IGVM ransomware is a new variant of STOP/DJVU virus
- IGVM ransomware is a new variant of STOP/DJVU virus
- Ransomware-caused harm on your computer
- Prevent ransomware attacks by learning how it spreads
- Remove IGVM ransomware virus and take actions to restore your files
- Decrypt IGVM files
- Frequently Asked Questions
IGVM ransomware is a file-encrypting computer virus originating from STOP/DJVU malware family. Recognized as the 297th variant, the virus uses RSA algorithm to lock victim’s personal files, then appends additional .igvm extension after the file’s original one. To illustrate, file called 1.jpg becomes 1.jpg.igvm after the cyber attack. During the attack, the malware creates and saves a ransom note called _readme.txt in every folder. This file holds a message from the attackers. According to them, the victim has to pay a ransom worth $490 or $980 in Bitcoin if one wants to decrypt all locked files. The attackers suggest contacting them via email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for further instructions.
It is a common practice for ransomware viruses to leave notes for the victim. In this case, IGVM file virus’ operators explain that all files were encrypted with “strongest” encryption and that the only method of recovering locked photos, videos, databases and archives is to pay the cybercriminals the specified sum of money (in other words, a ransom). The attackers suggest testing the IGVM decryption tool for free first – for this matter, the victim needs to send one encrypted file to the criminals via provided emails and expect to receive a decrypted version in return. This is a technique that cyber attackers use to convince the victim believe that such tool actually exists, and encourage to pay the ransom sooner.
_readme.txt note also introduces the decryption tool pricing. According to the criminals, victim has to reach out within 72 hours, as this guarantees 50% discount on the ransom price. In this scenario, the recovery tool would cost $490 in Bitcoin. If the victim waits more than 3 days, the ransom price will be $980 in Bitcoin. The reason why the attackers ask to receive the ransom in cryptocurrency is because this guarantees that the money sent by the victim will be untraceable and hence it will be impossible to hunt the attackers down.
However, if paying up seems like the only reason to get your files back, we strongly advise against ransom payments. Various cybersecurity experts and even FBI do not recommend paying up due to the following reasons:
- The criminals might stop responding as soon as you transfer money to their virtual wallet address;
- The so-called decryption tool can be faulty or fail to work due to data modification on your end;
- Avoiding funding this illegal business model. The fact that ransomware operators collect millions in ransoms each year simply encourages people to join this cybercrime industry;
- STOP/DJVU variants can install AZORULT Trojan information stealer on infected systems. This Trojan is capable of stealing details that could be used in scam or extortion campaigns and possibly lead to financial or private data loss. Instead of transferring your hard-earned money for such criminals, take actions to remove their malware from your personal computer!
- Final reason to consider is that paying the ransom can be illegal in your country.
Ransomware-caused harm on your computer
The primary task of IGVM ransomware virus is to check your computer system for target file formats and encrypt them using a private RSA key. Once virus locks the files, it then runs several commands via CMD.exe to delete Volume Shadow Copies from the system. This prevents the victim from restoring file copies for free, using Windows tools. Next, the virus modifies Windows HOSTS file by adding a list of domains to it. These domains are mostly computer or IT-relates websites, so most likely the attackers take this measure to prevent the victim from seeking help or information online.
Speaking of AZORULT Trojan installation, we must say that it is a nasty piece of malware that provides a lengthy set of functionalities for remote attacker. This Trojan can provide remote access to victim’s computer and allow the criminal to execute a list of commands, such as stealing information such as:
- Browser-related information, such as cookies, saved passwords and browsing history details;
- Cryptocurrency wallets;
- Steam, Telegram login credentials and possibly credentials for other applications as well.
AZORUTL can also be used to view, download or delete files from the infected computer. Needless to say, you need to get rid of such annoying malware as soon as possibly. We recommend you to remove IGVM ransomware virus along with other malware using automatic malware removal tools. We also strongly suggest downloading and running RESTORO to repair virus damage on Windows OS files.
