Remove Qlkm ransomware (Virus Removal Guide) - Decryption Methods Included

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

Qlkm virus Removal Guide

What is Qlkm ransomware?

Qlkm ransomware – a new file-locking virus that urges its victims to pay the ransom within 72 hours for a 50% discount on the decryption tool

Qlkm ransomwareQlkm ransomware - the virus that marks files after encoding.

Qlkm ransomware is a new cryptovirus from the villainous Djvu ransomware family. As soon as this computer virus gets into a device, it encrypts all personal victim files (archives, documents, pictures, backups, etc.), thus preventing their owner from accessing them until a necessary decryption tool is used.

This virus also renames all files by appointing a .qlkm extension to all non-executable files. Until 2018, members of this family used AES-256 coding algorithm for encryption, but all the latest file-locking viruses from this lineage, use a military-grade RSA-2048 algorithm, making it very difficult to decipher the files without the help of the assailants.

Immediately after the encryption is completed, ransom note text files, titled _readme.txt, are created and scattered around the device's folders so the victims would find them wherever they look. Within those files, the creators of .qlkm file virus state their demands and instructions for their victims.

One more resemblance of this virus to its previous versions is that the ransom notes are almost identical and that the creators of this cyber threat would provide two email addresses to establish contact with them – helpmanager@mail.ch and restoremanager@airmail.cc.

name Qlkm ransomware
Type Ransomware
Family Djvu ransomware
Appended file extension Personal files are appended with .qlkm extension
Ransom note _readme.txt text files are created and placed in all folders with encrypted files
Ransom amount The original price for the decryption tool/key is $980, but if the victims are hasty and contact their attackers within 72 hours, then a 50% discount will be applied to lower the ransom sum to $490
Criminal contact details helpmanager@mail.ch and restoremanager@airmail.cc
Virus removal Malware, including ransomware, should be removed only with the help of professional anti-malware tools to ensure their elimination is done correctly
System tune-up We recommend using powerful system repair tools like the ReimageIntego or similar to scan the affected computer system and fix all irregularities that the virus infection might have caused to the system registry or other key system settings or files

Reports shows [1] that of all reported ransomware strains in the Q3 of 2020, Djvu family ransomware was in the first place with 69.9%. Our research shows that new versions are introduced nearly every week (sometimes even two in a week). Here's a list of the latest variations from this lineage:

Ransom note of Qlkm ransomware differs very slightly from its former versions (the whole message is displayed at the bottom of this chapter). In summary, cybercriminals are trying their hardest to convince their victims to meet their demands.

They provide a free decryption guarantee where the victims can send them a few files for test decryption. Moreover, a link to a video is provided, which shows how the decryption tool works. In other terms, cyber thieves are trying to prove that such a tool exists.

The ransom amount, or the original price for the decryption toolkit, is $980. But for victims that will contact within 72 hours of the cyberattack, the threat actors are offering a 50% discount, thus lowering the ransom sum to $490. Although meeting the assailants' demands might seem like the easiest way out of this sticky situation, we're recommending to remove Qlkm ransomware instead.

Qlkm ransomware virusQlkm ransomware is a cryptovirus that creates issues with the PC when it runs various processes.

Computer virus infection elimination isn't a walk in the park and should be left to professionals. We recommend performing a full system scan with trustworthy anti-malware software such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes to find, isolate, and remove the cryptovirus with all its components.

Although, before Qlkm ransomware removal, users should export all encrypted files from the infected devices to an offline storage device, like a USB drive or similar. Of course, this applies only to users that didn't keep backups of their essential data.

Ransomware usually makes changes to the system registry and other core system settings and files. So following a successful cyber threat elimination, we highly recommend taking care of your devices' overall health. Do that with a powerful system repair tool such as the ReimageIntego.

Developers of Qlkm virus enclose this message to their victims in the ransom notes (_readme.txt):

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-Dz5odBd07y
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:
helpmanager@mail.ch

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

Your personal ID:

Qlkm virusQlkm file virus is ransomware that asks for payments from people.

Avoid becoming a victim of Djvu family ransomware

Leading technology companies like Google, Microsoft, and others are constantly creating improved security measures to make everyday computer users safe while their browsing or in any other way enjoying the usefulness of the world wide web.

But cybercriminals aren't sleeping either. They're always researching new ways to attack unaware users and developing new, more sophisticated, more persistent malware. A reliable anti-malware tool is a must these days to increase home or company cybersecurity level.

Another good way to improve it is by learning how the malware is distributed. Our research shows that most of the Djvu family ransomware is spread using file-sharing platforms. To be even more specific – game cracks[2] and installers of pirated software.

So to avoid file-locking parasites from this lineage, users have to avoid file-sharing platforms, like most popular torrent sites, because cybercriminals love to exploit those types of portals by uploading their creations, camouflaged as the latest game cracks, or any other pirated expensive software.

Instructions for .qlkm file recovery and infection elimination from affected devices

Getting your devices infected with ransomware is a nightmare. The only right thing to do for the owners of infected machines is to eliminate ransomware. But before doing that, they should consider using Emisoft or other third-party decryption software to try and recover .qlkm extension files, of course, if the users didn't keep backups.

If you were lucky enough and the cyber infection didn't remove Shadow Volume Copies when encrypting your files, then Shadow Explorer might be able to recover your data from said copies. Otherwise, before Qlkm ransomware removal, export all locked files to an offline storage device and check on us later as we update our readers with the latest news.

Professional, reliable anti-malware software should be installed in every device that's connected to the internet. Applications such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes should be able not only to protect your computers from cryptoviruses but also to remove Qlkm ransomware.

Djvu family ransomware is known for making modifications in the Windows Registry to establish persistence, inserting URLs' into Windows core files preventing victims from accessing popular cybersecurity-related websites (including 2-spyware.com), and other mischiefs.

To fix all these system irregularities and get your computer back to the pre-contamination phase, experts[3] recommend using the ReimageIntego tool to perform a system tune-up. If left unattended, these system changes could lead to crashing, severe lag, and other abnormal behavior.

Offer
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
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 Qlkm virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Eliminating cyber threats in Safe Mode with Networking if they can't be removed when Windows running normaly

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 Qlkm using System Restore

Using System Restore to get rid of the computer infection

  • 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 Qlkm. 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 Qlkm removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Recover .qlkm extension files with Data Recovery Pro

Encrypted file recovery might be possible with this third-party app.

  • 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 Qlkm ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Using Windows Previous Version feature for data recovery

This useful Windows function might help to retrieve files one at a time.

  • 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”.

Restore .qlkm extension files with Shadow Explorer

As we've mentioned in the third chapter of the article – file recovery with Shadow Explorer could be possible if the cryptovirus didn't delete, encrypt or remove Shadow Volume Copies.

  • 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.

Possible decryption tools

Emisoft is a company that dedicates to helping out ransomware victims by creating decryption tools for various cyber infections. Keeping in mind that the culprit of this article is brand new, the decryptor might not work. Yet. But you can surely download it and try it out.

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

How to prevent from getting Qlkm ransomware

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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