The Wwhu virus, also known as a ransomware infection, is part of the STOP/DJVU family. This malware is notorious for malicious file ciphering. When the Wwhu virus infects a computer system, it targets various types of files, like photos, videos, documents, and more. It alters the file structure and adds the “.wwhu” extension to each file, making them inaccessible and unusable without the decryptor.
Wwhu Virus Overview
🤔 Wwhu malware can be classified as ransomware that belongs to the DJVU/STOP ransomware family. Its main target is to lock your files. After that ransomware virus asks its victims for a ransom fee – ($490 – $980) in Bitcoin.
The Wwhu virus is a malicious program that encrypts your files and makes you pay for their recovery. This ransomware ciphers a wide selection of file types. Encrypted files are identifiable by a distinct “.wwhu” extension. The affected files become impossible to access and use.
Then, the ransomware asks for a ransom payment in Bitcoin from the victims, ranging from $490 to $980. Typically, a text file with ransom payment guidances is named “_readme.txt“.
Wwhu Ransomware uses Salsa20 encryption algorithms to cipher the targeted files. Since the Wwhu virus utilizes such a strong ciphering method, it becomes incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to find the decryption key without the assistance of the attackers.
Once Wwhu malware finishes the encryption, it shows a ransom note to the victim, asking for a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. The ransom note contains instructions on how to make the payment and also often includes threats of system wipeout or ransom amounts surge if the ransom is not paid within a specified timeframe.
I have made a comprehensive list of the solutions, tips, and methods to remove the Wwhu malware and decrypt your files. There are situations where it may be feasible to restore your files, but sometimes, it may be impossible.
📌 Important Reminder!
It is important to note that paying off the bill is not a guarantee of the successful files recovery. The rascals who stand behind the Wwhu virus are known for their untrustworthiness. There were the cases where victims have paid the ransom, only to be denied by the cyber criminals with the decryption key provision.
Wwhu employs a unique key for each victim, with one exception:
- If Wwhu fails to connect the command and control server (C2) before starting the encryption process, it resorts to using offline keys. An offline key is the same for all users, which allows for the decryption of files encrypted by the ransomware.
The Wwhu virus is similar to other DJVU ransomware variants like MZRE, MZHI, MZQT, and MZOP. This virus encrypts a wide range of common file types and appends its distinct “.wwhu” extension to all files. For instance, a file named “1.jpg” would be altered to “1.jpg.wwhu” and “2.png” to “2.png.wwhu“.
Upon successful encryption, malware creates a special text file named “_readme.txt” and places it in every folder containing the encrypted files. It also adds the readme file to the desktop, so the victim will not miss its appearance even without opening folders.
The image below provides a visual representation of files with the “wwhu” extension:
|Ransomware family1||DJVU/STOP2 ransomware|
|Ransom||From $490 to $980 (in Bitcoins)|
|Contact||[email protected], [email protected]|
|Detection||Win32/TrojanDownloader.Tovkater.IB Virus Removal, P2P-Worm.Win32.Convagent Virus Removal, Ransom:Win32/StopCrypt.LAT!MTB Virus Removal|
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This message asking payment is for restore files via decryption key:
Wwhu ransomware arrives as a set of operations that are needed to carry out different functions on a victim’s computer. One of the first processes being launched is winupdate.exe, a deceptive process that displays a fraudulent Windows update prompt during the attack. Such a trick helps to convince the victim that a sudden system slowdown is caused by a Windows update.
Meanwhile, the ransomware runs another process (named as 4 random chars) which starts scanning the PC for target files and encrypting them. Then the ransomware removes Volume Shadow Copies from the system using the following CMD command:
vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet
Once removed, it becomes nearly impossible to retrieve the previous computer state using System Restore Points. The issue is, ransomware operators are getting rid of any built-in Windows methods that could assist the victim to recover files for free. In addition, the hackers modify the Windows HOSTS file by adding a list of domains to it and directing them to the localhost IP. As a result, the victim will see a DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error when trying to access one of the listed websites.
It has come to our attention that ransomware attempts to restrict websites that post various how-to guides for computer users. It is evident that by hindering specific domains, the perpetrators are seeking to stop the victim from reaching relevant and helpful ransomware-attack-related information online. The virus also stores two .txt files on the victim’s computer that offer particulars related to the attack – the victim’s public key and personal ID. These two files are named bowsakkdestx.txt and PersonalID.txt.
After all these alterations, the malware doesn’t halt. Variants of STOP/DJVU are inclined to deploy Vidar password-stealing Trojan on compromised systems. This threat carries an huge list of capabilities, including:
- Manipulating and viewing files on the victim’s computer without their knowledge.
- Extracting sensitive information such as browser cookies, saved passwords, and browsing history.
- Obtaining unauthorized access to login credentials of Steam, Telegram, and Skype.
