Orkf ransomware (virus) - Decryption Methods Included

Orkf virus Removal Guide

What is Orkf ransomware?

Orkf ransomware is an infection that encrypts files and renames them by appending the unique extension

Orkf file virusThe ransomware delivers money demands one files get encoded

The ransomware is a file-locking virus that relies on cryptocurrency extortion techniques because people can be encouraged to pay when data gets locked. The encryption process that Orkf virus launches ends in file locking during which data gets renamed, for example, it renames 1.jpg to 1.jpg.orkf. The procedure is quick, but critical because you cannot open those altered pieces anymore. The virus also creates a ransom note named _readme.txt within every folder with encrypted data in order to let victims know how much they need to pay. As well as what email address they should use when paying their ransom fee so that hackers can get paid once enough money has been collected from all the people who have fallen victim to the virus.

Ransomware has become a dangerous trend in the modern world, blocking out your files and making them inaccessible unless you pay up. Orkf encrypts these files and renames them by appending the appendix to each name, forms the unique victim's ID in the ransoms note, and demands payment within 72 hours or the amount increases. This ransomware belongs to the Djvu family which will make recovery even more difficult as their encryption algorithm changes periodically without any notice or warning; meanwhile, the infection spreads like wildfire on networks around countries worldwide. Creators release pieces with altered functions at least once a week now.

The ransom file informs victims that all their files are encrypted with no way to decrypt them without the attacker’s decryption tool and key which can be purchased for $980 or $490 – it depends on whether you will contact the attackers before or after 72 hours from when they attacked your computer system. The communication should be started via manager@mailtemp.ch or managerhelper@airmail.cc email addresses. However, this step can lead to permanent loss of files or money if you decide to pay the fee.

The ransom note displays the following message:

ATTENTION!

Don't worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like pictures, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
hxxps://we.tl/t-I6qIbIYiz9
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $490.
Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail “Spam” or “Junk” folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.

To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
manager@mailtemp.ch

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
managerhelper@airmail.cc

Your personal ID:

Victims of ransomware typically receive a ransom note with contact and payment information. The _readme.txt file informs victims that all their files are encrypted, making it impossible to decrypt without the decryption tool purchased from the attacker. Those tools can be purchased for $980 or $490 – depending on when they choose to get in touch with them before or after 72 hours have passed since being attacked by the Orkf virus.

Name Orkf file virus
Type Ransomware, cryptovirus
Family Djvu/ STOP ransomware
Appendix .orkf comes after the original name and filetype of the file when it becomes unopenable
Distribution Files with malicious payload get spread around using email attachments, pirating platforms, cracks, and cheat code files
Ransom note _readme.txt
File recovery SOlutions here are limited because media files can possibly get recovered with a media repair tool, some versions can be decrypted with the previously known tool. Otherwise, decryption is not possible, so backups or third-party applications should be used
Removal The best way to get rid of the ransomware – anti-malware tools designed to eliminate threats of various types
System repair Your machine can get affected significantly, so rely on ReimageIntego and make sure to restore functions needed for the proper performance of the PC

Unfortunately, most ransomware variants encrypt files with strong encryption algorithms[1] – victims cannot decrypt files without the right decryption tools. Typically, cybercriminals behind ransomware attacks are the only ones who have those tools. There are no third-party (free) tools that could decrypt files encrypted by Orkf as well. However, the previously helpful tool still can help some of the victims that have the IDs formed with the particular offline key method. In such cases, all victims receive the same ID and can use the decryption tool with this key on many machines.

This is a rare occasion. There are not many versions nowadays that use online keys instead of online keys recent versions like Muuq, Hoop, Guer rely on online ids that are unique for each machine affected during the infection. Usually, the only free way to recover data is to restore it from a backup (if victims have one). It is not recommended to pay a ransom – they may not send a decryption tool even after the payment.

This is why many experts[2] note that it is crucial to remove the virus from your machine and then move on to data recovery options instead of paying or even considering paying these criminals. Anti-malware is the best for this job because applications like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes can locate malicious files belonging to the Orkf virus and terminate those unwanted processes, eliminate all malware pieces. Only when the machine is virus-free, the file recovery options can be considered.

The infection detection listBased on this rate, you can remove the virus with AV tool, so the file recovery can happen safely

Try the decryption tool to see if the version you have is more advanced or decryptable

If you have an infected computer with one of the Djvu variants, you should try using Emsisoft decryptor for Djvu/STOP. It is important to mention that this tool will not work for everyone – it only works if data was locked with an offline ID due to malware failing to communicate with its remote servers. It can be possible with the ORKF virus sometimes.

Even if your case meets this condition, somebody from the victims has to pay criminals, retrieve an offline key, and then share it with security researchers at Emsisoft. As a result, you might not be able to restore the encrypted files immediately. Thus, if the decryptor says your data was locked with an offline ID but cannot be recovered currently, you should try later. You also need to upload a set of files – one encrypted and a healthy one to the company's servers before you proceed.

  • Download the app from the official Emsisoft website.
  • After pressing the Download button, a small pop-up at the bottom, titled decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe, should show up – click it.
  • If User Account Control (UAC) message shows up, press Yes.
  • Agree to License Terms by pressing Yes.
    Orkf ransomware
  • After Disclaimer shows up, press OK.
  • The tool should automatically populate the affected folders, although you can also do it by pressing Add folder at the bottom.
    Orkf ransomware
  • Press Decrypt.
    Orkf ransomware

From here, there are three available outcomes:

  1. Decrypted!” will be shown under files that were decrypted successfully – they are now usable again.
  2. Error: Unable to decrypt a file with ID:” means that the keys for this version of the virus have not yet been retrieved, so you should try later.
  3. This ID appears to be an online ID, decryption is impossible” – you are unable to decrypt files with this tool.

