Sqpc is a DJVU family of ransomware-type infections1. This ransomware encrypts your private files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by specific “.sqpc” extension. So, you can’t open them at all.
In this tutorial I will try to help you remove Sqpc ransomware without any payment. As bonus I will assist you in decoding your encrypted files.
What is “Sqpc”?
Sqpc can be correctly identify as a ransomware infection.
Ransomware is a kind of virus that encrypts your documents and then forces you to pay for them. Note that DJVU (aka STOP) ransomware family was first revealed and analyzed by virus analyst Michael Gillespie2.
Sqpc is similar to other ransomware like: Muslat, Ferosas, Neras. It encrypts all common file types. Hence, users cannot use the your documents or photos. Sqpc adds its particular “.sqpc” extension into all files. For instance, the file “video.avi”, will be amended into “video.avi.sqpc”. As soon as the encryption is successfully accomplished, Sqpc creates a special file “_readme.txt” and adds it into all folders that contain the modified files.
Here is a info for the Sqpc virus:
|Ransomware family3||DJVU/STOP4 ransomware|
|Ransom||From $490 to $980 (in Bitcoins)|
|Detection5||Trojan:Win32/Androm.DSK!MTB, Troj/Qbot-FS, Trojan.Win32.Zenpak.aaka|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) have a .sqpc extension and you can’t open it|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by .sqpc file virus|
This text asking payment is for get files back via decryption key:
The cryptography algorithm used by Sqpc is AES-256. So, if your documents got encrypted with a specific decryption key, which is totally unique 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 Sqpc 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 promote the Sqpc infection.
In some cases, Sqpc ransomware can encrypt your files with an offline key. You can check the key type – find PersonalID file in SystemID folder (located on C:/). If this file contains an entry which ends on “t1” – the offline key was in use. If none – Sqpc used an online key, that was been described earlier.
The files encrypted with an offline key is much easier to decrypt. There is a restricted amount of offline keys created for each ransomware. Hence, there is a big chance of having the two Sqpc ransomware attack cases with the same offline key usage.
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 (email@example.com), or via Telegram.
Do not pay for Sqpc!
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 Sqpc 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). Yet, stay away from paying the ransom!
I definitely advise 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, or use Decrypter tool.
This advice is recommended to follow, because of several cases of blackmailing. Ransomware distributors were scaring their victims, telling them that they found “a very interesting information among your files, that may be useful for judicial authorities”. The fraudsters doesn’t have a remote access to your PC, so they are telling lies while menacing you in a such way.
The peculiarity of all such viruses apply a similar set of actions for generating the unique decryption key to recover the ciphered data.
Another specific action Sqpc ransomware does is hosts file changing. It adds an additional entry of Microsoft update server into this file, so your PC lose an ability to get a Windows update, that can be critical for ransomware. An update can set to default some of system files and settings, which are usually modified by ransomware.
In spite of Microsoft servers, Sqpc ransomware can also add different sites to the hosts file, with the same effect – you’d lost an abiblity to open them. According to the reports we got, the most often sites which ransomware adds to hosts are different anti-malware forums, sites of anti-malware software vendors, and sites-advisors, where an information about ransomware removal&decryption could be found.
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 perform. The only solution to prevent the loss of your valuable data is to regularly make backups of your crucial files, thus ransomware activity can be difficultied.
Sqpc ransomware, like the majority of ransomware of STOP/Djvu ransomware family, cannot encrypt large files (bigger then 1 GB) correctly. You can get an access to such files, just removing the specific .sqpc extension from it’s names, and then opening it as usual.
You can also get an access to you MP3 and MP4 files. Try to open it using different software (Winamp, for example). Sqpc ransomware can only encrypt the first 150 kilobytes of such files, hence, you are still able to open it. But there will be a silent piece of your song/video at the beginning, because this part of the file was been encrypted.
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.
Sqpc ransomware is able to counter-act your backups in many ways. The most popular ways are backup files encryption and .exe file injection. Both are usually spotted only when backup is demanded for system restoration, but, nonetheless, they can be easily avoided.
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.
But USB drives can also be attacked. Due to reports, that was several cases when Sqpc ransomware injected it’s .exe file in the USB drive, so it become a ransomware carrier. That would be a wise decision to check all your USB drives after you dealt with ransomware attack.
Sqpc ransomware has an interesting feature : it can encrypt only the disc it was located on. For example, if it’s .exe file is located on C:/, only files on the C disc will be under attack.
The common sign of Sqpc ransomware activity is your PC’s performance plummeting. The most sensitive are weak PC, which can have a significant freezes even without any programs launched.
Sqpc ransomware, according to several reports, can also delete or disable the backups created with Windows proprietary tool. It’s quite hard to save this backup functionality, so, it would be much easier to use another backup creation tool.
