Hhwq Virus

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

Hhwq

Hhwq is a program based on Ransomware that lists and encrypts all your most frequently used files and keeps them hostage for a ransom. The hackers behind Hhwq demand a payment to a given cryptocurrency wallet in order to send the victims a file-decryption key.

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

Programs of the Ransomware type like Jjww, Jjyy are the most complex pieces of malware that web users may encounter. Such threats can be distributed in a text document, in an email attachment, in a link sent in your spam or inbox, as well as in torrents, on shady websites, shareware platforms, and free software packages. The most dangerous thing about Ransomware infections is that they are seldom distributed alone. There is often a Trojan horse virus that comes along with the Ransomware and poses a further threat to your machine. That’s why, if you have been infected with Hhwq, you must not only deal with the file-encryption virus, but also you must detect and remove the Trojan that may hide in your system.

The Hhwq virus

The Hhwq virus is file-encrypting ransomware that identifies the files that you use the most and renders them inaccessible by placing encryption on them. At the end of the attack, the Hhwq virus displays a ransom notification on the screen of the victims and asks for a ransom payment.

Hhwq virus
The Hhwq virus will encrypt your files

Ransomware typically enters your computer by using a weak spot on any of your programs or some security vulnerabilities of the operating system. Once inside, it does not waste time and usually tries to find out precisely which of the files that are stored on your machine are of value to you by analyzing how often you view or use them. After all these files are detected and listed, the Ransomware starts to encode them directly. The process of encryption includes locking of the files with a two-sided key. This key is intentionally split into two parts. The first part of the cryptography key is the one you receive immediately – that is the public key. And a fixed ransom payment is demanded for the second part which is kept in private by the hackers behind the infection.

Using your computer screen, the crooks display a ransom message to inform you about the options you have to obtain the private key. The message could be very scary as it may include threats, deadlines and a list of your most frequently used information that has been encrypted.

The Hhwq file decryption

The Hhwq file decryption is a method for file recovery available to the victims who obtain a decryption key. However, there are no guarantees that the Hhwq file decryption will go smoothly even if the correct key is applied.

It is up to you to pay the ransom or not, as the money is yours to decide how and where to spend it. We would advise you, though, to wait until you have done all you can to retrieve your information without paying a ransom. Delaying the ransom payment could be risky, but it is equally uncertain whether this will really save your files or not. Moreover, hackers are not trustful, they are just like any common criminal and nothing can make them send you the decryption key, including fulfilling all their ransom demands.

So, the best you can do to deal with Ransomware is to find an expert and request assistance. You can also use the instructions in our removal guide. They can help you remove Hhwq and potentially recover some of your information for free from system backups.

SUMMARY:

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

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

Important notes

Before beginning the guide, you should take note of the following important points:

Any external devices that contain data (e.g. phones, tablets, external drives, etc.) should be disconnected from your computer if Ransomware has attacked it.

Disconnecting your PC from the Internet may help with the virus’ deletion, so consider doing that.

We recommend against paying the Hhwq ransom. However, if this is you’ve decided to go through with it, we advise you to perform the virus’ removal after you’ve paid the money and (hopefully) received the decryption details for your data.

A lot of Ransomware threats go away on their own after they complete the encryption, but even if Hhwq seems to no longer be on your PC, we still advise you to complete the next guide.

Remove Hhwq Ransomware

  1. To remove Hhwq, first, uninstall any rogue programs from the Apps and Features list.
  2. Stop any malicious processes in the Task Manager.
  3. Remove Hhwq items from the System Registry, Startup Items list, Task Scheduler, and Services list.
  4. Delete remaining rogue files.

For a detailed explanation for each of those steps, please, read the remainder of this post.

Detailed instructions for removing Hhwq

Step 1

Click in the Start Menu search bar, type Apps and Features, open the first thing that shows up, and look through the programs listed there. If you notice anything that seems suspicious and possibly related to Hhwq, delete it by clicking on its entry, selecting the Uninstall button, and completing the uninstallation prompts. To help figure out which programs may be rogue, sort the entries on the list by installation date and see which ones have been installed most recently – chances are that, if there’s a rogue program there, it would be among the most recent installs.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is uninstall1.jpg

Step 2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

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

Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc or type Task Manager in the Start Menu search bar and click the Task Manager icon to open it. Then check the Processes tab for any unusual activity. If you see any items that are unfamiliar yet consuming a lot of Memory and/or CPU, right-click them, click the Open File Location option, and scan the files located in the newly-opened folder with the following free online malware scanner.

Task Manager1
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    Also look up the name of any questionable processes to see if you can find any additional information to confirm (or disprove) that the process in question is malicious.

    If, based on the results from the scan and your online research, you determine that a given process may be rogue and related to Hhwq, first delete the entire location folder of that process and then quit the process itself by right-clicking it in the Task Manager and then selecting the End Process option.

