What is Kolz file extension
.Kolz is a file extension that is used by the 252th version of the STOP ransomware to mark files that have been encrypted. This means that all files with this file extension are encrypted by ransomware, which received the name ‘Kolz ransomware’. Like other ransomware, it is created to encrypt the victim’s files, and then demand a ransom for decrypting them. Fortunately, some time ago, security researchers created a program to help decrypt files encrypted by the STOP ransomware, and since Kolz is one of the variants of this ransomware, you can use this program as a Kolz File Decrypt Tool. In addition to this decryptor, there are several more methods, each of which can help restore the contents of encrypted files. Read more about this, as well as how to remove Kolz ransomware and protect your computer from such ransomware below.
What is Kolz virus/ransomware
Kolz ransomware is a new malware that belongs to the STOP (Djvu) ransomware family. According to security researchers, this malware is not much different from previous variants of STOP ransomware, such as Npph and Ogdo that were discovered earlier. Like other variants of STOP ransomware, the Kolz ransomware is distributed by websites offering to download torrents, cracked games, freeware, key generators, activators and so on.
Upon execution, Kolz creates a folder in the Windows system directory where it places a copy of itself and changes some Windows settings so that it starts up every time the computer is restarted or turned on. The virus collects information about the victim’s computer and then tries to establish a connection with its command server (C&C). If the connection has been established, then it sends information about the infected computer to the server, and in response receives the encryption key (the so-called ‘online key’) and additional commands and malware that must be executed on the victim’s computer. If the virus could not establish a connection with its command server, then it uses a fixed key (the so-called ‘offline key’).
Kolz virus encrypts files using a strong encryption algorithm and a long key (‘offline key’ or ‘online key’, as described above). The virus tries to encrypt as many files as possible, for this it only encrypts the first 154kb of the contents of each file and thus significantly speeds up the encryption process. Kolz has the ability to encrypt files on all drives connected to the computer: internal hard drives, flash USB disks, network storage, and so on. It skips without encryption: files located in the Windows system directories, files with the extension .dll, .lnk, .ini, .bat, .sys and files with the name ‘_readme.txt’. The remaining files located on the victim’s computer can be encrypted. For example, the following file types may be the target of ransomware attack:
.zdc, .dmp, .t12, .wpd, .qic, .iwi, .x3f, .mlx, .rofl, .txt, .cas, .raw, .webp, .wma, .xlsm, .pef, .mcmeta, .gdb, .p7b, .tor, .odb, .wdp, .ppt, .kdc, .fsh, .layout, .wps, .mdf, .snx, .desc, .xlsb, .bc7, .yml, .ltx, .bc6, .ff, .blob, .hplg, .wpw, .epk, .wmv, .xdl, .x3d, .mdbackup, .wotreplay, .wsh, .xdb, .odm, .erf, .crt, .ntl, .orf, .wbmp, .hvpl, .x3f, .wsc, .ybk, .gho, .wm, .xld, .itm, .bkp, .hkx, .xlk, .rgss3a, .t13, .wbm, .wmo, .das, .wmv, .xy3, .bkf, .webdoc, .xpm, .sum, .jpeg, .wpd, .xwp, .sb, .wma, .xml, .dbf, .sie, .ws, .xbplate, .docm, .xlsm, .bar, .srw, .apk, .xmind, .w3x, .y, .cdr, .wpt, .re4, .pkpass, .qdf, .sidd, .dcr, .accdb, .pptx, .upk, .rtf, .dazip, .psk, .zif, .m4a, .1, .eps, .der, .iwd, .wb2, wallet, .yal, .wbd, .hkdb, .zdb, .wpl, .xll, .dxg, .7z, .odt, .ysp, .mrwref, .wsd, .z, .map, .icxs, .pfx, .fos, .xlsx, .wps, .sav, .dng, .odp, .psd, .ods, .3dm, .mp4, .litemod, .bsa, .xbdoc, .ncf, .srf, .cr2, .esm, .xmmap, .vcf, .xxx, .wmf, .odc, .wbk, .wn, .d3dbsp, .pdd, .sr2, .cfr, .vpk, .forge, .bik, .wgz, .flv, .asset, .arch00, .rb, .mpqge, .xlgc, .wp4, .ibank, .zw, .wmd, .big, .ztmp, .x, .slm, .tax, .bay, .1st, .wpb, .zabw, .wp7, .menu, .lbf, .wav, .r3d, .wcf, .m3u, .zip, .3fr, .wbc, .wbz, .sid, .zi, .raf, .fpk, .wpe, .xls, .indd, .db0, .mdb, .xar, .doc, .py, .0, .pst, .vdf, .jpg, .sql, .xx
Kolz encrypts file-by-file. Each file that has been encrypted will be renamed, the .kolz extension will be appended at the end of its name. This means the following. If the file had the name ‘mydocument.docx’, then after the virus encrypts it, this file will have the name ‘mydocument.docx.kolz’. In every directory where there is at least one encrypted file, the virus places a file named ‘_readme.txt’. The file contains a message from Kolz authors. An example of the contents of this file is given below.
