The Xqxqx virus belongs under the Dharma ransomware family. Ransomware of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the PC (photos, text files, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its extra extension to every file, leaving the FILES ENCRYPTED.txt files in each directory with the encrypted files.
It is better to prevent, than repair and repent!
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What is Xqxqx?
☝️ A scientifically correct designation for the Xqxqx would be “a Dharma family ransomware infection”.
The renaming will be executed by this scheme: id-*******.[email address].xqxqx. As a part of encryption, a file entitled, for instance, “report.docx” will be renamed to “report.docx.id3182931f1s.[email@example.com].xqxqx”.
In each folder with the encrypted files, a FILES ENCRYPTED.txt notebook file will be created. It is a ransom money memo. It contains information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other information. The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the tamperers. You can obtain this decrypting software after contacting firstname.lastname@example.org via email. That is it.
|Ransomware family1||Dharma ransomware|
|Ransomware note||FILES ENCRYPTED.txt|
|Detection||Win32/Packed.Enigma.AC, UDS:Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Scrop, Win32/RiskWare.HackTool.Agent.K|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) get a .id-*******.[email address].xqxqx extension and you can’t open them.|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by Xqxqx virus|
In the picture below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Xqxqx looks like. Each filename has the “.id-*******.[email address].xqxqx” extension appended to it.
How did my machine catch Xqxqx ransomware?
There are many possible ways of ransomware infiltration.
Nowadays, there are three most exploited ways for criminals to have ransomware settled in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan infiltration and peer file transfer.
If you open your mailbox and see letters that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, postal agencies like FedEx, Internet providers, and whatnot, but whose addresser is strange to you, be wary of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a viral file attached to them. So it is even riskier to download any attachments that come with emails like these.
Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan file model2. A Trojan is a program that gets into your computer pretending to be something legal. For instance, you download an installer of some program you want or an update for some program. However, what is unboxed reveals itself a harmful program that corrupts your data. As the update wizard can have any name and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the resource of the files you’re downloading. The best thing is to use the software companies’ official websites.
As for the peer networks like BitTorrent or eMule, the danger is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Internet. You can never guess what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy resources. Also, it is reasonable to scan the folder containing the downloaded objects with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is finished.
How do I get rid of the Xqxqx virus?
It is important to note that besides encrypting your data, the Xqxqx virus will probably deploy the Azorult Spyware on your machine to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned spyware3 can derive your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.
Often criminals would unblock some of your files to prove that they indeed have the decryption program. As Xqxqx virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures developers have not yet found a method to undo its work. Nevertheless, the anti-ransomware instruments are constantly updated, so the solution may soon be available.
Sure thing, if the tamperers do the job of encoding someone’s critical data, the hopeless person will probably fulfill their demands. Despite that, paying a ransom gives no guarantee that you’re getting your files back. It is still risky. After receiving the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the injured party. There were reports of ransomware developers simply vanishing after getting the ransom without even bothering to reply.
The best solution 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 disk. Surely, that might be not enough. The most crucial thing could be that one you were working on when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the OS restoration.
Xqxqx 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, Ssdox, Harpoonlocker, Hoffmx, and some others. The two main differences between them and the Xqxqx are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is almost identical: files become encrypted, their extensions changed, ransom notes appear in each folder containing encrypted files.
Some lucky users were able to decode the blocked files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-ransomware developers. Sometimes the criminals mistakenly send the decryption key to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the user to restore the files. But obviously, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a tamperers’ tool to lay their hands on the money of their victims.
How to avoid ransomware attack?
Xqxqx ransomware has no superpower, so as any similar malware.
You can armour your system from ransomware attack taking three easy steps:
- Never open any letters from unknown mailers with strange addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are waiting for (can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). If the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, check all elements of the dubious email with caution. A hoax letter will always contain mistakes.
- Do not use cracked or untrusted software. Trojans are often spreaded as an element of cracked products, most likely under the guise of “patch” to prevent the license check. But potentially dangerous programs are difficult to distinguish from reliable software, as trojans may also have the functionality you need. You can try searching for information on this software product on the anti-malware message boards, but the optimal way is not to use such software.
- And finally, to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a powerful armor for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft4
There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft5.
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 system.
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 Xqxqx 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 finished, 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
🤔 Is it possible to open “.id-*******.[email address].xqxqx” files?
There’s no way to do it, unless the files “.id-*******.[email address].xqxqx” files are decrypted.
🤔 I really need to decrypt those “.id-*******.[email address].xqxqx” files ASAP. How can I do that?
It’s good if you have fаr-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. 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. All other solutions require time.
🤔 If GridinSoft deletes the Xqxqx malware, will it also delete my files that were encrypted?
Absolutely not! The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.
With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your computer off the actual viruses. The malware that has infiltrated your system is must be still functional and it scans your system periodically to encode any new files you might create on your PC after the attack. As it has been mentioned above, the Xqxqx 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 in the future.
🤔 What should I do if the Xqxqx malware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation key.
If that happened, you need to prepare a flash memory drive with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the procedure. The point is that the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encodes any new files created or imported into your computer. To suppress this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run upon system start. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.
🤔 What could help the situation right now?
Many of the encoded files might still be within your reach
- If you sent or received your critical files through email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
- You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to send those images back to you.
- If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, you can try doing it again.
- Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud disks might have all those files as well.
- It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a laptop, phone, external storage, etc.
USEFUL TIP: You can use data recovery utilities6 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, removing the authentic ones. In the video below, you can see how to use PhotoRec for such a recovery, but be advised: you can do it only after you remove the ransomware itself with an antivirus program.
Also, you can contact the following governmental 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 XQXQX Ransomware & Recover PC
Name: XQXQX Virus
Description: XQXQX 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].xqxqx 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.
- You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective 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’s the list of the best 10 file recovery tools of 2021.