WZQW Ransomware Joins the STOP/Djvu Ransomware Family
New strains of STOP/Djvu Ransomware are being discovered every week, and this time it is WZQW Ransomware. Like other associated strains of the prominent malware threat, this ransomware locks files and then demands a ransom fee to restore file access.
Infections like WZQW Ransomware can be distributed through software bundles, so if you tend to download freeware or pirated apps distributed via torrent or cracked software sites, you may end up installing such threats.
WZQW Ransomware locks most of the popular file types, including photos, music, documents, and videos. During the file encryption process, WZQW Ransomware adds the .WZQW extension to the affected files and leaves a ransom note on the user’s desktop and in every folder that contains encrypted files.
Once downloaded and installed, WZQW Ransomware will employ the AES encryption algorithm to lock up your files. Oftentimes, information stealers like ZeuS and RedLine are deployed alongside ransomware, which allows hackers to access sensitive information before encrypting the files. Therefore, it is possible for WZQW Ransomware to employ similar tools as well.
The ransom note demands a ransom in order for victims to obtain a decryption key. The decryption key costs $980, but the ransomware’s operators will offer a 50% discount, and only charge $490, if the victim contacts them within the first 72 hours after infection.
The note also provides two email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for the victims to use to communicate with the hackers. We discourage establishing contact with the cybercriminals, however, as there is no guarantee that they will provide decryption tools after payment or even communicate with you.
It is important to note that WZQW Ransomware does not just encrypt data; it may also attempt to delete all shadow copies of the affected files stored on your computer. This can make recovery of your documents and data extremely difficult, if not impossible.
It is highly recommended that you do not attempt to pay a ransom for a decryption key as this does not guarantee the recovery of the encrypted files. The best course of action is focusing on methods that could help you restore your data and protect your system from similar threats.
How Do I Deal with the WZQW Ransomware Infection?
To protect yourself from the WZQW Ransomware attack, you should practice safe web browsing habits like refraining from opening email attachments from unknown senders and downloading programs from unreliable sources. You should also have a reputable malware remediation tool installed on your computer. That way, you can regularly scan for elements associated with this troublesome ransomware infection and other malware. Also, to reduce the potential damage of a future ransomware infection, please consider backing up your files on an external hard drive or cloud storage.
If you are still having trouble, consider contacting remote technical support options.