This message says that all files on the computer are encrypted and the only way to decrypt them is to buy a key and a decryptor from the authors of Kolz virus. That is, criminals demand a ransom for unlocking the victim’s files. The size of the ransom is $980, but if the victim is ready to pay the ransom within 72 hours, then its size is halved to $490. Attackers offer victims to verify that encrypted files can be decrypted. To do this, the victim must send them a small file to one of the email addresses specified in the ‘_readme.txt’ file. Of course, it is obvious that a single decrypted file cannot guarantee that after paying the ransom, the criminals will provide the victim with a working key and decryptor.
Text presented in the Kolz ransom note:
Don’t worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like pictures, 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:
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:
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
Your personal ID:
|Name||Kolz virus, Kolz ransomware|
|Type||Crypto malware, Ransomware, File locker, Crypto virus, Filecoder|
|Encrypted files extension||.kolz|
|Ransom amount||$490, $980 in Bitcoins|
|Detection Names||Trojan/Win32.RL_Wacatac.R351560, Trojan:Win32/Kryptik.4a9b279a, Win32:MalwareX-gen [Trj], Trojan.TR/AD.InstaBot.BO, Win32.Trojan-Ransom.STOP.KXAY9Y, Ransom:Win32/STOP.BS!MTB, Trojan.Win32.Generic!BT, HEUR:Exploit.Win32.Shellcode.gen|
|Symptoms||Cannot open files stored on the computer. Your photos, documents and music have a wrong name, suffix or extension, or don’t look right when you open them. Your file directories contain a ‘ransom note’ file that is usually a .html, .jpg or .txt file. Desktop background is changed to the ransom note.|
|Distribution methods||Malicious email attachments. Drive-by downloading (when a user unknowingly visits an infected web-page and then malicious software is installed without the user’s knowledge). Social media, like web-based instant messaging programs. Torrent web-sites.|
|Removal||Kolz ransomware removal guide|
|Decryption||Kolz File Decrypt Tool|
|Recovery||Kolz File Recovery|
How to remove Kolz virus, Recover, Decrypt .kolz files
Security researchers confirm the words of the authors of Kolz virus. All files with the extension ‘.Kolz’ are encrypted and thus cannot be read and used. The only way to decrypt them is to use the key and the decryptor. Fortunately, there is some good news. As we already reported above, Kolz virus belongs to STOP ransomware family, which means that you can use the free decryptor created by Emsisoft to decrypt the encrypted files. Even if the decryptor does not help, there are some alternative ways that can help restore the contents of the encrypted files. To learn more about decrypting files, simply scroll down to section ‘How to decrypt .kolz files’. Read the entire manual carefully. To make it easier for you to follow the instructions, we recommend that you print it or open it on your smartphone.
- How to remove Kolz ransomware virus
- How to decrypt .kolz files
- How to restore .kolz files
- How to protect your PC system from Kolz ransomware
How to remove Kolz ransomware virus
Before you start decrypting or recovering .kolz files, you need to remove Kolz ransomware and its autostart entries. This must be done since otherwise the ransomware may re-encrypt the restored files. You can stop the ransomware from working, as it is not difficult to do. Another option is to perform a full system scan using free malware removal tools capable of detecting and removing ransomware infection.
It is very important to scan the computer for malware, as security researchers found that spyware could be installed on the infected computer along with the Kolz ransomware. Spyware is a very dangerous security threat as it is designed to steal the user’s personal information such as passwords, logins, contact details, etc. If you have any difficulty removing the Kolz virus, then let us know in the comments, we will try to help you.
