LOQW Virus (.LOQW File) 🔐 Decrypt & Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith

Loqw is malware that belongs to STOP/Djvu ransomware family. Its key action in the infected system is to encrypt as many user files as possible, and then ask to pay the ransom. After the encryption, you will see the .loqw file extensions on all your files.

Loqw Virus Overview

As I’ve said at the beginning, Loqw is an example of the STOP/Djvu ransomware family. This malware family attacks people since at least 2018, infecting thousands of victims across the globe. After infiltrating the victim’s device, malware starts seeking for the data throughout all the volumes present in the system, and ciphers them with AES-256 encryption algorithm.

To each of the ciphered files, it adds its specific .loqw extension. An image1.png will turn into image1.png.loqw, documentation.docx – into documentation.docx.loqw and the like. Removing the extension will not recover the files, and may also create problems with their further recovery.

Loqw Virus - encrypted loqw files

Encrypted Files by STOP/DJVU Ransomware

Brendan Smith
Brendan Smith
IT Security Expert
First, perform a PC scan using an antivirus tool!
I will assist you with removing the Loqw virus and show you the process of decrypting or restoring encrypted files. Below, you will see a couple of universally applicable methods to recover encrypted .loqw files. It is crucial to thoroughly read and follow the entire set of instructions. Do not skip any steps. All the steps are of utmost importance and should be completed by you.
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Name Loqw Virus
Ransomware family1 DJVU/STOP2 ransomware
Extension .loqw
Ransomware note _readme.txt
Ransom From $490 to $980 (in Bitcoins)
Contact [email protected], [email protected]
Detection Win32/Filecoder.Avaddon.H, TrojanDropper:Win32/BcryptInject.A!MTB, BScope.TrojanRansom.Reveton
Symptoms
  • Encrypted most of your files (photos, videos, documents) and adds a particular “.loqw” extension;
  • Can delete Volume Shadow copies to make victim’s attempts to restore data impossible;
  • Adds a list of domains to HOSTS file to block access to certain security-related sites;
  • Installs password-stealing Trojan on the system, like Vidar Stealer or RedLine Stealer;
  • Manages to install a SmokeLoader backdoor;

Loqw virus goes through directories one by one, creating a file in every folder once it is done encrypting files in it. The .txt file instructs you to pay the equivalent of $980 in Bitcoin to a specified cryptowallet. Rascals who stand behind this malware do not hunt for personal information, their only target is money extortion.

The message by the ransomware states the following information:

ATTENTION!

Don't worry, you can return all your files!

All your files like photos, 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:

https://we.tl/t-WJa63R98Ku

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:

[email protected]

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:

[email protected]

Your personal ID:
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
_readme.txt (STOP/DJVU Ransomware)

_readme.txt (STOP/DJVU Ransomware) – The scary alert demanding from users to pay the ransom to decrypt the encoded files contains these frustrating warnings

Never pay the ransom!

There is no guarantee that crooks will give you the decryptor, or will not ask you to pay a bigger sum. By paying off the ransom, you unwillingly sponsor their activity and future attacks. Moreover, the email you use for contacting the frauds can further become a target for email spam campaigns.

The ransom note shares basic information about the attack, the explanation of what happened, and the demand to pay $980 to the specified wallet. To make paying the ransom a more attractive option, crooks offer paying half a price for the decryptor during the first 72 hours after the attack. Hackers assure that there is no way to decrypt the files, except for using their decryptor.

As a contact information, attackers specify 2 emails from anonymous email services. Those are [email protected] and [email protected]. Both are in use for quite some time, which means the same crooks operate the ransom charging and negotiations.

How did ransomware infect my PC?

Among numerous different distribution methods, Loqw malware commonly uses software cracks and dubious apps as a primary spreading method. Programs of these types may be spread on the same page, and they can even have the promised functionality. However, malware will start running in the background and do its nasty job that I described above.

Typically, STOP/Djvu ransomware operators opt for popular topics, like a new game or a cracked program version. Beware of sites that spread torrents of a program that has just been released, or is even not publicly available yet. Crooks can also parasite on sharing pirated movies – by offering virus as a “video player” you should use to watch the movie.

How to remove Loqw ransomware?

For ransomware removal purposes, I’d recommend using GridinSoft Anti-Malware. Like any other ransomware, Loqw changes a lot of elements in the system in attempt to complicate the removal. Therefore, manual removal is barely an option – you’re risking to miss some of the malicious items and allow the ransomware to recover.

Meanwhile, ransomware removal is an essential step before trying to perform any decryption operations. When the encryption is over, the malware keeps idling, searching for new files. If you will start recovering the data before the ransomware is gone, or will download new, unencrypted files, ransomware will cipher them almost immediately.

