POWZ Ransomware Joins the STOP/Djvu Ransomware Family
Another variant of the infamous STOP/Djvu Ransomware Family has been discovered, and this time the culprit is POWZ Ransomware. Like other members of the same ransomware group, this version also locks critical files and then demands a ransom fee to restore file access. Threats like POWZ Ransomware can spread via software bundling, so if you often download freeware or pirated apps distributed via torrent or cracked software sites, you may easily end up installing this threat.
POWZ Ransomware locks most popular file types, including photos, music, documents, and videos. During the file encryption process, the malware adds the .POWZ extension to affected files and leaves a ransom note on the user’s desktop and in every folder containing encrypted files. There are no free online decryption tools available that can unlock encrypted files. The only reliable way to recover affected files is to restore them from a backup. Victims can also attempt to use alternative data recovery options, but there is no guarantee that alternative data recovery tools will be able to unlock all the encrypted files.
After download and installation, POWZ Ransomware leverages the AES encryption algorithm to lock up target files. It then demands a ransom in exchange for the decryption key. The decryption key costs $980, but the ransomware’s operators will offer a 50% discount, and only charge $490, if the victim contacts them within the first 72 hours after infection. The hackers can be contacted at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. We discourage establishing contact with the hackers however, as there is no guarantee that they will provide decryption tools after payment or even communicate with you.
How Do I Deal with the POWZ Ransomware Infection?
To protect yourself from the POWZ Ransomware attack, you should practice safe web browsing habits like refraining from opening email attachments from unknown senders and downloading programs from unreliable sources. You should also have a reputable malware remediation tool installed on your computer. That way, you can regularly scan for elements associated with this troublesome ransomware infection and other malware. Also, to reduce the potential damage of a future ransomware infection, please consider backing up your files on an external hard drive or cloud storage.