What are GGWQ or”.GGWQ” extension files on your system?

The GGWQ ransomware is a file-encrypting ransomware infection that restricts access to data (documents, images, videos) by encrypting files with the “.[black_privat@tuta.io].GGWQ” extension. It then attempts to extort money from victims by asking for “ransom”, in the form of Bitcoin cryptocurrency, in exchange for access to data.

When you are first infected with the GGWQ ransomware it will scan your computer for images, videos, and important productivity documents and files such as .doc, .docx, .xls, and .pdf. When these files are detected, the ransomware will encrypt them and change their extension to “.[black_privat@tuta.io].GGWQ”, so that you are no longer able to open them.

There are several things you can do to protect yourself, your devices, and your data from GGWQ Ransomware, which you will get in this article.

This article will guide you to safely remove GGWQ Ransomware and help with recovery.

GGWQ Ransomware Description


Name GGWQ Ransomware
Type Ransomware, file-encrypting malware
Risk level High
Description GGWQ is a ransomware program that encrypts files, photos, videos, and other important documents on the target system with a unique key. If the user wants to recover their files then have to pay the ransom.
Occurrence Opening spam email attachments, Visiting suspicious pages and clicking on malicious links,  Browser Redirection to questionable sites or via other Trojans.
 Symptoms Restrict access to most of the files on the system, Change in desktop wallpaper, ransom message.
Extension . PASS
Ransom Note _readme.txt
Ransom Demanded between $980 to $490
Email or contact helpmanager@mail.ch, restoremanager@airmail.cc

Download the Anti-ransomware toolTo quickly eliminate GGWQRansomware from your computer.

Method Of Propagation

GGWQ ransomware may use various distribution tactics to spread its payload. However, the main infection vector is the payload-dropper within spam email attachments. Usually, the mails are subjected to any invoice, fax, job offers, or from any higher officials of the company. Also, the situation of CONVID-19 crisis, it, may also spread spam email related to any latest information about the pandemic to trick users opening the spam emails.

So, once the user opens the infected attachment, the macro-enabled document starts automatically running the macros. This downloads the infectious files on the system and further installs them on the system.

Other than that, the malware may spread along with malicious scripts laden with payloads of the virus on compromised websites. Social media links, software cracking tools, other Trojans as well as peer-to-peer sharing are other reasons you may be infected with  GGWQRansomware.

The Encryption Process

Upon successful installation, the PASS runs an encryption algorithm to lock the files with a unique key. Typically, it targets all types of documents, photos, videos, apps on the system.

As mention above, the motive behind is to demand the ransom to be paid in order to buy the decryption key from the authors of the threat. After encryption, the files are replaced with “. PASS” extension, the full pattern of the encryption is “originalfilename. PASS” extension.

For example, if a file named “home.jpg” would appear as “home.jpg. PASS“. Thus all the files will be replaced likewise which will be no more accessible. After the completing the encryption, it generates a ransom note containing the contact details of the authors along with unique ID for the victim.

The Ransom Note

After the encryption is completed, the ransomware creates a random note to inform users about the encryption and how they can recover their files. The note is named as  “_readme.txt” which can be found in each of the folder where encryption occurred and within the desktop screen.

The Text within the Ransom Note  “_readme.txt” is:


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.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that’s price for you is $490.
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:

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:

Your personal ID:

Here are few point concluded from the ransom note:

  • The files on the system including photos, databases, documents and are encrypted system with unique key;
  • The victims can only recover them back by paying ransom to the authors and buying the decryption key from them;
  • However, to clear the doubts, victims can send them 1 of their encrypted file that should not contain any sensitive information. The authors will decrypt it for free, after that the victims need to pay the ransom fee to the get the full decryption.
  • The price of the decryption fee is $980, however, they claim half the price if the victim contact within the 72 hours after the encryption.
  • To contact the authors, users can email at helpmanager@mail.ch and restoremanager@airmail.cc.

How To Remove GGWQRansomware virus Without Paying Ransom

However, security experts never recommend paying the ransom, as the extortionist does not have any guarantee to provide the full-decryption key even after paying the ransom. Besides that, paying the ransom encourage such crimes and earn profit by illegal ways. Thus, you should remove the GGWQransomware threat and try out other recovery methods given below. It it better to keep a backup of all your important files safety to fight against such threats. Before starting the removal, you should keep a copy of encrypted files along with ransom note in a separate flash drive.