Remove Loqw Virus with Gridinsoft Anti-Malware

We have also been using this software on our systems ever since, and it has always been successful in detecting viruses. It has blocked the most common Ransomware as shown from our tests with the software, and we assure you that it can remove Loqw Virus as well as other malware hiding on your computer.

Gridinsoft Anti-Malware - Main Screen

To use Gridinsoft for remove malicious threats, follow the steps below:

1. Begin by downloading Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, accessible via the blue button below or directly from the official website gridinsoft.com.

2.Once the Gridinsoft setup file (setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe) is downloaded, execute it by clicking on the file.

setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe

3.Follow the installation setup wizard's instructions diligently.

Gridinsoft Setup Wizard

4. Access the "Scan Tab" on the application's start screen and launch a comprehensive "Full Scan" to examine your entire computer. This inclusive scan encompasses the memory, startup items, the registry, services, drivers, and all files, ensuring that it detects malware hidden in all possible locations.

Scan for Loqw Virus Ransomware

Be patient, as the scan duration depends on the number of files and your computer's hardware capabilities. Use this time to relax or attend to other tasks.

5. Upon completion, Anti-Malware will present a detailed report containing all the detected malicious items and threats on your PC.

The Loqw Virus was Found

6. Select all the identified items from the report and confidently click the "Clean Now" button. This action will safely remove the malicious files from your computer, transferring them to the secure quarantine zone of the anti-malware program to prevent any further harmful actions.

The Loqw Virus has been removed

8. If prompted, restart your computer to finalize the full system scan procedure. This step is crucial to ensure thorough removal of any remaining threats. After the restart, Gridinsoft Anti-Malware will open and display a message confirming the completion of the scan.

Remember Gridinsoft offers a 6-day free trial. This means you can take advantage of the trial period at no cost to experience the full benefits of the software and prevent any future malware infections on your system. Embrace this opportunity to fortify your computer's security without any financial commitment.

Trojan Killer for “Loqw Virus” removal on locked PC

In situations where it becomes impossible to download antivirus applications directly onto the infected computer due to malware blocking access to websites, an alternative solution is to utilize the Trojan Killer application.

Trojan Killer - Main View

There is a really little number of security tools that are able to be set up on the USB drives, and antiviruses that can do so in most cases require to obtain quite an expensive license. For this instance, I can recommend you to use another solution of GridinSoft - Trojan Killer Portable. It has a 14-days cost-free trial mode that offers the entire features of the paid version. This term will definitely be 100% enough to wipe malware out.

Trojan Killer is a valuable tool in your cybersecurity arsenal, helping you to effectively remove malware from infected computers. Now, we will walk you through the process of using Trojan Killer from a USB flash drive to scan and remove malware on an infected PC. Remember, always obtain permission to scan and remove malware from a computer that you do not own.

Step 1: Download & Install Trojan Killer on a Clean Computer:

1. Go to the official GridinSoft website (gridinsoft.com) and download Trojan Killer to a computer that is not infected.

Download Trojan Killer

2. Insert a USB flash drive into this computer.

3. Install Trojan Killer to the "removable drive" following the on-screen instructions.

Install Trojan Killer to Removable Drive

4. Once the installation is complete, launch Trojan Killer.

Step 2: Update Signature Databases:

5. After launching Trojan Killer, ensure that your computer is connected to the Internet.

6. Click "Update" icon to download the latest signature databases, which will ensure the tool can detect the most recent threats.

Click Update Button

Step 3: Scan the Infected PC:

7. Safely eject the USB flash drive from the clean computer.

8. Boot the infected computer to the Safe Mode.

9. Insert the USB flash drive.

10. Run tk.exe

11. Once the program is open, click on "Full Scan" to begin the malware scanning process.

Searching Loqw Virus Virus

Step 4: Remove Found Threats:

12. After the scan is complete, Trojan Killer will display a list of detected threats.

Searching Loqw Virus Finished

13. Click on "Cure PC!" to remove the identified malware from the infected PC.

14. Follow any additional on-screen prompts to complete the removal process.

Restart needed

Step 5: Restart Your Computer:

15. Once the threats are removed, click on "Restart PC" to reboot your computer.

16. Remove the USB flash drive from the infected computer.

Congratulations on effectively removing Loqw Virus and the concealed threats from your computer! You can now have peace of mind, knowing that they won't resurface again. Thanks to Gridinsoft's capabilities and commitment to cybersecurity, your system is now protected.

Video Guide


How to Decrypt .loqw Files?

For file decryption, I recommend using Emsisoft Decrypter – a free utility developed specifically for decrypting files after the STOP/Djvu ransomware attack. The developers collect all the leaked decryption keys, so it may be possible to decrypt the data without paying the ransom. You can download the decryptor from the dev’s official website.