Scan your system for FREE to detect security, hardware and stability issues. You can use the scan results and try to remove threats manually, or you can choose to get the full version of software to fix detected issues and repair virus damage to Windows OS system files automatically. Includes Avira spyware/malware detection & removal engine.
|Name||IGVM Ransomware Virus|
|Type||Ransomware; Crypto-malware; Virtual Extortion Virus|
|Previous versions||VGKF, NQHD, ZAQI, YBER, VFGJ, FHKF, MAAK (find full list here)|
|Damage||RSA-data encryption on the compromised computer; the virus also marks encrypted files with additional extension, eliminates Volume Shadow Copies and modifies Windows HOSTS file to block access to a list of websites.|
|Ransom demand||$490-$980 in Bitcoin|
|Distribution||Can be downloaded along illegal torrent downloads, such as cracked software versions or KMSPico.|
|Detection names||Trojan:Win32/Glupteba (Microsoft), Glupteba.Backdoor.Bruteforce.DDS (Malwarebytes), TR/AD.InstaBot.bfsbw (Avira), HEUR:Exploit.Win32.Shellcode.gen (Kaspersky), Trojan.GenericKD.36669904 (B)(Emsisoft), W32.Trojan.Gen (Webroot) see all detection name variations on VirusTotal|
|Removal||Use automatic malware removal sofwtare to eliminate this ransomware from your computer, then we strongly recommend scanning with RESTORO to repair virus damage on Windows OS files.|
Prevent ransomware attacks by learning how it spreads
IGVM ransomware is part of STOP/DJVU virus family, which is known to be distributed via illegal downloads mainly. The vast majority of victims report downloading certain version of this malware via Adobe Photoshop cracks, video editing software cracks, game cracks and tools like KMSPico. The general pattern used by the ransomware operators is to inject malware into pricey software cracks and upload these to various low-reputation file-sharing websites. Victims who are in need of paid software with great functionality but are unwilling to pay its license fee are the primary targets of this ransomware.
What is even worse is that many computer users who look for illegal downloads are willing to ignore their security software warnings about a potentially malicious download; often times, they believe these alarms are false positives. In general, antivirus programs tend to block any crack-including archives, but for a good reason – these are known to contain malware.
We recommend you to stay away from shady file sharing sources and consider getting legitimate software from official sources. Typically, such software providers offer various pricing options that differ for home and enterprise users.
Another popular ransomware distribution technique is malicious email spam. The virtual attackers can inject malicious script into a wide range of files, even those that seem incapable of delivering payloads. The attackers usually name compromised files to make them appear as simple and important documents for the victim to overview, such as “invoice.pdf” or similar. The criminals compose an email message that urges the victim to view attached contents and reply immediately, stating that it is an urgent matter. Please also note that the attackers can use email spoofing techniques to make the sender’s email address appear legitimate. Thererefore, it can be extremely hard to identify real senders from fake ones. For this reason, we recommend that you only open emails that you did expect to receive – ignore the ones that you didn’t.
Ransomware victims should be aware of yet another shady malware distribution technique – fake decryption tools. Be careful and avoid downloading so-called file decryption tools from unconfirmed websites, because other ransomware strain operators (such as ZORAB) have been using this technique to double-infect victims with ransomware.
Remove IGVM ransomware virus and take actions to restore your files
Do not delay any longer and remove IGVM ransomware virus today. It is essential to cleanse your PC from malware as this helps to prevent further damage, especially with Azorult’s existence on your PC. Our team of experts have prepared an easy-to-follow virus removal guide for you. Once the virus is gone, consider downloading RESTORO and scanning the system with it. It can effectively repair virus damage on Windows OS files.
If you’re done with IGVM ransomware removal, we encourage you to report Internet crime incident to a respective authority in your country (see references below). Additionally, we provide current file decryption/repair tools available for STOP/DJVU ransomware damage management.
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Our team recommends a two-step rescue plan to remove ransomware and other remaining malware from your computer, plus repair caused virus damage to the system:
IGVM ransomware virus Removal Guidelines
Method 1. Enter Safe Mode with Networking
Step 1. Start Windows in Safe Mode with Networking
Before you try to remove IGVM ransomware virus virus, you must start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking. Below, we provide the easiest ways to boot PC in the said mode, but you can find additional ones in this in-depth tutorial on our website – How to Start Windows in Safe Mode. Also, see a video tutorial on how to do it:
Instructions for Windows XP/Vista/7 users
- First of all, turn off your PC. Then press the Power button to start it again and instantly start pressing F8 button on your keyboard repeatedly in 1-second intervals. This launches the Advanced Boot Options menu.
