What is Qarj virus?
Qarj is a variant of a ransomware called STOP, which is known for its ability to encrypt victims’ data using a powerful encryption algorithm. The ransomware works by demanding a ransom from victims in exchange for the decryption of their files. Qarj renames encrypted files by adding the “.Qarj” extension to their names and creates a “_readme.txt” file in each folder where encrypted files are stored. This file contains the ransom message that the attackers want victims to see.
Screenshot of files encrypted by Qarj virus (‘.Qarj’ file extension):
- What is Qarj virus?
- Remove Qarj virus (ransomware)
- Decrypt .Qarj files
- Restore .Qarj files
- Video Guide
Qarj ransomware in detail
The Qarj ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts almost all files on a victim’s computer, including documents, databases, pictures, and other types of files, but excludes Windows system files and files named “_readme.txt” to prevent the computer from crashing. It can also encrypt files stored on cloud storage or connected drives.
Qarj uses a unique key to encrypt files, which means that the same key cannot be used to decrypt files on different computers. If the virus is unable to establish a connection with its command server, it uses an offline key that is the same for all victims. Security researchers have discovered a way to obtain these keys.
After the encryption process is complete, all encrypted files will have a new name that includes their old name and the “.Qarj” extension. The ransom message informs the victims that their files have been encrypted and offers to sell them a unique key and decryptor for $980. The attackers demand payment within 72 hours and offer a 50% discount. They also offer to decrypt one small file for free as proof that they can decrypt files. However, experts warn that paying the ransom is not a guarantee that the files will be decrypted.
Encrypted files are not fully encrypted, but only the first 154kb of their contents are encrypted. This means that the victim may be able to restore files from large ZIP archives by simply removing the “.Qarj” extension and opening the file in an archiver.
The Qarj ransomware is typically spread through software downloads from untrustworthy websites, or by exploiting vulnerabilities in outdated software. To avoid infection, users should be cautious and avoid downloading software from untrusted sources. It is also important to keep software up to date with the latest security patches.
If a user suspects that their files have been encrypted with the “.Qarj” extension, it is important to remove the ransomware from their computer before attempting to recover files. Detailed instructions on how to remove the Qarj ransomware, how to use the Qarj File Decrypt Tool to decrypt files, and how to recover files if the decryptor is not successful are provided below. Users are advised to follow all steps carefully to avoid missing any critical points.
Text presented on the Qarj 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||Qarj ransomware, Qarj file virus|
|Type||Ransomware, Crypto malware, File locker, Crypto virus, Filecoder|
|Ransom amount||$490 or $980 in Bitcoins|
|Detection Names||Gen:Variant.Zusy.452743, Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj], Win.Dropper.Tofsee-9992461-0, W32/UrSnif.EO.gen!Eldorado, A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HTAD, Win32.Trojan-Ransom.STOP.T9N99D, Malware.Win32.STOP.cc, HEUR:Trojan-PSW.Win32.Rhadamanthus.gen|
|Symptoms||When you try to open your file, Windows notifies that you do not have permission to open this file. Odd, new or missing file extensions. Files called such as ”, ‘#_README_#’, ‘_DECRYPT_’ or ‘recover’ in each folder with at least one encrypted file.. New files on your desktop, with name variants of: ‘HOW_TO_DECRYPT.txt’, ‘DECRYPT.txt’ or ‘README.txt’.|
|Distribution ways||Malicious spam (also known as ‘malspam’). Drive-by downloading (when a user unknowingly visits an infected webpage and then malware is installed without the user’s knowledge). Social media, such as web-based instant messaging programs. Cybercriminals use suspicious advertisements to distribute malicious software with no user interaction required.|
|Removal||Qarj ransomware removal guide|
|Decryption||Qarj File Decrypt Tool|
How to remove Qarj virus (ransomware)
To successfully decrypt or recover .Qarj files, it is essential to eliminate Qarj ransomware and its autostart entries. Failing to do so may result in the ransomware re-encrypting the restored files. Stopping the ransomware is a straightforward process and can be accomplished through various methods. One way is to perform a complete system scan using malware removal tools that can detect and remove ransomware infections for free. To make the process more convenient, consider reading this entire guide and saving it on your smartphone or printing it out. This way, you will have easy access to all the necessary steps.
