GQLMCWNHH Virus 🔐 (.GQLMCWNHH Files) — How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Gqlmcwnhh virus falls under the Snatch ransomware family. Ransomware of such sort encrypts all the data on your computer (images, text files, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its own extension to every file, leaving the HOW TO RESTORE YOUR FILES.TXT text files in every directory containing encrypted files.
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Gqlmcwnhh virus: what is known so far?

☝️ A strictly accurate designation for the Gqlmcwnhh would be “a Snatch family ransomware-type infection”.

Gqlmcwnhh adds its own .gqlmcwnhh extension to every file’s title. For instance, an image entitled “photo.jpg” will be altered to “photo.jpg.gqlmcwnhh”. In the same manner, the Excel file with the name “table.xlsx” will become “table.xlsx.gqlmcwnhh”, and so on.

In every folder that contains the encoded files, a HOW TO RESTORE YOUR FILES.TXT text file will appear. It is a ransom money memo. Therein you can find information about the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to buy the decryption tool from the racketeers. That is it.

Gqlmcwnhh summary:
NameGqlmcwnhh Virus
Ransomware family1Snatch ransomware
Extension.gqlmcwnhh
Ransomware noteHOW TO RESTORE YOUR FILES.TXT
DetectionCrytex.Virus.FileInfector.DDS, Win32/Filecoder.OLC, Malware-Cryptor.InstallCore.5
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .gqlmcwnhh extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Gqlmcwnhh virus

In the image below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Gqlmcwnhh looks like. Each filename has the “.gqlmcwnhh” extension appended to it.

Gqlmcwnhh Virus - encrypted .gqlmcwnhh files

That is how encrypted “.gqlmcwnhh” files look.

How did Gqlmcwnhh ransomware end up on my PC?

There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware injection.

There are currently three most popular methods for criminals to have the Gqlmcwnhh virus working in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer file transfer.

If you open your inbox and see letters that look just like notifications from utility services companies, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is unknown to you, beware of opening those emails. They are very likely to have a malware file enclosed in them. Thus it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with letters like these.

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan horse model2. A Trojan is an object that infiltrates into your PC disguised as something different. For example, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some service. But what is unboxed reveals itself a harmful program that compromises your data. As the update file can have any title and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the resource of the files you’re downloading. The best way is to trust the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer networks like torrents or eMule, the danger is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never know what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy resources. Also, it is reasonable to scan the directory containing the downloaded items with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is finished.

How do I get rid of the Gqlmcwnhh virus?

It is important to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Gqlmcwnhh virus will most likely install the Azorult Spyware on your machine to seize your credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned program can extract your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Sometimes tamperers would decrypt few of your files to prove that they do have the decryption program. As Gqlmcwnhh virus is a relatively recent ransomware, anti-malware designers have not yet found a way to reverse its work. However, the decryption tools are frequently updated, so the solution may soon be available.

Of course, if the evildoers succeed in encoding someone’s critical data, the hopeless person will most likely fulfill their demands. Despite that, paying to criminals does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still dangerous. After receiving the ransom, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption code to the injured party. There were reports of malefactors simply disappearing after getting the money without even writing back.

The optimal safety measure against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud storage or at least on an external disk. Of course, that might be not enough. The most crucial thing could be that file you were working on when it all started. But at least it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the system restoration.

Gqlmcwnhh is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. Examples of those are Tcvp, Kcvp, Fate, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Gqlmcwnhh are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: files become inaccessible, their extensions altered, ransom notes are created in every directory containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate people were able to decrypt the arrested files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-ransomware specialists. Sometimes the racketeers mistakenly send the decryption key to the victims in the ransom readme. Such an epic fail allows the victim to restore the files. But naturally, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a tamperers’ technology to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How сan I avoid ransomware infiltration?

Gqlmcwnhh ransomware doesn’t have a superpower, so as any similar malware.

You can defend your PC from its attack within three easy steps:

  • Never open any emails from unknown senders with strange addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are expecting (how can you win in a money prize draw without even taking part in it?). If the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, check all elements of the suspicious email carefully. A fake letter will always have mistakes.
  • Avoid using cracked or unknown programs. Trojans are often distributed as an element of cracked products, most likely under the guise of “patch” which prevents the license check. But dubious programs are very hard to tell from trustworthy software, as trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. You can try to find information on this program on the anti-malware message boards, but the best way is not to use such software.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a powerful shield for your personal computer.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft3

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft4.

Download Removal Tool.

You can download GridinSoft Anti-Malware by clicking the button below:

Run the setup file.

When setup file has finished downloading, double-click on the setup-antimalware-fix.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your PC.

Run Setup.exe

An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Setup

Press “Install” button.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Install

Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Splash-Screen

Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your computer for Gqlmcwnhh infections and other malicious programs. This process can take a 20-30 minutes, so I suggest you periodically check on the status of the scan process.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scanning

Click on “Clean Now”.

When the scan has finished, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the “Clean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

FAQ

🤔 How can I open “.gqlmcwnhh” files?Are the “.gqlmcwnhh” files accessible?

Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.gqlmcwnhh” files you will not be able to access them.

🤔 What should I do to make my files accessible as fast as possible?

If the “.gqlmcwnhh” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. The rest of the methods require patience.

🤔 You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Gqlmcwnhh virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?

Absolutely not! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your PC off the actual viruses. The ransomware that has infiltrated your computer is most likely still functional and running scans from time to time to arrest any new files you might create on your computer after the initial attack. As it has been said above, the Gqlmcwnhh virus comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide malefactors with easy access to your computer after some time.

🤔 What to do if the Gqlmcwnhh malware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation key.

If that happened, you need to prepare a flash memory card with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the procedure. You see, the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encodes any new files created or brought into your PC. To block this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 And what should I do now?

Many of the encoded files might still be at your disposal

  • If you sent or received your critical files by email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to give those images back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try downloading them again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud drives might have all those files too.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old PC, a laptop, cellphone, memory stick, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can employ file recovery programs5 to get your lost data back since ransomware arrests the copies of your files, removing the original ones. In the video below, you can see how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, but remember: you can do it only after you kill the ransomware itself with an antivirus program.

Also, you can contact the following official fraud and scam sites to report this attack:

To report the attack, you can contact local executive boards. For instance, if you live in USA, you can have a talk with FBI Local field office, IC3 or Secret Service.

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Brendan Smith
How to Remove GQLMCWNHH Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: GQLMCWNHH Virus

Description: GQLMCWNHH Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .gqlmcwnhh extension. So, you can't use them at all.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  3. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  4. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  5. Here are the best 10 file recovery tools of 2021.

About the author

Brendan Smith

Journalist, researcher, web content developer, grant proposal editor. Efficient and proficient on multiple platforms and in diverse media. Computer technology and security are my specialties.

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