Emsisoft Decryptor main

Note
Read our special text guide on Emsisoft Decrypter – it shows the entire file decryption process step-by-step.

Alternatively, there are a couple of other options you can try. The easiest thing is related to the malware’s problems when working with big files 1+GB. One more way is to use file recovery utilities – it can work out due to the peculiarity of the ransomware modus operandi. Let’s dig into them one by one.

How to restore big files?

As anything in the world, Loqw ransomware is not flawless. In particular, it has issues encrypting large files – ones that are 1GB and bigger. The malware struggles to start their encryption, thus just adds the extension and moves on. It is actually possible to just remove the .loqw extension from the file and use it almost as usual.

One more piece of good news is that smaller files may be usable, too. Videos and audio files, for example, get only their beginning encrypted – ransomware ciphers only the first 150KB of the file. Therefore, all other elements of the file are intact. Through using programs that do not check for the file integrity, for example, a good-old WinAmp, you can open them almost flawlessly. The only visible problem will be a missing part at the beginning – but that is nothing compared to losing the entire file.

How to recover .loqw files?

It is possible to recover the files encrypted by Loqw ransomware using file recovery tools. The malware does not overwrite the files; it instead creates a duplicate of the original file, ciphers it, and then deletes the source. Therehence, you can act as if the file was just unintentionally deleted, not encrypted.

For such a purpose, I’d recommend PhotoRec. This free open-source utility supports recovering files of over 400 formats, and has proven itself in our tests. You can download the program by clicking the link. It comes in the package with the program of the same developer – TestDisk, and the archive with the utility carries its name.

To launch PhotoRec, you need to find and open “qphotorec_win.exe” file. No installation process is needed – this program has all the files it need inside of the archive, hence, you can fit it on your USB drive, and try to help your friends/parents/anyone who has been attacked by Loqw ransomware.

PhotoRec file in the folder for restore Loqw files

Upon the start, you will witness the screen showing you the full list of your disks. However, this information is presumably unhelpful, because the required menu is a bit higher. Click this tab, then choose the disk which was attacked by ransomware.

Choose the disc in PhotoRec

After picking the disk, you need to choose the destination folder for the reclaimed files. This menu is located at the lower part of the PhotoRec window. The best selection is to export them on USB drive or any other type of removable disk.

Choosing the destination folder of recovery Loqw files

Then, you need to designate the file formats. You will find the option at the lower part, too. As I mentioned, PhotoRec can restore the files of about 400 different formats.

Choose the file format

Finally, you can start files recovery by pressing the “Search” button. You will see the screen where the results of the scan and recovery are shown.

Recovery process

Loqw files recovery Video Guide.


Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 How can I open “.loqw” files?

Unfortunately, there is no way to open these files at the moment. Ransomware encrypted them with a reliable cipher, and only its masters have the decryption key. However, you may try performing the tricks with large files I described above

🤔 This virus has blocked an infected PC: I can’t get the activation code.

It is common for viruses like Loqw to disrupt the networking in order to prevent the ransomware removal. In this situation, you need to prepare the memory stick with a pre-installed Trojan Killer.

🤔 Decryptor did not decrypt my files, or not all of them were decrypted. What should I do?

Have patience. You are infected with the new version of STOP/DJVU ransomware, and decryption keys have not yet been released. Follow the news on our website. We will keep you posted on when new keys or new decryption programs appear.

🤔 What can I do right now?

First and foremost, you should remove the virus through the guide I’ve shown you above. This will ensure that your system is clean and nothing will encrypt new files or damage the system in another way. Then, you can try performing file recovery and/or tricks with large files. Also, consider searching online for possible copies of the damaged files.
How To Restore & Decrypt .LOQW Files?

Name: LOQW Ransomware

Description: The LOQW Virus belongs to the STOP/DJVU family of ransomware infections. This malicious software encrypts various file types, including videos, photos, and documents, which become identifiable by a distinct loqw extension. As a result, the affected files become inaccessible and unusable. Subsequently, the LOQW ransomware demands a ransom payment in Bitcoin from its victims, ranging from $490 to $980.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. About DJVU (STOP) Ransomware.

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About the author

Brendan Smith

I'm Brendan Smith, a passionate journalist, researcher, and web content developer. With a keen interest in computer technology and security, I specialize in delivering high-quality content that educates and empowers readers in navigating the digital landscape.

With a focus on computer technology and security, I am committed to sharing my knowledge and insights to help individuals and organizations protect themselves in the digital age. My expertise in cybersecurity principles, data privacy, and best practices allows me to provide practical tips and advice that readers can implement to enhance their online security.

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