Waqa ransomware (virus) - Quick Decryption Solution

Waqa virus Removal Guide

What is Waqa ransomware?

Waqa ransomware is a malicious program that locks personal files and demands ransom for a decryption key

Waqa ransomware

Waqa ransomware is a threatening variant of the well-known Djvu ransomware family, notorious for its serious risk to digital information. Like other versions in its lineage, this malware often gains access to computer systems without permission. The main ways it infiltrates are through downloading unofficial software and using fake software activation tools.

Once Waqa ransomware infects a computer, it rapidly starts an extensive file encryption process. It targets key files, including documents, multimedia, and other important data. To prevent users from accessing their files, it employs the complex RSA encryption algorithm.

Without a specific decryption key, the encrypted files remain inaccessible. Encrypted files are then marked with a “.waqa” extension. Along with this, a ransom note named “_readme.txt” appears, demanding payment, usually between $999 and $499, to restore access to the files.

If Waqa ransomware is encountered, immediate action is essential. Disconnect the infected device from all networks and perform a thorough system scan with advanced security tools. The best way to protect against such threats is by regularly backing up data and following strict security practices.

Name Waqa virus
Type Ransomware, file-locking malware
File extension .waqa extension appended to all personal files, rendering them useless
Family Djvu
Ransom note _readme.txt dropped at every location where encrypted files are located
Contact support@freshmail.top and datarestorehelp@airmail.cc
File Recovery There is no guaranteed way to recover locked files without backups. Other options include paying cybercriminals (not recommended, might also lose the paid money), using Emisoft's decryptor (works for a limited number of victims), or using third-party recovery software
Malware removal After disconnecting the computer from the network and the internet, do a complete system scan using the SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner security app
System fix Upon installation, malware can cause severe damage to system files, resulting in instability issues such as crashes and errors. However, FortectIntego PC repair can automatically fix any such damage

The ransom demands

In the world of cyber threats, particularly ransomware, sending a ransom note is a crucial step for attackers. This document is their main way to communicate, explaining the attack details and the conditions for decryption. It outlines their demands and instructs victims on what to do next.

Victims of Waqa ransomware receive a message explaining that their files have been encrypted with advanced methods and a unique key. It emphasizes that file recovery is only possible by purchasing a decryption tool and key specific to them. To build a sense of trust, the attackers offer to decrypt one file for free, showing they can reverse the encryption. However, this offer comes with conditions, such as excluding files with valuable information and warning against seeking external help, which they claim could jeopardize the free decryption offer or lead to scams.

The ransom note provides contact details and sets a deadline for a discounted payment rate, urging victims to act quickly to save money. Despite the seemingly reassuring tone and promise of a solution, dealing with the attackers is very risky. There is no guarantee that paying the ransom will restore access to encrypted files, and many victims report additional demands, broken promises, or continued file inaccessibility.

Waqa virus

Paying the ransom helps cybercriminals by funding their operations, which can lead to more sophisticated attacks. It directly contributes to the cycle of cybercrime, encouraging perpetrators to continue their illegal activities. Before considering payment, victims should explore all other options and seek professional advice. Complying with ransom demands not only lacks guarantees but also supports the persistence of these cyber threats.

The note reads as follows:


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.
Do not ask assistants from youtube and recovery data sites for help in recovering your data.
They can use your free decryption quota and scam you.
Our contact is emails in this text document only.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
Price of private key and decrypt software is $999.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $499.
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:

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:

Your personal ID:

First step: remove the Waqa virus from your system

Finding out that your personal files have been encrypted by ransomware such as Waqa can be incredibly stressful. This type of ransomware attacks a wide range of personal data, from invaluable family pictures to important work documents, taking advantage of the significant sentimental and practical value these files hold for their owners. However, it is not recommended to immediately comply with the attackers' demands. Instead, consider these steps for remediation.

Firstly, it is crucial to eliminate the ransomware from your system. Although Waqa ransomware may self-delete after encrypting your files, it might also install other harmful components that remain a threat.

To thoroughly cleanse your system of ransomware and any hidden malicious elements, use comprehensive anti-malware software such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. These tools can help ensure that all traces of the malware are removed. Additionally, using FortectIntego can repair any system damage that might have occurred, preventing technical issues after malware removal.

In some cases, certain malware types can disrupt your security software. If you face this problem, try running your anti-malware software in Safe Mode. Safe Mode provides a controlled environment that reduces the chance of disruptions during the malware removal process (instructions for entering Safe Mode are provided below).

Waqa file recovery is improbable but not impossible

After eliminating the Waqa ransomware, you might still face system irregularities, such as frequent crashes or errors, caused by the damage left behind. To resolve these issues, consider using a dependable system repair tool. These tools can efficiently correct system inconsistencies, offering a simpler and faster solution than completely reinstalling your operating system.

