WANQU Virus πŸ” (.WANQU Files) β€” How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Wanqu virus falls under the Thanos ransomware family. Malware of such sort encrypts all the data on your PC (photos, text files, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its own extension to every file, leaving the RESTORE_FILES_INFO.txt files in every folder containing encrypted files.
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Wanqu virus: what is known so far?

☝️ A scientifically correct denomination for the Wanqu would be “a Thanos family ransomware-type infection”.

Wanqu appends its own .Wanqu extension to the name of every encrypted file. For example, an image entitled “photo.jpg” will be turned into “photo.jpg.Wanqu”. Just like the Excel sheet named “table.xlsx” will be changed to “table.xlsx.Wanqu”, and so on.

In every folder containing the encoded files, a RESTORE_FILES_INFO.txt file will appear. It is a ransom money note. Therein you can find information about the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note most probably contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the racketeers. You can get this tool after contacting yourdata@recoverygroup.a by email. That is pretty much the scheme of the crime.

Wanqu outline:
NameWanqu Virus
Ransomware family1Thanos ransomware
Extension.Wanqu
Ransomware noteRESTORE_FILES_INFO.txt
Contactyourdata@recoverygroup.a
Detection2Trojan:Win32/Phorpiex.AE!MTB, AutoIt:Runner-BH [Trj], VirTool:Win32/Injector.CJ
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .Wanqu extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Wanqu virus

The RESTORE_FILES_INFO.txt file coming in package with the Wanqu malware provides the following frustrating information:

Hello !!!
Many of your documents, photos, passwords, databases and other files are no longer
available as they were encrypted. You may be looking for a way to recover your files,
but don\'t waste your time. No one will be able to recover your files without our decryption KEY (if someone says they can do it, theywill also contact me and
I will make the price much more expensive than if you contacted directly).

DONT USE GMAIL.COM TO CONTACT US

!!!THE DATARECOVERY COMPANIES JUST WANT YOUR MONEY!!!
!!DATA RECOVERY COMPANIES WILL ONLY INCREASE THE DECRYPTION TIME!!

Can i Recover My Files?Sure. We guarantee that you can recover all your files safely and easily But You have not so enough time .As fast you pay as fastall of your data will be back as before encryption.

Send e-mail to this address: yourdata@RecoveryGroup.at
Or contact hxxps://supportdatarecovery.cc/users.php user:Wanqu password:zVIJmqEB
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins.

ATTENTION !!!

Do not rename encrypted files.Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

We also have all your information to share .It is in your best interest to contact us as soon as possible.

Key Identifier: -

In the picture below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Wanqu looks like. Each filename has the “.Wanqu” extension added to it.

Wanqu Virus - encrypted .Wanqu files

An example of encrypted .Wanqu files.

How did my machine catch Wanqu ransomware?

There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware injection.

Nowadays, there are three most popular methods for malefactors to have ransomware acting in your system. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer-to-peer networks.

If you open your inbox and see emails that look just like notifications from utility services providers, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is strange to you, beware of opening those letters. They are very likely to have a malicious item attached to them. Thus it is even riskier to download any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan horse scheme3. A Trojan is a program that infiltrates into your computer disguised as something different. Imagine, you download an installer of some program you want or an update for some program. But what is unpacked reveals itself a harmful agent that corrupts your data. As the update package can have any title and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the stuff you’re downloading. The optimal thing is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer-to-peer file transfer protocols like torrent trackers 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. So you’d better be using trustworthy resources. Also, it is a good idea to scan the directory containing the downloaded files with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is done.

How do I get rid of the Wanqu virus?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your files, the Wanqu virus will probably deploy the Azorult Spyware on your computer to get access to credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That spyware4 can derive your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Sometimes criminals would decrypt some of your files to prove that they really have the decryption program. As Wanqu virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures developers have not yet found a way to undo its work. However, the decoding tools are frequently updated, so the effective countermeasure may soon arrive.

Sure thing, if the tamperers do the job of encoding someone’s essential data, the desperate person will probably fulfill their demands. Nevertheless, paying to criminals does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still risky. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption key to the injured party. There were reports about hackers simply vanishing after getting the ransom without even writing back.

The best solution against ransomware is to have a system 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 important thing could be that file you were working upon when it all went down. But at least it is something. It is also advisable to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the OS is rolled back.

Wanqu 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, Eewt, Aawt, Mmdt, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Wanqu are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: files become inaccessible, their extensions altered, ransom notes appear in every directory containing encoded files.

Some fortunate people were able to decode the arrested files with the aid of the free tools provided by anti-malware specialists. Sometimes the criminals accidentally send the decoding key to the wronged in the ransom note. Such an extraordinary fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But of course, one should never rely on such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a criminals’ instrument to pull the money out of their victims.

How to avoid ransomware attack?

Wanqu ransomware doesn’t have a endless power, neither does any similar malware.

You can defend your computer from its infiltration taking several easy steps:

  • Ignore any letters from unknown mailboxes with strange addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are expecting (how can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). If the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, scrutinize all elements of the questionable letter with caution. A hoax letter will surely contain a mistake.
  • Never use cracked or unknown programs. Trojans are often distributed as a part of cracked software, possibly under the guise of β€œpatch” to prevent the license check. Understandably, potentially dangerous programs are difficult to tell from reliable software, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. You can try to find information on this program on the anti-malware forums, but the optimal solution is not to use such software.
  • And finally, to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a perfect defense for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft5

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft6.

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 PC.

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 β€œYes” 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 Wanqu 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 finished, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the β€œClean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

FAQ

πŸ€” How can I open “.Wanqu” files?Can I somehow access “.Wanqu” files?

Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.Wanqu” files first. Then you will be able to open them.

πŸ€” I really need to decrypt those β€œ.Wanqu” files ASAP. How can I do that?

If the β€œ.Wanqu” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. In case you haven’t, there is still a chance that you do have a Restore Point from some time ago to roll back the whole system to the moment when it had no virus yet, but already had your files. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.

πŸ€” You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Wanqu virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?

Absolutely not! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your system off the actual threats. The malware that has infected your PC is probably still active and it scans your system from time to time to arrest any new files you might create on your PC after the initial attack. As it has been mentioned above, the Wanqu malware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide criminals with easy access to your computer after some time.

πŸ€” What to do if the Wanqu ransomware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation code.

In such a case, you need to prepare a memory stick with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. The point is that the ransomware starts automatically as the system launches and encrypts any new files created or brought into your computer. To suppress this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

πŸ€” What can I do right now?

Some of the encrypted files can be located elsewhere.

  • If you sent or received your critical files via email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Simply ask them to post those images back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, you can try to do it again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud drives might have all those files too.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old computer, a portable device, phone, flash memory, etc.

HINT: You can employ data recovery utilities7 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware blocks the copies of your files, removing the original ones. In the tutorial below, you can see how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but remember: you won’t be able to do it before you remove the virus with an antivirus program.

Also, you can contact the following official fraud and scam sites to report this attack:

To report the attack, you can contact local executive boards. For instance, if you live in USA, you can have a talk with FBI Local field office, IC3 or Secret Service.

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It is your turn to help other people. I have written this guide to help users 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 WANQU Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: WANQU Virus

Description: WANQU Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .Wanqu extension. So, you can't use them at all.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. Encyclopedia of threats.
  3. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  4. You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective section of GridinSoft official website.
  5. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  6. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  7. Here are the best 10 file recovery tools of 2021.

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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