- Granting the hackers remote control over the victim’s computer for various malicious activities.
- Stealing cryptocurrency wallets from the victim’s system.
- Gathering sensitive data by running malicious software on the victim’s computer.
The cryptography algorithm used by DJVU/STOP virus is AES-256. So, once your data is encrypted with an online decryption key, the chances to get your files back are quite low. Thing is, the key is unique for each victim, and brute forcing it will take too much time.
Retrieving the online decryption key in another way is also merely impossible. It is kept on a server owned by the criminals who spread the Wwhu malware. For receiving decrypting code the payment should be $980. To get the payment details, the victims should contact the fraudsters by email ([email protected]).
The message by the ransomware states the following 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: [email protected] Reserve e-mail address to contact us: [email protected] Your personal ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Do not pay the ransom!
Please, try to use the available backups, or Decrypter tool
The _readme.txt file also demands that the system owners should contact the hackers’ representatives within 72 hours after the attack. If user contacts hackers within 72 hours, hackers grant a 50% discount. Thus the ransom amount will be minimized down to $490.
Yet, stay away from paying the ransom! I highly recommend that you to avoid contacting these frauds and do not pay. One of the most real working solution to recover the lost data is just using the backups you have, or using Decrypter tool from Emsisoft.
The uniqueness of all such viruses is the application a similar set of actions for generating the unique decryption key to recover the ciphered data. Thus, unless the ransomware is still in development or exhibits some hard-to-track flaws, manually recovering the ciphered data is a thing you can’t perform. The only solution to prevent the data loss is to regularly make backups of your critical files.
Note that even if you do preserve such backups regularly, they must be placed into a specific location without loitering, not being connected to your main workstation. 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.
It goes without saying, when you store your backup data on your common device, it may be similarly ciphered as well as other data. For this reason, storing the backup on your computer’s disk is surely not a wise idea.
How I was infected?
Ransomware has a various methods to built into your system. But it doesn’t really matter what way had place in your case.
Ransomware attack following a successful phishing attempt.
- Utilizing online free hosting resources to distribute the virus discreetly.
- Disguising the virus installer within other apps, particularly utilities offered as freeware or shareware.
- Propagation through spam emails containing dubious links leading to the virus installation.
- Downloading pirated software from illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) resources, which may include hidden malware.
Instances have been reported when the Wwhu virus was disguised as a legit tool, for example, the messages demanding to run a browser update or a vastly needed codec for online media playback. This is usually the way how some online frauds aim to force you into installing the ransomware manually, by actually making you directly participate in this process.
Surely, the fake update alert will not tell that you are installing the threat. This process will be disguised under some alert stating that you should install an urgent security update or some suspicious program whatsoever.
Certainly, the cracked apps represent the threat as well. Using P2P is both illegal and may end up with the injection of serious malware, including the Wwhu ransomware.
To sum up, what can you do to evade the injection of the ransomware into your PC? Even though there is no 100% assurance to prevent your PC from getting damaged, there are some tips I want to give you to prevent the Wwhu penetration. You must be careful while installing free software today.
Verify you always read what the installation window offers aside from the main free program. Stay away from opening suspicious email attachments. Do not open files from the unknown recipients. Of course, your current security program must always be updated.
The malware does not show itself openly. It will not appear in the list of your available programs. However, it will be masked under some malicious process running regularly in the background, that starts at the moment when you launch your computer.
How To Remove Ransomware?
Remove Wwhu Virus 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 Wwhu Virus 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 “Wwhu Virus” 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 Wwhu Virus 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.
How To Decrypt .wwhu Files?
How to restore big files?
Try removing .wwhu extension on a few big files and opening them. This malware has issues with large files encryption. Either the virus read and did not encode the file, or it bugged and did not add the filemarker. If you have files that are very large (2GB+), such a situation is highly probable. Please, let me know in comments if that will work for you.
As a outcome of the modifications made by the criminals, STOPDecrypter is no longer supported. It has been replaced with the Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu Ransomware developed by Emsisoft.
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 configurations, the decryptor will automatically choose the accessible directories in order to unlock the currently accessible drives (the connected ones), including the network drives. Extra (optional) locations can be selected with the assistance of the “Add” button.
Decryptors usually offer several options considering the specific malware family. The existing possible options are displayed in the Options tab and can be enabled or turned off there. You may discover a comprehensive list of the currently active Options below.
Click on the “Decrypt” button.
As soon as you 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 messages here if you need to do so.
The Emsisoft Decryptor might display different messages after a failed attempt to restore your files:
✓ Error: Unable to decrypt file with ID: [your ID]
✓ No key for New Variant online ID: [your ID]
Notice: this ID appears to be an online ID, decryption is impossible
✓ Result: No key for new variant offline ID: [example ID]
This ID appears be an offline ID. Decryption may be possible in the future.