- Use arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate down to Safe Mode with Networking option and press Enter.
Instructions for Windows 8/8.1/10/11 users
- Open Windows Start menu, then press down the Power button. On your keyboard, press down and hold the Shift key, and then select Restart option.
- This will take you to Windows Troubleshoot screen. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart. Tip: If you can't find Startup Settings, click See more recovery options.
- In Startup Settings, press the right key between F1-F9 to enter Safe Mode with Networking. In this case, it is the F5 key.
Step 2. Remove files associated with the virus
Now, you can search for and remove IGVM ransomware virus files. It is very hard to identify files and registry keys that belong to the ransomware virus, Besides, malware creators tend to rename and change them repeatedly. Therefore, the easiest way to uninstall such type of a computer virus is to use a reliable security program such as INTEGO Antivirus, which also includes data recovery software. For virus damage repair, consider using RESTORO.
Compatibility: Microsoft Windows
See Full Review
RESTORO is a unique PC Repair Tool which comes with an in-built Avira scan engine to detect and remove spyware/malware threats and uses a patented technology to repair virus damage. The software can repair damaged, missing or malfunctioning Windows OS files, corrupted DLLs, and more. The free version offers a scan that detects issues. To fix them, license key for the full software version must be purchased.
Method 2. Use System Restore
In order to use System Restore, you must have a system restore point, created either manually or automatically.
Step 1. Boot Windows in Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Instructions for Windows XP/Vista/7 users
- Shut down your PC. Start it again by pressing the Power button and instantly start pressing F8 button on your keyboard repeatedly in 1-second intervals. You will see Advanced Boot Options menu.
- Using arrow keys on the keyboard, navigate down to Safe Mode with Command Prompt option and press Enter.
Instructions for Windows 8/8.1/10/11 users
- Launch Windows Start menu, then click the Power button. On your keyboard, press down and hold the Shift key, and then choose Restart option with the mouse cursor.
- In Startup Settings, press the right key between F1-F9 to enter Safe Mode with Command Prompt. In this case, press F6 key.
Step 2. Start System Restore process
- Wait until system loads and command prompt shows up.
- Type cd restore and press Enter, then type rstrui.exe and press Enter. Or you can just type %systemroot%system32restorerstrui.exe in command prompt and hit Enter.
- This launches System Restore window. Click Next and then choose a System Restore point created in the past. Choose one that was created before ransomware infection.
- Click Yes to begin the system restoration process.
After restoring the system, we recommend scanning the system with antivirus or anti-malware software. In most cases, there won't be any malware remains, but it never hurts to double-check. In addition, we highly recommend checking ransomware prevention guidelines provided by our experts in order to protect your PC against similar viruses in the future.
Alternative software recommendations
Removing spyware and malware is one step towards cybersecurity. To protect yourself against ever-evolving threats, we strongly recommend purchasing a Premium version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which provides security based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Includes ransomware protection. See pricing options and protect yourself now.
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Decrypt IGVM files
Fix and open large IGVM files easily:
It is reported that STOP/DJVU ransomware versions encrypt only the beginning 150 KB of each file to ensure that the virus manages to affect all files on the system. In some cases, the malicious program might skip some files at all. That said, we recommend testing this method on several big (>1GB) files first.
- Create a copy of encrypted file to a separate folder using Copy > Paste commands.
- Now, right-click the created copy and choose Rename. Select the IGVM extension and delete it. Press Enter to save changes.
- In the prompt asking whether you want to make the changes as file might become unusable, click OK.
- Try opening the file.
STOP/DJVU decryption tool usage guide
STOP/DJVU ransomware versions are grouped into old and new variants. IGVM ransomware virus is considered the new STOP/DJVU variant, just like VGKF, NQHD, ZAQI, YBER, VFGJ, FHKF, MAAK (find full list here). This means full data decryption is now possible only if you have been affected by offline encryption key. To decrypt your files, you will have to download Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP DJVU, a tool created and maintained by a genius security researcher Michael Gillespie.
Note! Please do not spam the security researcher with questions whether he can recover your files encrypted with online key - it is not possible.
In order to test the tool and see if it can decrypt IGVM files, follow the given tutorial.
