Coaq Virus

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*Coaq is a variant of Stop/DJVU. Source of claim SH can remove it.


Coaq is one of the latest ransomware variants to be released onto users. Coaq is highly dangerous and requires the utmost attention when dealing with it. Coaq belongs to the ransomware category of viruses and it’s called that because after it has done its dirty deed, it proceeds to demand a ransom payment from users in order to reverse the harmful effects it’s caused.

The Coaq ransomware will leave a _readme.txt file with instructions

Specifically, in this case, we’re talking about file-encrypting ransomware. And what this means is that Coaq (or ransomware like Goaq, Cosw) will place encryption on certain file types on the contaminated computer. And as a result, those files become unreadable to any type of software, which means that users basically become “locked out” of their very own data. The ransom, in turn, is required to obtain a special decryption key which is meant to undo this effect and “release” the files, making them readable again.

If you have ended up in this situation and are unsure how to act on it, we recommend reading through the information provided in this short article and making a decision based on that. At the bottom of this page we will also provide you with a set of instructions on how to accomplish this, along with some steps that you can take in an attempt to restore your encrypted files.

The Coaq virus

The Coaq virus uses encryption to prevent users from being able to use their computer files. The Coaq virus can operate under the nose of most security software and go completely unnoticed until it’s finished encoding your data.

This is one of the things that makes ransomware particularly dangerous and easily puts it among the most harmful types of malware out there.

So what can you do to prevent such an infection? Well, given that malware of this kind is normally distributed with the help of infected web content, you need to be very mindful of your browsing habits. Interacting with suspicious and potentially unsafe web content should be avoided at all costs. In addition, a highly recommend prevention measure is always backing up your most important data and keeping copies on a separate hard drive. You can also use a cloud service for this purpose to ensure that you always have backups someplace safe. This will eliminate the need of ever having to deal with ransom payments or file decryption in case of another potential attack of this type.

The .Coaq file encryption

The Coaq file encryption is very complex and is usually composed of a two-part key. You will notice that the encrypted files end in the specific Coaq file extension. It’s basically a suffix that will indicate and ensure that the said files cannot be opened by any kind of program on your computer.

After you have removed this virus from your machine, you can have a look at our suggestions regarding the restoration of your files. Among them you will see that there are decryptor tools available online that may help you reverse the encryption.


Danger LevelHigh (Ransomware is by far the worst threat you can encounter)
Data Recovery ToolNot Available
Detection Tool

*Coaq is a variant of Stop/DJVU. Source of claim SH can remove it.

Remove Coaq Ransomware


Please bookmark this page so that you don’t have to look for the Coaq removal instructions every time your computer reboots. This will save you time and prevent frustration. In addition, we suggest that you restart your computer in Safe Mode by following the instructions given in the link provided before going to the next step. This will restrict the system to execute just the most important tasks and applications, making it simpler to detect anything unusual.



*Coaq is a variant of Stop/DJVU. Source of claim SH can remove it.

Start Task Manager by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC on your keyboard to launch it, then choose the Processes tab to search for any strange processes that may be running on your computer. If any of these processes is using an abnormally high amount of CPU and RAM resources without obvious reason, right-click on each of them and choose Open File Location from the options that appear in the context menu.


Check for dangerous code in the files related with the suspicious-looking process using the free online virus scanner provided below. To begin scanning, just drag and drop the contents of the File Location folder of the suspicious process in the scanner box to start the scanning procedure.

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    Remove any files that have been flagged as possibly harmful. You may need to end the suspicious process before proceeding forward. To do so, right-click on it and select End Process from its quick menu.


    Type the command msconfig in the Windows search box and hit Enter to open System Configuration. Check the Startup tab to see whether there are any startup items associated with Coaq in it.


    If you come across enough information online to suggest that certain startup items with “unknown” or “random” names may be related with the danger, you should uncheck them to be on the safe side.

    In order to proceed, first open the Hosts file, which can be opened by clicking the Win + R key combination, then copying this code in the Run box and selecting the OK button:

    notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

    Find the word “Localhost” in the text, and look to see if there are any IP addresses that are out of the ordinary for you. Please let us know if you see any unusual IP addresses in the file under Localhost, as shown in the figure below, so that we can investigate. We will analyze these IP addresses and reply to you if any action has to be taken.

    hosts_opt (1)

    *Coaq is a variant of Stop/DJVU. Source of claim SH can remove it.

    If you want to completely remove Coaq from your system, you must first open the Registry Editor and scan for and delete any possibly harmful files linked to the threat. You can do this by typing “Regedit” in the Windows search box and clicking “Enter”. If you hold down the CTRL and F keys at the same time, you will be able to launch a Find box inside the Registry Editor. It is necessary to type the ransomware’s name in the Find box, after which you should click on the Find Next button to begin the search for linked files and folders.

    Removing search results that are associated with ransomware should be done with great care. It’s possible that there could be other files with the same name in the registry, so after you’ve removed the files from the first search results, do another search to make sure there aren’t any more.

    Attention! Use great care while removing ransomware-related files from your computer. This is essential to avoid causing harm to the operating system and the software installed on it. At the same time, keep in mind that if you do not thoroughly erase all the registry entries related with the danger, the ransomware may reemerge. For this reason, we highly recommend you to use an anti-virus solution to scan your computer and remove any unwanted software or malicious registry entries that may have been installed on it.

    Furthermore, it is recommended that the following five system locations be properly checked to ensure that no potentially hazardous files are hidden within their contents. To access them, type each of them exactly as they are listed below (including the percent sign) into the Windows search box and press Enter.

    1. %AppData%
    2. %LocalAppData%
    3. %ProgramData%
    4. %WinDir%
    5. %Temp%

    Examine the contents of each of these folders and delete any suspicious files that have been recently added to them. You may also want to delete all the files in your Temp folder by selecting them and hitting the Del key on your computer keyboard.


    How to Decrypt Coaq files

    Once the ransomware has been eradicated from the computer system, the next step is to restore access to the information that has been locked away. Depending on the variant of ransomware that has infected your computer and the data that has been encrypted, different methods may be available to decrypt the ransomware-encrypted data. You can tell which variant of ransomware you’re dealing with by looking at the file extensions that are being attached to the encrypted files.

    Before attempting to recover data from the infected computer though, be certain that the system has been thoroughly inspected for infections. You should begin investigating the file recovery solutions only after your computer has been completely cleared of viruses and ransomware traces. 

    New Djvu Ransomware

    STOP Djvu ransomware, which is a new variant of the Djvu ransomware, has recently piqued the interest of security researchers. This variant encrypts files and adds the suffix .Coaq to the end of each file it targets. In certain cases, regaining access to the encrypted data may be possible via the use of certain techniques. In order to decrypt data that has been encrypted by this ransomware, we recommend that you use an offline key decryptor such as the one provided at the URL below.

    Begin by downloading the STOPDjvu.exe application from the linked URL, then choosing “Run as Administrator” and then “Yes” from the pop-up window that appears. You can start the data decryption procedure once you have read the license agreement and any short instructions that have been included with it. Please keep in mind that this application may not be able to decode data that has been encrypted using unknown offline keys or using online encryption methods.

    You should use the anti-virus software provided on our website to eliminate the ransomware as soon as possible if you find yourself in trouble or if you are unable to deal with Coaq manually. Additionally, you may manually check any suspicious files on your computer using the free online virus scanner available on the link.


    About the author


    Violet George

    Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.

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