OPQZ Virus (.opqz Files Ransomware) – DECRYPT+REMOVAL TOOL

Written by Brendan Smith

Portuguese (Brazil)

Opqz is a DJVU family of ransomware-type infections1. The infection encrypts your private files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by specific “.opqz” extension. So, you can’t use them at all.
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In this tutorial I will try to help you remove Opqz ransomware for free. Also, I will assist you in decoding your encrypted files.

What is “Opqz”?

Opqz can be correctly identify as a ransomware-type infection.

Ransomware is a specific kind of virus that crypted your documents and then forces you to pay to restore them. Note that DJVU (aka STOP) ransomware family was first revealed and analyzed by virus analyst Michael Gillespie2.

Opqz is basically similar to other representatives of the same family: Mado, Npsk, Remk, Foop. It crypts all popular file types. Hence, users cannot use the your files. Opqz adds its particular “.opqz” extension into all files. For instance, the file “video.avi”, will be changed into “video.avi.opqz”. As soon as the encryption is successfully accomplished, Opqz generates a specific file “_readme.txt” and adds it into all folders that contain the modified files.

Here is a info for the Opqz :
Ransomware family3 DJVU/STOP4 ransomware
Extension .opqz
Ransomware note _readme.txt
Ransom From $490 to $980 (in Bitcoins)
Contact datarestorehelp@firemail.cc, datahelp@iran.ir
Detection5 Trojan-PSW.Win32.Coins.vwm, Win32/Filecoder.OBC, Spyware.Agent
Symptoms Your files (photos, videos, documents) have a .opqz extension and you can’t open it
Fix Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .opqz file virus

This text asking payment is for restore files via decryption key:

Opqz virus message

The scary alert demanding from users to pay the ransom to decrypt the encoded data contains these frustrating warnings

The cryptography algorithm used by Opqz is AES-256. So, if your files got encrypted with a specific decryption key, which is totally distinct and there are no other copies. The sad reality is that it is impossible to recover the information without the unique key available.

In case if Opqz worked in online mode, it is impossible for you to gain access to the AES-256 key. It is stored on a remote server owned by the frauds who distribute the Opqz virus.

For receiving decryption key the payment should be $980. To obtain the payment details the victims are encouraged by the message to contact the frauds by email (gorentos@bitmessage.ch), or via Telegram.

There is also significant amount of messages from users attacked by Opqz ransomware, that thay have got a changed readme.txt file version, that contains another pricing for decryption key. For decryption they are asking up to 1400$, but for decryption in 72 hours they’re asking less – only 400$. It’s looking like simple bait for panic victims who want to get their files back here and now.

Do not pay for Opqz!

Please, try to use the available backups, or Decrypter tool

_readme.txt file also indicates that the computer owners must get in touch with the Opqz representatives during 72 hours starting from the moment of files where encrypted. On the condition of getting in touch within 72 hours, users will be granted a 50% rebate, thus the ransom amount will be minimized down to $490). However, stay away from paying the ransom!

I strongly recommend that you do not contact these frauds and do not pay. The one of the most real working solution to recover the lost data – just using the available backups, or use Decrypter tool.

Such advices are not just words. That was a lot of cases, when victim contacted fraudsters via e-mail they left in readme.txt, and then crooks started forsing user to pay for decryption, menacing to delete all files from computer. And that’s not over – after all, ransomware distributors likely sold user’s e-mail to someone, who then spammed this users with disgusting ads.

The peculiarity of all such viruses apply a similar set of actions for generating the unique decryption key to recover the ciphered data.

Opqz ransomware distributors likely the best friends of Lokd and Remk distributors, because they have started the same distribution campaign. Plenty of user’s e-mails got the same letter, in which they’re invited to take part in new browser testing. Fraudsters offering “new, fast and safe browser, that is available for you for free, because we need a feedback about possible bugs or upgrades”. The browser there is offering to install is a reshaped and turned Yandex.browser, that is detected by a majority of anti-malware software as potentially unwanted program (PUP). In bundle with PUP-browser user gets ransomware on his PC, and today, 30th March 2020, the consignment of Opqz ransomware that was been distributed in such way is already encrypting user’s data. So, if you get such an e-mail – don’t even open it.

Thus, unless the ransomware is still under the stage of development or possesses some hard-to-track flaws, manually recovering the ciphered data is a thing you can’t really perform. The only solution to prevent the loss of your valuable data is to regularly make backups of your crucial files.

Note that even if you do maintain such backups regularly, they ought to be put into a specific location without loitering, not being connected to your main workstation.

