The Whole virus belongs to the ransomware type of infection. Malware of this type encrypts all the data on your PC (photos, documents, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its specific extension to every file, leaving the README-ID-[victim\’s_ID].txt text files in every directory which contains the encrypted files.
What is Whole virus?
Whole will add its own .whole extension to every file’s name. For instance, an image named “photo.jpg” will be changed to “photo.jpg.whole”. Just like the Excel table named “table.xlsx” will be renamed to “table.xlsx.whole”, and so on.
In each directory with the encrypted files, a README-ID-[victim\’s_ID].txt text document will be found. It is a ransom money memo. Therein you can find information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note most probably contains instructions on how to buy the decryption tool from the Whole developers. You can get this decryptor after contacting [email protected] via email. That is how they do it.
|Detection||Trojan:Win32/Fotomoto.A Virus Removal, TrojanClicker:Win32/Zeriest.B Virus Removal, Trojan:MSIL/AgentTesla.KAAO!MTB Virus Removal|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) have a .whole extension and you can’t open them.|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by Whole virus|
The README-ID-[victim\’s_ID].txt document (named README-ID-KLAAQENQB3174C1.txt in our case) coming in package with the Whole ransomware states the following:
YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED - Your files have been encrypted with strong encryption algorithms and modified! Don\'t worry your unique encryption key is stored securely on our server and your data can be decrypted quickly and securely. - We can prove that we can decrypt all of your data. Please just send us 3 not important, small(~2mb) encrypted files, which are randomly stored on your server. Also attach your this file README-ID-.txt left by us in every folder. We will decrypt these files and send them to you as a proof. Please note that files for free test decryption should not contain valuable information. - If you will not start a dialogue with us in 72 hours we will be forced to publish your files in the public domain. Your customers and partners will be informed about the data leak. This way, your reputation will be ruined. If you will not react, we will be forced to sell the most important information such as databases and personal data to interested parties to generate some profit. - If you want to resolve this situation, attach in letter this file README-ID-.txt and write to ALL of these 2 email addresses: * [email protected] * [email protected] - IMPORTANT! * We recommend you contact us directly to avoid overpaying agents. * We asking to send your message to ALL of our 2 email adresses because for various reasons, your email may not be delivered. * Our message may be recognized as spam, so be sure to check the spam folder. * If we do not respond to you within 24 hours, write to us from another email address. * Please don\'t waste the time, it will result only additinal damage to your company. * Please do not rename and try to decrypt the files yourself. We will not be able to help you if files will be modified. * If you will try to use any third party software for restoring your data or antivirus solutions, please make a backup for all encrypted files. * If you delete any encrypted files from the current computer, you may not be able to decrypt them.
In the picture below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Whole looks like. Each filename has the “.whole” extension appended to it.
How did Whole ransomware end up on my PC?
There are many possible ways of ransomware infiltration.
Nowadays, there are three most exploited methods for malefactors to have ransomware planted in your system. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer-to-peer file transfer.
- If you open your inbox and see letters that look like familiar notifications from utility services companies, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose mailer is unknown to you, beware of opening those letters. They are very likely to have a harmful item enclosed in them. Therefore, it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with emails like these.
- Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan horse model. A Trojan is a program that infiltrates into your computer pretending to be something else. For example, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some program. However, what is unpacked reveals itself a harmful program that compromises your data. As the installation wizard can have any title and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the resource of the things you’re downloading. The optimal thing is to use the software companies’ official websites.
- As for the peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Internet. 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 folder containing the downloaded files with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is complete.
How to remove ransomware?
It is crucial to note that besides encrypting your data, the Whole virus will probably deploy Vidar Stealer on your computer to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That spyware can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.
Remove Whole with Gridinsoft Anti-Malware
We have also been using this software on our systems ever since, and it has always been successful in detecting viruses. It has blocked the most common Ransomware as shown from our tests with the software, and we assure you that it can remove Whole as well as other malware hiding on your computer.
To use Gridinsoft for remove malicious threats, follow the steps below:
1. Begin by downloading Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, accessible via the blue button below or directly from the official website gridinsoft.com.
2.Once the Gridinsoft setup file (setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe) is downloaded, execute it by clicking on the file.
3.Follow the installation setup wizard's instructions diligently.
4. Access the "Scan Tab" on the application's start screen and launch a comprehensive "Full Scan" to examine your entire computer. This inclusive scan encompasses the memory, startup items, the registry, services, drivers, and all files, ensuring that it detects malware hidden in all possible locations.
Be patient, as the scan duration depends on the number of files and your computer's hardware capabilities. Use this time to relax or attend to other tasks.
5. Upon completion, Anti-Malware will present a detailed report containing all the detected malicious items and threats on your PC.
6. Select all the identified items from the report and confidently click the "Clean Now" button. This action will safely remove the malicious files from your computer, transferring them to the secure quarantine zone of the anti-malware program to prevent any further harmful actions.
8. If prompted, restart your computer to finalize the full system scan procedure. This step is crucial to ensure thorough removal of any remaining threats. After the restart, Gridinsoft Anti-Malware will open and display a message confirming the completion of the scan.
Remember Gridinsoft offers a 6-day free trial. This means you can take advantage of the trial period at no cost to experience the full benefits of the software and prevent any future malware infections on your system. Embrace this opportunity to fortify your computer's security without any financial commitment.
Trojan Killer for “Whole” removal on locked PC
In situations where it becomes impossible to download antivirus applications directly onto the infected computer due to malware blocking access to websites, an alternative solution is to utilize the Trojan Killer application.
