EQ ransomware (Virus Removal Instructions) - Tutorial

EQ virus Removal Guide

What is EQ ransomware?

EQ ransomware – a file encrypting cyber threat which offers to decrypt 1 file for free EQ ransomwareEQ ransomware - a file locking cyber threat which has another version that is named EQ Version 2.

EQ ransomware is a file locking virus which encrypts valuable documents by using original codes. Once encrypted, various files and documents appear with the .fuck appendix added. To be able to encrypt files and perform its illegal activities, EQ virus injects a file named twitchru.exe straight into the computer system. Furthermore, the fraudulent virus displays a ransom message named README_BACK_FILES.htm. This note is written by the cybercrooks who expect to receive some money in exchange for the decryption tool. Criminals offer 1 document for free decryption as evidence that they will fulfill their promises. They urge making contact via supportonl@cockh or supportonl@airmail.cc email addresses. However, no cybercriminal can be trusted as users are very likely to get scammed by the hackers and left with no decryption key. It is known that the ransomware virus has another version called EQ Version 2, this cyber threat adds the .gsg extension to each encrypted document. Another interesting fact about EQ ransomware is that this file locking virus might belong to the GlobeImposter family.[1]

Name EQ
Type Ransomware
Possible relation GlobeImposter
Other versions EQ Version 2
Extensions .fuck, .gsg
Ransom message README_BACK_FILES
Ransom price No specific details are given about the ransom price
Email given supportonl@cockh, supportonl@airmail.cc
Distribution techniques Phishing emails and their attachments
Removal Get rid of the threat ASAP. Additionally, use FortectIntego to detect all malware-laden objects

EQ ransomware shows this note once files are encrypted:

[random characters]
To recover data you need decryptor.
To get the decryptor you should:
Send 1 crypted test image or text file or document to supportonl@cockh ||| supportonl@airmail.cc
In the letter include your personal ID (look at the beginning of this document).
We will give you the decrypted file and assign the price for decryption all files.
We can decrypt one file in quality the evidence that we have the decoder.
Do not contact other services that promise to decrypt your files, this is fraud on their part! They will buy a decoder from us, and you will pay more for his services. No one, except supportonl@cock.li ||| supportonl@airmail.cc, will decrypt your files.
Only supportonl@coek.li III supportonl@airmail.cc can decrypt your files.
Do not trust anyone besides supportonl@cock.li ||| supportonl@airmail.cc
Antivirus programs can delete this document and you can not contact us later.
Attempts to self-decrypting files will result in the loss of your data.

As we can see, criminals who spread EQ ransomware offer 1 file for free decryption. This way they try to convince gullible users that their files will be restored after the ransom price is paid. Furthermore, the hackers require sending ID code via the given email address. However, we suggest avoiding any contact with these criminals. Do not provide them with any sensitive details as they might be misused, and do not transfer any money as it might be easily lost for no reason.

Furthermore, EQ ransomware uses unique encryption algorithms such as AES, RSA, or SHA to lock up all documents found on the infected computer. Both encryption and decryption keys are stored on remote servers which makes them reachable only for their owners. However, that does not mean that you have to go and pay the cybercriminals. We suggest overthinking everything twice as the risk of being scammed is very high.

Perform the EQ ransomware removal by using reputable anti-malware programs. Moreover, we suggest installing a tool such as FortectIntego to detect all malware-related content in the computer system. After that, scroll down the article and take a look at data recovery methods that we have provided. According to cybersecurity experts from Virusai.lt,[2] you always need to eliminate the ransomware virus first before you perform the recovery process, otherwise, your data might be locked again.

You need to remove EQ virus if you want to avoid possible damaging consequences. They can be very unpleasant – injection of other malware, deletion of Shadow Volume Copies,[3] program crashes or damage, and so on. Moreover, note that you should think about ways to take care of your files in the future so that they would not be encrypted by similar viruses again. Our suggestion would be to purchase a USB drive or use iCloud to store important documents.

Furthermore, if you are infected with EQ ransomware, you will start seeing symptoms such as encrypted files, the ransom note, or rogue processes running in the Windows Registry. However, if you see these components in your system, note that they also were brought by the file locking cyber threat:

  • Artemis!EE5FA4A6C9BE
  • Malware-Cryptor.Limpopo
  • Ransom.FileCryptor!8.1A7 (CLOUD)
  • Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Gen.kvh
  • Trojan.AD.MalwareCrypter
  • Trojan.Encoder.26879
  • Trojan.Generic.D1DF1A1A
  • Trojan.GenericKD.31398426
  • Trojan/Win32.Ransomlock.C2882521
  • Trojan[Ransom]/Win32.Gen
  • Win32/Filecoder.NTP

EQ virusEQ virus - ransomware which locks files with the .fuck or .gsg extensions by using unique encryption codes.

Phishing campaigns distribute ransomware

Crooks often drop malware-laden messages to random users' email boxes and ransomware is not an exception. Cybercriminals use spam messages[4] by attaching the hazardous payload to them. Once accessed, the file starts the installation of the dangerous computer infection immediately. Some piece of advice would be not to open any messages that you were not expecting to receive or which do not contain a recognizable sender.

Furthermore, ransomware infections can come from insecure websites such as Torrents, eMule, or other P2P networks. We suggest staying away from all secondary websites and avoid clicking on every link you overcome. Furthermore, installing automatical computer protection is also a good option as the tool will take care of the system whenever you cannot. Moreover, it will allow you to perform regular system scans and detect all possible system vulnerabilities.

Get rid of EQ ransomware

You can remove EQ virus from your computer system and get rid of all harmful components by using reputable and expert-tested anti-malware tools. These programs are capable of effectively dealing with various malware, including ransomware. Furthermore, we suggest using a program such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, or Malwarebytes to detect all malware-laden content which might be left by the cyber threat itself.

However, note that performing the EQ ransomware removal manually is not an option as the virus might be too hard to get rid of on your own. Furthermore, we suggest using our below-provided data recovery methods that might help you with file recovery purposes. Note that you need to remove the file locking virus first before you perform the data recovery steps, otherwise, all unwanted activity will renew itself after the next PC boot.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of EQ virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Turn the Safe Mode with Networking function on and deactivate the ransomware virus:

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove EQ using System Restore

Disable the threat by enabling the System Restore feature with the help of these guidelines:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of EQ. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with FortectIntego and make sure that EQ removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove EQ from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

Use the below-provided instructions to recover data files which were encrypted by the cyber threat.

If your files are encrypted by EQ, you can use several methods to restore them:

Try using Data Recovery Pro tool for file restoring purposes:

We advise trying this method as it might help you restore some of your data that was locked by the ransomware virus.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by EQ ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature might allow data recovery:

Try this method if you have activated the System Restore mode in the past.

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

Shadow Explorer might recover files:

Use this tool to get files back to their starter positions. However, note that this method might not work if the virus erased Shadow Volume Copies of the locked files.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

No official EQ ransomware decryptor has been discovered yet.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from EQ and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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