The specifical feature of all ransomware – delayed launch – may cause your system backups contamination. And if you try to use the contaminated backup to restore your system after Opqz ransomware attack – you will be heavily frustrated with its results. Delayed launch means that ransomware will start its attack only after a command from a command server, and once such command is launched, every computer that is connected to the Internet and having ransomware onboard will be attacked. And every new PC online with this ransomware onboard (like fresh-restored from looking-like-clear backup PC) will be encrypted, too.

For instance, the backup may be kept on the USB flash drive or some alternative external hard drive storage. Optionally, you may refer to the help of online (cloud) information storage.

Needless to mention, when you maintain your backup data on your common device, it may be similarly ciphered as well as other data.

For this reason, locating the backup on your main computer is surely not a good idea.

N.B. OPQZ ransomware, like the majority of other ransomware, have significant troubles with big files encryption. So, if you got OPQZ on your PC, and can’t wait for decryption – you may try to “decrypt” big files manually – just delete .opqz extension from the file name, then try to open it in the usual way. But, nonetheless, it is not a panacea against ransomware, and sooner or later they will be able to encrypt something bigger than photos, documents or so.

How I was infected?

Opqz has a various methods to built into your system. But it doesn’t really matter what method was used in your case.
Warning! DJVU Ransomware Distributors

Crackithub[.]com, kmspico10[.]com, crackhomes[.]com, piratepc[.]net — sites that distribute DJVU Ransomware. Any app downloaded from there sites can be infected by this ransomware.

Examples of such sites:

xxxxs://crackithub[.]com/adobe-acrobat-pro/
xxxxs://crackithub[.]com/easyworship-7-crack/
xxxxs://kmspico10[.]com/
xxxxs://kmspico10[.]com/office-2019-activator-kmspico/
xxxxs://piratepc[.]net/category/activators/
xxxxs://piratepc[.]net/startisback-full-cracked/

Opqz virus attack

Opqz ransomware attack following a successful phishing attempt.

Nevertheless, these are the common leaks through which it may be injected into your PC:

  • hidden installation along with other apps, especially the utilities that work as freeware or shareware;
  • dubious link in spam emails leading to the Opqz installer
  • online free hosting resources;
  • using illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) resources for downloading pirated software.

There were cases when the Opqz virus was disguised as some legitimate tool, for example, in the messages demanding to initiate some unwanted software or browser updates. This is typically the way how some online frauds aim to force you into installing the Opqz ransomware manually, by actually making you directly participate in this process.

Opsk ransomware usually gets to user’s computers in “bundle” with other malicious software, like adware, browser hijackers, or (less frequent) trojans and keyloggers. This “chained” malware has the same creator as ransomware have, and serving to collect private data of random users and making money for advertising.

Also, beware of “free and effective” software, that could contain anything, depending on who is the friend of this “software” developers. In pack with such software users can usually find adware and browser hijackers of some sort, but there is also no barrier for ransomware or trojan injection.

Surely, the bogus update alert will not indicate that you are going to actually inject the Opqz ransomware. This installation will be concealed under some alert mentioning that allegedly you should update Adobe Flash Player or some other dubious program whatsoever.

Assuming all mentioned – you need to be very suspicious of all advertising letters you get on your e-mail and avoid all attempts of installing unknown software on your computer. Also, beware of sudden updates of “very important soft your computer cannot run without!” – at least such “updates” will deliver some simple malware on your PC.

Of course, the cracked apps represent the damage too. Using P2P is both illegal and may result in the injection of serious malware, including the Opqz ransomware.

To sum up, what can you do to avoid the injection of the Opqz ransomware into your device? Even though there is no 100% guarantee to prevent your PC from getting damaged, there are certain tips I want to give you to prevent the Opqz penetration. You must be cautious while installing free software today.

Make sure you always read what the installers offer in addition to the main free program. Stay away from opening dubious email attachments. Do not open files from the unknown addressees. Of course, your current security program must be always updated.

The malware does not speak openly about itself. It will not be mentioned in the list of your available programs. However, it will be masked under some malicious process running regularly in the background, starting from the moment when you launch your computer.

UPD. 27. 03. 2020. A statistic that was been collected by our team showed an interesting trend: a lot of ransomware is distributed via Torrents, and Opqz is not an exclusion. It was been detected in cinema and music seedings at 1337X torrent tracker. So, be careful when downloading something via Torrent!

The message by the Opqz ransomware states the following frustrating information:

ATTENTION!