To Remove GGWQRansomware From Windows System, Follow the steps:

Method 1: Remove GGWQRansomware Virus Using Safe Mode With Networking.

In this guide, you will find removal instruction of GGWQRansomware virus both manually and using anti-malware tool. However manual removal of ransomware threats are nearly impossible, so it is better to run a scan with anti-ransomware/malware to remove the virus.

Not all anti-malware are capable to detect and remove the ransomware threats, so it is better to opt for tools that have anti-ransomware features. As they keep their database updated with the latest ransomware threats and their behavior. So, when you run the scan they analyze the behavior of infectious files to remove it.

So, we recommend: HitmanPro.Alert, Avira, ESET and Ransomware defender. you can choose as per your choice.

Some detections by AV vendors: Check out the full detections 

TR/AD.InstaBot.nyavj as detected by Avira 

A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HIIS as detected by ESET

Trojan.TR/AD.InstaBot.nyavj as detected by F-Secure 

Mal/Generic-S as detected as Sophos (HitmanPro)

At times, virus does not allow the installation or scanning of anti-virus program, so you need to switch to “safe mode with networking”. After that you can try recovery of your data if you have any backup or we have listed some methods which may help you to recover some of your data.

For Windows XP and 7:

  1. Click on the “Start menu, then on click the arrow next to “Shut Down.” Select Restart. (Just as you normally Restart your PC).
  2. Once the computer screen is powered on, immediately start tapping “F8” key till you see “Advanced Boot Options” screen. if you don’t enter to the boot screen, then restart the process again and press F8 while the PC is restarting.
  3. Here, you need to choose “Safe Mode with Networking option and press “enter” key to troubleshooting windows. As later on, you need to access the internet.
    Safe Mode With Networking

    Safe Mode With Networking

  4. And you will now see the login screen. Now log in with your Administrator Account.

NOTE: To get back to your normal windows configuration, you need to repeat steps 1-3 and select Start Windows Normally.

  1. For Windows 10:

    Click Start –> Power and then hold the Shift key on your keyboard and click Restart.

  2. For Windows 8/8.1: 

    Press the “Windows key + C“, and then click “Settings“. Click “Power“, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and then click “Restart“.

  3. From here steps are same for Windows 10 and 8.
  4. Click “Troubleshoot”.
    Choose Troubleshoot

    Choose Troubleshoot

  5. Click Advanced options.
    Choose Advanced Options

    Choose Advanced Options

  6. Click Startup Settings.
    Choose Start Up Settings

    Choose Start Up Settings

  7. Click Restart.
    Click Restart To Enable Safe Mode

    Click Restart To Enable Safe Mode

  8. After your computer restarts, select Safe Mode with Networking.
    Windows 10 Safe Mode With Networking

    Windows 10 Safe Mode With Networking

  9. Enter your Administrative username and password to start Windows in Safe Mode with Networking.

NOTE: To get back to normal Windows configuration you need to Click Start –> Power and then click Restart.

Now, you need to search for files related with GGWQRansomware and delete them. However, manually finding and deleting them is impossible. And it may also affect your other files. Also, such threat are clever hide many files that makes removal a tricky process. Therefore, the safest way to get rid of such malware is to use a reliable ransomware malware removal program.  So, we recommend HitmanPro.Alert that comes with anti-ransomware detection.

Use HitmanPro.Alert To Remove GGWQRansomware(Recommended)”


HitmanPro.Alert is an advanced anti-malware program along with anti-ransomware features. That helps detecting the encrypted files and presence of any ransomware threats. Running HitmanPro.Alert on your computer will provide your real-time status, checks the browser integrity and alerts or any suspicious activity. So that you can have a safe browsing and online transactions. Read the full review of HitmanPro.Alert here.

