The Wixawm virus falls within the VoidCrypt ransomware family. A harmful program of this type encrypts all user’s data on the computer (images, documents, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its extra extension to every file, creating the Decryption-Guide.txt text files in every directory containing encrypted files.
It is better to prevent, than repair and repent!
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Wixawm virus: what is known so far?
☝️ A strictly accurate description for the Wixawm would be “a VoidCrypt family ransomware infection”.
The scheme of renaming is the following: (id******).[email address].wixawm. During the encryption, a file entitled, for instance, “report.docx” will be renamed to “report.docx.(MJ-MQ3879520461).[firstname.lastname@example.org].wixawm”.
In every folder with the encrypted files, a Decryption-Guide.txt notebook document will be created. It is a ransom money note. It contains information about the ways of paying the ransom and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the ransomware developers. You can obtain this decryptor after contacting email@example.com by email. That is basically the scheme of the felony.
|Ransomware family1||VoidCrypt ransomware|
|Detection||Win32/Obfuscated.NFG, Win32/GameServer.AA potentially unwanted, Win64/Agent.GG|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) get a .(id******).[email address].wixawm extension and you can’t open them.|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by Wixawm virus|
In the picture below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Wixawm looks like. Each filename has the “.(id******).[email address].wixawm” extension added to it.
How did my machine catch Wixawm ransomware?
There are many possible ways of ransomware infiltration.
Nowadays, there are three most exploited methods for criminals to have the Wixawm virus acting in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer networks.
If you open your inbox and see emails that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is strange to you, beware of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a malicious item attached to them. Thus it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with emails like these.
Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan virus scheme2. A Trojan is a program that gets into your computer disguised as something else. For instance, you download an installer for some program you want or an update for some service. However, what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful agent that encrypts your data. As the update package can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the resource of the files you’re downloading. The best thing is to trust the software companies’ official websites.
As for the peer networks like torrents or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never guess what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy websites. Also, it is a good idea to scan the folder containing the downloaded items with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is done.
How to remove the Wixawm virus?
It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Wixawm virus will probably deploy the Azorult Spyware on your computer to seize your credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling data.
Often tamperers would decrypt some of your files so you know that they really have the decryption tool. Since Wixawm virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures engineers have not yet found a way to undo its work. However, the anti-ransomware tools are constantly upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon arrive.
Understandably, if the malefactors succeed in encrypting victim’s essential data, the hopeless person will most likely fulfill their demands. Despite that, paying to racketeers gives no guarantee that you’re getting your files back. It is still risky. After getting the ransom, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption key to the injured party. There were reports about racketeers just vanishing after getting the money without even writing back.
The optimal safety measure against ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud disk or at least on an external storage. Of course, that might be not enough. Your most important thing could be that one you were working upon when it all started. But at least it is something. It is also advisable to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the system restoration.
Wixawm is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. Examples of those are Wuxia, Xqxqx, Phv1, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Wixawm are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is almost identical: documents become encrypted, their extensions altered, ransom notes emerge in every directory containing encoded files.
Some lucky people were able to decode the arrested files with the help of the free software provided by anti-malware developers. Sometimes the criminals accidentally send the decoding key to the wronged in the ransom note. Such an epic fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But obviously, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a criminals’ tool to lay their hands on the money of their victims.
How сan I avoid ransomware attack?
Wixawm ransomware has no superpower, so as any similar malware.
You can defend your PC from its attack in several easy steps:
- Ignore any emails from unknown senders with unknown addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are waiting for (can you win in a money prize draw without participating in it?). If the email subject is more or less something you are waiting for, check all elements of the suspicious email with caution. A fake letter will surely have mistakes.
- Do not use cracked or unknown software. Trojans are often shared as a part of cracked products, most likely under the guise of “patch” preventing the license check. But dubious programs are very hard to tell from reliable ones, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. Try to find information about this software product on the anti-malware forums, but the best solution is not to use such software.
- And finally, to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful shield for your personal computer.
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 PC.
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 Wixawm 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.
🤔 Is it possible to open “.(id******).[email address].wixawm” files?
There’s no way to do it, unless the files “.(id******).[email address].wixawm” files are decrypted.
🤔 The encrypted files are very important to me. How can I decrypt them quickly?
It’s good if you have fаr-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. All other solutions require time.
🤔 Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the Wixawm virus?
Of course not. Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware will delete actual malware from your computer. The malware that has infected your device is most likely still active and running scans from time to time to arrest any new files you might create on your PC after the attack. As it has been mentioned above, the Wixawm ransomware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide hackers with easy access to your PC in the future.
🤔 What should I do if the Wixawm virus has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation code.
In such an unfortunate situation, you need to prepare a flash memory card with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. You see, the ransomware starts automatically as the system launches and encodes any new files created or imported into your system. To stop this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital programs to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.
🤔 What can I do right now?
Some of the encrypted files can be located elsewhere.
- If you exchanged your critical files through email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
- You might have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to post those images back to you.
- If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try downloading them again.
- Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud drives might have all those files as well.
- It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a laptop, cellphone, flash memory, etc.
USEFUL TIP: You can use file recovery programs5 to get your lost data back since ransomware arrests the copies of your files, removing the authentic ones. In the video below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but remember: you won’t be able to do it before you kill the ransomware itself with an anti-malware 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;
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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How to Remove WIXAWM Ransomware & Recover PC
Name: WIXAWM Virus
Description: WIXAWM Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .(id******).[email address].wixawm 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 the best 10 file recovery tools of 2021.