To remove Kolz ransomware, follow the steps below:
- Kill the Kolz ransomware process
- Disable the Kolz ransomware Start-Up
- Delete the Kolz ransomware Task
- Delete the Kolz ransomware File
- Scan computer for malware
Kill the Kolz ransomware process
Press CTRL, ALT, DEL keys together.
Click Task Manager. Select the “Processes” tab, look for something suspicious that is the Kolz ransomware then right-click it and select “End Task” or “End Process” option. If your Task Manager does not open or the Windows reports “Task manager has been disabled by your administrator”, then follow the guide: How to Fix Task manager has been disabled by your administrator.
It is not difficult to detect a process related to the Kolz ransomware. When looking for a malicious process, pay attention to the process icon and its name. Most often, this ransomware has a process name in the following format: 4-characters.tmp.exe or 4-characters.exe. For example: 7533.tmp.exe, A4b1.exe, CD15.tmp.exe, 19b2.exe. If you do not find a process with a similar name in the list of processes, then most likely the Kolz ransomware has finished working. But keep in mind, if you do not remove the ransomware autostart entries, as demonstrated below, and do not delete its file, then after a while it may start again, and if it finds unencrypted files, immediately encrypt them.
Disable the Kolz ransomware Start-Up
Select the “Start-Up” tab, look for something similar to the one shown in the example below, right click to it and select Disable.
Close Task Manager.
Delete the Kolz ransomware Task
Type “Task Scheduler” in the search bar. Click Task Scheduler app in the search results. Click “Task Scheduler Library” in the left panel. On the right panel, right-click to “Time Trigger Task” and select Delete.
Close Task Scheduler.
Delete the Kolz ransomware File
Run Task Manager and select the “Start-Up” tab. Right click to the Kolz ransomware Start-Up entry and select Open File Location as shown below.
A directory containing one file will open in front of you, this file is the Kolz ransomware. It needs to be removed. If you try to delete it immediately, then you will not succeed, since this file is protected from deletion.
To delete this file, you need to do the following. Right-click on the file, select Properties. In the window that opens, select Security tab. Next, click the Advanced button below. A window will open as shown in the following example.
Click Disable inheritance. In the Block inheritance dialog box that opens, select the first item (Convert inherited permissions…) as shown below.
In the Permission entries list, select “Deny Everyone”, click Remove button and then OK. Close the file properties window. You should now be able to remove the Kolz ransomware File. Right-click on the file and select Delete.
Scan computer for malware
Zemana Anti-Malware is a malware removal tool tool that performs a scan of your PC and displays if there are existing ransomware, adware software, trojans, worms, spyware and other malware residing on your PC. If malicious software is found, Zemana Anti-Malware can automatically remove it. This tool does not conflict with other antimalware and antivirus programs installed on your computer.
- Visit the page linked below to download the latest version of Zemana Anti Malware for MS Windows. Save it directly to your Windows Desktop.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
- At the download page, click on the Download button. Your web-browser will display the “Save as” prompt. Please save it onto your Windows desktop.
- Once the download is complete, please close all applications and open windows on your PC system. Next, launch a file called Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup.
- This will run the “Setup wizard” of Zemana Anti Malware onto your PC. Follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
- When the Setup wizard has finished installing, the Zemana will launch and display the main window.
- Further, click the “Scan” button to perform a system scan for the Kolz ransomware related folders,files and registry keys. This procedure may take quite a while, so please be patient. While the Zemana Anti-Malware utility is checking, you may see how many objects it has identified as being infected by malicious software.
- When Zemana Free is done scanning your computer, Zemana Anti-Malware will open a list of all items found by the scan.
- You may remove threats (move to Quarantine) by simply click the “Next” button. The tool will remove Kolz ransomware, other kinds of potential threats such as malicious software and trojans and move the selected threats to the Quarantine. When that process is finished, you may be prompted to reboot the computer.
- Close the Zemana Anti Malware and continue with the next step.
In order to be 100% sure that the computer no longer has the Kolz virus, we recommend using the Kaspersky virus removal tool (KVRT). It is a free removal utility that can be downloaded and used to remove ransomware, adware software, spyware, trojans, worms, PUPs, malware and other security threats from your personal computer. You can run this utility to scan for threats even if you have an antivirus or any other security program.
Download Kaspersky virus removal tool (KVRT) on your Microsoft Windows Desktop from the link below.
