The Stopfiles virus falls under the MedusaLocker ransomware family. Harmful software of this type encrypts all the data on your PC (images, text files, excel sheets, music, videos, etc) and appends its extra extension to every file, creating the Recovery_Instructions.html files in each folder with the encrypted files.
What is known about the Stopfilesvirus?
☝️ A strictly correct description for the Stopfiles is “a MedusaLocker family ransomware-type malicious agent”.
Stopfiles adds its own .stopfiles extension to every file’s name. For instance, a file named “photo.jpg” will be altered to “photo.jpg.stopfiles”. Just like the Excel sheet with the name “table.xlsx” will become “table.xlsx.stopfiles”, and so forth.
In every directory with the encoded files, a Recovery_Instructions.html text document will appear. It is a ransom money memo. Therein you can find information about the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to buy the decryption tool from the Stopfiles developers. That is how they do it.
|Ransomware family1||MedusaLocker ransomware|
|Detection||MSIL/Spy.Agent.DSV, TrojanSpy:Win32/Delgent, Trojan.Ransom.Magniber|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) get a .stopfiles extension and you can’t open them.|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by Stopfiles virus|
In the picture below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Stopfiles looks like. Each filename has the “.stopfiles” extension appended to it.
How did my machine catch Stopfiles ransomware?
There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware injection.
There are currently three most exploited ways for criminals to have the Stopfiles virus working in your system. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer-to-peer file transfer.
If you access your mailbox and see letters that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is unknown to you, beware of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a viral file enclosed in them. So it is even riskier to open any attachments that come with letters like these.
Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan virus model2. A Trojan is an object that infiltrates into your machine disguised as something else. Imagine, you download an installer for some program you want or an update for some service. However, what is unboxed reveals itself a harmful program that corrupts your data. As the update wizard can have any title and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the source of the things you’re downloading. The best way is to trust the software companies’ official websites.
As for the peer networks like torrents or eMule, the danger is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never know what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the directory containing the downloaded items with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is finished.
How do I get rid of the Stopfiles virus?
It is important to inform you that besides encrypting your files, the Stopfiles virus will most likely install the Azorult Spyware on your computer to get access to credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned program can derive your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling data.
Often racketeers would unblock few of your files so you know that they really have the decryption program. Since Stopfiles virus is a relatively new ransomware, anti-malware developers have not yet found a way to undo its work. However, the decoding tools are frequently updated, so the solution may soon be available.
Of course, if the hackers succeed in encrypting victim’s critical files, the desperate person will most likely comply with their demands. However, paying to racketeers gives no guarantee that you’re getting your data back. It is still risky. After getting the ransom, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption key to the victim. There were reports about racketeers simply disappearing after getting the ransom without even writing back.
The best solution against ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud storage or at least on an external storage. Surely, that might be insufficient. Your most crucial thing could be that one you were working upon when it all started. But at least it is something. It is also wise to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the system is rolled back.
Stopfiles is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. For instance, Tuid, Udla, Gtys, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Stopfiles are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is the same: documents become encrypted, their extensions altered, ransom notes emerge in each directory containing encrypted files.
Some fortunate users were able to decode the blocked files with the help of the free software provided by anti-ransomware developers. Sometimes the hackers accidentally send the decoding key to the victims in the ransom note. Such an epic fail allows the user to restore the files. But of course, one should never rely on such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a bandits’ instrument to lay their hands on the money of their victims.
How to avert ransomware injection?
Stopfiles ransomware doesn’t have a endless power, neither does any similar malware.
You can armour your PC from its infiltration in three easy steps:
- Never open any emails from unknown senders with unknown addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are expecting (how can you win in a lottery without participating in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are expecting, check all elements of the dubious email carefully. A hoax letter will always have a mistake.
- Never use cracked or untrusted software. Trojan viruses are often shared as a part of cracked products, possibly under the guise of “patch” preventing the license check. But untrusted programs are difficult to distinguish from trustworthy software, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. Try searching for information on this software product on the anti-malware message boards, but the optimal solution is not to use such programs at all.
- And to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a perfect defense for your system.
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.
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 Stopfiles 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 can I open “.stopfiles” files?Are the “.stopfiles” files accessible?
Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.stopfiles” files first. Then you will be able to open them.
🤔 What should I do to make my files accessible as fast as possible?
Hopefully, you have made a copy of those important files. Otherwise, you might try to employ System Restore. The only question is whether you have saved any Restore Points that would be helpful now. The rest of the methods require patience.
🤔 If GridinSoft deletes the Stopfiles malware, will it also delete my files that were encrypted?
Of course not. The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with real threats. The malware that has attacked your PC is probably still functional and launching checks periodically to encrypt any new files you might create on your PC after the initial attack. As it has been said above, the Stopfiles virus does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide criminals with easy access to your system in the future.
🤔 What should I do if the Stopfiles malware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation key.
In such an unfortunate situation, you need to prepare a memory stick with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the cleaning. You see, the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or brought into your machine. To block this process – 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 found elsewhere.
- If you sent or received your important files by email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
- You may have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to post those pictures 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 storage might have all those files as well.
- It might be that you still have the needed files on your old PC, a laptop, phone, external storage, etc.
USEFUL TIP: You can use file recovery utilities5 to get your lost data back since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, deleting the authentic ones. In the video below, you can see how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but be advised: you can do it only after you kill the ransomware itself with an antivirus program.
Also, you can contact the following official 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;
I need your help to share this article.
It is your turn to help other people. I have written this guide to help people like you. You can use the buttons below to share this on your favorite social media Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.Brendan Smith
How to Remove STOPFILES Ransomware & Recover PC
Name: STOPFILES Virus
Description: STOPFILES Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .stopfiles extension. So, you can't use them at all.
Operating System: Windows
Application Category: Virus
User Review( votes)
- My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
- You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
- GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
- More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
- Here are Top 10 Data Recovery Software Of 2023.