STOP ransomware family are very active on releasing new variants almost daily. The newly discovered Xoza virus is a testament that cyber crooks behind it are eager to infect huge quantity of computer users. By employing different kinds of online deployment mechanism, Xoza may reach target victims instantly via the global internet connection. Two methods were seen to be heavily spreading Xoza and those are malicious advertising campaign and spam email messages. Though, computer security experts and malware researchers never disregard other distribution tactics like dubious file-sharing networks, software bundling, and harmful scripts from infected websites. As such, it is always advice to take every precaution while online, whether downloading file, receiving emails, or simply surfing the internet.
Most important of all, aside from preventing ransomware attack, is to safeguard valuable data. By regularly backing up important files, victims can easily recuperate even from the extremely destructive attack of Xoza ransomware or any similar threats that aims to damage common data.
If Xoza ransomware penetrates the computer, the virus starts to gather information especially files that are valuable to users like .doc, .xls, .zip, .pdf, .jpg, .png, .ppt, .dwg, .psd, .rar, and so on. Then, it will start with the encryption process that will corrupt majority of files. In addition, the virus appends all data with .xoza extension. Therefore, archive.zip would turn into archive.zip.xoza after it was decrypted by this crypto-virus.
People behind Xoza always provide information to guide victims on recovering their files. Generating _readme.txt file containing precise instruction is uniform to all STOP ransomware variants including Reco, Noos, and Kuub. Attackers are demanding $980 as payment for private key and decryption tool, which according to them is capable of restoring all encrypted files. Hence, there is no guarantee to this and unfortunately, victims may only receive the items after full payment has been transmitted to attackers account.
How to Remove Xoza Ransomware
Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Xoza virus. Aside from our suggested tool, you may also run your own security program.
Though affected files may be impossible to decrypt due to complexity of the encryption, you can still try Xozavery method like alternative tool, Shadow Explorer or Previous Version as described below.
Stage 1: Scan the Computer with Anti-Malware Tool
1. Download free anti-malware scanner called MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (this will open a new window)
2. After downloading, install the program. It may run automatically or you have to double-click on the downloaded file MB3-Setup-[version].exe.
3. Carry out the installation with default setup process.
4. At the last stage of installation process, click the Finish button. The program should launch momentarily.
5. On Malwarebytes Anti-Malware console, select Scan from the menu to see available Scan Method.
6. Next, click on Threat Scan. This is the most complete scan method that will surely find any hidden malicious objects associated to Xoza ransomware.
7. Finally, click on Start Scan begin checking the computer for malware and similar threats.
8. Once the scan has completed, the tool will display the list of detected threats. Remove all identified malicious items and restart the computer if necessary.
Stage 2: Double-check for Xoza’s leftover with Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool
1. Download the free scanner called Malicious Software Removal Tool.
Malicious Software Removal Tool Download Link (this will open a new window)
2. The tool automatically checks the operating system and suggest appropriate download version. Click on Download button to begin. Save the file to a convenient location, preferably on Desktop.
3. After downloading the file, Windows will prompt that download has completed. Click Run to start scanning for Xoza ransomware. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.
4. The tool will display Welcome screen, click Next. Please note the message “This tool is not a replacement for an antivirus product.” You must understand that this program is made specifically to find and remove malware, viruses, Trojans, and other harmful elements on the computer. It was not designed to protect the computer.
5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Xoza ransom virus entities and other harmful files left on the computer will be found and removed. For advanced computer user, you can opt for Customized Scan, if there are other drives or folders you wanted to include in this scan.
6. Full scan may take a while, please wait for Malicious Software Removal Tool to complete the tasks. However, you may cancel the scan anytime by clicking on the Cancel button.
7. After scanning, the tool will reveal all identified threats. There may be other threats that our first scan fails to detect. Please remove/delete all detected items.
8. When removal procedure is complete, you may now close Malicious Software Removal Tool. We hope that Xoza ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.
Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Xoza Decryption Tool
Tools that may decrypt files infected by Xoza is not yet available at this time. We will update this section once the tool is on hand. In the meantime, please try the options below.
Option 1: Windows Previous Version Tool
Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a feature called Previous Versions. However, this tool is only usable if restore point was made prior to Xoza ransomware infection. To use this tool and Xozaver files affected by the virus, please follow these steps:
1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.
2. Right-click on the affected files or folders. From the drop-down list, please click on Restore previous versions.
3. New window will open display all backup copy of files and folders you wanted to Xozaver. Choose the appropriate file and click on Open, Copy, or Restore. Restoring selected files overwrites the current encrypted files on the computer.
Option 2: Use ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Xoza Ransomware
Just like Previous Version tool, ShadowExplorer is taking advantage of shadow copy created by Windows. This tool allows you to retrieve older version of files before it was encrypted by Xoza ransomware.
1. Download ShadowExplorer from the official web site.
2. Install the program with the default settings.
3. The program should run automatically after installation. If not, double-click on ShadowExplorer icon.
4. You can see the drop-down list on top of the console. Please select proper drive and the most recent point-in-time shadow copies of files you wish to restore prior to Xoza ransomware infection.
5. Right-click on the Drive, Folder, or File you wish to restore and click Export…
6. Lastly, ShadowExplorer will prompt for location where you want to save the copy of Xozavered files.