TQV Ransomware

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

TQV ransomware removal instructions

What is TQV?

TQV is another ransomware-type virus discovered by malware security researcher, Leo. Once infiltrated, TQV encrypts most stored data (thereby making it unusable) and appends filenames with ".TQV" extension. For instance, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.TQV". Following successful encryption, TQV generates a text file ("@@README.TXT"), placing a copy in every existing folder. As usual, the new text file contains a ransom-demand message.

The message essentially states that data is encrypted and that victims must pay a ransom to restore it. No additional information is provided and, thus, it is currently unknown whether TQV uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. In any case, each victim receives a unique key necessary to restore data. Furthermore, all keys are stored on a remote server controlled by TQV's developers. Victims are encouraged to pay a ransom of $100 in exchange for the release of their keys. As compared to other ransomware, TQV's ransom is quite low - in most cases the cost fluctuates between $500 and $1500, and typically must be paid in a type of cryptocurrency (Bitcoins, Monero, etc.) Be aware, however, that cyber criminals can never be trusted. Research shows that these people often ignore victims once payments are submitted. Paying often gives not positive result and users are scammed. Therefore, we strongly advise you to ignore all requests to submit payments or contact these people. Unfortunately, there are currently no tools capable of cracking TQV's encryption and restoring data free of charge. The only solution is to restore everything from a backup.

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

TQV decrypt instructions

TQV shares many similarities with dozens of other ransomware-type viruses including Cryptes, FileEncrypted, and LockCrypt - these are just some examples from many. All are developed by different cyber criminals, and yet their behavior is identical - as with TQV, other ransomware also encrypts data and makes ransom demands. In most cases, these viruses have just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, most use RSA, AES, and other similar algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is still in development or has certain bugs/flaws (the key is hard-coded, stored locally or similar), decrypting 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, it is important to store them on a remote server or unplugged storage device, otherwise backups are encrypted with regular data.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Cyber criminals use various methods to distribute ransomware, however, the most popular five are: 1) spam emails; 2) trojans; 3) fake software updaters; 4) third party software download sources, and; 5) peer-to-peer [P2P] networks. Spam emails are delivered with malicious attachments (JavaScript files, MS Office documents, etc.) Once opened, these files execute commands that stealthily download and install malware. Trojans open "backdoors" for other viruses to infiltrate the system. Fake updaters inject malware by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. P2P networks and other unofficial download sources present malicious executables as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into downloading and installing malware. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior.

Threat Summary:
NameTQV virus
Threat TypeRansomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
SymptomsCan't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methodsInfected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
DamageAll files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.
Removal

To eliminate TQV virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To prevent ransomware infections, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading, installing, and updating software. Carefully analyze each email attachment received. If you believe the file to be irrelevant or has been sent by a suspicious/unrecognizable email address, do not open it. You are strongly advised to download your programs from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are used to promote rogue apps, and thus these tools should not be used. Furthermore, keep installed applications up-to-date. To achieve this, however, use implemented features or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount. The key to computer safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with TQV, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in TQV ransomware text file ("@@README.TXT"):

Your files had been encrypted Please send me $100 to get your files back
Send your information includes Security code, Computer name and Username to truongquocvi@gmail.com
Your security code is: 556W89V(
After receiving password, run TQVDecrypt on your desktop to decrypt files

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

Files encrypted by TQV

TQV ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of TQV 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 TQV 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 TQV 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 TQV 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 TQV 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 TQV 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 TQV, 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 TQV ransomware.

Note that the 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 TQV ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
TQV virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of TQV virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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