Toec Ransomware Description
Malware experts have spotted a new file-encrypting Trojan pestering users online. It has been given the name Toec Ransomware. After dissecting the Toec Ransomware, it became clear that this is a variant of the STOP Ransomware. This ransomware family has been the most active one in the entirety of 2019. Countless cybercriminals have opted to build copies of the STOP Ransomware and distribute them online. Unfortunately, there have not been free decryption tools released for most of them.
Propagation and Encryption
It is not clear what distribution method have the authors of the Toec Ransomware opted to utilize. Some experts speculate that spam emails may be in the center of the Toec Ransomware campaign. Spam emails used for propagating ransomware threats often contain a message riddled with social engineering tricks whose goal is to induce the user into opening the attached file. Needless to say, the attachment carries the corrupted file of the file-locking Trojan, and opening it would infect your system. Some of the other common methods of distributing ransomware threats include bogus application updates, fake pirated copies of popular software tools and torrent trackers. The Toec Ransomware will scan your system in search of the data that matches its requirements. Most threats of this type make sure to target as many file types as possible, as this would guarantee maximum damage to the compromised host. Next, the Toec Ransomware will begin its encryption process. When this data-locking Trojan encrypts a file, it will alter its name. The Toec Ransomware adds a '.toec' extension to the affected files. This means that if you had an audio file, which was called 'December-Dream.mp3' prior to the attack, your file's name would be changed to 'December-Dream.mp3.toec' when the attack has been completed.
The Ransom Note
The Toec Ransomware will drop a ransom note on the victim's desktop named '_readme.txt.' The Toec Ransomware does not stray from the well-trodden path of most STOP Ransomware copies. The attackers ask for a ransom fee of $890 but claim that victims who get in touch with them in the space of 72 hours successfully will only have to pay half the price, meaning the ransom fee will be reduced to $490. The authors of the Toec Ransomware state that they are willing to unlock one file free of charge. This is used as proof that the attackers are in possession of a working decryption key and are capable of reversing the damage done to the user's data. There are two email addresses provided for victims – ‘email@example.com' and ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.'
We would advise you strongly to avoid any contact with cyber crooks like the ones responsible for the Toec Ransomware. Despite promising you to provide you with the decryption key you need, if you pay them, they will likely lose interest in cooperating as soon as they receive the money. This is why you should look into obtaining a reputable anti-virus software tool that will help you wipe off the Toec Ransomware from your computer and make sure you do not become a victim of ransomware in the future.