Author: Kaspersky® lab
Category: Security tools
Update: March 5, 2018
After the downloading process is finished, double-click on the Kaspersky virus removal tool icon. Once initialization procedure is complete, you will see the Kaspersky virus removal tool screen as displayed in the following example.
Click Change Parameters and set a check near all your drives. Click OK to close the Parameters window. Next click Start scan button to perform a system scan for the Kolz ransomware and other trojans and malicious applications. A scan may take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of files on your system and the speed of your PC system.
Once the scanning is finished, Kaspersky virus removal tool will show a list of detected items as shown on the screen below.
Make sure to check mark the items which are unsafe and then click on Continue to begin a cleaning process.
How to decrypt .kolz files
As we already reported above, files with .kolz extension are files that have been encrypted by Kolz virus. Their contents will remain locked until decrypted using the decryptor and the key. Fortunately, there is a free Kolz File Decrypt Tool that can decrypt the encrypted files. Below we provide instructions on where to download and how to use the Kolz File Decrypt Tool.
To decrypt .kolz files, use Kolz File Decrypt Tool
- Download Kolz File Decrypt Tool from the following link.
STOP Djvu decryptor
- Scroll down to ‘New Djvu ransomware’ section.
- Click the download link and save the decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe file to your desktop.
- Run decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe, read the license terms and instructions.
- On the ‘Decryptor’ tab, using the ‘Add a folder’ button, add the directory or disk where the encrypted files are located.
- Click the ‘Decrypt’ button.
Kolz File Decrypt Tool is a free tool that can decrypt files that were encrypted with an offline key, as Emsisoft found a way to find this key. Unfortunately, files encrypted with an online key cannot yet be decrypted. The online key is unique to each infected computer, and at the moment there is no way to find this key. Of course, the Kolz ransomware authors own this key, but we do not think that paying a ransom is the right way to decrypt .kolz files. In the case when the files are encrypted with an online key, there is a chance to restore the encrypted files using alternative methods, which are described below.
How to find out which key was used to encrypt files
Since Kolz File Decrypt Tool only decrypts files encrypted with the offline key, each ransomware victim needs to find out which key was used to encrypt the files. Determining the type of key used is not difficult. Below we give two ways. Use any of them.
Find out the type of key using ‘_readme.txt’ file
- Open the ransom demand message (‘_readme.txt’ file).
- Scroll down to the end of the file.
- There you will see a line with the text ‘Your personal ID’.
- Below is a line of characters that starts with ‘0252’ – this is your personal id.
Find out the type of key using ‘PersonalID.txt’ file
- Open disk C.
- Open directory ‘SystemID’.
- Open file named ‘PersonalID.txt’. This file lists “Personal ID”s that match the keys that the virus used to encrypt files.
The ‘Personal ID’ is not a key, it is an identifier related to a key that was used to encrypt files. If the ID ends with ‘t1’, then the files are encrypted with an offline key. If the ID does not end with ‘t1’, the Kolz ransomware used an online key. If you could not figure out how to determine which key was used to encrypt files, then we can help. Just write a request here or in the comments below.
Kolz File Decrypt Tool : “No key for New Variant online ID”
If, when you try to decrypt .kolz files, Kolz File Decrypt Tool reports:
No key for New Variant online ID: *
Notice: this ID appears to be an online ID, decryption is impossible
It means that your files are encrypted with an ‘online key’ and their decryption is impossible, since only the kolz authors have the key necessary for decryption. In this case, you need to use alternative methods listed below to restore the contents of encrypted files.
Kolz File Decrypt Tool : “No key for New Variant offline ID”
If, during decryption of .kolz files, Kolz File Decrypt Tool reports:
No key for New Variant offline ID: *t1
Notice: this ID appears be an offline ID, decryption MAY be possible in the future.
It means the following: your files are encrypted with an ‘offline key’, but the key itself has not yet been obtained by security researchers, in this case, you need to be patient and wait a while, in addition, you can also use alternative ways for recovering encrypted data.
If for some reason you were unable to decrypt the encrypted files, then We recommend to follow the news on our Facebook or YouTube channels. So you ‘ll know right away that it ‘s possible to decrypt .kolz files.
This video step-by-step guide will demonstrate How to remove Kolz ransomware and Decrypt/Recover .kolz files.
