Watz Virus Ransomware (.watz File) Removal

Watz Virus is a strain within the STOP/Djvu Ransomware family, employing the Salsa20 encryption algorithm to encrypt files on compromised systems. Victims are coerced into paying a ransom ranging from $499 to $999 in Bitcoins for the decryption key.

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About Watz Ransomware:


NameWatz Virus
Version0874
File Extension.watz
Contact[email protected], [email protected]
FamilySTOP/Djvu Ransomware
Note_readme.txt
Offline IDLc3VTezPWbMhuVAQFzJUdeA68PwI7UDpc5aKHYt1
Last seenJune 15, 2024
AlgorithmSalsa20 encryption. If Watz cannot establish a connection to crooks server before starting the encryption process, it uses the offline key. This key is the same for all victims(!), making it possible to decrypt .watz files in the future.
RansomFrom $499 to $999 (in Bitcoins)
Damage
  1. ⮞ Can delete Volume Shadow copies to make victim’s attempts to restore data impossible;
  2. ⮞ Adds a list of domains to HOSTS file to block access to certain security-related sites;
  3. ⮞ Installs password-stealing trojan virus, like Redline Stealer, Vidar Stealer, Smokeloader, Azorult and others;
DistributionThird-party downloaders, installers, peer-to-peer networks, RDP exploits, etc.,
RSA Public Key-----BEGIN PUBLIC KEY----- MIIBIjANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQEFAAOCAQ8AMIIBCgKCAQEAsZOJbLC8rdQ3RNFdWJ9l sRHwDxjXZCN4K9IEo3ccj2X7KVzvLXJ/I+jMWoFDgbTA5TMMDPMhlSykGYr1rbX9 tDxs5EL7FC3R6jbLzQ+QVdvG2Slvd1aEiSAhkrB6Z97DC28ixTGkA4aCQKKFT5ge SXPpDStS2N3zeiWPCMkOs9RErtxVW9sXoWRAFtBg2kSHTyKEWcRqnxplrJGdVQKU 0DxDnHDefnxaf/3VSRczBwGZlq/Mr2bfHM2Mf8JWmYztlmGbjGb//oixuuRePxzt 6xgozgVrC64HnagNFyODdlk2w/BpJWXIbgivZ0kR40Ll3NEAl3Z26cIkIc6pAJ3s fwIDAQAB -----END PUBLIC KEY-----
Other variants
  • Veza Ransomware (.veza encrypted files)
  • Vehu Ransomware (.vehu encrypted files)
  • Vepi Ransomware (.vepi encrypted files)
  • Watz Virus (.watz File): How Does Ransomware Works & What To Do?

    What is Watz ransomware?

    A Watz ransomware attack is undeniably distressing. It encrypts your files and demands a ransom in Bitcoins, typically around $1000. The primary objective of the cybercriminals spreading this malware is money laundering; they are not interested in personal information or other sensitive data.

    The encryption used by this virus is currently unbreakable. The challenge in decryption stems not only from the encryption method itself but also because the decryption keys are securely stored on a remote server under the control of the perpetrators. The sheer number of possible keys (2*10^78) renders brute force or any similar decryption attempts futile.

    In addition to encryption, Watz malware implements changes to several crucial system settings, complicating the search for a decryption method. It blocks the execution of installation files and restricts access to anti-malware resources online. Other alterations to system settings further degrade the usability of your PC.

    Understanding how the infection occurred is vital for preventing future incidents. This virus typically proliferates via websites offering "free" versions of popular software. While downloading a pirated version of Photoshop might seem harmless, there's no guarantee that the software hasn't been tampered with to include malicious code.

    Encryption process

    The Watz ransomware uses the Salsa20 encryption algorithm. That is not the strongest method, but it still provides an overwhelming amount of possible decryption keys. To brute force the 78-digit number of keys, you need 3.5 unvigintillion years (1*10^65), even if you use the most powerful regular PC. Quantum computers can show a bit better results, but it is still too slow to get your files back while you are alive.

    The exact algorithm of encryption is next: malware scans each folder for the files it is able to encrypt. Then, when it finds the target, it makes a copy of your file, removes the original one, encrypts the copy and leaves it instead of the removed original. Such a procedure is done to prevent the situation when you have already opened the file, so ransomware is not able to read it because of the Windows restrictions. To each encrypted copy, the virus adds the specific extension - ".watz". Then, ransomware creates a _readme.txt file in the folder where the encrypted file is located, and goes to the next folder.

    .WATZ Files

    Such an encryption method can be exploited for file recovery. Since the original file is deleted, you may try to recover it using the file recovery tools. The less time is passed - the bigger the chance to get your files back, so hurry up!

    Another specific moment that can help you to use the files even after the encryption is the fact that Watz ransomware encrypts only the first 150KB of each file. Hence, you can try to run a big file, such as video or music, without the encryption. Similar feature also works with other ransomware families - Dharma, Conti and Makop encrypt the same 150KB.

    Ransom note: _readme.txt

    Ransom note is the same for the whole ransomware family. In fact, it is one of the main signs of to which family the certain ransomware belongs. Here is the typical note for STOP/Djvu family:

    ATTENTION!

    Don't worry, you can return all your files!
    All your files like pictures, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
    The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
    This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
    What guarantees you have?
    You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
    But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
    Do not ask assistants from youtube and recovery data sites for help in recovering your data.
    They can use your free decryption quota and scam you.
    Our contact is emails in this text document only.
    You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
    https://wetransfer.com/downloads/abe121434ad837dd5bdd03878a14485820240531135509/34284d
    Price of private key and decrypt software is $999.
    Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $499.
    Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.
    Check your e-mail "Spam" or "Junk" folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.


    To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
    [email protected]

    Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
    [email protected]

    Your personal ID:
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    🔗 HowToFix.Guide: How To Decrypt .watz Files?

    Indicators of Compromise(IOC)

    File NameMD5File Size
    📜 SAMPLE.EXE9b3e38e023020228484dcc008d6f6e52844288
    📜 SAMPLE.EXE5230bc2f8f129c1cdcaa87821ef38b6d1150976