It can take a few weeks or months until the decryption key gets found and uploaded to the decryptor. Please follow updates regarding the decryptable DJVU versions here.
✓ Remote name could not be resolved
How to Restore .wwhu Files?
In some case ransomware is not doom for your files…
The Wwhu ransomware encryption mechanism feature is next: it encrypts every file byte-by-byte, then saves a duplicate, removing (not overriding!) the initial file. Hence, the data of the file location on the physical disk is lost, but the original file is not erased from the disk. The cell, or the sector where this file was kept, can still contain this file, but it is absent in the file system and can be replaced by data that has been loaded to this disk after the deletion. Hence, it is possible to restore your files using special software.
Anyway, after realizing it was an online algorithm, it is impossible to retrieve my encrypted files. I also had my backup drive plugged in at the time of the virus, and this was also infected, or so I thought. Every folder within my backup drive had been infected and was encrypted. However, despite losing some important files, I retrieved almost 80% of my 2TB storage.
When I started going through the folders, I noticed the readme.txt ransom note in every folder. I opened some of the folders and found that all files that were not in a subfolder within that folder had been encrypted. However, I found a flaw and glimmer of hope when I went into the subfolders in other folders and found that these files had not been encrypted. Every folder within my c and d drives, including subfolders, had been encrypted, but this was not the case with the backup drive. Having subfolders created within a folder has saved 80% of my data.
As I said, I believe this to be only a small loophole on a backup drive. I’ve since found a further 10 % of my data on another hard drive on a different pc. So my advice is if you use a backup drive, create subfolders. I was lucky, I guess. But I was also unlucky that the virus hit as I was transferring some files from my backup.
Hopefully, this can help some other people in my situation.Jamie Newland
Recovering your files with PhotoRec
PhotoRec is an free open-source program, which is initially created for file retrieval from damaged disks, or for data recovery in case if they are unintentionally deleted. However, with time flow, this program got the ability to recover the files of 400 different file types. Hence, it can be used for file recovery after the Wwhu attack.
First, you need to download this app. It is 100% free, but the developer states that there is no warranty that the files will be retrieved. PhotoRec is distributed in a pack with another program of the same developer – TestDisk. The downloaded archive will have TestDisk name, but don’t worry. PhotoRec files are right inside.
To open PhotoRec, you need to find and open “qphotorec_win.exe” file. No setup is required – the program has all the files it need inside of the archive, hence, you can mount it on your USB drive, and help your friends/parents/anyone who has been attacked by Wwhu ransomware.
Upon the launch, you will observe the screen showing you the complete list of your drives. However, this details are likely futile, because the required menu is placed a bit higher. Click this bar, then choose the disk which was attacked by ransomware.
After choosing the disk, you need to select the destination folder for the reclaimed files. This menu is located at the lower part of the PhotoRec window. The best option is to export them on USB drive or any other type of removable disk.
Then, you need to indicate the file formats. This choice is located at the bottom, too. As it was mentioned, PhotoRec can retrieve the files of about 400 different formats.
Finally, you can initiate files restoration by pressing the “Search” button. You will observe the screen where the results of the scan and recovery are shown.
Wwhu files recovery Video Guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
No way. These files are encrypted by ransomware. The contents of encrypted files are not available until they are decrypted.
If your data remained in the .wwhu files are very valuable, then most likely you made a backup copy.
If not, then you can try to restore them through the system function – Restore Point.
All other methods will require patience.
Of course not. Your encrypted files do not pose a threat to the computer. What happened has already happened.
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.
In this situation, you need to prepare the memory stick with a pre-installed Trojan Killer.
Have patience. You are infected with the new version of STOP/DJVU ransomware, and decryption keys have not yet been released. Follow the news on our website.
We will keep you posted on when new keys or new decryption programs appear.
The Wwhu ransomware encrypts only the first 150KB of files. So MP3 files are rather large, some media players (Winamp for example) may be able to play the files, but – the first 3-5 seconds (the encrypted portion) will be missing.
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 the guide doesn’t help you to remove infection, please download the GridinSoft Anti-Malware that I recommended. Do not forget to share your experience in solving the problem. Please leave a comment here! This can help other victims to understand they are not alone. And together we will find ways to deal with this issue.
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 buttons below to share this on your favorite social media Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.Brendan Smith
How To Restore & Decrypt .WWHU Files?
Name: WWHU Ransomware
Description: The WWHU Virus belongs to the STOP/DJVU family of ransomware infections. This malicious software encrypts various file types, including videos, photos, and documents, which become identifiable by a distinct wwhu extension. As a result, the affected files become inaccessible and unusable. Subsequently, the WWHU ransomware demands a ransom payment in Bitcoin from its victims, ranging from $490 to $980.
Operating System: Windows
Application Category: Virus
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