.Stax is a ransomware infection intended to encode user data with encryption and keep it hostage for a ransom. The victims of .Stax are notified about the attack via a ransom-demanding note that appears on their screen and asks them to transfer some money for a decryption key.
Security experts report an exponential growth of ransomware infections such as .Stax, with millions of new variants getting released annually. The typical behavior of these threats follows a simple model. The ransomware virus sneaks in the system without being detected, encrypts the data stored in there, and then requests a ransom payment in return for having the information decrypted. All in all, the result of the attack is that you cannot access some of your most important digital files for an indefinite period of time.
The most important question for many web users, however, is what can they do with such malware infection and how can they remove it. That’s why below we have created a detailed removal guide that will teach you just how to do this. It also includes instructions for retrieving your encrypted files from system backups, so check it out if you want to try some methods to avoid the ransom payment.
The .Stax virus
The .Stax virus is a malicious piece of code that operates like a ransomware infection. Once in the system, the .Stax virus will scan it for certain types of files and will encrypt them all with a complex encryption algorithm.
Ransomware is considered one of the most damaging and dangerous types of viruses. That’s why dealing with such threats can be quite a challenge. Another problem is that such threats are incredibly difficult to detect on time because most antivirus applications don’t identify them as an actual threat to your data. This is mainly because the file encryption is not a malicious process. In reality, this is a way of protecting information from unauthorized access. Besides, the entire encryption process works in the background of the system without showing visible symptoms that can give it away.
The .Stax file encryption
The .Stax file encryption is a secret algorithm that prevents user files from being opened or used. The decryption of the .Stax file encryption requires a special key which is kept for a ransom by the hackers behind the ransomware virus.
So, what can the users do to combat one of the most harmful malware types? First of all, they can refuse to pay the ransom. After all, there is no assurance that their data will be recovered if they pay because the .Stax attackers may not send the decryption key in exchange for the money. Besides, even receiving a decryption key does not necessarily mean that the decryption process will be successful. In case the key fails to reverse the encryption code, the information will remain inaccessible for good.
Therefore, instead of risking their money, we recommend the that victims of .Stax opt for alternative solutions such as the removal guide below. With its help, even non-experienced users can remove the ransomware from their system and prevent possible further encryption of files that have been recovered.
Remove .Stax Ransomware
Before you begin the .Stax removal process, we recommend that you restart your computer in Safe Mode. This link has step-by-by-step instructions that explain how to do that if you need them.
While in Safe Mode, the computer will only run the most basic services and apps, making it easier to spot ransomware-related anomalies.
It is also recommended that you save the instructions for uninstalling .Stax by bookmarking this page. In this way, if you need to restart your computer at any time throughout the removal process, you’ll be able to quickly return to the removal guide and its steps.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Cybercriminals that develop malware like .Stax have the ability to operate in stealth, executing one or more malicious programs in the background without ever being detected. Because of this, examining what’s going on in the background of your system is critical to dealing with .Stax.
Press Ctrl, Shift, and Esc at the same and if you’ve done everything properly, the Task Manager should open on the screen.
Check what’s going on in the background and what processes are currently executing under the Processes tab. To distinguish normal operations from ransomware-related ones, you may require some basic computer knowledge. If you aren’t that computer-savvy, it’s possible that you’ll have to use malware removal software to detect and stop the harmful activities if a fake name is used to mimic the name of an actual program. Excessive CPU and memory usage on your machine may be a warning indicator. Another sign may be the presence of a process with a seemingly random name in the list.
To check that process, Open File Location from the pop-up menu that appears when you right-click on the process you think is dangerous.
Next, we recommend you to check the files of that process for any potential security risks using the free online virus scanner provided below. Simply drag and drop them into the scanner to scan them.
Note: Any security concerns found by the scanner should be dealt with immediately by stopping the associated processes and deleting the hazardous files. Be sure that all .Stax-related processes are stopped before moving on to the next step.
If you’ve been infected with .Stax, the third step requires you to look for any unauthorized changes in your Hosts file. For that, press Windows key and R from the keyboard at the same time, then paste the following into the Run box that pops up and click OK:
If you see any suspicious IP addresses beneath the term “Localhost” in your file, this could be a potential sign of hacking:
Don’t make any changes on your own, though. Instead, send us a copy of the virus creator IP addresses in the comments below this post and we will reply to you with advice on what to do with them.
