Vtua ransomware removal
Vtua ransomware is file-encrypting malware that comes from the Djvu/STOP ransomware family, notorious for releasing ransomware on a regular basis. The cyber gang has released hundreds of similar malware that encrypt files, all of which can be identified by the extensions they add to encrypted files. This ransomware adds .vtua, hence why it’s known as Vtua ransomware. At the moment, files encrypted by this ransomware are not recoverable if a backup is not available.
Vtua ransomware comes from the same family as Irjg, Nqsq, Tisc, and Rigd ransomware. The Djvu/STOP ransomware group keeps releasing ransomware on a regular basis, with Vtua being the most recent threat. These ransomware versions can be differentiated by the file extensions added to encrypted files. This ransomware adds .vtua. For example, image.jpg would become image.jpg.vtua. All your personal files will have this extension because the ransomware targets photos, videos, documents, images, etc. You will not be able to open these files unless you first run them through a decryption program, which unfortunately is in the hands of the ones operating this ransomware.
Once files are fully encrypted, the ransomware will drop a _readme.txt file that contains instructions on how to recover files. In the note, the cybercriminals offer victims to buy a decryptor for $980, or $490 if they make contact within the first 72 hours. However, as always, we caution users that paying the ransom is very risky because it does not guarantee that a decryptor will be sent. You should keep in mind that there is nothing stopping cybercriminals from not sending the decryptor since they are not obligated to help you. Many users have paid the ransom in the past but received nothing in return. In the end, whether to pay is your decision but you must be aware of the risks.
If you have a habit of backing up your files, there should be no issue with your recovering files that have been encrypted. However, it’s important to mention that you need to fully delete Vtua ransomware from the computer before you access your backup. If ransomware still remains when you connect to your backup, those files would become encrypted as well. Use anti-malware software to remove Vtua ransomware and you can then safely connect to your backup.
If your files have not been backed up, there is, unfortunately, not much you can do. Back up encrypted files and wait for a free decryptor to be released. NoMoreRansom is a good source for decryptors. There is a free Djvu/STOP decryptor developed by Emsisoft but it only works on Djvu ransomware that uses offline keys for file encryption. Unfortunately, Vtua ransomware and most Djvu versions released after 2019 use online keys to encrypt files. Thus, until the keys are released, a free decryption tool will not be available. It is possible that the keys will eventually be released by cybercriminals themselves, or by law enforcement, thus allowing malware researchers to release a free decryptor.
Ransomware distribution methods
Users who have bad browsing habits are the ones at the biggest risk to pick up infections like ransomware. Bad habits include opening unsolicited email attachments, clicking on ads when on high-risk websites, pirating via torrents, falling for fake virus alerts, etc. Developing better browsing habits and learning to recognize malware can go a long way towards preventing infections.
Malspam, or malicious spam, is likely the most common way users pick up ransomware infections. As long as the emails remain unopened, they are harmless. However, the moment the malware-ridden file is opened, the malware can initiate. Fortunately, malicious emails can usually be easily identifiable because they are pretty low-effort. The emails are full of grammar and spelling mistakes, even when senders claim to be emailing on behalf of a legitimate company whose services you use. Grammar/spelling mistakes in official correspondence look unprofessional, thus legitimate emails will not have them. Another sign that an email may be malicious is generic terms like User, Member, Customer, etc., used to address you instead of your name. If a company whose services you use sends you an email, your name will always be used to address you. Otherwise, it looks unprofessional. It should also be mentioned that malicious emails can be much more sophisticated, though usually, it happens when a target is someone specific and more information about them is known. As a precaution, we recommend scanning all unsolicited email attachments with anti-virus software or VirusTotal to check that they are safe before opening them.
Torrents are also an easy way to pick up ransomware and other malware infections. It’s a known fact that torrent sites are notoriously badly regulated, which allows malicious actors to easily upload malicious content disguised as a torrent for something popular, like a movie, TV series, video game, or software. In particular, when highly anticipated content comes out, its torrents are often full of malware. For example, when a Marvel movie comes out, its torrents contain malware more often than not.
Lastly, it should be mentioned that malware can be lurking in ads displayed on high-risk websites, such as ones that have pornography or pirated content. Fake malware alerts that appear on those sites are also dangerous to interact with.
Vtua ransomware removal
We always recommend using anti-malware software for malware removal, so do not attempt to delete Vtua ransomware manually. It’s a highly complex malware infection and requires professional removal. If you try to remove Vtua ransomware manually, you may cause additional damage and/or not remove the malware fully. If you connect to your backup without fully removing the ransomware, backed-up files would become encrypted as well. Only when you are sure the malware is gone from your computer should you access your backup.
If you have not backed up your files, there’s not much you can do to recover them. It’s possible that a free Vtua ransomware decryption tool will be released in the future, though it’s not available at the moment. Because this ransomware uses online keys for file encryption, the keys are different for each victim. Without those keys, developing a working decryptor is not possible. However, the keys may be released in the future, thus a working decryptor may become available. Thus, back up encrypted files and check NoMoreRansom for a decryptor from time to time.
WiperSoft.com is not sponsored, affiliated, linked to or owned by malware developers or distributors that are referred to in this article. The article does NOT endorse or promote malicious programs. The intention behind it is to present useful information that will help users to detect and eliminate malware from their computer by using WiperSoft and/or the manual removal guide.
The article should only be used for educational purposes. If you follow the instructions provided in the article, you agree to be bound by this disclaimer. We do not guarantee that the article will aid you in completely removing the malware from your PC. Malicious programs are constantly developing, which is why it is not always easy or possible to clean the computer by using only the manual removal guide.
Leave a comment