PASHKA VIRUS (.pashka FILES) – HOW TO FIX & DECRYPT DATA

Pashka Ransomware Quimera Crypter (Chimera) Ransomware
Pashka Ransomware Quimera Crypter (Chimera) Ransomware
Written by Brendan Smith
Pashka is a Quimera Crypter family of ransomware-type infections1. The virus encrypts your private files (video, photos, documents). The infected files can be tracked by specific “.pashka” extension. So, you can’t use them at all.
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In this tutorial I will try to help you remove Pashka ransomware without any payment.

What is “Pashka”?

Pashka can be correctly identify as a ransomware infection.

Ransomware is a specific kind of virus that crypted your documents and then forces you to pay for them. Quimera Crypter ransomware family was first revealed and discovered at Jan 2020.

Pashka is similar to other representatives of ransomware like: Piny, Redl, Mkos. It crypted all popular file types. Hence, you cannot open the your documents . Pashka adds its own “.pashka” extension into all files. For example, the file “video.avi”, will be changed into “video.avi.pashka”. As soon as the encryption is successfully accomplished, Pashka drops a special file “_readme.txt” and drop it into all folders that contain the modified files.

Here is a details for the Pashka infection:
Ransomware family2 Quimera Crypter ransomware
Extension .pashka
Ransomware note HELP_ME_RECOVER_MY_FILES.txt
Ransom 0.03 Bitcoins
Contact unlockransomware@protonmail.com
Detection3 Trojan.Downloader.EY, Backdoor.Win32.Androm.tqug, Razy.598120 (B)
Symptoms Most of your files (photos, videos, documents) have a .pashka extension and you can’t open it
Fix Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .pashka file virus

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

The scary alert

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

The cryptography algorithm used by Pashka is AES-256. So, if your documents got encrypted with a specific decryption key, which is totally 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 Pashka 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 distibute the Pashka ransomware.

For receiving decryption key the payment should be in bitcoins. To obtain the payment details the victims are encouraged by the message to contact the frauds by email (unlockransomware@protonmail.com), or via Telegram.

Do not pay for Pashka!

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

I certainly recommend that you do not contact these crooks and do not pay. The one of the most real working solution to recover the lost data – just using the available backups.

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

Thus, unless the ransomware is still under the stage of development or possesses with 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.

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 device is surely not a wise idea.

How I was infected?

Pashka has a various methods to built into your system. But it doesn’t really matter what way was used in your case.

Pashka virus attack

Pashka 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 Pashka installer
  • online free hosting resources;
  • using illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) resources for downloading pirated software.

There were cases when the Pashka 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 Pashka ransomware manually, by actually making you directly participate in this process.

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

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 Pashka ransomware.

To sum up, what can you do to avoid the injection of the Pashka 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 Pashka 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 PC.


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

Atention! all your important files were encrypted!
to get your files back send 0.03 Bitcoins and contact us with proof of payment and your Unique Identifier Key.
We will send you a decryption tool with your personal decryption password.
Where can you buy Bitcoins:
https://www.coinbase.com
https://localbitcoins.com
Contact: unlockransomware@protonmail.com.
Bitcoin wallet to make the transfer to is:
3LtZ1DRUTupWFdxkgyTyMDa2AYEcNio4Pu3LtZ1DRUTupWFdxkgyTyMDa2AYEcNio4Pu
Unique Identifier Key (must be sent to us together with proof of payment): 

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

Pashka Virus - crypted .pashka files

Example of crypted .pashka files

How to remove Pashka virus?

In addition to encode a victim’s files, the Pashka infection has also started to install the Azorult Spyware on computer to steal account credentials, cryptocurrency wallets, desktop files, and more.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft4

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft5.

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 install-antimalware-fix.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your system.

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 system for Pashka 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

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I open “.pashka” files?

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

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

If your data remained in the .pashka 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 Pashka. 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
(example theft of passwords, credit cards) often.

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

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References

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

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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