What is STOP Ransomware
This is first part of the guide, for those infected with .PAUSA, .CONTACTUS, .DATASTOP or .STOPDATA variations, please, visit second part of the removal guide. All newly discovered information will be there.
STOP Ransomware is dangerous file-encrypting virus. It uses AES/RSA-1024 encryption algorithm. Depending on version, ransomware adds .STOP, .SUSPENDED or .WAITING extensions to encrypted files. First variant of STOP Ransomware creates !!!YourDataRestore!!!.txt files, second !!!RestoreProcess!!!.txt, third !!!INFO_RESTORE!!!.txt. In these files, malware demands $600 ransom, that has to be paid in 72 hours, in Bitcoins. It also contains user personal ID and e-mail addresses for contacting. Here is the example of content inside such files:
All your important files were encrypted on this PC.
All files with .WAITING extension are encrypted.
Encryption was produced using unique private key RSA-1024 generated for this computer.
To decrypt your files, you need to obtain private key + decrypt software.
To retrieve the private key and decrypt software, you need to contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org send us an email your !!!INFO_RESTORE!!!.txt file and wait for further instructions.
For you to be sure, that we can decrypt your files - you can send us a 1-3 any not very big encrypted files and we will send you back it in a original form FREE.
Price for decryption $600 if you contact us first 72 hours.
Your personal id:
E-mail address to contact us:
Reserve email address to contact us:
You can try to ask for Dr. Web decryption service, or restore from backups. You can also keep your files until decryptor will be released. Use instructions in this article to remove STOP Ransomware and decrypt .STOP, .SUSPENDED or .WAITING files in Windows 10, Windows 8 or Windows 7.
How STOP Ransomware infected your PC
It can be distributed by hacking through an unprotected RDP configuration, using email spam and malicious attachments, fraudulent downloads, exploits, web injections, fake updates, repackaged and infected installers. STOP Ransomware targets MS Office documents, OpenOffice, PDF, text files, databases, photos, music, video, image files, archives and other types of sensitive data. Virus assigns certain ID with the victims, that is used to name those files and supposedly to send decryption key. In order to prevent infection with this type of threats in future we recommend you to use SpyHunter 5 or Norton Antivirus.
Download STOP Ransomware Removal Tool
To remove STOP Ransomware completely, we recommend you to use SpyHunter 5 from EnigmaSoft Limited. It detects and removes all files, folders, and registry keys of STOP Ransomware. The trial version of SpyHunter 5 offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.
Alternative Removal Tool
To remove STOP Ransomware completely, we recommend you to use Norton Antivirus from Symantec. It detects and removes all files, folders, and registry keys of STOP Ransomware and prevents future infections by similar viruses.
How to remove STOP Ransomware manually
It is not recommended to remove STOP Ransomware manually, for safer solution use Removal Tools instead.
STOP Ransomware files:
STOP Ransomware registry keys:
How to decrypt and restore .STOP, .SUSPENDED or .WAITING files
Use automated decryptors
Use following tool from Kaspersky called Rakhni Decryptor, that can decrypt .STOP, .SUSPENDED or .WAITING files. Download it here:
There is no purpose to pay the ransom, because there is no guarantee you will receive the key, but you will put your bank credentials at risk.
If you are infected with STOP Ransomware and removed it from your computer you can try to decrypt your files. Antivirus vendors and individuals create free decryptors for some crypto-lockers. To attempt to decrypt them manually you can do the following:
Use Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery Pro to restore .STOP, .SUSPENDED or .WAITING files
- Download Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery Pro.
- Select location to scan for lost files and click Scan button.
- Wait until Quick and Deep scans finish.
- Preview found files and restore them.
Using Windows Previous Versions option:
- Right-click on infected file and choose Properties.
- Select Previous Versions tab.
- Choose particular version of the file and click Copy.
- To restore the selected file and replace the existing one, click on the Restore button.
- In case there is no items in the list choose alternative method.
Using Shadow Explorer:
- Download Shadow Explorer program.
- Run it and you will see screen listing of all the drives and the dates that shadow copy was created.
- Select the drive and date that you want to restore from.
- Right-click on a folder name and select Export.
- In case there are no other dates in the list, choose alternative method.
If you are using Dropbox:
- Login to the DropBox website and go to the folder that contains encrypted files.
- Right-click on the encrypted file and select Previous Versions.
- Select the version of the file you wish to restore and click on the Restore button.
How to protect computer from viruses like STOP Ransomware in future
1. Get special anti-ransomware software
Use ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware
Famous antivirus brand ZoneAlarm by Check Point released a comprehensive tool, that will help you with active anti-ransomware protection, as an additional shield to your current protection. The tool provides Zero-Day protection against ransomware and allows you to recover files. ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware is compatible with all other antiviruses, firewalls, and security software except ZoneAlarm Extreme (already shipped with ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware) or Check Point Endpoint products. The killer features of this application are: automatic file recovery, overwrite protection that instantly and automatically recovers any encrypted files, file protection that detects and blocks even unknown encryptors.
2. Back up your files
Regardless of success of protection against ransomware threats, you can save your files using simple online backup. Cloud services are quite fast and cheap nowadays. There is more sense using online backup, than creating physical drives, that can get infected and encrypted when connected to PC or get damaged from dropping or hitting. Windows 10 and 8/8.1 users can find pre-installed OneDrive backup solution from Microsoft. It is actually one of the best backup services on the market, and has reasonable pricing plans. Users of earlier versions can get acquainted with it here. Make sure to backup and sync most important files and folders in OneDrive.
3. Do not open spam e-mails and protect your mailbox
Malicious attachments to spam or phishing e-mails is most popular method of ransomware distribution. Using spam filters and creating anti-spam rules is good practice. One of the world leaders in anti-spam protection is MailWasher Pro. It works with various desktop applications, and provides very high level of anti-spam protection.