- Download the decryption tool from Emsisoft.
- Click the little arrow next to your download and choose Show in Folder.
- Now, right-click the file and choose Run as Administrator. If asked, enter administrator's password.
- In UAC window, click Yes.
- Click Yes to agree to software terms in both windows.
- The tool will automatically include C:// disk as a location to decrypt. The file recovery tool will prepopulate the locations to scan, including connected data storage drives or network drives. Click Add folder if you wish to add additional locations.
In Options tab, you can choose to keep encrypted file copies. We recommend leaving this option selected, especially if you do not know if the decryption tool will work.
- Click Decrypt to start restoring IGVM files. You will see the progress in the Results tab. Here, you can see messages from the tool, such as whether the decryption procedure is successful, or you need to wait for an update.
You might also be informed that online key was used to encrypt your files. In such case, the decryption tool won't work for you, and the only way to recover your files is to use a data backup.
Meanings of decryptor's messages
The IGVM decryption tool might display several different messages after failed attempt to restore your files. You might receive one of the following messages:
Error: Unable to decrypt file with ID: [example ID]
This message typically means that there is no corresponding decryption key in the decryptor's database.
No key for New Variant online ID: [example ID]
Notice: this ID appears to be an online ID, decryption is impossible
This message informs that your files were encrypted with online key, meaning no one else has the same encryption/decryption key pair, therefore data recovery without paying the criminals is impossible.
Result: No key for new variant offline ID: [example ID]
This ID appears to be an offline ID. Decryption may be possible in the future.
If you were informed that an offline key was used, but files could not be restored, it means that the offline decryption key isn't available yet. However, receiving this message is extremely good news, meaning that it might be possible to restore your IGVM extension files in the future. It can take a few months until the decryption key gets found and uploaded to the decryptor. We recommend you to follow updates regarding the decryptable DJVU versions here. We strongly recommend backing up your encrypted data and waiting.
Report Internet crime to legal departments
Victims of IGVM ransomware virus should report the Internet crime incident to the official government fraud and scam website according to their country:
- In the United States, go to the On Guard Online website.
- In Australia, go to the SCAMwatch website.
- In Germany, go to the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik website.
- In Ireland, go to the An Garda Síochána website.
- In New Zealand, go to the Consumer Affairs Scams website.
- In the United Kingdom, go to the Action Fraud website.
- In Canada, go to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- In India, go to Indian National Cybercrime Reporting Portal.
- In France, go to the Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information.
If you can't find an authority corresponding to your location on this list, we recommend using any search engine to look up "[your country name] report cyber crime". This should lead you to the right authority website. We also recommend staying away from third-party crime report services that are often paid. It costs nothing to report Internet crime to official authorities.
Another recommendation is to contact your country's or region’s federal police or communications authority.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can only open IGVM files if you have the decryption key, or if you were affected by offline encryption type.
To figure out whether you were affected by offline encryption, please go to C:/SystemID/PersonalID.txt and see if the string inside of it ends in t1. You can also try using Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP/DJVU.
Please follow the guidances provided by the official IGVM decryption tools and believe what they say. If they say it is impossible to decrypt, it really is so. There is no magic tool or human capable of decrypting your files hiding somewhere. Encryption is a technique created to be nearly impossible to decrypt without a special private key (held by the criminals).
We advise scanning with anti-virus, anti-malware, malware removal tools or software like RESTORO to eliminate virus damage on the system. If you do not trust using a single tool, try running one after another. However, we do not recommend keeping several security programs on a computer at once as they can interfere with each other's work.
Beware of fake IGVM decryption tools circulating around the web. Cyber criminals are uploading them to various shady websites, also might be promoting them via suspicious Youtube videos. These programs can infect your computer even more heavily (Trojans, miners, etc.). We suggest being extremely cautious around the web. If there will be an official STOP/DJVU decryption tool available, it will be widely discussed in public media.
Norbert Webb is the head of Geek’s Advice team. He is the chief editor of the website who controls the quality of content published. The man also loves reading cybersecurity news, testing new software and sharing his insights on them. Norbert says that following his passion for information technology was one of the best decisions he has ever made. “I don’t feel like working while I’m doing something I love.” However, the geek has other interests, such as snowboarding and traveling.