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GPGQwerty ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware

GPGQwerty ransomware is a crypto-virus which unsuccessfully tries to encrypt users’ files

Image of GPGQwerty ransomwareGPGQwerty ransomware was noticed at the start of March 2018. The ransomware drops the README_DECRYPT.txt file and tries to encrypt data using gpg.exe. The virus is supposed to use the extension “.qwerty” to encrypt files. However, it merely provides ransom note and does nothing else.

The .txt file dropped by Qwerty virus states that all files on victim’s computer have been locked. The ransom is demanded in Bitcoin cryptocurrency and should be paid into BTC walled 3M3QNTzEpEzFgzUtXZRT5FjG1YfVDyh9K. Cybercriminals ask for 0.1 Bitcoin. At the time of the writing, 0.1 Bitcoin is worth $1127.36.

As soon as victim pays the ransom, hackers will allegedly send the encryption key with can release all the locked files. However, no data is encrypted. Hence, all you have to do is remove GPGQwerty ransomware from your computer using Reimage, Malwarebytes or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security.

A user is also assigned a unique ID which gives attackers an identification for each of the victims. A user is also informed that he can send one file (up to 1MB) which does not contain any important information for hackers to unlock it and show that the decryption is possible.

Some victims might only read ransom note and not check their files. Those users would assume that the ransomware has done the job and locked up all files. However, please do not contact GPGQwerty authors as you would only be funding their illegal activities, which can lead to more ransomware production.

Working ransomware would encrypt all .txt, .doc, .html, .mpeg, .jpg, mp3, etc. files and affix the extension to each of these files. In this case, the “.qwerty” extension would be used – a file called picture.jpg would be turned into picture.jpg..qwerty. However, the extension is never assigned to any of the files.

Most likely, the ransomware is not entirely developed yet. However, this might change in the future, once attackers figure out the way how to properly encrypt files. Nevertheless, 38 out of 67 AV engines[1] recognize and mark GPGQwerty file as malicious. Therefore, do not delay GPGQwerty virus removal.

Check your inbox carefully as emails might contain malware

The most prominent ransomware distribution technique used by hackers is spam emails. In most cases, attackers target thousands of users and send them phishing emails. Typically, the person writing an email pretends to a representative from an important organization, such as a bank, government or a well-known retailer. The author uses social engineering to make victims open the malicious file which contains ransomware code.

Therefore, be extremely careful when handling emails from unknown sources. The signs of a phishing email[2] are quite visible as soon as you encounter them few times. Additionally, your webmail provider uses a built-in scanner which marks most suspicious emails. Thus, never ignore these warnings.

Delete GPGQwerty ransomware safely and quickly

Security experts[3] warn that manual GPGQwerty removal should not be attempted by anyone, as the code used is exceptionally complicated. Instead, users should rely on a robust anti-malware software which can take care of everything automatically.

This method will remove GPGQwerty ransomware quickly. However, be aware that the virus might prevent the startup of security software. In this case, restart your PC and boot it in Safe Mode with Networking. Security software can then quickly be started from there.

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More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

If you decided to select another anti-spyware, uninstall Reimage from your computer.
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To remove GPGQwerty virus, follow these steps:

Remove GPGQwerty using Safe Mode with Networking

Security software startup might be hindered by the virus. Hence, restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    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 Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    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 Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove GPGQwerty

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete GPGQwerty removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove GPGQwerty using System Restore

Uninstall GPGQwerty ransomware by performing System Restore.

  • 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 GPGQwerty. 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 Reimage and make sure that GPGQwerty removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

GPGQwerty ransomware fails to encrypt files properly. However, there is no guarantee that it won't be possible in the future. As soon as your files are locked, try all these methods which can help you wit file decryption. However, remember you only can proceed to data decryption after eliminating the virus completely.  

Data Recovery Pro is useful when your files are corrupted. In some cases, it might be useful in restoring some files which were encrypted by ransomware.

Windows Previous Versions feature will only work if you had System Restore function enabled during malware attack.

Shadow Explorer works well if the crypto-virus does not delete Shadow Volume Copies.

Decryptor is not necessary as this virus does not encrypt any files.

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

Recover your files with Data Recovery Pro

  • 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 GPGQwerty ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try Windows Previous Versions feature to recover your encrypted files

  • 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 be useful while trying to get the files back to normal mode

  • 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.

Decryptor is not available

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References