    Task Manager2

    Step 3

    Putting your PC in Safe Mode may help prevent Hhwq from automatically starting any of its processes again, so we recommend entering Safe Mode now, before you continue with the rest of the steps. You can learn how to boot into Safe Mode from this guide.

    Step 4

    There are several locations on your PC where Hhwq is likely to have made changes that you need to delete. Type each of the next items in the Start Menu search bar, open them one by one, and clean them from rogue entries in the way we’ve shown below:

    Services – In the Services window, look for anything that may be related to Hhwq in the list of services and if you find such an entry, right-click it, go to Properties, set its Startup type to Disabled, and save the changes by clicking OK.

    Task Scheduler – First, open the Task Scheduler Library from the top-left, then look at the listed tasks, and see if you can find one that may be linked to Hhwq. If such a task (or tasks) is present, right-click it, select Delete, and confirm the deletion. Do this with all questionable tasks you may find there.

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    Regedit.exe/Registry Editor – First, click Yes to confirm that you want to open the Registry Editor and then go to Edit > Find from the top to open the Find search bar. Type Hhwq in the search bar and perform the search. If an item is found, select that item, then press Delete (Del) from the keyboard and confirm the deletion. Search again for other related items and delete them as well until there are no more results for Hhwq left in the Registry.

    1 1

    After that, visit the following three locations in the left panel of the Editor and look in them for suspicious items with randomized names. Inform us down in the comments if you find anything, and we will tell you if it needs to be deleted.

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Internet Explorer > Main

    msconfig – Go to the Startup Items tab and, if you are on Windows 8 or later, click the Open Task Manager button you should see there. Now look at the startup items shown in the list and remove the tick from the boxes of all items that you deem suspicious or unneeded, or that are simply unfamiliar to you. After that, click OK to save the changes.

    Step 5

    Lastly, there are several folders where Hhwq may have saved some helper files that you must also delete. First, however, type Folder Options in the Start Menu search, open the Folder Options item, go to the View tab, and check the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option. Then click on OK  to make sure that the changes are saved. This will allow you to see and delete any hidden rogue files.

    Now, once again using the Start Menu search, type %AppData% and hit Enter. A folder will open in which you must sort the items by creation date and then delete everything created since the virus infected your PC. You must also do the same with the next four folders:

    • %WinDir%
    • %LocalAppData%
    • %ProgramData%
    • %Temp%

    Once you get to the %Temp% folder, you will need to delete everything in it, and not only the most recent items. Since this folder will probably contain thousands of files and folders, the quickest way to delete everything is to press Ctrl + A to select all items once you are in the folder and then press Del/Delete from your keyboard to delete them.

    Step 6 (Optional)

    There may not be need for this step if you’ve managed to delete the virus with the previous five steps, but if you think Hhwq may still be on your computer, we recommend using the advanced anti-malware tool shown on this page. The tool can preform a full system scan, locate any remnants of the virus, and safely delete them without allowing Hhwq to return. Additionally, it would also help you keep your system safe from other malware threats in the future.

    How to decrypt Hhwq files

    1. To decrypt Hhwq files, first find one or more pairs of identical files, with one file encrypted and the other accessible/unencrypted.
    2. Get a free Ransomware decryptor for Hhwq from the Internet.
    3. Load the file pairs in the decryptor and extract the decryption code.

    Note that there aren’t decryptor tools available for every single type of Ransomware, but in the case of Hhwq, you may be in luck, as there is a specialized decryptor that may help you restore your data without the need to pay the ransom. Note, however, that, as was said, you will need one or, preferably, more file pairs of identical files, where one of those files must be accessible and the other, encrypted by Hhwq. Search your external drives, cloud storages, phones, tablets, email accounts, etc. to find accessible copies of encrypted files so that you can form such pairs. If you managed to do that, here’s how to use those pairs to attempt to recover your data:

    1. On this page, click on Choose File (the first such button), navigate to the encrypted file from one of the file pairs, and load it onto the page.
    2. Next, click the other Choose File button and load the accessible version of the same file pair.
    3. Select Submit and wait for the decryption key to be extracted. If an error occurs, use another file pair.
    4. If a key is successfully extracted, click on this link, and download the program that’s available there.
    5. Right-click the downloaded program, select Open as Administrator, select Agree, and then click on OK.
    6. Choose a hard-disk or (preferably) specify a directory where encrypted files are contained, and then select Decrypt to begin their decryption.

    Hopefully, this will help you restore your data that has been encrypted by Hhwq. Just bear in mind that this isn’t a perfect decryption method and may not always work as intended. Still, it’s definitely worth giving it a try rather than directly opting for the Hhwq ransom payment.

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    About the author

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    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.

    2 Comments

    • Hello my friend, my name is cherif, I enjoyed watching your videos on how to remove ransomeware, I’m just wondering if you can help me, I tried uploading my files to the site you provided and it says that my files are encrypted with a new version of djavu knowing that my files extension is HHWQ
      You sent
      i hope i can hear from you soon
      You sent
      thank you

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