IQ20 Virus 🔐 (.IQ20 Files) — How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Iq20 virus belongs under the Dharma ransomware family. A harmful program of such sort encrypts all the data on your PC (photos, documents, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its own extension to every file, creating the info.txt files in each folder containing encrypted files.
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What is Iq20 virus?

☝️ A scientifically accurate description for the Iq20 is “a Dharma family ransomware infection”.

The renaming will be executed by the following pattern: id-xxxxxx.[contact_email].iq20. In the course of encryption, a file entitled, for instance, “report.docx” will be altered to “report.docx.id-9ECFA84E.[iq200@tutanota.com].iq20”.

In each folder that contains the encoded files, a info.txt text file will be found. It is a ransom money note. It contains information about the ways of paying the ransom and some other information. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the tamperers. You can get this tool after contacting iq200@tutanota.com through email. That is it.

Iq20 outline:
NameIq20 Virus
Ransomware family1Dharma ransomware
Extension.iq20
Ransomware noteinfo.txt
Contactiq200@tutanota.com
DetectionBScope.Trojan.KillMBR, Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.GTB!MTB, Trojan:Win32/Raccoon.RF!MTB
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .iq20 extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Iq20 virus

The info.txt document accompanying the Iq20 ransomware provides the following discouraging information:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email iq200@tutanota.com or iq200@msgsafe.io

In the screenshot below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Iq20 looks like. Each filename has the “.iq20” extension appended to it.

Iq20 Virus - encrypted .iq20 files

That is how encrypted “.iq20” files look.

How did my machine catch Iq20 ransomware?

There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware infiltration.

There are currently three most popular ways for hackers to have the Iq20 virus working in your system. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer-to-peer file transfer.

If you access your mailbox and see emails that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose addresser is strange to you, beware of opening those emails. They are very likely to have a ransomware file enclosed in them. So it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan file scheme2. A Trojan is a program that gets into your PC pretending to be something else. Imagine, you download an installer for some program you need or an update for some program. However, what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful program that corrupts your data. As the update file can have any title and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the things you’re downloading. The optimal way is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer networks like torrent trackers or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Internet. You can never know what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy resources. Also, it is a good idea to scan the directory containing the downloaded objects with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is complete.

How to remove the Iq20 virus?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Iq20 virus will most likely deploy the Azorult Spyware on your PC to seize your credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned program can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Often criminals would decode few of your files so you know that they really have the decryption program. Since Iq20 virus is a relatively new ransomware, security software developers have not yet found a way to undo its work. Nevertheless, the decryption tools are frequently updated, so the solution may soon be available.

Of course, if the hackers do the job of encoding victim’s critical files, the desperate person will probably 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 key to the injured party. There were reports about malefactors just vanishing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.

The optimal countermeasure to ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud disk or at least on an external drive. Surely, that might be insufficient. The most crucial thing could be that file you were working upon when it all went down. But at least it is something. It is also advisable to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the OS restoration.

There are other ransomware products, besides Iq20, that work similarly. For instance, Eewt, Ofoq, Aawt, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Iq20 are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: documents become encrypted, their extensions altered, ransom notes are created in every folder containing encrypted files.

Some lucky victims were able to decrypt the blocked files with the aid of the free software provided by anti-malware developers. Sometimes the hackers accidentally send the decryption key to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But naturally, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a criminals’ technology to pull the money out of their victims.

How do I avert ransomware attack?

Iq20 ransomware doesn’t have a endless power, neither does any similar malware.

You can defend your computer from ransomware injection within three easy steps:

  • Never open any letters from unknown senders with unknown addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are expecting (can you win in a lottery without participating in it?). In case the email subject is more or less something you are expecting, check all elements of the dubious letter carefully. A hoax letter will always have mistakes.
  • Do not use cracked or unknown software. Trojans are often spreaded as an element of cracked products, most likely as a “patch” to prevent the license check. Understandably, potentially dangerous programs are very hard to distinguish from reliable ones, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. You can try to find information about this software product on the anti-malware forums, but the optimal way is not to use such programs at all.
  • And finally, to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, scan them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful defense for your PC.
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 computer.

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 PC for Iq20 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

Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 Are the “.iq20” files accessible?

Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.iq20” files you will not be able to access them.

🤔 The encrypted files are very important to me. How can I decrypt them quickly?

Hopefully, you have made a copy of those important files. In case you haven’t, there is still a chance that you do have a Restore Point from some time ago to roll back the whole system to the moment when it had no virus yet, but already had your files. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.

🤔 Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the Iq20 virus?

No way! The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with active viruses. The malware that has infiltrated your computer is probably still functional and running scans every so often to encode any new files you might create on your computer after the attack. As it has been mentioned above, the Iq20 virus does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide hackers with easy access to your computer in the future.

🤔 What actions should I take if the Iq20 virus has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation code.

In such an unfortunate situation, you need to have a flash memory drive with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. You see, the ransomware starts automatically as the system launches and encodes any new files created or imported into your PC. To stop this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital programs to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 And what should I do now?

Some of the encrypted data can be located elsewhere.

  • 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 family members. Just ask them to send those images back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, you can try downloading them again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud drives might have all those files too.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old computer, a notebook, mobile, memory stick, etc.

HINT: You can use file recovery programs5 to get your lost data back since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, removing the original ones. In the tutorial below, you can see how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but remember: you can do it only after you eradicate the ransomware itself with an anti-malware 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 IQ20 Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: IQ20 Virus

Description: IQ20 Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .iq20 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’s the list of 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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