Further Information

The .STOPDATA ransomware virus may perform a wide variety of activities on the computer infected by it once it has dropped it’s payload. The payload of the .STOPDATA ransomware may consist of different types of files, each having it’s own set of activities to be done. The payload files may exist in the following Windows directories:

  • %AppData%.
  • %Local%.
  • %Temp%.
  • %LocalLow%.
  • %Roaming%.
  • %SystemDrive%.
  • %Windows%.
  • %Documents%.

Once the malicious files of the .STOPDATA ransomware are dropped on the computer of the victim, the virus may begin it’s activity. Similar to it’s predecessor, the ransomware may drop it’s ransom note on the victim’s computer. The ransom note file has the following message to victims:

“All your important files were encrypted on this PC.
All files with .STOPDATA 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 datadecryption@bitmessage.ch send us an email your !!!RESTORE_DATA!!!.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 $200 if you contact us first 72 hours.
Your personal id:
E-mail address to contact us:
datadecryption@bitmessage.ch

In addition to this, the .STOPDATA virus may create mutants as well as create scheduled tasks to run each time you start Windows. The virus may also collect information from your computer, such as:

  • Computer name.
  • Programs, installed on your PC.
  • Network and system information.

The .STOPDATA files virus may then attack the shadow volume copies of the compromised PC in order to delete the files on your PC, that have been backed up by Windows. This happens by executing a malicious .bat file that runs Windows Commands as administrator. The commands which are executed by the .STOPDATA virus are believed to be the following:

sc stop VVS
sc stop wscsvc
sc stop WinDefend
sc stop wuauserv
sc stop BITS
sc stop ERSvc
sc stop WerSvc
cmd.exe /C bcdedit /set {default} recoveryenabled No
cmd.exe /C bcdedit /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe” /C vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet

.STOPDATA Virus – Encryption

Before encrypting the files on your computer, the .STOPDATA files ransomware may start to scan for the important file types that are used on a regular basis. These types of files often are:

  • Music and other audio file types.
  • Videos and all video file formats.
  • Document file types.
  • Image file types.
  • Databases and backup file extensions.
  • Signatures, virtual drives and other specific files.

After the .STOPDATA virus has detected those virus, the malware may use the RSA-1024 encryption algorithm in order to encrypt them. The encryption is performed in a way that the original files are deleted and their encrypted copies exist in a non-openable state and they appear like the following:

Remove STOP Ransomware and Restore .STOPDATA Files

In case your PC has been infected by the .STOPDATA virus, we advise that you read the removal instructions underneath this article. They have been created so that they enable you to remove this malware either manually or automatically from your computer. If manual removal does not seem to help, be advised that security experts recommend to remove the .STOPDATA ransomware automatically from your computer, preferably by downloading an advanced anti-malware software. It’s primary purpose is to scan your computer for various malicious files and then remove those files and objects in a safe manner plus make sure that your computer remains protected against future infections as well.

If you want to restore files, encrypted by the .STOPDATA variant of STOP ransomware, you can try and recover as many files as you can, preferably by trying out the file recovery methods underneath this article in step “2. Restore files, encrypted by .STOPDATA Virus”. They have been created to help you restore as many .STOPDATA files back to their normal state, but be advised that they are not a direct and complete solution and for such solution to take place, an official decryptor for this ransomware has to be released by the cyber-criminals or the malware researchers who are behind the .STOPDATA virus.

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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 .STOPDATA Virus from Windows.


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

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 .STOPDATA Virus 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 .STOPDATA Virus 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 .STOPDATA Virus 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 .STOPDATA Virus 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 .STOPDATA Virus.

Ransomware infections and .STOPDATA Virus 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 .STOPDATA Virus from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall .STOPDATA Virus 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 .STOPDATA Virus:

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 .STOPDATA Virus. 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 .STOPDATA Virus. 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 .STOPDATA Virus 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 .STOPDATA Virus. 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 .STOPDATA Virus:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and .STOPDATA Virus 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.


.STOPDATA Virus FAQ

What is .STOPDATA Virus ransomware and how does it work?

.STOPDATA 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 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 .STOPDATA Virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..STOPDATA Virus 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 .STOPDATA 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 ..STOPDATA Virus files?

You can't. At this point the ..STOPDATA Virus 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 ..STOPDATA Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by .STOPDATA Virus 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 "..STOPDATA Virus" files (Other Methods)?

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .STOPDATA Virus 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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