Don't worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with the strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase a 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-WOqGXn9sLJ
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:
helpdatarestore@firemail.cc

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
helpmanager@mail.ch

Your personal ID:
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The image below gives a clear vision of how the files with “.opqz” extension look like:

Opqz Virus - crypted .opqz files

Example of crypted .opqz files

How to remove Opqz virus?

In addition to encode a victim’s files, the Opqz virus has also started to install the Azorult Spyware on system to steal account credentials, cryptocurrency wallets, desktop files, and more.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft6

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft7.

Download Removal Tool.

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

Run the setup file.

When the 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 computer for Opqz 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 completed, 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

How to decrypt .opqz files?

Restore solution for big “.opqz files

Try removing .opqz extension on a few BIG files and opening them. Either the Opqz ransomware read and did not encrypt the file, or it bugged and did not add the filemarker. If your files are very large (2GB+), the latter is most likely. Please, let me know in comments if that will work for you.

The newest extensions released around the end of August 2019 after the criminals made changes. This includes Npsk, Remk, Foop, etc.

As a result of the changes made by the criminals, STOPDecrypter is no longer supported. Tt has been removed and replaced with the Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu Ransomware developed by Emsisoft and Michael Gillespie.

You can download free decryption tool here: Decryptor for STOP Djvu.

Download and run decryption tool.

Start downloading the decryption tool.

Make sure to launch the decryption utility as an administrator. You need to agree with the license terms that will come up. For this purpose, click on the “Yes” button:

Emsisoft Decryptor - license terms

As soon as you accept the license terms, the main decryptor user interface comes up:

Emsisoft Decryptor - user interface

Select folders for decryption.

Based on the default settings, the decryptor will automatically populate the available locations in order to decrypt the currently available drives (the connected ones), including the network drives. Extra (optional) locations can be selected with the help of the “Add” button.

Decryptors normally suggest several options considering the specific malware family. The currently possible options are presented in the Options tab and can be activated or deactivated there. You may locate a detailed list of the currently active Options below.

Click on the “Decrypt” button.

As soon as yo add all the desired locations for decryption into the list, click on the “Decrypt” button in order to initiate the decryption procedure.

Note that the main screen may turn you to a status view, letting you know of the active process and the decryption statistics of your data:

Emsisoft Decryptor - the decryption statistics

The decryptor will notify you as soon as the decryption procedure is completed. If you need the report for your personal papers, you can save it by choosing the “Save log” button. Note that it is also possible to copy it directly to your clipboard and to paste it into emails or forum messages if you need to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I open “.opqz” files?

No way. These files are encrypted by Opqz ransomware. The contents of .opqz files are not available until they are decrypted.

opqz files contain important information. How can I decrypt them urgently?

If your data remained in the .opqz files are very valuable, then most likely you made a backup copy.
If not, then you can try to restore them through the system function – Restore Point.
All other methods will require patience.

You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to remove Opqz. Does this mean that the program will delete my encrypted files?

Of course not. Your encrypted files do not pose a threat to the computer. What happened has already happened.

You need GridinSoft Anti-Malware to remove active system infections. The virus that encrypted your files is most likely still active and periodically,
runs a test for the ability to encrypt even more files. In addition, these viruses install keyloggers and backdoors for further malicious actions
(for example theft of passwords, credit cards) often.

Why is the OPQZ decrypter stuck on “Starting”?

When you run the decrypter, it looks for encrypted files. It will show “Starting” until it is able to find “.opqz” files. If the decrypter remains stuck on “Starting” for a long period of time, then this means it is unable to find any encrypted files.” If you run the Emsisoft Decryptor ‘as-is’, it will go through all of the files on any drives it finds. Until it finds an encrypted file, it will stay on “starting”.

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

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

What can I do right now?

If your computer is infected with ransomware, I recommend that you contact the following government fraud and scam sites to report this attack:

Video Guide

It’s my favorite video tutorial: How to use GridinSoft Anti-Malware and Emsisoft Decryptor for fix ransomware infections.

If the guide doesn’t help you to remove Opqz infection, please download the GridinSoft Anti-Malware that I recommended. Also, you can always ask me in the comments for getting help.

Sending
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References

  1. Ransomware-type infection: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransomware
  2. Twitter: https://twitter.com/demonslay335
  3. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  4. About DJVU (STOP) Ransomware.
  5. Encyclopedia of threats.
  6. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  7. More information about GridinSoft products: http://gridinsoft.com/products/

Portuguese (Brazil)

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.

20 Comments

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