It’s not uncommon for new malware to have components that start working as soon as the computer starts up. No startup component is an exception, and it’s possible that .Stax has secretly installed such components on your system. To see whether this is the case, open the Start Menu and type msconfig in the search box. The System Configuration window should appear after pressing the Enter key.
The next step is to go to the Startup tab. A list of startup items linked to applications that are installed on your system should be visible.
Uncheck the box next to any item that you believe is related to the ransomware to disable it. If you’re going to deactivate anything, make sure you research it carefully, since the ransomware may use a phony manufacturer name or a or the name of a legitimate program to hide its fraudulent process.
In this step, you will have to meddle with registry files, therefore, only users with prior experience working with registry files should attempt it. Those who are not confident that they can handle this step manually may use the recommended removal tool linked on this page.
If you’re certain that you can safely remove the ransomware’s registry entries, follow these steps:
Click on the Start button, type regedit in the search bar and then press Enter.
The CTRL+F keyboard shortcut should help you open a Find window in the Registry Editor where you may search for the ransomware by entering its name into it.
Once the search is complete, check in the registry for any files or folders with the same name as the malware and carefully delete them.
Then, click again on the Start menu search box, paste each of the following items below and hit Enter to open it.
Any suspicious files or folders that have recently been added, such as those with odd names and random characters, should be deleted.
We recommend that you remove everything from Temp after you open it in order to delete any temporary files that .Stax might have created in the system.
Attention! In the event that you delete files unrelated to the ransomware, you may cause serious damage to the normal operation and the stability of your computer. When you use the recommended software to remove the ransomware, however, you can keep your computer safe from an involuntary corruption and clean the malware thoroughly.
How to Decrypt .Stax files
If you want to deal with .Stax effectively and increase your chance of recovering your files, it is very important to remove any traces of .Stax before trying to retrieve your data.
If you don’t do so, it’s possible that whatever data you manage to recover will be encrypted again if the ransomware or some of its malicious files remain on the system. Therefore, you should perform an anti-virus scan on your computer before doing anything by using the professional software listed on this page or another security tool of your choosing. Scanning suspicious files using our a free virus scanner is an option as well.
If there’s nothing dangerous or suspicious in your computer after the scan, you may safely search for methods for decrypting and recovering your encrypted files. If you want to learn more about your decryption choices you have, please check our file-recovery guide on this link.
.Stax is a dangerous malware program that extorts money from its victims by keeping their most important data hostage. .Stax employs a process known as file encryption that allows it to lock the users’ files and which can only be reversed using a special decryption key.
The use of such viruses to blackmail users is extremely common and has been a widespread practice for a very long time. The collective term that describes viruses like .Stax is Ransomware, and the goal of those threats is always the same – to force their victims to issue a payment. Not all Ransomware variants achieve this in the same way, but the ones that use file encryption are typically regarded as the most advanced representatives of this malware category.
.Stax, in particular, is a new Ransomware virus and there aren’t many ways to get through its advanced encryption algorithm in order to release the files that it has locked. Oftentimes, only the private decryption key that its creators have is able to release the inaccessible files.
.Stax is a virus program designed to force you to send money to its creators by making you unable to access or use important files saved on your computer. Once it encryption-locks your data, it informs you about the demanded ransom via a ransom note.
If you have encountered such a ransom note on your screen that tells you to pay a certain amount of money if you want to ever be able to access your locked files again, your first reaction shouldn’t be to panic and immediately send the demanded sum, but to take your time and calmly assess the situation. If no files of significant importance have been locked by .Stax, you don’t need to do anything else except removing the virus (the way to do this is shown on this page).
On the other hand, if valuable data has been encrypted by Ransomware, there could still be some alternatives that may allow you to restore your files without dealing with the hackers.
To decrypt .Stax, it’s advised that you seek alternative solutions rather than send any money to the cybercriminals. Before you attempt to decrypt .Stax files via an alternative method, however, make sure that the virus is no longer in your computer.
You will find removal instructions for .Stax on this page and once you complete them and make sure that the virus is gone, you can move on to our How to Decrypt Ransomware guide, where we’ve shown some of the more popular alternative data-recovery methods. We can’t guarantee that they would be effective for you, and you can always try the payment option if nothing else has worked. However, bear in mind that there’s a high risk of never obtaining a functional decryption key even if you perform the payment, which is why we generally discourage our readers from choosing this course of action. Paying the ransom should really only be seen as a last resort and only in case, the files you want to recover are very important to you.