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Danger level 7
Type: Trojans
Common infection symptoms:
  • Slow Computer
  • System crashes
  • Normal system programs crash immediatelly
  • Connects to the internet without permission
  • Installs itself without permissions
  • Can't be uninstalled via Control Panel

Q1G Ransomware

If you let Q1G Ransomware into your operating system, this malicious infection will immediately encrypt all of your personal files. Your childhood photos, work documents, wedding videos, and other personal content could be encrypted, and when that happens, your files become unreadable. Unfortunately, you cannot employ programs available on your operating system or decryptors that are available online to read the corrupted files. That is because the attackers behind this malicious threat are using a complex algorithm to encrypt them, and, due to that, they are undecryptable. If you have backups stored online or on external drives, you do not need to worry about decryption because all files can be replaced. However, if you do not own backups, you are in a very sticky situation, and the attackers are ready to use that against you. Keep reading to learn more about this, as well as the Q1G Ransomware removal. Note that regardless of what happens to your files, this infection must be deleted.

Crysis/Dharma Ransomware family keeps growing, and Q1G Ransomware is part of it too, along with Jack Ransomware, HACK Ransomware, 0day Ransomware, and many other malicious threats. Although it is possible that these threats are controlled by different parties, they are practically identical. The main difference is likely to be seen in the way this malware is distributed. Of course, the same methods could be applied, but that is something that we cannot predict. Most likely, however, this malware is spread using spam emails and RDP backdoors. As soon as Q1G Ransomware lands on your operating system, it starts encrypting files, and so you are unlikely to notice and delete the infection before it damages your personal files. Once they are encrypted, the “.id-{ID}.[getbtc@aol.com].Q1G” extension should be seen added to all of their names. This extension includes your unique ID code, an email address that is used by the attackers, and the “.Q1G” extension that gave the threat its name. Note that you should not remove this extension. While that is unlikely to affect the files in a negative way, it certainly would not lead to decryption.

After all personal files are encrypted, Q1G Ransomware creates a file named “RETURN FILES.txt” to help the victim understand what has happened. However, the main goal behind the message inside the file is to entice the victim to send a message to getbtc@aol.com. To make things clearer, the infection also launches a window entitled “getbtc@aol.com,” and while it does provide more information, the main message stays the same. So, what would happen if you initiated communication with the attackers? First of all, they would learn your email address, which they could use it in scam and spam campaigns in the future. Second, they could send you additional instructions on how to pay a ransom in return for a decryption tool. Of course, there are absolutely no guarantees that you would get the decryptor if you paid the ransom, and the researchers in our team do not believe that the attackers behind Q1G Ransomware would waste their time assisting victims. Hopefully, you own backups, and you do not need to even consider the option of contacting the attackers or paying the ransom. However, if you are hopeless, make sure you think things through and always stay cautious.

You do not need to be an expert Windows user to be able to delete Q1G Ransomware from your operating system. Sure, there are quite a few steps that need to be completed, and finding the launcher of the infection might be impossible for you, but if you can identify malware components, eliminating the threat should be very easy. That being said, if you are struggling, and you cannot separate legitimate files from malware files, leave the removal of Q1G Ransomware to legitimate anti-malware software. This software will automatically eliminate all infections, and, at the same time, it will also reinstate full Windows protection, which is exactly what it was built to do in the first place. If you have any questions about the removal process, or you need answers to other questions you might have, the comments section below is open, and our research team will address all questions as soon as possible.

Q1G Ransomware Removal

  1. Identify the {unique name}.exe launcher file and Delete it.
  2. Simultaneously tap Win+E keys to launch Explorer.
  3. Move to these folders (enter into the quick access field) and Delete malicious {unique name}.exe and Info.hta files:
    • %APPDATA%
    • %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\
    • %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\
    • %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\
    • %WINDIR%\System32\
  4. Simultaneously tap Win+R keys to launch Run.
  5. Enter regedit into the dialog box to launch Registry Editor.
  6. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run.
  7. Delete malicious values linked to malicious {unique name}.exe and Info.hta files.
  8. Exit all windows and, finally, Delete the ransom note file named RETURN FILES.txt.
  9. Once you Empty Recycle Bin, install and run a reliable malware scanner to check for leftovers.
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