Scanning your computer for malware is crucial since security researchers have discovered that Qarj ransomware may install spyware alongside it. Spyware poses a significant security risk as it can steal sensitive information like passwords, login credentials, and contact details from the user. If you encounter any issues removing the Qarj virus, feel free to inform us in the comments section, and we will attempt to assist you.
To remove Qarj ransomware, follow the steps below:
Kill Qarj virus
Press CTRL, ALT, DEL keys together.
Click Task Manager. Select the “Processes” tab, look for something suspicious that is the Qarj 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 Qarj 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. The process name can also contain “(32 bit)”. If you do not find a process with a similar name in the list of processes, then most likely the Qarj 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 Qarj 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 Qarj 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.
Remove Qarj virus
Run Task Manager and select the “Start-Up” tab. Right click to the Qarj 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 Qarj virus. 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 Qarj virus. Right-click on the file and select Delete.
Scan computer for malware
Malwarebytes is a reputable antivirus and anti-malware software that can be used to remove various types of malware from infected devices. However, the effectiveness of Malwarebytes in removing ransomware depends on the type and severity of the ransomware infection.
Malwarebytes can detect and remove most ransomware threats, including Qarj ransomware, which is a type of ransomware that encrypts victims’ files and demands a ransom for decryption. Malwarebytes uses advanced scanning algorithms and heuristics to detect and remove malicious files, processes, and registry entries associated with ransomware.
However, if the ransomware has already encrypted the victim’s files, Malwarebytes alone cannot decrypt them. In this case, the victim would need to use Stop (Djvu) Decryptor, or restore the encrypted files using the steps below.
Click the following link and download the latest version of Malwarebytes for your operating system.
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
Once the download is complete, double-click on the downloaded file to start the installation process.
Follow the instructions provided by the Malwarebytes installer to complete the installation process.
After the installation is complete, launch Malwarebytes by double-clicking on its desktop icon or through the Start menu.
In the Malwarebytes main screen, click on the “Scan” button to start a system scan. Malwarebytes will automatically scan your system for ransomware, malware, adware, and other potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).
After the scan is complete, Malwarebytes will display a list of threats found on your system. To remove the threats, click on the “Quarantine” button.
Malwarebytes will quarantine the detected threats, which will prevent them from harming your computer. Once the quarantine process is complete, you can choose to either delete the quarantined files or restore them if you believe they are legitimate. After you have selected the appropriate action, restart your computer to complete the removal process.
To ensure complete removal of the Qarj virus from your computer, we suggest utilizing the Kaspersky virus removal tool (KVRT) which is both cost-free and user-friendly. With its ability to detect and delete different types of malware, including ransomware, spyware, adware, worms, trojans, potentially unwanted apps, and more, KVRT is a powerful tool. Additionally, it can locate and remove malicious files and registry entries that may be concealed on your system.
Download Kaspersky virus removal tool from the following link. Save it to your Desktop.
Author: Kaspersky® lab
Category: Security tools
Update: March 5, 2018
When downloading is finished, double-click on the Kaspersky virus removal tool icon. Once initialization process is finished, you will see the KVRT screen as shown in the figure below.
Click Change Parameters and set a check near all your drives. Press OK to close the Parameters window. Next click Start scan button . KVRT tool will begin scanning the whole PC to detect the Qarj ransomware. This procedure can take some time, so please be patient.
When Kaspersky virus removal tool has completed scanning, it will open the Scan Results like below.
Review the results once the utility has finished the system scan. If you think an entry should not be quarantined, then uncheck it. Otherwise, simply click on Continue to begin a cleaning process.
How to decrypt .Qarj files
Files that have the extension ‘.Qarj’ have been encrypted and cannot be unlocked by simply renaming or changing the file name. To access the contents of these files, a decryptor is required. Thankfully, there is a Qarj File Decrypt Tool available that can decrypt these files for free. Instructions on how to download and use this tool are provided below.
To decrypt .Qarj files, use Qarj File Decrypt Tool
- Download Qarj 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.
The Qarj File Decrypt Tool is a free solution that enables anyone to decrypt .Qarj files at no cost. However, it is important to note that the decryptor can only decrypt files that were encrypted using an offline key. If the files were encrypted with an online key, then the free decryptor will not be of any use. Nevertheless, there are alternative methods available to restore encrypted files in such cases, which are explained below.