The final step in overcoming this cybersecurity challenge is recovering your encrypted files without giving in to the cybercriminals' demands. For those unfamiliar with ransomware mechanics, it might seem that an antivirus scan could solve the problem, or worse, that file recovery is impossible. Both assumptions are incorrect.

Here are some effective methods for data recovery:

  1. Using backups
    If you have been maintaining regular and up-to-date backups, restoring your files from these backups is the most reliable method.
  2. Specialized recovery tools
    There are tools specifically designed to scan your hard drive for lost or damaged files, including those affected by ransomware.
  3. Decryption tools
    Although not universally effective, there are specific decryption tools tailored for particular ransomware strains. These tools, initially designed for Djvu ransomware victims, might also work for other strains and are worth exploring.

To begin, try using available decryption tools. Download the tool from a reputable source, run it, and follow the provided instructions. The tool's main function is to attempt file decryption. Depending on the availability and compatibility of decryption keys with your encrypted files, you might fully recover your files, encounter a key unavailability error, or face issues if files were encrypted with an online ID, making decryption more difficult.

If decryption is unsuccessful, don't lose hope. Use professional data recovery software. After installing such software, perform a comprehensive scan and follow the steps to try and recover your files.

Due to the ongoing efforts of cybersecurity experts and law enforcement, new decryption tools are frequently developed after the dismantling of ransomware campaigns. Regularly check official resources for updates on these tools to stay informed about new advancements in decryption technology.

No More Ransom Project

If you need more detailed instructions on the mentioned recovery methods, please check out the information below.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
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 Waqa virus. Follow these steps

Isolate the infected computer

Some ransomware strains aim to infect not only one computer but hijack the entire network. As soon as one of the machines is infected, malware can spread via network and encrypt files everywhere else, including Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. If your computer is connected to a network, it is important to isolate it to prevent re-infection after ransomware removal is complete.

The easiest way to disconnect a PC from everything is simply to plug out the ethernet cable. However, in the corporate environment, this might be extremely difficult to do (also would take a long time). The method below will disconnect from all the networks, including local and the internet, isolating each of the machines involved.

  • Type in Control Panel in Windows search and press Enter
  • Go to Network and Internet Network and internet
  • Click Network and Sharing Center Network and internet 2
  • On the left, pick Change adapter settings Network and internet 3
  • Right-click on your connection (for example, Ethernet), and select Disable Network and internet 4
  • Confirm with Yes.

If you are using some type of cloud storage you are connected to, you should disconnect from it immediately. It is also advisable to disconnect all the external devices, such as USB flash sticks, external HDDs, etc. Once the malware elimination process is finished, you can connect your computers to the network and internet, as explained above, but by pressing Enable instead.

Restore Windows "hosts" file to its original state

Some ransomware might modify Windows hosts file 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 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:


Delete Windows "hosts" file

Restore files using data recovery software

Since many users do not prepare proper data backups prior to being attacked by ransomware, they might often lose access to their files permanently. Paying criminals is also very risky, as they might not fulfill the promises and never send back the required decryption tool.

While this might sound terrible, not all is lost – data recovery software might be able to help you in some situations (it highly depends on the encryption algorithm used, whether ransomware managed to complete the programmed tasks, etc.). Since there are thousands of different ransomware strains, it is immediately impossible to tell whether third-party software will work for you.

Therefore, we suggest trying regardless of which ransomware attacked your computer. Before you begin, several pointers are important while dealing with this situation:

  • Since the encrypted data on your computer might permanently be damaged by security or data recovery software, you should first make backups of it – use a USB flash drive or another storage.
  • Only attempt to recover your files using this method after you perform a scan with anti-malware software.

Install data recovery software

  1. Download Data Recovery Pro.
  2. Double-click the installer to launch it.
    Launch installer
  3. Follow on-screen instructions to install the software. Install program
  4. As soon as you press Finish, you can use the app.
  5. Select Everything or pick individual folders where you want the files to be recovered from. Select what to recover
  6. Press Next.
  7. At the bottom, enable Deep scan and pick which Disks you want to be scanned. Select Deep scan
  8. Press Scan and wait till it is complete. Scan
  9. You can now pick which folders/files to recover – don't forget you also have the option to search by the file name!
  10. Press Recover to retrieve your files. Recover files

Use Emsisoft decrytor for Djvu/STOP

If your computer got infected 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.

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. Download Djvu/Stop decryptor from Emsisoft
  • After pressing Download button, a small pop-up at the bottom, titled decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe should show up – click it.
    Click on decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe
  • If User Account Control (UAC) message shows up, press Yes.
  • Agree to License Terms by pressing Yes.
    Agree to License Terms
  • 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.
    Add folders
  • Press Decrypt.
    Decrypt Djvu files

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 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.

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.
  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.

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
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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