How to restore .kolz files
As we mentioned above, in addition to using the Kolz File Decrypt Tool, there are several more methods for recovering encrypted files. These methods do not require the use of a decryptor and a key, and therefore are suitable for all cases when the virus used an online key, and for the case when the virus used an offline key. It is very important to check your computer for malware before you try to recover encrypted files. You must be 100% sure that Kolz virus is completely removed. To scan your computer for ransomware, use free malware removal tools.
Use shadow copies to recover .kolz files
The Microsoft Windows has a feature called ‘Shadow Volume Copies’ that can help you to recover .kolz files encrypted by the ransomware. A small tool called ShadowExplorer will allow you to easily access the Shadow copies and restore the encrypted files to their original state. Unfortunately, the ransomware can delete these Shadow copies before it starts encrypting files. Therefore, if ShadowExplorer did not help you, then try another method, which is given below.
ShadowExplorer can be downloaded from the following link. Save it on your Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: September 15, 2019
When the downloading process is finished, open a directory in which you saved it. Right click to ShadowExplorer-0.9-portable and select Extract all. Follow the prompts. Next please open the ShadowExplorerPortable folder as shown on the image below.
Double click ShadowExplorerPortable to launch it. You will see the a window as shown below.
In top left corner, select a Drive where encrypted personal files are stored and a latest restore point as on the image below (1 – drive, 2 – restore point).
On right panel look for a file that you wish to restore, right click to it and select Export as displayed below.
This video step-by-step guide will demonstrate How to recover encrypted files using Shadow Explorer.
Use PhotoRec to recover .kolz files
The last chance to restore .kolz files to their original state is using data recovery tools. We recommend a program called PhotoRec. It has all the necessary functions to restore the contents of encrypted files. It helped many victims recover data when it seemed like there was no more hope.
Download PhotoRec from the following link. Save it to your Desktop so that you can access the file easily.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 1, 2018
After downloading is done, open a directory in which you saved it. Right click to testdisk-7.0.win and choose Extract all. Follow the prompts. Next please open the testdisk-7.0 folder as on the image below.
Double click on qphotorec_win to run PhotoRec for Microsoft Windows. It will display a screen like the one below.
Select a drive to recover like the one below.
You will see a list of available partitions. Choose a partition that holds encrypted personal files as shown on the screen below.
Press File Formats button and specify file types to recover. You can to enable or disable the restore of certain file types. When this is finished, click OK button.
Next, press Browse button to choose where recovered personal files should be written, then click Search. We strongly recommend that you save the recovered files to an external drive.
Count of recovered files is updated in real time. All recovered photos, documents and music are written in a folder that you have selected on the previous step. You can to access the files even if the recovery process is not finished.
When the recovery is done, press on Quit button. Next, open the directory where recovered documents, photos and music are stored. You will see a contents as shown in the following example.
All recovered photos, documents and music are written in recup_dir.1, recup_dir.2 … sub-directories. If you’re looking for a specific file, then you can to sort your restored files by extension and/or date/time.
This video step-by-step guide will demonstrate How to recover encrypted files using PhotoRec.
How to protect your PC system from Kolz ransomware
Most antivirus software already have built-in protection system against the ransomware virus. Therefore, if your computer does not have an antivirus program, make sure you install it. As an extra protection, run the HitmanPro.Alert. All-in-all, HitmanPro.Alert is a fantastic utility to protect your computer from any ransomware. If ransomware is detected, then HitmanPro.Alert automatically neutralizes malware and restores the encrypted files. HitmanPro.Alert is compatible with all versions of Microsoft Windows OS from Microsoft Windows XP to Windows 10.
Click the following link to download the latest version of HitmanPro.Alert for MS Windows. Save it directly to your MS Windows Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 6, 2019
After the downloading process is complete, open the file location. You will see an icon like below.
Double click the HitmanPro Alert desktop icon. Once the utility is started, you’ll be displayed a window where you can choose a level of protection, as shown in the figure below.
Now click the Install button to activate the protection.
This guide was created to help all victims of the Kolz ransomware virus. We tried to give answers to the following questions: how to remove ransomware; how to decrypt .kolz files; how to recover files, if STOP (Kolz) decryptor does not help; what is an online key and what is an offline key. We hope that the information presented in this manual has helped you.
If you have questions, then write to us, leaving a comment below. If you need more help with Kolz related issues, go to here.