DATASTOP Ransomware

Also Known As: DATASTOP virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

DATASTOP ransomware removal instructions

What is DATASTOP?

Discovered by Michael Gillespie, DATASTOP is an updated version of high-risk ransomware called STOP. It is designed to infiltrate the system and encrypt most stored files using RSA-1024 encryption. Compromised data immediately becomes unusable. During encryption, DATASTOP appends filenames with the ".DATASTOP" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.DATASTOP"). Once encryption is complete, DATASTOP generates a text file ("!!!DATA_RESTORE!!!.txt"), placing a copy in every existing folder.

DATASTOP's text file contains a message stating that data is encrypted and can only be restored using a decryption tool and a unique decryption key. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. As mentioned above, DATASTOP uses RSA-1024 algorithm, which is asymmetric. Therefore, each victim receives a unique public (encryption) and private (decryption) key. Restoring data without the private key is impossible. Aware of this, developers hide all keys on a remote server and blackmail victims. To receive a decryption tool and key, users must contact DATASTOP's developers and pay a ransom. The cost is currently unconfirmed - all details are supposedly provided via email. Be aware, however, that cyber criminals typically demand $500-1500 in Monero, Bitcoins, or another cryptocurrency. Note that these people cannot be trusted. Research shows that many victims are scammed after paying ransoms. Paying simply gives no positive result. Therefore, we strongly advise you to ignore all requests to contact these people or pay ransoms. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking RSA algorithm and restoring files free of charge. There is only one solution: to restore everything from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

DATASTOP decrypt instructions

The Internet is full of ransomware similar to DATASTOP. For example, SHRUG, Deep, Zzz12, Jewsomware, and many others. These viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, and yet their behavior is identical - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. In most cases, the only major differences are size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm used. These viruses use algorithms such as RSA, AES, and others that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has flaws, restoring data manually without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, store backups on an unplugged storage device or remote server, otherwise backups might be encrypted together with regular files.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Most ransomware is proliferated using spam emails (malicious attachments), P2P networks (eMule, torrents, and so on), unofficial software download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, etc.), fake software updaters, and trojans. Infectious attachments typically come in the format of JavaScript files or MS Office documents. Once opened, these files execute scripts that stealthily download and install malware. P2P networks and other third party download sources present malicious executables as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into downloading and installing malware. Fake updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. Trojans open "backdoors" for other viruses to infiltrate the system.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Carefully analyze any email attachments received. Irrelevant files and those received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. Furthermore, download your programs from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are used to promote rogue apps, and thus should never be used. Keeping installed applications up-to-date is also very important, however, this should be achieved through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite is also paramount. If your computer is already infected with DATASTOP, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in DATASTOP ransomware text file ("!!!DATA_RESTORE!!!.txt"):

All your important files were encrypted on this PC.
All files with .DATASTOP 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 decryptiondata@bitmessage.ch send us an email your !!!DATA_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.
Your personal id: -
E-mail address to contact us:
decryptiondata@bitmessage.ch
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
decryptiondata@india.com

Screenshot of files encrypted by DATASTOP (".DATASTOP" extension):

Files encrypted by DATASTOP

DATASTOP ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of DATASTOP virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of DATASTOP virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the DATASTOP virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the DATASTOP ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining DATASTOP ransomware files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of DATASTOP are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.

To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by DATASTOP, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

To protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as DATASTOP ransomware.

Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.

Controll Folder Access

Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.

Other tools known to remove DATASTOP ransomware: