Remove POZD Ransomware Virus (+DECRYPT .pozd Files)

Pozd virus is a sort of computer virus that infiltrates your PC, encrypts your files, and then asks to pay the money for file decryption. Besides these bad activities, that virus also modifies some important settings and can even suspend your anti-malware program.


Pozd Ransomware Summary

NamePozd virus
TypeSTOP/Djvu Ransomware
Files.pozd
Message_readme.txt
Ransom$490/$980
Contactsupport@fishmail.top, datarestorehelp@airmail.cc
DamageAll files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password-stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.
Pozd Removal Tool To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license. 6 days free trial available.

Pozd malware – what is it?

Pozd virus can correctly be classified as a STOP/Djvu ransomware family. That type of virus is aimed on individuals. This feature supposes that Pozd does not carry any sort of additional malware, which usually helps malware of various other families to take control of your system. Since the majority users do not have anything valuable , there is no need to download additional malware that increases the risk of failure of the whole ransomware injection.

The common signs of this ransomware activity is the appearance of .pozd files in your folders, instead of the document you used to have. The photo.jpg turns into photo.jpg.pozd, report.xlsx – into report.xlsx.pozd and so on. You cannot to suspend this process, as well as can’t open these files – they are encrypted with quite strong cipher.

Pozd Virus - encrypted .pozd files
Pozd Encrypted Files

You can also spectate various other signs of virus activity. Suddenly suspended Microsoft Defender and inability to open the popular anti-malware forums or sites, where the ransomware removal and file decryption guides are posted. You will see how it works in the paragraph below. The removal and decryption guide are also available – read below how to remove Pozd malware and get the .pozd files back.

How did Pozd ransomware encrypt my files?

After the malware injection, the Pozd virus creates a connection with its command and control server. This server is commanded by ransomware maintainers – crooks who manage the distribution of this virus. Another activity which is done by those crooks is answering the email messages of victims, who wish to get their files back.

The documents are encrypted with one of the strongest encryption algorithm – AES-256. The digit in the name of this algo means the power of two – 2^256 for this case. 78-digit number of possible password variations – it is unreal to brute force it. As cipher analysts say, it will need more time than the Earth can approximately exist, even in case if you make use of the most powerful computer system. In each folder that contains the encrypted file(s), Pozd ransomware leaves the _readme.txt file with the following contents:

ATTENTION!

Don't worry, you can return all your files!

All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.

What guarantees you have?

You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.

You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:

https://we.tl/t-WJa63R98Ku

Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $490.

Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.

Check your e-mail "Spam" or "Junk" folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.

To get this software you need write on our e-mail:

support@fishmail.top

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:

datarestorehelp@airmail.cc

Your personal ID:
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

However, you can still open some of your files. The Pozd malware encrypts only the first 150 KB of each file, but the other part of this document can be opened. Primarily, it works best with audio/video files, which are surely bigger than 150 kilobytes. Not each media player is capable of open these files – WinAmp is the best solution, since it is free and well-tested. First seconds of every recording will be missing – this part is encrypted – but the rest of the file will be accessible like nothing happened.

Is Pozd ransomware dangerous for my PC?

As it was mentioned several paragraphs before, ransomware is not only about encrypting the files. Pozd ransomware makes the changes in your computer in order to prevent searching the virus removal and file decryption guides. Malware does not establish the software obstacle – it just alters the system settings, primarily – networking and security configurations.

Among the networking settings, the most changed item is the HOSTS file. This text file contains the DNS-address instructions, which are used by the web browsers while requesting to the website server. If you add a specific DNS-address for the certain website, your web browser will connect that website through this DNS next time. Ransomware alters that file, adding the unknown DNS, so any of the web browsers will show you the “Unable to resolve the DNS-address” error.

Error 404

Other changes done by the virus are aimed at prevention of fast spotting of itself, and also blocking the installation of the majority of security tools. Pozd ransomware implements some alterations in Group Policies – the system configuration app which gives you the right to change the rights of each application. In such a way, the virus stops the Microsoft Defender and various other antivirus tools, and also disables the launch of antivirus installation files.

How did I get infected?

Throughout the whole term while STOP/Djvu family is active, it was using dubious software as a primary method of ransomware injection. Under the term of questionable programs I mean software that are already not updated by the developer and distributed through the third-party websites. These programs may be cracked, to make them usable without buying any license. One more example of such a program type is different hacking tools – cheat engines, keygens, Windows activation tools and so on.

This sort of software may be spread in many ways – through the site that offers a downloading link, and also through the seeding networks – ThePirateBay, eMule and so on. All these sources are known as the biggest computer piracy websites. People use these pages to get a wide range of programs or games for free, even if they must be purchased. No one can stop the users who crack these programs from adding viruses of some type to the files of the hacked app. Hacktools, however, are created for outlaw targets, so their developers may easily add the ransomware under the guise of some program part.

injecting viruses into program
While adding the jumps on license checking, hackers can easily inject malicious code into the program

These cracked apps, regardless of their source, are one of the most often sources for various malware, and definitely the most widespread one for Pozd malware. The best solution is to avoid making use of it, and not only because of ransomware spreading risks. Avoiding the license purchase is an illegal action, and both hackers and persons who use cracked programs fall under the charge of piracy.

How do I remove Pozd malware?

The Pozd malware is pretty hard to delete manually. Really, because of the number of changes it makes in your Windows, it is almost impossible to detect them all and fix. The best solution is to make use of anti-malware software. But which one to choose?

You can spectate the offers to use Microsoft Defender, that is already inside of your Windows. But as it was mentioned earlier, most of STOP/Djvu malware examples disable it even before the encryption procedure. Making use of the third-party tool is the only possible option – and I can offer you the GridinSoft Anti-Malware as a solution for this case. It has impressive detection abilities, so the malware will not be missed. It is also capable of system recovery, which is heavily demanded after the Pozd virus attack.

To remove Pozd malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software.

  • Download and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware by the button above. After the installation, you will be offered to start a 6-day free trial. In this term, the program has its full functionality, so you will definitely be able to both wipe out the virus and repair your computer. To activate a trial period, you just need to type your email address.
  • Free trial activation GridinSoft Anti-Malware

  • After activating the trial, launch the full scan of your PC. It will last for about 15-20 minutes, and check each folder you have in your system. Ransomware will not hide!
  • Full scan in GridinSoft Anti-Malware

  • When the scan is finished, press the Clean Now button to wipe out the Pozd ransomware and all other malware detected by a program.
  • Clean the viruses

    After the ransomware removal, you can go to file decryption. Ransomware removal is needed to prevent the repeating encryption of your files: while Pozd ransomware is active, it will not pass any unencrypted file.

    How to decrypt the .pozd files?

    There are two ways to decrypt your files after a Pozd malware attack. First one and the most obvious is file decryption. It is conducted with a special tool, designed by Emsisoft, and named Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP/Djvu. This program is free. Analysts update its decryption keys databases as often as possible, so you will surely get your files back, sooner or later.

    Another way to get your documents and photos back is to try to recover them from your disk drives. Since ransomware deletes them and substitutes with an encrypted copy, the residue of the documents are still stored on the disk. After the removal, the information about them is removed from the file system, but not from a disk. Special programs, like PhotoRec, are able to recover these files. It is free, too, and may also be used for file recovery in case when you have deleted something unintentionally.

    Decrypting the .pozd files with Emsisoft Decrypter for STOP/Djvu

    Download and install Emsisoft Decrypter tool. Agree with its EULA and continue to the interface.

    Emsisoft Decrypter EULA

    The interface of this program is extremely easy. All you have to do is to select the folder where the encrypted files are stored, and wait. If the program has the decryption key which corresponds to your ransomware case – it will decrypt it.

    Emsisoft Decrypter decryption process

    During the use of Emsisoft Decrypter for STOP/Djvu, you may observe various error messages. Don’t worry, that does not mean that you did something wrong or a program does not work properly. Each of these errors refer to a specific case. Here is the explanation:

    Error: Unable to decrypt file with ID: [your ID]

    The program does not have a corresponding key for your case. You need to wait for some time until the key database will be updated.

    No key for new variant online ID: [your ID]

    Notice: this ID appears to be an online ID, decryption is impossible.

    This error means that your files are encrypted with an online key. In such a case, the decryption key is unique and stored on the remote server, controlled by crooks. Unfortunately, the decryption is impossible.

    Result: No key for new variant offline ID: [example ID]

    This ID appears to be an offline ID. Decryption may be possible in the future.

    Ransomware uses the offline key to encrypt your files. This key is not unique, so you likely have it in common with another victim. Since offline keys must be collected, too, it is important to keep calm and wait until the analysts team finds one which will fit your case.

    Remote name could not be resolved

    This error indicates that the program has problems with DNS on your computer. That’s a clear sign of malicious alterations in your HOSTS file. Reset it using the official Microsoft guide.

    Recovering the .pozd files with PhotoRec tool

    PhotoRec is an open-source tool, which is designed to recover the deleted or lost files from the disk drive. It checks each disk sector for the remains of deleted files, and then tries to recover them. That app is able to recover the files of more than 400 different extensions. Because of the described feature of ransomware encryption mechanism, it is possible to use this tool to get the original, unencrypted files back.

    Download PhotoRec from the official website. It is absolutely free, however, its developer warns that he does not guarantee that this program will be 100% effective for file recovery purposes. Moreover, even paid apps can barely give you such a guarantee, because of the chain of random factors that can make the file recovery harder.

    Unzip the downloaded archive to the folder you like. Don’t worry because of its name – TestDisk – this is the name of the utility developed by the same company. They decided to spread it together since PhotoRec and TestDisk are often used together. Among the unzipped files, search for qphotorec_win.exe file. Run this executable file.

    PhotoRec and TestDisk

    Before you can start the recovery process, you need to specify several settings. In the drop-down list, choose the logic disk where the files were stored before the encryption.

    PhotoRec recovering choose disk drive

    Then, you need to specify the file formats you need to recover. It may be difficult to scroll all 400+ formats, luckily, they are sorted by alphabetical order.

    PhotoRec file formats

    Finally, name the folder you want to use as a container for recovered files. The program will likely dig out a lot of useless files, which were deleted intentionally, so desktop is a bad solution. The best option is to use the USB-drive.

    PhotoRec recovery drive

    After these easy manipulations, you may just press the “Search” button (it turns active if you specified all required parameters). The recovery process may take several hours, so keep patient. It is recommended not to use the computer during this term, since you may overwrite some files you are intending to recover.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    ✔️Are the files encrypted by Pozd virus dangerous?


    No. Pozd files is not a virus, it is not able to inject its code into the files and force them to execute it. The .EXT files are just the same as regular ones, but encrypted and cannot be opened in the usual way. You may store it together with normal files without any fears.

    ✔️Is it possible that antivirus software will delete the encrypted files?


    As I have mentioned in a previous paragraph, encrypted files are not dangerous. Hence, good anti-malware programs like GridinSoft Anti-Malware will not trigger on them. Meanwhile, some of the “disk cleaning tools” may remove them, stating that they belong to the unknown format and are likely broken.

    ✔️The Emsisoft tool says my files are encrypted with the online key and cannot be decrypted. What do I need to do?

    It is very unpleasant to hear that the files you have are likely lost. Ransomware creators lie a lot in order to scare their victims, but they tell the truth in claims about the strength of the encryption. Your decryption key is stored on their servers, and it is impossible to select it because of the strength of the encryption mechanism.

    Try other recovery methods – through the PhotoRec, or using the previously created backups. Search for the previous versions of these files – getting back a part of your dissertation, for example, is better than missing it all.

    Last option is just waiting. When the cyber police caughts the crooks who create and distribute ransomware, first get the decryption keys and publish it. Emsisoft analysts will surely take these keys and add them to the Decryptor databases. In some cases, virus creators may publish the rest of the keys when they stop their activity.

    ✔️Not all of my .pozd files are decrypted. What do I need to do?

    The situation when the Emsisoft Decryptor failed to decrypt several files usually happens when you have not added the correct file pair for the certain file format. Another case when this problem may appear is when some problem occurred during the decryption process – for example, RAM limit reached. Try to perform the decryption process once again.

    Another situation when the Decryptor app may leave your files unencrypted is when ransomware uses different keys for certain files. For example, it may use offline keys for a short period of time when it has connection issues. The Emsisoft tool is not able to check both key types simultaneously, so you need to launch the decryption again, in order to repeat the process.

    Helga Smith

    I was always interested in computer sciences, especially data security and the theme, which is called nowadays "data science", since my early teens. Before coming into the Virus Removal team as Editor-in-chief, I worked as a cybersecurity expert in several companies, including one of Amazon's contractors. Another experience: I have got is teaching in Arden and Reading universities.

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