Remove GPGQwerty ransomware (Easy Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

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

GPGQwerty virus Removal Guide

What is GPGQwerty 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 ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

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.

Displaying crypto-virusGPGQwerty virus does not encrypt your files 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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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage 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 Reimage, 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 GPGQwerty virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

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

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.
    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.
    Reboot
  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.
    Startup

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
    Downloads
    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):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

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

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 ReimageIntego 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

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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