malwarebytes banner


Articles about removing Windows lockers, Browser lockers, Crypto-viruses and other types of blackmailing threats.

How to remove Vaze Ransomware and decrypt .vaze files

Vaze Ransomware (a.k.a. STOP Ransomware or Djvu Ransomware) is wide-spread file-encrypting virus-extortionist. This is one of the most dangerous ransomware with a high damaging effect and prevalence rate. It uses the AES-256 encryption algorithm in CFB mode with zero IV and a single 32-byte key for all files. A maximum of 0x500000 bytes (~5 Mb) of data at the beginning of each file is encrypted. The virus appends .vaze extensions to encoded files. The infection affects important and valuable files. These are MS Office documents, OpenOffice, PDF, text files, databases, photos, music, video, image files, archives, application files, etc. Djvu Ransomware does not encrypt system files, to make sure Windows operates correctly and users are able to browse the internet, visit the payment page and pay the ransom. Vaze Ransomware creates _readme.txt file, that is called "ransom note" and it contains instructions to make payment and contact details. The virus places it on the desktop and in the folders with encrypted files. Developers offer following contact details: and

How to remove Vapo Ransomware and decrypt .vapo files

Disastrous virus known as STOP Ransomware, in particular, its latest variation Vapo Ransomware doesn't loosen up and continues its malicious activity even during the peak of actual human coronavirus pandemic. Hackers release new variations every 3-4 days, and it is still hard to prevent the infection and recover from it. Recent versions have modified extensions, that are added to the end of affected files, now they are: .vapo. Although, there are decryption tools from Emsisoft available for previous versions, the newest ones are usually non-decryptable. The penetration, infection, and encryption processes remain the same: spam malvertising campaigns, peer-to-peer downloads, user's inattentiveness, and lack of decent protection lead to a severe loss of data after encryption using strong AES-256 algorithms. After finishing its devastating activity Vapo Ransomware leaves the text file – a ransom note, called _readme.txt, from which we can learn, that decryption costs from $490 to $980, and it is impossible without a certain decryption key.

How to remove Gatq Ransomware and decrypt .gatq files

Gatq Ransomware is, in fact, a subtype of notorious STOP Ransomware (DjVu Ransomware), that has been active since December 2017. The virus uses AES-256 (CFB-mode) encryption algorithm. This new version appeared in the middle of May 2023 and adds .gatq extension to encrypted files. STOP Ransomware belongs to a family of crypto-viruses, that demand money in exchange for decryption. The good news is, that most of previous versions of Gatq Ransomware could be decrypted using a special tool called STOP Djvu Decryptor (download link below in the article), developed by EmsiSoft. Gatq Ransomware uses exactly the same e-mails, ransom note patterns and other parameters as dozens of its predecessors: and Malware creates _readme.txt ransom note file with all the contact information and explanations.

How to remove Gaze Ransomware and decrypt .gaze files

Gaze Ransomware is one of many ransomware versions issued by the STOP/Djvu family. This particular version was released in the end of May 2023. Just like older versions, Gaze Ransomware encrypts PC-stored data and demands crypto ransom for unique decryption software that will unlock this data. Most often, malware like Gaze will scout through the available files and block access to the most valuable ones. The list of such usually consists of images, music, videos, and documents containing important information. After locating these files, the file-encryptor will write strong cryptographic algorithms over the targeted files to prevent users from manually approaching their decryption. Victims infected with this ransomware version will see their data changed with the .gaze extension. This means a compromised file like 1.pdf will change to something like 1.pdf.gaze. Then, Gaze developers set up their virus to create the _readme.txt file that features decryption guidelines.

How to remove Gapo Ransomware and decrypt .gapo files

Gapo Ransomware or as it is often called STOP Ransomware or Djvu Ransomware belongs to the large family of file-encryption viruses with long history and multiple modifications. Currently, this is one of the most widespread ransomware. We won't go deep into technical details of the infection, but explain simple methods and chances to decrypt affected files and remove the virus. The first thing you should know, there are cases, that can be treated successfully, the bad news is - chances of a successful outcome are less than 5%. In this article, we will observe variations that append .gapo extensions to files and appeared in the end of May 2023. Gapo Ransomware uses a similar pattern with all victims. It comes as a fake Windows update from torrent websites that run executable to disable security programs and starts the encryption process of valuable files, such as docs, videos, photos, music. In the end, it places a ransom note (_readme.txt) file in every folder with encrypted files.

How to remove Xaro Ransomware and decrypt .xaro files

Xaro is the name of a new file-encryptor virus recently developed by the STOP/Djvu ransomware genealogy. This ransomware variant appeared in May 2023 and shares generally identical traits with other versions released by this group of cybercriminals. The only thing that makes it unique is the .xaro extension that gets appended to targeted files during encryption. Once encrypted, files will no longer be accessible and look something like 1.pdf.xaro without the original shortcut icon. Following this, Xaro Ransomware creates a text note called _readme.txt to feature decryption guidelines. Overall, it is said victims have to pay for the unique decryption key (and tool) in order to recover the data. The price for decryption accounts for $490 within the first 72 hours and is claimed to double to $980 unless victims fit in the given timeframe. To make this demanded payment, victims have to initiate communication with swindlers (via e-mail) and get further instructions on paying the ransom.