Goaq Virus

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


Goaq is malicious software of the ransomware type developed to blackmail web users for access to their personal files. Goaq attacks its victims by sneaking in their system and encrypting their most valuable files, which are later held hostage for a ransom.

The Goaq virus ransom note

The Goaq Ransomware is presently one of the most frightening dangers on the Internet. This entire post is devoted to this threat and, in the next lines, you will find more information about how Goaq operates and what you can do to remove it and defend your system in the future. In addition, we will also provide a detailed removal guide for those of you whose files have already been encrypted by Goaq. It includes step-by-step instructions on how to locate and remove the ransomware virus, plus a section with free file-recovery steps that will teach you how to potentially restore your data from system backups and by using specialized file-decryptor tools.

The Goaq virus

The Goaq virus is malicious software intended to locate valuable user data and encrypt it with a complex algorithm. Once inside the system, the Goaq virus will stealthily start scanning for certain file formats and change their file extension in order to make them unreadable.

Goaq , Gosw, Qoqa and Qotr usually targets the most common types of files so it is likely that everything that is of great value to you will fall under the radar of the ransomware. This includes personal records, archives, reports, images, audio and video files, and even some system files. Those files are secretly encoded with a complex algorithm that makes it impossible for any software to access them.

Unfortunately, in most cases, the victims do not get the chance to intercept the threat, and only get notified about the effects of its attack when the virus automatically makes its presence known by showing a ransom-demanding message. This is because the file-encryption process does not destroy or corrupt the data – it simply locks it up. Thus, it is not recognized as a harmful process and typically does not trigger any action that could catch the attention of the security software on the computer. And this loophole is what makes it incredibly difficult to fight this malware type.

The Goaq file

The Goaq file is a file that cannot be accessed without a decryption key because it has been encrypted. The Goaq file will typically have an odd file extension which no program can recognize and will return an error message when users try to open it.

Goaq File

As a matter of fact, it is often impossible to break or reverse the encryption that the ransomware has applied without the help of a matching decryption key. That’s why many users simply decide to fulfill the demands of the hackers behind the infection and send their money with the hopes of saving their files. However, many of them never receive a decryption key in exchange for the ransom payment while others get blackmailed for more money several times in a row.

This is the reason why most security experts, including our team, advise the victims to avoid the ransom payment and focus on how to remove the infection instead. Besides, once they delete the ransomware, they will have a clean computer to which they can safely connect any personal backup sources that they may have.



Name Goaq
Type Ransomware
Detection Tool

anti-malware offerOFFER Read more details in the first ad on this page, EULA, Privacy Policy, and full terms for Free Remover.

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

Remove Goaq Ransomware





 If you are about to remove Goaq, it is of critical importance that you repeat the instructions in this guide from start to finish very carefully. For that, we recommend you Bookmark this page with Goaq removal instructions, so you can easily refer back to it and complete every step without missing it.

 Also, to save time and make it easier to spot the ransomware-related files and processes, we recommend that you Reboot the infected computer in Safe Mode (click the link and follow the instructions there). Then, when the computer reboots, get back to this removal guide that you have bookmarked and do the following:

 Click on the Start menu and type msconfig in the search field. Press Enter and then click on the Startup tab of the System Configurations window that opens:



 Carefully search for startup items that look odd and cannot be linked to any legitimate program or process that starts when the computer starts. If you find a suspicious-looking entry that has an “Unknown” Manufacturer or an entry that you don’t trust, you can disable it by unchecking its checkmark from the respective checkbox. 

Once you are sure that only legitimate processes are enabled in the Startup tab, click Ok and close the window. 




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

Next, you need to carefully review all processes that are running in the background of your computer and stop any process that is related to Goaq. 

For that, use the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC key combination to start the Task Manager and click on the Processes Tab

In it, search for processes with strange names or processes that consume a lot of resources and if something grabs your attention as disturbing, right-click on it and select Open File Location.




If you cannot decide whether the files that you see are dangerous or not, it is best to scan them with the free online virus scanner below:


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    You may need to end the process related to these files immediately in case that they get flagged as infected. Also, you should not forget to delete the infected files from the File Location folder




    Some malware threats may make changes in important system files. That’s why in case you have been infected with Goaq, it is a good idea to do the following:

    Click the Start menu and copy this line:

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

    Then, paste it in the search field and open the Hosts file that appears in the results.

