What Is Towz Virus?
Towz virus is another variant of the ransomware threats, known under the name STOP/DJVU. It utilises the ransom extortion note, known as _readme.txt and the .towz file extension. The main goal of this infection is silently to get inside your computer and scan for your most important files to encrypt them. This renders them no longer usable as the only way to get them back seems to be reversing this process using a decryption key, for which the criminals want you to transfer them a lot of money in Bitcoin.
Read this article to run further details on this virus and what steps you should take to fully erase it from your computer and try to fix your files without having to pay these crooks.
Towz Virus Summary
|Name||Towz virus, also known as UDS:Trojan.Win32.Chapak.gen, Ransom:Win32/StopCrypt.KM!MTB, Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj], Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj], A Variant Of Win32/GenKryptik.FHJB – more detections of this virus on VirusTotal|
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files stored on computer system drives and demands a ransom for their recovery.|
|Symptoms||The Towz Virus locks personal files by using a strong encryption algorithm. After appending the .towz extension to them, the ransomware restricts the access to their data.|
|Ransom Demanding Note||_readme.txt|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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Towz Virus – How Did I Get Infected?
The Towz virus which is based on the code of the so-called STOP Ransomware. Like some other variants that have recently been released in the wild, Yoqs Virus, Qqqw Virus, Fhkf Virus, Towz may obtain access to computer systems via a couple of methods.
One of them is known to be malspam. The malware is sent to people’s email inboxes in the form of an email attachment, a link to hacked page or both. The attachment containing the malicious ransomware code could be pretending to be an important document of the following types:
- Ticket for event or flight.
- Work project.
How these attachments work is via malicious macros that get triggered after you open the file. Then the infection process beings and the ransomware acts like the patterns shown below:
Towz virus may also be propagated via shady websites that host it in the form of:
- Software or game cracks.
- Self extracting archives or other forms of archives and extractors.
- Fake patch for a program.
- Fake install executables.
- Cracks for portable versions of apps.
- Key generators.
Towz Ransomware – What Does It Do?
The activation of the virus on a computer system enables the ransomware to connect to a remote host. The established connection supports the transfer of additional malicious files from the host to the PC. You may have not noticed all those processes but in the background of all other running apps the virus may situate malicious files in the following Windows directories:
The virus drops the file _readme.txt which contains its ransom note. Its informaion lets you know more about the situation and gives you instructions on how to pay the ransom to the cyber criminals:
Furthermore, this infection could also tamper with the Windows registry editor. The following registries that control essential processes on the system may be infected:
Adding value strings in those sub-keys of the Windows Registry Editor helps the Towz virus to run automatically its files each time you start your computer.
What Are .qqqe Files?
The .qqqe files are your original files but encrypted by the ransomware. Their data is changed by the use of a cypher – the AES encryption algorithm. Towz virus may lock your most important files that usually carry the following file extensions:
- Audio (.mp3, .wav, etc.).
- Picture file kinds (.jpg, .png, .etc).
- Videos (.mp4, .avi, etc.).
- Archive file formats (.zip, .rar, etc).
- Documents of different types (.docx, .pptx, etc.).
At the same time, it skips encrypting important Windows files in order to save the proper system performance and convince you to pay the ransom to crooks.
After the encryption process, the corrupted files show up with different names changed by the use of the following pattern:
How to Remove Towz Virus
How to Decrypt .towz Files?
The .towz virus files may have an offline and online decryption keys. If the key is stored offline, then the steps in the STOP Ransomware File Decryption Guide or the video below should be able to help you with decrypting them for free.
Video guide for using the STOP Ransomware Decryptor:
What is Towz Ransomware?
Towz 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.
Can Towz Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like Towz?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does Towz Infect?
Via several ways.Towz 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.
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 Towz 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 .Towz files?
You can't. At this point, the .Towz files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey 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 .Towz files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Towz" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Towz 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 Towz 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 Towz ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Towz files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Towz ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
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 can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way 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.
How to 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 Towz 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.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can 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 Towz Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Towz 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.
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.
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- Always check "About Us" web page.
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