TOPI ransomware becomes the 200th version of DJVU virus
TOPI ransomware is a computer virus from STOP/DJVU malware group that encrypts files and demands ransom payment. The virus is designed to encrypt files with a public key and hide a private decryption key. During the cyber attack, the malware appends .topi extensions to affected files and drops _readme.txt notes in file folders. The note explains that all files were encrypted and that the only way to restore them is pay a ransom which ranges from $490 to $980. The note says that the victim must contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for further guidance.
The described DJVU ransomware variant tends to bypass security software by pretending to be a software activation tool. As computer users known that these tools are illegal, they tend to ignore antivirus warnings not to open such program. Once launched, the ransomware starts encrypting all files and prevents the victim from opening them again. What is more, TOPI virus installs AZORULT Trojan, a malicious program that steals private information including passwords saved in browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and others).
The ransom note contents
The _readme.txt ransom note greets the victim with not-so-encouraging words “All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.” This, however, is absolutely true. The ransomware indeed uses very strong encryption algorithm and files can be restored only by using the private key held by the attackers. Another way to restore files, of course, is data backup, which the majority of computer users just tend to forget creating.
The note explains that the regular TOPI decryption tool price is $980, but if the victim rushes to collect the required sum of money, buy cryptocurrency and transfer it to the criminals wallets within 3 days, the price decreases by 50%, meaning it will cost $490.
|Name||TOPI ransomware virus|
|Origins||STOP/DJVU (200th version)|
|Behavior||Encrypts files, restricts access to them and demands paying a ransom (according to instructions in _Readme.txt file)|
|Extension||Appends .topi file extension to files|
|Emailsemail@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Distribution||Spreads via illegal software activation tools|
|Decryption tools||STOP Decryptor doesn’t support this extension at the moment|
|Removal||Remove using antivirus while in Safe Mode (see instructions below)|
The encryption procedure and decryption possibilities
Typically, TOPI ransomware virus encrypts files using online key which it obtains from its Command&Control server. Files encrypted with online key can’t be recovered by any third party tools as it is impossible to obtain decryption keys from criminals’ server. Cracking the keys is also out of the question because the keys are different for each victim (and there are thousands of victims worldwide). In addition, breaking one key would take years.
However, sometimes the ransomware fails to establish connection with its C&C server. In such scenario, the virus uses an OFFLINE encryption key, which is hardcoded into the ransomware program itself and is the same for all victims of the same TOPI virus variant. Once someone pays the ransom, the offline decryption key can be used by all offline encryption victims. Therefore, we suggest waiting for updates on STOP decryption guide here.
Software cracks and keygens among the primary distribution tools for STOP/DJVU variants
TOPI ransomware, just like its replicas NOSU, REHA, REDL, or KODC, are packed along illegal downloads such as KMSPico or other software activation tools for distribution. It is a well-known fact that computer users tend to avoid paying for software licenses and try to download torrents of such files online.
Once downloaded, they search for software cracks or keygens to activate such software illegally. Malware developers know it and prepare the bait for potential victims. As a result, you might install Topi malware alongside Photoshop, MS Office Pack, or some gaming software cracks.
Remove TOPI ransomware virus easily
You can remove TOPI ransomware virus (the 200th version of DJVU) by using instructions given below. These will explain how to prepare a safe environment on Windows and delete the virus along with Azorult Trojan without any additional risks. We suggest you change all of your passwords straight after that for extra security.
TOPI ransomware removal is the easiest part. Unfortunately, data recovery isn’t. You can restore files using data backup, but our practice shows that the majority of ransomware victims do not create them on a regular basis. As a consequence, they leave themselves with no options but to grieve over lost files in situations like this. Therefore, if you have fallen victim to a ransomware attack, please inform your friends and family about the importance of computer security and data backups to save them from the consequences of similar attacks in the future.
OUR GEEKS RECOMMEND
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:
TOPI Ransomware Removal Guidelines
Method 1. Enter Safe Mode with Networking
Step 1. Start Windows in Safe Mode with Networking
Before you try to remove the 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 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 TOPI Ransomware 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 malware removal program. In addition, we suggest trying a combination of INTEGO Antivirus (removes malware and protects your PC in real-time) and RESTORO (repairs virus damage to Windows OS files).
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 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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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.