The Wzer virus, known as a ransomware, belongs to the STOP/DJVU family. This malware family is notorious for malicious file ciphering. When the Wzer virus gets into a system, it targets various types of files, such as photos, videos, documents, and more. It changes the file structure and appends the “.wzer” extension to each encrypted file, making them inaccessible and unusable without the decryptor.
Wzer Virus Overview
🤔 Wzer virus belongs to ransomware that belongs to the DJVU/STOP family. Its primary purpose is to lock all of your files it can reach. After that this ransomware asks for a ransom fee – ($490 – $980) in Bitcoin.
The Wzer virus is a type of malware that encrypts your files and makes you pay for their decryption. This ransomware encrypts different file types. Encrypted files can be identified by a distinct “.wzer” extension. As a result, the affected files become inaccessible and unusable.
Subsequently, the ransomware demands a ransom payment in Bitcoin from its victims, ranging from $490 to $980. Usually, a text file with ransom payment guidances is named as “_readme.txt“.
Wzer Ransomware operates by Salsa20 encryption algorithms to cipher the files. Since Wzer virus utilizes such a robust ciphering method, it becomes quite hard, if not impossible, to pick the decryption key without the assistance of the attackers.
Once Wzer malware finishes the encryption, it shows a ransom note to the user, demanding a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. The ransom note provides instructions on how to make the payment and also often contains threats of system wipeout or ransom amounts surge if the ransom is not paid within a specified timeframe.
I have created an all-encompassing list of potential solutions, tips, and methods to remove the Wzer virus and decrypt and recover your files. There are situations where it may be possible to restore your files, while sometimes, it may be impossible.
📌 Important Note!
It is essential to voice that paying off the ransom does not guarantee the successful recovery of your files. The individuals behind the Wzer virus are not trustworthy. There have been instances where victims have paid the ransom, only to be denied by the cybercriminals with the decryption key provision.
Wzer employs a unique key for every victim, with one exception:
- If Wzer fails to connect the command and control server (C&C) 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 Wzer virus is highly similar to other DJVU ransomware samples like Wzoq, Wzqw, Wztt, and Jaqw. This virus encrypts a wide range of common file types and appends its distinct “.wzer” extension to all files. For instance, a file named “1.jpg” would be altered to “1.jpg.wzer” and “2.png” to “2.png.wzer“.
After successful encryption, malware spawns a special text file named “_readme.txt” and places it in every folder containing the encrypted files. It as well adds the readme file to the desktop, so the victim will not miss the attack even without opening folders.
The image below provides a visual representation of files with the “wzer” extension:
|Ransomware family1||DJVU/STOP2 ransomware|
|Ransom||From $490 to $980 (in Bitcoins)|
|Contact||[email protected], [email protected]|
|Detection||NSIS/Injector.ASR Virus Removal, Win32:Crypt-QZF [Trj] Virus Removal, Trojan.Grandoreiro Virus Removal|
To remove possible malware infections, scan your PC:
6-day free trial available.
This message asking payment is for restore files via decryption key:
The Wzer ransomware operates by executing specific actions on a victim’s computer. One of its primary actions involves launching the sneaky process, winupdate.exe, which displays a deceptive Windows update prompt during the attack. This tactic aims to mislead the victim into attributing sudden PC slowdowns to a Windows update.
Simultaneously, the ransomware initiates another process (often named with 4 random characters) responsible for scanning the computer for target files and encrypting them. To further its malicious intent, the ransomware eliminates Volume Shadow Copies from the system using the following CMD command:
vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet
Once these copies are removed, the ability to restore the computer’s previous state via System Restore Points becomes exceedingly difficult. The deliberate dismantling of built-in Windows recovery techniques by the ransomware operators prevents victims from restoring their files without paying. Additionally, the perpetrators tamper with the Windows HOSTS file, appending a list of domains and associating them with the localhost IP. This modification results in a DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error when attempting to access any of the listed websites.
We’ve noticed that the ransomware actively blocks websites offering various how-to guides for computer users. This deliberate action is designed to impede victims from accessing crucial information about ransomware attacks online. The virus also places two text files on the victim’s computer containing critical details about the attack: the victim’s public key and personal ID. These files are named bowsakkdestx.txt and PersonalID.txt, respectively.
After all these modifications, the malware doesn’t cease. Variants of STOP/DJVU have a tendency to deploy Vidar password-stealing Trojan on compromised systems. This threat carries an extensive list of capabilities, including:
- Infiltrating the victim’s computer with malware and executing it to gain unauthorized access.
- Obtaining unauthorized access to login credentials of Steam, Telegram, and Skype.
- Manipulating and viewing files on the victim’s computer without their knowledge.
- Stealing cryptocurrency wallets from the victim’s system.
- Granting the hackers remote control over the victim’s computer for various malicious activities.
- Extracting sensitive information such as browser cookies, saved passwords, and browsing history.
The cryptography algorithm used by DJVU/STOP virus is AES-256. So, once your data is encrypted with an online decryption key, the possibility to get your files back are quite low. Thing is, the key is unique for each victim, and finding a suitable one will take too much time.