How to find out which key was used to encrypt files
Since Qarj File Decrypt Tool only decrypts files encrypted with the offline key, each Qarj’s 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. We recommend using the second method, as it is more accurate.
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 ‘0664’ – 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’, Qarj virus 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.
Qarj File Decrypt Tool : “No key for New Variant online ID”
If, when you try to decrypt .Qarj files, Qarj 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 vari 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.
Qarj File Decrypt Tool : “No key for New Variant offline ID”
If, during decryption of .Qarj files, Qarj 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 .Qarj files.
This video step-by-step guide will demonstrate How to use STOP Djvu decryptor to decrypt encrypted files.
How to restore .Qarj files
Fortunately, there are alternative methods available to recover encrypted files that do not require a decryptor and a key. These methods can be used by any victim of ransomware, regardless of the key used to encrypt their files. Additionally, using these methods will not interfere with the decryption of files using a free Qarj File Decrypt Tool. However, it is important to check your computer for malware using free malware removal tools before attempting to recover your files. It is essential to ensure that the ransomware has been fully removed before proceeding with file recovery.
Recover .Qarj files with ShadowExplorer
A tool called ShadowExplorer is available for free and can be used to restore files that have been encrypted by the Qarj crypto malware using the ‘Previous Versions’ feature of Microsoft Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Vista. This tool can restore photos, documents, and music from Shadow Copies without any cost.
Visit the following page to download the latest version of ShadowExplorer for MS Windows. Save it on your Microsoft Windows desktop or in any other place.
Category: Security tools
Update: September 15, 2019
After the downloading process is done, 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 screen below.
Start the ShadowExplorer utility and then choose the disk (1) and the date (2) that you wish to recover the shadow copy of file(s) encrypted by the Qarj virus as displayed on the image below.
Now navigate to the file or folder that you wish to recover. When ready right-click on it and click ‘Export’ button like below.
This video step-by-step guide will demonstrate How to recover encrypted files using Shadow Explorer.
Use PhotoRec to restore .Qarj files
One final option to restore encrypted files is through the use of data recovery tools. We suggest using a free tool called PhotoRec, which is equipped with all the essential functions needed to restore the contents of encrypted files. It has been proven to help many victims successfully recover their data, even when it appeared to be impossible.
Download PhotoRec on your Windows Desktop by clicking on the following link.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 1, 2018
When 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 shown in the following example.
Double click on qphotorec_win to run PhotoRec for MS Windows. It’ll open a screen as displayed in the figure below.
Select a drive to recover as shown on the screen below.
You will see a list of available partitions. Select a partition that holds encrypted documents, photos and music as displayed on the screen below.
Click File Formats button and choose file types to recover. You can to enable or disable the restore of certain file types. When this is done, click OK button.
Next, click Browse button to choose where restored photos, documents and music 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 restored personal files are written in a folder that you have chosen on the previous step. You can to access the files even if the restore process is not finished.
When the recovery is finished, click on Quit button. Next, open the directory where restored personal files are stored. You will see a contents like below.
All recovered files 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 from Qarj ransomware
Most antivirus apps already have built-in protection system against the ransomware. Therefore, if your personal 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 tool 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 MS Windows operating system from Windows XP to Windows 10.
Installing the HitmanPro Alert is simple. First you’ll need to download HitmanPro.Alert by clicking on the link below. Save it directly to your Microsoft Windows Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 6, 2019
When the download is done, open the file location. You will see an icon like below.
Double click the HitmanPro Alert desktop icon. When the tool is launched, you will be displayed a window where you can choose a level of protection, as shown on the screen below.
Now press the Install button to activate the protection.
To sum up
In summary, the purpose of this guide is to assist those who have been impacted by the Qarj ransomware virus. Our aim is to provide helpful insights on how to eliminate the ransomware, decrypt .Qarj files, and restore encrypted files. In addition, we also explain the differences between an online key and an offline key. We sincerely hope that the information we have provided in this guide has proven to be useful for you.
If you have questions, then write to us, leaving a comment below. If you need more help with Qarj ransomware related issues, go to here.