    Next, scroll the text of the file and find Localhost. Then, check if some questionable IP addresses have been added there. 

    If you find something disturbing, like the IPs on the example image below, please copy them and leave us a message in the comments. A member of our team will take a look at them and advise you on what is the best thing you could do.

    hosts_opt (1)

    If you find nothing disturbing, close the file.



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

    A very important thing that you must do if you want to deal with Goaq successfully is to carefully check the registry of your system for any malicious ransomware-related entries, and if you find anything disturbing, to delete them.

    To do that, start with clicking on the Start menu (bottom left) and typing Regedit in the windows search field. Next, press Enter and once the Registry Editor opens, press CTRL and F from the keyboard together.

    You will see a Find box appearing on the screen. In it, type the name of the ransomware that you want to remove, and then click on the Find Next button to search the registry for matching entries.

    Delete the entries that are found but be very careful because if you delete something that is not related to Goaq, you may damage your system very seriously. After you are done with cleaning the registry, type each of the following lines in the Start menu search field and check if anything  new has been added in each of the locations. If you find files and folders with odd names that you believe are linked to the ransomware, you may need to delete them. Finally, when you open the Temp folder, select everything there and delete it to remove any temporary files that the ransomware might have created.
    1. %AppData%
    2. %LocalAppData%
    3. %ProgramData%
    4. %WinDir%
    5. %Temp%
    How to Decrypt Goaq files
    After removing the infection from their computer, all victims of ransomware are most concerned about how to decrypt the files that have been encrypted. This, however, is a topic of a separate removal guide that explains in details the alternatives that are available. If you are sure that Goaq has been removed from your PC successfully, you may want to check out that guide here. If, however, you have a suspicion that the ransomware may still have left some traced on the computer that have not been removed, we advise you to scan the entire system with the professional anti-virus program we recommend on this page or check the files that you find as dangerous with our free online virus scanner. Also, remember that if you run into trouble, you can always ask us any questions that you have in the comments section below.
    What is Goaq?


    Goaq is a dangerous form of malware programmed to launch an encryption process on your computer that would render your most valuable files inaccessible. After that, Goaq displays a message, telling you that you must perform a ransom payment to get your files back. Usually, the message shown by the threat also details the exact way in which the ransom is to be paid. Usually, the payment currency is Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency so that the transaction couldn’t be traced by the authorities, thus keeping the hacker’s anonymity intact. Also, there’s oftentimes a deadline, after which the demanded payment amount doubles. If the user keeps regularly updated backups of their important data or if they don’t have any highly-important files saved on their computer, the attack from Goaq may not be as devastating, as the hackers wouldn’t have as much leverage for their blackmailing scheme. Even in such cases, however, it’s important to see to the removal of the virus so as to prevent the future encryption of more files.

    Is Goaq a virus?


    Goaq is a virus specifically designed for the purpose of putting your files in an encrypted state in which they cannot be accessed via regular means. To open a file encrypted by the Goaq virus, you’d need a special private key that the hackers possess. The whole purpose of the attack by this Ransomware is to get you to pay for the private key that can restore access to your data. Unless you have that key, no program you may have on your computer would be able to read the locked files and open them. However, there may still be alternative methods (such as data backups) of getting the encrypted files back to their accessible state. At the same time, it’s not advisable to opt for the ransom payment due to the risk of losing a big amount of money and still not getting your data restored. In any case, even if Goaq didn’t manage to encrypt anything important or even if you had previously backed up the files that the virus has locked, it’s still crucial that you clean your computer from the malware.

    How to decrypt Goaq files?


    You can decrypt Goaq files by either paying the ransom or by seeking alternative restoration methods. It’s usually a bad idea to try to decrypt Goaq files by paying, since you may end up wasting your money if the hackers don’t send you the key. Some of the possible alternative restoration methods involve finding a specialized free decryption tool for this specific virus and using it to decrypt your files, searching through your data backups, or trying to extract older versions of the locked files from shadow copies stored deep in your PC’s system. None of those methods guarantees success, but it’s still advisable to try them first before you resort to the ransom payment option. In fact, even if none of the alternative methods you tried yielded any results, you are still advised to assess the importance of the locked files and only opt for the payment if the encrypted data is worth the risk of wasting your money. Lastly, we must once again remind you that no matter whether you recover your files or not, the Ransomware should still be removed from the PC to avoid further problems.



    About the author


    Lidia Howler

    Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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