Getting the online decryption key in any other way is also close to impossible. It is stored on a server owned by the crooks who promote the Wzer infection. For receiving decrypting code the payment should be $980. To obtain the payment details, the victims should contact the hackers 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 includes a demand for computer owners to establish contact with the hackers within a 72-hour window, starting from the moment when the files were encrypted. If communication is initiated within this timeframe, the hackers offer a 50% discount, reducing the ransom amount to $490.
However, I strongly advise against paying the ransom! It is highly recommended that you refrain from reaching out to these scammers and avoid making any payments. An effective solution to recover the lost data is to utilize existing backups or the Decrypter tool provided by Emsisoft.
What sets this type of malware apart is its utilization of a similar series of actions to generate a unique decryption key. As a result, unless the ransomware is still in the developmental stage or employs complex encryption methods, manual recovery of the encrypted data is unfeasible. The primary solution to safeguard your valuable data and prevent loss is to regularly create backups of your critical files.
Remember, even if you diligently maintain regular backups, they must be stored in a dedicated location separate from your main workstation. For instance, you can store backups on a USB flash drive or an external hard drive. Alternatively, you might consider utilizing online (cloud) data storage services.
It’s important to note that if you keep your backup on your primary device, it could be encrypted alongside your original files. Therefore, storing backups on your computer’s disk is not a prudent approach.
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.
Nevertheless, these are the common leaks through which it may be injected into your PC:
- 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 Wzer virus hiding as some legitimate thing, for example, the messages demanding to run a browser update or a vastly needed codec for online media playback. This is commonly the way how some online scams aim to force you into installing the ransomware manually, by actually making you directly involve in this process.
Surely, the fraudulent update alert will not tell that you are going to actually install the virus. This process will be disguised under some alert stating that you must install an urgent security update or some questionable program whatsoever.
Undoubtedly, the software cracks represent the harm as well. Using P2P is illegal and may result in the introduction of serious malware, including the Wzer ransomware.
To sum up, what can you do to avoid the injection of the ransomware into your system? Even though there is no 100% guarantee to stop your PC from getting damaged, there are certain tips I want to give you to avert the Wzer penetration. You must be vigilant while setting up free software today.
Make sure you always read what the installation window offers aside from the main free program. Keep away from opening dubious email attachments. Do not open files from the unknown recipients. Of course, your current anti-malware program must always be updated.
The malware does not show itself openly. It will not be mentioned in the list of your available programs. However, it will be masked under some malevolent process running regularly in the background, starting from the moment when you boot up your computer.
How To Remove Ransomware?
Remove Wzer 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 Wzer 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 “Wzer 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 Wzer 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 .wzer Files?
How to restore big files?
Try deleting .wzer extension on a few big files and opening them. This malware has issues with large files encryption. Either the virus scanned and did not encrypt the file, or it failed and did not add the filemarker. If you have files that are very large (2GB+), the latter is most likely. Please, let me know in comments if that will work for you.
As a outcome of the alterations made by the criminals, STOPDecrypter is no longer backed. 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 by default choose the reachable directories in order to decode the currently available drives (the connected ones), including the network drives. Additional (optional) locations can be selected with the aid of the “Add” button.
Decryptors usually propose several options depending on the specific malware family. The present possible options are shown in the Options tab and can be turned on or deactivated there. You may discover a detailed 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 .wzer Files?
In some case ransomware is not doom for your files…
The Wzer ransomware encryption mechanism feature is next: it encrypts every file byte-by-byte, then saves a duplicate, deleting (not overriding!) the original file. Hence, the information of the file placement on the physical disk is lost, but the original file is not erased from the physical disk. The cell, or the sector where this file was kept, can still hold this file, but it is not present in the file system and can be replaced by data that has been loaded to this drive after the deletion. Hence, it is possible to recover 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 open-source program, which is originally created for data recovery from damaged disks, or for file retrieval in case if they are unintentionally deleted. However, with time flow, this program received the ability to restore the files of 400 different file types. Hence, it can be used for file recovery after the Wzer attack.
First, you need to download this app. It is 100% free, but the developer notifies that there is no guarantee that your files will be retrieved. PhotoRec is distributed in a pack with another utility of the same developer – TestDisk. The resulting archive will bear TestDisk name, but don’t worry. PhotoRec files are right inside.
To open PhotoRec, find and open “qphotorec_win.exe” file. No installation process is needed – this program has all the files it need inside of the archive, hence, you can fit it on your USB drive, and try to help your friends/parents/anyone who has been attacked by Wzer ransomware.
After the start, you will observe the screen showing you the complete list of your disk drives. However, this information is likely futile, because the required menu is placed a bit higher. Click this tab, then choose the disk which was attacked by ransomware.
After picking the disk, you need to opt for the destination folder for the restored files. This menu is located at the lower part of the PhotoRec window. The best decision is to export them on USB drive or any other type of removable disk.
Then, you need to designate the file formats. This option is located at the bottom, too. As it was mentioned, PhotoRec can recover the files of about 400 different formats.
Finally, you can initiate files recovery by pressing the “Search” button. You will view the screen where the findings of the scan and recovery are shown.
Wzer 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 .wzer 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 Wzer 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 .WZER Files?
Name: WZER Ransomware
Description: The WZER 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 wzer extension. As a result, the affected files become inaccessible and unusable. Subsequently, the WZER 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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