Infection is not only file encryption: system gets damaged

Nowadays, cybercriminals are using increasingly sophisticated methods to deliver Orkf file-locking malware. Cybercriminals will often send out emails containing attachments or links that trick victims into opening malicious Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, and other types of archives like ZIPs and RAR's.

Emails with these kinds of attachments have an intention of getting people interested in what seems like a legitimate document until you realize your computer has been hacked by one thing or another! It is important for recipients to be careful when dealing with email messages from unknown sources – always view any suspicious attachments before clicking anything else;[3] if it looks sketchy consider forwarding them to someone who can get more information about its legitimacy rather than taking a risk yourself!

Orkf ransomwareThe infection is focusing on the file encoding because this is the reason for payment demands

Once a computer is infected with Orkf virus or any other malware, the system is changed to operate differently. For example, an infection can alter the Windows registry database, damage vital bootup, and other sections, delete or corrupt DLL files, etc. Once a system file is damaged by malware, antivirus software is not capable of doing anything about it, leaving it just the way it is. Consequently, users might experience performance, stability, and usability issues, to the point where a full Windows reinstallation is required.

Therefore, we highly recommend using a one-of-a-kind, patented technology of ReimageIntego repair. Not only can it fix virus damage after the infection, but it is also capable of removing malware that has already broken into the system thanks to several engines used by the program. Besides, the application is also capable of fixing various Windows-related issues that are not caused by malware infections, for example, Blue Screen errors, freezes, registry errors, damaged DLLs, etc.

  • Download the application by clicking on the link above
  • Click on the ReimageRepair.exe
    Reimage download
  • If User Account Control (UAC) shows up, select Yes
  • Press Install and wait till the program finishes the installation processReimage installation
  • The analysis of your machine will begin immediatelyReimage scan
  • Once complete, check the results – they will be listed in the Summary
  • You can now click on each of the issues and fix them manually
  • If you see many problems that you find difficult to fix, we recommend you purchase the license and fix them automatically.Reimage results

By employing ReimageIntego, you would not have to worry about future computer issues, as most of them could be fixed quickly by performing a full system scan at any time. Most importantly, you could avoid the tedious process of Windows reinstallation in case things go very wrong due to one reason or another.

Some ransomware might modify Windows host files in order to prevent users from accessing certain websites online. For example, Djvu ransomware variants add dozens of entries containing URLs of security-related websites, such as 2-spyware.com. Each of the entries means that users will not be able to access the listed web addresses and will receive an error instead.

Here's an example of “hosts” file entries that were injected by ransomware:

Hosts file

In order to restore your ability to access all websites without restrictions, you should either delete the file (Windows will automatically recreate it) or remove all the Orkf malware-created entries. If you have never touched the “hosts” file before, you should simply delete it by marking it and pressing Shift + Del on your keyboard. For that, navigate to the following location:

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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 Orkf virus. Follow these steps

Create data backups to avoid file loss in the future

One of the many countermeasures for home users against ransomware is data backups. Even if your Windows get corrupted, you can reinstall everything from scratch and retrieve files from backups with minimal losses overall. Most importantly, you would not have to pay cybercriminals and risk your money as well.

Therefore, if you have already dealt with a ransomware attack, we strongly advise you to prepare backups for future use. There are two options available to you:

  • Backup on a physical external drive, such as a USB flash drive or external HDD.
  • Use cloud storage services.

The first method is not that convenient, however, as backups need to constantly be updated manually – although it is very reliable. Therefore, we highly advise choosing cloud storage instead – it is easy to set up and efficient to sustain. The problem with it is that storage space is limited unless you want to pay for the subscription.

Using Microsoft OneDrive

OneDrive is a built-in tool that comes with every modern Windows version. By default, you get 5 GB of storage that you can use for free. You can increase that storage space, but for a price. Here's how to setup backups for OneDrive:

  1. Click on the OneDrive icon within your system tray.
  2. Select Help & Settings > Settings.
    Go to OneDrive settings
  3. If you don't see your email under the Account tab, you should click Add an account and proceed with the on-screen instructions to set yourself up.
    Add OneDrive account
  4. Once done, move to the Backup tab and click Manage backup.
    Manage backup
  5. Select Desktop, Documents, and Pictures, or a combination of whichever folders you want to backup.
  6. Press Start backup.
    Pick which folders to sync

After this, all the files that are imported into the above-mentioned folders will be automatically backed for you. If you want to add other folders or files, you have to do that manually. For that, open File Explorer by pressing Win + E on your keyboard, and then click on the OneDrive icon. You should drag and drop folders you want to backup (or you can use Copy/Paste as well).

Using Google Drive

Google Drive is another great solution for free backups. The good news is that you get as much as 15GB for free by choosing this storage. There are also paid versions available, with significantly more storage to choose from.

You can access Google Drive via the web browser or use a desktop app you can download on the official website. If you want your files to be synced automatically, you will have to download the app, however.

  1. Download the Google Drive app installer and click on it.
    Install Google Drive app
  2. Wait a few seconds for it to be installed. Complete installation
  3. Now click the arrow within your system tray – you should see Google Drive icon there, click it once.
    Google Drive Sign in
  4. Click Get Started. Backup and sync
  5. Enter all the required information – your email/phone, and password. Enter email/phone
  6. Now pick what you want to sync and backup. You can click on Choose Folder to add additional folders to the list.
  7. Once done, pick Next. Choose what to sync
  8. Now you can select to sync items to be visible on your computer.
  9. Finally, press Start and wait till the sync is complete. Your files are now being backed up.

Manual removal using Safe Mode

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.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

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

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