Steps To Install And Run HitmanPro.Alert

  • Click on the provided link to download HitmanPro.Alert anti-malware;
    Download HitmanPro.Alert

    Download HitmanPro.Alert

  • Now, open the download folder to locate “hmpalert3”;
  • Click on it, to begin the installation;
  • It will ask your User Account control, if prompted click on “yes”; The download should begin shortly. HitmanPro.Alert window will appear, where you need to choose the options:
Click on Install

Click on Install

  • Choose Protection level as Maximum
  • And tick the other boxes and finally click on “Install”.
  • HitmanPro.Alert only takes 5MB of your memory and is very quick to install.
HitmanPro Scan Process

HitmanPro Scan Process

  • After the installation is complete, the scan will start. First scan may take up some minutes, as it will scan the whole computer.
    HitmanPro Scanning

    HitmanPro Scanning

  • The scan results are here. Carefully look down the list. You can here, the scan has found 1 Riskware and thousands of traces which can be risky.
    AV Threat Detection

    AV Threat Detection

  • You can select the threat to delete, quarantine, ignore or, mark as safe. If you want to remove all the threats, then simply click on the “Next” button below.
    AV Threat Removal

    AV Threat Removal

  • HitmanPro.Alert first creates a restore point and then starts the removal process. This helps to recover from any damage.
    Delete Threats

    Delete Threats

So, by performing the above steps, you can get rid of GGWQRansomware.

Method 2: Remove GGWQRansomware virus using System Restore Procedure

Another method is a manual way to get rid of Ransomware which is through System Restore. If you don’t know much about this process, then read here. Click here to perform System Restore in Windows OS.

Safe Mode with Command Prompt (Follow the above steps and choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt option from boot settings

To Reboot your computer to “Safe Mode with Command Prompt”

Windows 7 / Vista / XP

  • Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart.
  • Now select Troubleshoot –> Advanced options –> Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
  • Once your computer becomes active, select “Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt” in Startup Settings window.

Windows 10 / Windows 8

  • Click Start –> Restart –> OK.
  • When your computer becomes active, start pressing “F8″ multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  • Select Command Prompt from the list

To Restore your system to default settings as it was prior to the attack of GGWQRansomware

  1. Once the Command Prompt window appears, type “cd restore” and press Enter.
  2. Now again type “rstrui.exe” and hit Enter button;
    System Restore 1

    System Restore 1

  3. It will show up a new window, now click on “Next”.
    Restore System files Settings

    Restore System files Settings

  4. Then, select your restore point that should be prior to the attack of GGWQthreat or any other point you want. Click on “Next”.
    Restore System choose Date

    Restore System choose Date

  5. Now click on “Yes” to confirm the system restore.
Restore System Finish

Restore System Finish

Once the system restore to your selected date is done, then you need to restart your computer normally.

You should Download effective anti-virus program and scan your computer to ensure successful removal of any threat.

Alternative Software Recommendation

As a protection to your computer against Ransomware threat, we recommend Ransomware Defender, that is a dedicated tool to prevent ransomware attacks.

Ransomware Defender- A Comprehensive Protection Against Ransomware Threats

Box Ransomware Defender

This tool specifically designed to detect and block most of the ransomware threats prior to it makes any changes to the system. It not only blocks the threats, but also stops it completely with its pro-active mechanism.

Once installed, the Ransomware Defender will automatically Scan > Detect > Lock Down any malicious entry to the system. What we like about this tool, it works along with the primary antivirus programs without interrupting it. Read Full Review and Installation Guide

How to Restore the Encrypted Files by GGWQRansomware?

Here is a separate article that guides users of various methods to recover their encrypted files. However, the ransomware makes sure the files may not be unlocked by other tools, but you should try them out.

While you can search for online decryptor tools to check if the decryption of available. These are mostly free service provided by the experts after analyzing and cracking the encryption.

So, should check it out:

Click here to know How you can restore the encrypted file.

After you have successfully removed the GGWQransomware. It is important start backing up your important files to stay secured against ransomware threat. This is most recommended thing to do.

We recommend- EaseUS Todo Backup is a leading cloud solution. It protects your system and data from ransomware and makes file recovery easy in case of a ransomware attack.

EaseUS Todo backup

EaseUS Todo backup


  • Uses automatic and custom backup options. You can either select specific files, folders, directories and even create a clone of entire Drive.
  • It compresses file images to save space, and encrypt the files to prevent it from Ransomware/malware attacks.
  • Uses smart backup, which keeps on checking for any updates every half an hour. And does a full-backup of every 7 day.
  • For instant backup of any file, just select files/folders–> right-click in Window Explorer and add to Smart Backup .
  • Allows access of data anytime, anywhere.

Its a worth trying product, when it comes to protecting the privacy.

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