Hkgt ransomware is a version of the notorious Djvu/STOP ransomware family of file-encrypting malware. New versions of this ransomware are released on a regular basis, often at least twice a week, by the hackers behind it. Hkgt ransomware is considered to be a particularly serious infection because file decryption is not always achievable. Once files have been encrypted, they can only be decrypted using a specific decryptor. But the only working decryptor is, unfortunately, in the hands of malicious actors, who will charge close to $1000 for it.
As soon as you open the malicious file, Hkgt ransomware will start encrypting your files. Personal files, such as photos, movies, images, and documents, will all be targeted. The files will have a .hkgt extension, which can help you figure out which ransomware you’re dealing with and which files have been encrypted. If a document.txt file was encrypted, it would become document.txt.hkgt. In all folders that have encrypted files, the ransomware leaves a _readme.txt ransom note. It explains that paying $980 is required to obtain the decryptor. According to the ransomware operators, if you contact them within the first 72 hours, they will give you a 50% discount. However, we highly doubt this to be true. Paying the ransom is not suggested in general because there is no guarantee that you will receive the decryptor, especially because you are dealing with cyber crooks.
For those who do not have a backup, recovering files will be a considerably more difficult task. For the time being, the only alternative is to wait for the release of a free Hkgt ransomware decryptor. It is not yet available at the time of writing, although malware researchers may release it in the future. The issue with ransomware from this family is that they encrypt files using online keys. This means that the keys are unique to each victim, and a universal decryptor is unlikely unless malware researchers acquire those keys. It’s not impossible, though, that the keys will be released at some point. So make a backup of the encrypted files and look for a free Hkgt ransomware decryptor from time to time.
Ransomware distribution methods
A variety of methods are used to distribute ransomware and other malware infections. That includes torrents, email attachments, malicious ads, vulnerabilities, etc. Users with good online habits are much less likely to infect their computers with malware because they engage in less risky behavior. If your browsing habits are poor, developing better ones will help avoid a lot of malware in the future.
Malware is often distributed using email attachments, which is why it’s dangerous to open random, unsolicited email attachments without double-checking them. It’s a fairly low-effort method of distribution for malicious actors, which is why it’s quite often used. But in most cases, the malicious emails are very poorly done, making them quite easily recognizable. The biggest giveaway is grammar/spelling mistakes. Malicious senders often pretend to be from legitimate companies so the grammar/spelling mistakes immediately give them away. You will rarely see mistakes in legitimate emails because they look unprofessional. But for whatever reason, malicious emails are usually full of them. It may be cause malicious actors are not native English speakers or they just do not care enough to put any effort in. Another sign that often gives away malicious emails is generic words used to address you. You will always be addressed by your name in emails sent by companies whose services you use. However, malicious emails use generic words like User, Member, and Customer, to address their potential victims. Because they do not have access to personal information, they’re forced to use generic words. It’s worth mentioning that some malicious emails can be more sophisticated, which is why we always recommend scanning all unsolicited email attachments with anti-virus software or VirusTotal before opening them.
Malicious actors also use torrents to distribute malware. It’s not uncommon for torrent sites to be poorly regulated, which allows malicious actors to upload torrents with malware in them. It’s very common to find malware in torrents for movies, TV series, video games, and software. This, in addition to the fact that downloading copyrighted content for free is fundamentally theft, is why torrenting is often a bad idea.
Hkgt ransomware removal
Do not attempt to remove Hkgt ransomware manually because you could end up causing additional damage to your computer. Furthermore, ransomware is a highly complex infection, and if you try to remove it manually, you may accidentally miss some crucial component that could later allow it to recover. If you were connected to your backup when ransomware recovered, your backed-up files would become encrypted as well. Therefore, we strongly recommend using anti-malware software to delete Hkgt ransomware from your computer. As soon as the ransomware is gone, you can connect to your backup and start recovering files.
For users with no backup, waiting for a free Hkgt ransomware decryptor may be the only option. You will not find one at the moment but it may be released in the future. You need to be careful when searching for one because there are many fake ones. If you cannot find it on a legitimate source like NoMoreRansom, you likely won’t find it anywhere else.
Hkgt ransomware is detected as:
- Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj] by AVG/Avast
- Trojan.MalPack.GS by Malwarebytes
- Gen:Variant.Jaik.81580 by BitDefender
- Gen:Variant.Jaik.81580 (B) by Emsisoft
- A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HPWM by ESET
- HEUR:Trojan-Spy.Win32.Stealer.gen by Kaspersky
- GenericRXAA-AA!B2BF82CD13C0 by McAfee
- Trojan:Win32/Azorult.FW!MTB by Microsoft