What is qkG Ransomware?
qkG Ransomware is a malicious Ransomware which targets Microsoft word files. It is self-replicating in nature and encrypts the document . It comes equipped with a custom XOR encryption algorithm. It changes the default template in Microsoft Word to infect all new documents.
The downloaded file runs the VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code once the user clicks on the ‘enable editing’ option in Microsoft word. This macro code generated by the qkG ransomware then affects the normal template of Microsoft word and infects every subsequent new file(s).
qkG Ransomware infects a word document and it enables the encryption, the moment the file is closed. Since the file works normally and the encryption occurs only on closing the file, the user is unaware that the document is affected by a malicious ransomware. On opening that same document again, the user finds out that the file is infected. Since the qkG Ransomware infects the file upon closing, the user may unknowingly share that file with another person which infects their PC as well.
qkG ransomware is one of the few malicious malware that uses VBA macros. (Macro is a programming language that gets embedded in an application or a program and launches itself along with the program.). The coding of the qkG ransomware is a simple XOR cipher.
Unlike, other malicious ransomware, qkG Ransomware does not make changes to file names or adds any extensions. It does not even create a different ransom note for the encrypted files. Instead, it places a short message in the infected document asking for 300 US Dollars. This is the following message that appears in the infected documents.
Subsequent versions also added a decryption key which was never made live in the code. In case this ransomware targets multiple systems simultaneously, there will be no way to decrypt the files. It also has a feature of scheduling in separate versions of the qkG ransomware to encrypt the files on a specific day of the week and at a specific time.
The qkG ransomware does the following after infecting a PC.
- Deactivates protected view by lowering several office security settings enabling the qkG macros to be executed automatically.
- Adds the qkG ransomware code to the normal.dot template which is the default template in Microsoft word.
- Using a XOR cipher it scrambles the contents of the current document.
- Adds a ransom note at the end of the current document.
- Name: qkG Ransomware
- Targeted Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.0/8.1, Windows 10.
- Category: Ransomware
- Symptoms: Shows a ransom message asking for 300$ in all word files at the end of the document.
How did your system get infected?
The cybercriminals use various strategies for malware distribution which include –
- Software Bundling: Software bundling is the process in which a malicious program is distributed with other free software, to get an unnoticed entry into your computer system. When a user installs a free application, the malicious programs gains a front door entry with the free application, the user has downloaded. Thus, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the installation screens while installing these free applications.
- Infected Storage Devices: Your system can also get infected by using removable media such as USB hard drives and jump drives without scanning them with an anti-virus.
- Spam Emails – Spamming is the most economic and common method used for the distribution of such malware. The targeted users get genuine looking emails which contain .doc, .txt, and other similar attachments. These attachments can be named as anything which can grab the user’s attention and triggers him/her to open the attachment. As soon as the user opens this attachment, the malware infects the user’s computer system.
- Malicious Websites or Malevolent Advertisements: The malicious websites are the ones which are created just for promoting the malware infections. Such websites include but are not limited to porn sites, torrent sites and other free downloading platforms. By visiting such websites, the adware infects the user’s computer without permission. Fake advertisements and updates like Flash player and windows updates which ask the user to update to the latest version are a few examples. When the users click on such links, their computer system gets infected. That is why, it is highly recommended to resist clicking on such links. Also avoid clicking on advertisements offering free stuff such as Win an iPhones, cars or free overseas trips etc.
How to remove qkG ransomware from your PC?
To delete qkG ransomware from your pc, follow these simple steps in the qkG ransomware removal guide. Do not attempt to solve the problem on your own because the uninstall process is complex and you might damage your data. Use a ransomware removal tool that can remove the threat properly. It is important to delete qkG ransomware to keep your PC risk free.
Restore the encrypted data via Windows previous version
If the system restore was enabled for both, system and user files, then you can recover your personal data through Windows Previous Version, provided the ransomware has not damaged the backup files. To restore your data follow the instructions given below –
- Open My Computer and search for the folder you want to restore.
- As soon as you find it, right click on it and choose the restore previous version option from the new window.
- This option will display all the previous copies of the folder.
- Now select restore data and through the options i.e. Open – Copy – Restore.
Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected –
- Keeping the Operating System Updated- In order to remain protected and avoid such infections, it is recommended to keep your Operating System updated by enabling the automatic update on your system. The systems with outdated or older versions of Operating System become an easy target for the attackers.
- Resist clicking on spam emails – One of the major techniques used for malware distribution is forwarding spam emails to the user. The system gets infected as soon as the user clicks on the attachment. These mails appear to be genuine, so be aware and resist falling for these tricks.
- Keep an eye on third party installations- It is quite important that you take due care while installing any third party applications for they are major source of such infections. Such malware programs come bundled with the free applications thereby requiring the user to remain cautious.
- Regular periodical backup- In order to keep your data and files safe, it is recommended to take regular back up of all your data and files either on an external drive or cloud.
- Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet security in your PC like Vipre and 360 Total Security so that it remains safe.
- Enable the Ad Blocker/Popup Blocker in your browser- Enabling the popup blocker/ ad blocker in your chosen browser will help you to stay protected from annoying adware.