There is a really little number of security tools that are able to be set up on the USB drives, and antiviruses that can do so in most cases require to obtain quite an expensive license. For this instance, I can recommend you to use another solution of GridinSoft - Trojan Killer Portable. It has a 14-days cost-free trial mode that offers the entire features of the paid version. This term will definitely be 100% enough to wipe malware out.
Trojan Killer is a valuable tool in your cybersecurity arsenal, helping you to effectively remove malware from infected computers. Now, we will walk you through the process of using Trojan Killer from a USB flash drive to scan and remove malware on an infected PC. Remember, always obtain permission to scan and remove malware from a computer that you do not own.
Step 1: Download & Install Trojan Killer on a Clean Computer:
1. Go to the official GridinSoft website (gridinsoft.com) and download Trojan Killer to a computer that is not infected.
2. Insert a USB flash drive into this computer.
3. Install Trojan Killer to the "removable drive" following the on-screen instructions.
4. Once the installation is complete, launch Trojan Killer.
Step 2: Update Signature Databases:
5. After launching Trojan Killer, ensure that your computer is connected to the Internet.
6. Click "Update" icon to download the latest signature databases, which will ensure the tool can detect the most recent threats.
Step 3: Scan the Infected PC:
7. Safely eject the USB flash drive from the clean computer.
8. Boot the infected computer to the Safe Mode.
9. Insert the USB flash drive.
10. Run tk.exe
11. Once the program is open, click on "Full Scan" to begin the malware scanning process.
Step 4: Remove Found Threats:
12. After the scan is complete, Trojan Killer will display a list of detected threats.
13. Click on "Cure PC!" to remove the identified malware from the infected PC.
14. Follow any additional on-screen prompts to complete the removal process.
Step 5: Restart Your Computer:
15. Once the threats are removed, click on "Restart PC" to reboot your computer.
16. Remove the USB flash drive from the infected computer.
Congratulations on effectively removing Whole and the concealed threats from your computer! You can now have peace of mind, knowing that they won't resurface again. Thanks to Gridinsoft's capabilities and commitment to cybersecurity, your system is now protected.
Sometimes tamperers would unblock several of your files so you know that they really have the decryption tool. Since Whole virus is a relatively recent ransomware, anti-malware designers have not yet found a way to undo its work. Nevertheless, the decoding tools are constantly updated, so the solution may soon arrive.
Sure thing, if the tamperers succeed in encrypting someone’s essential data, the hopeless person will probably fulfill their demands. Nevertheless, paying to criminals does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your data back. It is still dangerous. After getting the ransom, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports of ransomware developers simply disappearing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.
The best safety measure against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud disk or at least on an external storage. Obviously, that might be insufficient. Your most crucial thing could be that file you were working on when it all started. But at least it is something. It is also wise to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the system is rolled back.
There are other ransomware products, besides Whole, that work similarly. Examples of those are Deepindeep, 34678, Yzqe, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Whole are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is almost identical: files become encrypted, their extensions altered, ransom notes are found in each directory containing encrypted files.
Some lucky users were able to decode the arrested files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-ransomware experts. Sometimes the racketeers mistakenly send the decoding code to the victims in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the victim to restore the files. But of course, one should never rely on such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a criminals’ tool to pull the money out of their victims.
How to avert ransomware attack?
Whole ransomware has no superpower, neither does any similar malware.
You can protect your computer from its attack in three easy steps:
- Never open any letters from unknown senders with unknown addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are expecting (can you win in a money prize draw without even taking part in it?). If the email subject is more or less something you are expecting, scrutinize all elements of the suspicious letter carefully. A fake email will always contain a mistake.
- Do not use cracked or untrusted software. Trojan viruses are often shared as an element of cracked software, most likely under the guise of “patch” preventing the license check. Understandably, potentially dangerous programs are very hard to tell from reliable ones, as trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. You can try searching for information about this program on the anti-malware forums, but the optimal way is not to use such programs at all.
- And finally, to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a powerful armor for your system.
🤔 How can I open “.whole” files?Can I somehow access “.whole” files?
Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.whole” files you will not be able to access them.
🤔 What should I do to make my files accessible as fast as possible?
If the “.whole” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. Otherwise, you might try to employ System Restore. The only question is whether you have saved any Restore Points that would be helpful now. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.
🤔 Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the Whole virus?
No way! Your encrypted files are no threat to your PC.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware will remove active malware from your PC. The ransomware that has infected your PC is must be still functional and it scans your system from time to time to arrest any new files you might create on your computer after the infection. As it has been said above, the Whole malware comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide hackers with easy access to your computer after some time.
🤔 What should I do if the Whole ransomware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation key.
If that happened, you need to prepare a flash memory drive with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. You see, the ransomware runs automatically as the system boots and encodes any new files created or imported into your machine. To suppress this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital applications to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.
🤔 What can I do right now?
Some of the encrypted data can be found elsewhere.
- If you exchanged your critical files through email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
- You may have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Simply ask them to send those pictures back to you.
- If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Internet, you can try downloading them again.
- Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud disks might have all those files too.
- It might be that you still have the needed files on your old PC, a laptop, mobile, external storage, etc.
HINT: You can employ file recovery utilities1 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware encrypts the copies of your files, removing the authentic ones. In the tutorial below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but be advised: you can do it only after you remove the ransomware itself with an antivirus program.
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How to Remove WHOLE Ransomware & Recover PC
Name: WHOLE Virus
Description: WHOLE Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .whole extension. So, you can't use them at all.
Operating System: Windows
Application Category: Virus
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