Also, be very careful when using a OneDrive backup creating method. It starts backup creating process without any notification about this. Thus, it’s quite hard to avoid this process. And because of backup overwriting (the new backup is written over elder one) your OneDrive backup can be filled with files encrypted by Sqpc ransomware, so you’d lose an ability to use this backup for system restoration.
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 good idea.
How I was infected?
Sqpc has a various methods to built into your system. But it doesn’t really matter what method had place in your case.
Sqpc 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 Sqpc installer
- online free hosting resources;
- using illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) resources for downloading pirated software.
There were cases when the Sqpc 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 Sqpc ransomware manually, by actually making you directly participate in this process.
The popular way of Sqpc ransomware distribution is abandonware and freeware. There is quite a big bunch of popular old or cracked software, which is used as a carrier for potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and, optionally, ransomware. But PUPs installation can be cancelled – just choose “Advanced” installation option. Ransomware installation cannot be cancelled.
Surely, the bogus update alert will not indicate that you are going to actually inject the Sqpc 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 Sqpc ransomware.
Another dangerous way to get a software you need for free (or for smaller sum) is using keygens. Keygens are the programs which can generate the licence key for specified software. And the small and 100% unoficial program, which keygens are, can be an ideal carrier for ransomware or any other malware.
To sum up, what can you do to avoid the injection of the Sqpc 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 Sqpc penetration. You must be cautious while installing free software today.
Be also very careful when downloading and using any software you get on the torrent-trackers. It’s quite hard to detect, if the file was changed, especially considering quite a small size of the Sqpc ransomware’s .exe file. Hence, ransomware, as well as any other malware can be easily spread through peering network.
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 always be updated.
Nowadays, that’s a lot of cases of Sqpc ransomware distribution through a spam e-mails. Users who get them told, that the typical contents of such e-mail are text, where the user is offered to play a new online-game, to pay an invoice or to check the information about a bank loan, and an attachment, which is supposed to be opened. This attachment is a ransomware .exe file.
Frequently, the sources of Sqpc ransomware are advertiserments that are shown by an adware. You can just misclick when closing the browser window which was opened by the adware, but that is enough to start downloading a strange file. If you can, stop such downloading, but if the downloading finished – delete it as soon as possible. That could be a ransomware, trojan, backdoor, or something the same bad.
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.
The message by the Sqpc 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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Reserve e-mail address to contact us: email@example.com Your personal ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
The image below gives a clear vision of how the files with “.sqpc” extension look like:
How to remove Sqpc virus?
In addition to encode a victim’s files, the Sqpc virus has also started to install the Azorult Spyware on PC to steal account credentials, cryptocurrency wallets, desktop files, and more.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft6
The is an excellent way to deal with recognizing and removing threats – using Gridinsoft Anti-Malware. This program will scan your PC, find and neutralize all suspicious processes7.
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 system.
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.
Press “Install” button.
Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.
Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your system for Sqpc 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.
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.
How to decrypt .sqpc files?
Restore solution for big “.sqpc files“
Try removing .sqpc extension on a few BIG files and opening them. Either the Sqpc virus 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 [LINK4], [LINK5], [LINK6], etc.
As a result of the changes made by the criminals, STOPDecrypter is no longer supported. It 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:
As soon as you accept the license terms, the main decryptor user interface comes up:
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 current 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:
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 “.sqpc” files?
sqpc files contain important information. How can I decrypt them urgently?
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 Sqpc. Does this mean that the program will delete my encrypted files?
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. Also, these viruses install keyloggers and backdoors for further malicious actions
(for example, theft of passwords, credit cards) often.
Decrytor did not decrypt all my files, or not all of them were decrypted. What should I do?
We will keep you posted on when new Sqpc keys or new decryption programs appear.
What can I do right now?
You can try to find a copy of an original file that was encrypted:
- Files you downloaded from the Internet that were encrypted and you can download again to get the original.
- Pictures that you shared with family and friends that they can just send back to you.
- Photos that you uploaded on social media or cloud services like Carbonite, OneDrive, iDrive, Google Drive, etc)
- Attachments in emails you sent or received and saved.
- Files on an older computer, flash drive, external drive, camera memory card, or iPhone where you transferred data to the infected computer.
If your computer is infected with ransomware, I recommend that you contact the following government fraud and scam sites to report this attack:
- In the United States: On Guard Online;
- In Canada: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre;
- In the United Kingdom: Action Fraud;
- In Australia: SCAMwatch;
- In New Zealand: Consumer Affairs Scams;
- In France: Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information;
- In Germany: Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik;
- In Ireland: An Garda Síochána;
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 Sqpc infection, 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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- Ransomware-type infection: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransomware
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/demonslay335
- My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
- About DJVU (STOP) Ransomware.
- Encyclopedia of threats.
- GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
- More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products/