TCVP ransomware is a new computer virus sample that we have discovered recently. It is a recognized variant from the STOP/DJVU ransomware family. The way this virus inflicts damage is by encrypting all files stored on the victimized computer. In order to make the damage more noticeable for the computer user, the ransomware appends .tcvp extension to each filename. For example, files originally named as 1.jpg or 2.docx will appear as 1.jpg.tcvp and 2.docx.tcvp. Once encrypted, there will be no chances to open them. The virus then drops _readme.txt ransom note in each data folder.
Victims affected by this ransomware should know that this threat often arrives together with additional malware, namely Vidar, Azorult or RedLine Stealer. These malware variants are recognized as information stealers and can grab sensitive data such as passwords, browsing history, cookies and more.
Cybercriminals behind TCVP ransomware virus let the computer user know about their intentions by leaving a ransom note behind. The ransom note, named _readme.txt, can be found in each folder containing some encrypted files.
The note asks for victim’s attention and clarifies that the only way to decrypt .tcvp files is to pay a ransom for them. The note points out that victims who write to cybercriminals via provided email addresses (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) within 72 hours can get a 50% discount on the initial ransom amount, setting the decryption tools’ price to $490. If delayed longer, the demanded ransom amount will remain at its starting point, which is $980.
The criminals recommend sending a sample of encrypted file along with victim’s Personal ID (included in the _readme.txt file) to them, and promise to send a decrypted file version back. The test file, however, should not contain any valuable information, or the criminals will deny decryption service.
Please bear in mind that paying a ransom to cybercriminals IS NOT A RECOMMENDED OPTION. Not only it doesn’t guarantee data recovery, but it also encourages the criminals to continue their activities since the more victims pay, the more profitable this illegal activity is. In addition, scammers may add you to their list of potential future targets as someone who is willing to pay up when faced with blackmail.
Therefore, if you have been affected by this malicious computer virus, do not hesitate and remove TCVP ransomware as soon as you can. We have prepared detailed instructions on how to do it without a computer technician’s help. In addition, we have two software recommendations that can help to deal with the ransomware attack consequences – (INTEGO Antivirus for malware removal and RESTORO (download link) for repairing virus-damaged Windows OS files.
|Name||TCVP Ransomware Virus|
|Type||Ransomware; Crypto-malware; Virtual Extortion Virus|
|Encryption type||RSA 2048 + Salsa20|
|Previous versions||FATP, FATE, TCBU, POZQ, ZATP, ZATE (find full list here)|
|Cybercriminal email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Additional malware dropped||Azorult or Vidar Trojan|
|Damage||The ransomware uses encryption to maliciously modify all files on the PC and marks their original names with .tcvp extension. Ransom notes called as _readme.txt will be dropped in every computer folder. This piece of malware usually drags VIDAR Stealer alongside it and also eliminates VSS from the system. On top of that, it tends to modify Windows HOSTS file to restrict computer user’s access to cybersecurity-related websites online.|
|Ransom demand||$490-$980 in Bitcoin|
|Distribution||Victims often download this ransomware along illegal torrent downloads, cracked software, activators, key generators or tools like KMSPico.|
|Known software cracks to contain this malware||Corel Draw, Tenorshare 4ukey, Adobe Photoshop, Cubase, Adobe Illustrator, Internet Download Manager, Tally, League of Legends.|
|Detection names||Trojan:Win32/Azorult.FW!MTB (Microsoft), Gen:Heur.Mint.Zard.52 (B) (Emsisoft), HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Scarsi.gen (Kaspersky), Gen:Heur.Mint.Zard.52 (BitDefender), Trojan.MalPack.GS (Malwarebytes), ML.Attribute.HighConfidence (Symantec) see all detection name variations on VirusTotal|
|Removal||Remove ransomware and related malware from your PC using trustworthy software like INTEGO Antivirus. To repair virus damage on Windows OS files, download and try RESTORO (secure download link).|
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Ransomware-type threats are distributed in a variety of ways. We will begin by covering the distribution method used by STOP/DJVU operators to spread variants like TCVP virus, and add other known methods that you should be wary of.
The primary method used for distribution of this ransomware strain is cracked software downloads. The cybercriminals often upload fake installation (setup.exe) files to rogue cracked software sites or torrent listings. These files are often stored in password-protected archives in order to evade malware detection systems. Computer users who fall for this bait in attempts to install paid software versions for free risk falling victims to a ransomware attack. Therefore, it is essential to understand that legitimate software versions can be downloaded from trustworthy sources only, and we mean the official software developer’s website or a confirmed partner’s web page.
The second ransomware distribution method that is no less popular than the previously discussed one is malicious email attachments. The cybercriminals go extreme lengths trying to fabricate emails of well-known companies or governmental institutions. It is important to ignore emails that get marked as spam. In addition, looking out for other suspicious details such as weird sender’s email address, grammar mistakes or overly generic greeting line is a good idea.
Finally, cybercriminals often hide unwanted programs in fake installers advertised as software updates. Such ads may be designed to convince users to update well-known software, such as Java. Unfortunately, agreement to install it from an untrustworthy source can result in damage to your computer. That being said, we strongly advise you to check for official software updates in legitimate websites rather than aggressive ads that pop-up on your screen during your online browsing sessions.
Being a victim of a ransomware attack is a horrible experience, and if you became one, it is time to secure your computer and your privacy. First, we recommend you to remove TCVP ransomware virus using a trustworthy AV solution like INTEGO Antivirus.
You should do it after booting your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (see guide provided below). When it comes to repairing virus-damaged Windows OS files, the best solution, from our view, is RESTORO (download link).
Once the computer is free from malware, we strongly recommend that you change all login credentials stored in your computer and browsers.
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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:
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TCVP Ransomware Virus Removal Guidelines
Before you try to remove TCVP 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, if you prefer a video version of the tutorial, check our guide How to Start Windows in Safe Mode on Youtube.
Instructions for Windows XP/Vista/7 users
Instructions for Windows 8/8.1/10/11 users
Now, you can search for and remove TCVP 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. For virus damage repair, consider using RESTORO.
Compatibility: Microsoft Windows
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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.
In order to use System Restore, you must have a system restore point, created either manually or automatically.
Instructions for Windows XP/Vista/7 users
Instructions for Windows 8/8.1/10/11 users
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.
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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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.
STOP/DJVU ransomware versions are grouped into old and new variants. TCVP Ransomware Virus is considered the new STOP/DJVU variant, just like FATP, FATE, TCBU, POZQ, ZATP, ZATE (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 TCVP files, follow the given tutorial.
The TCVP 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 TCVP 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.
Victims of TCVP Ransomware Virus should report the Internet crime incident to the official government fraud and scam website according to their country:
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.
You can only open TCVP 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 TCVP 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 TCVP 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.
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