.Maak is cyber virus that will target your data with the goal to lock it and then blackmail you for access to it. Threats like .Maak are very common and they are known uneder the collective name of Ransomware due to being primarily used for money extortion.
Encryption viruses (also known as cryptoviruses) that seek to lock up the users personal data files are becoming more and more common and popular among hackers and cyber-criminals. This group of malware is actually a sub-type of the infamous Ransomware virus class – a malware category that hackers use for blackmailing and money extortion. The cryptoviruses are considered as the most problematic and insidious sub-type of Ransomware due to their stealthiness and due to the fact that they are typically regarded as highly-advanced and difficult to handle infections. In the current article, we will supply you with crucial and highly important information regarding one new representative of the cryptovirus class. The name of the new cyber-threat is .Maak and similarly to other noxious programs of its type, it is capable of putting the personal files of the targeted user on lockdown by encrypting them. The files are kept inaccessible until a ransom payment is made to the hackers. Unless the Ransomware victim carries out the transaction of the requested money sum, the cyber-criminals do not release the sealed data from its encryption. There are several important things about Ransomware cryptoviruses that need to be factored in when talking about this nasty malware category and we will make sure to go over them in the next lines. Also, in case any of you have had their machines infected and their files locked-up by the nasty .Maak, we can offer you some help in the form of a detailed removal guide with instructions focused on eliminating the cyber-threat. Also, there is a separate section that includes methods on how one could possibly restore some of the encrypted files without paying the ransom. Now, we can’t promise you that the file-restoration suggestions within our guide would work in all cases due to the highly-advanced nature of Ransomware infections such as .Maak. However, we believe that trying all available alternative solutions is typically better than agreeing to make the payment and transacting the demanded ransom money.
The reason why it’s typically better to try all alternatives instead of directly paying has to do with the fact that it is a common occurrence for hackers to refuse to send the decryption key for the locked files even to users that have actually paid the money. Of course, this doesn’t happen always and sometimes paying could get your data back but there’s always the chances of simply wasting your money in vain without regaining the access to your encrypted files. Generally, we advise you to only consider the payment option as a last resort variant and only in case the files locked by the Ransomware are really that important and valuable to you.
The .Maak virus
The .Maak virus is a data-encryption cyber threat that will not harm your files but will instead make it impossible for you to open or use them. The hackers behind the .Maak virus want you to send them money if you wish to be given a special key that could supposedly restore your data.
Ransomware cryptoviruses are malicious programs that are well known for their stealthiness and overall lack of infection symptoms. One factor that heavily contributes to this is the use of encryption to lock the files. You see, this is actually a relatively harmless process in the sense that no damage would actually get caused to any of your files or to your PC system. The encryption would simply render the targeted data inaccessible without harming or corrupting it. This makes Ransomware cryptovirus infections like .Maak or Vfgj really subtle and difficult to spot as there are normally no visible symptoms. Sometimes, a unusual increase of the RAM and CPU usage might be enough to give away the malware attack but in most cases users fail to notice that. Aside from that, there are pretty much no other potential red flags. One other problem regarding the detection of Ransomware is that even an antivirus program on your PC might fail to intercept the threat because of the lack of damage to the system. This really leaves you with very few options when it comes to spotting such a threat. Nonetheless, it is still important to have proper system security software protection on your PC and to also keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior on your system.
The .Maak file decryption
The .Maak file decryption is the process required to make the files on your computer openable again. Unfortunately, without the proper private key, the .Maak file decryption may not be possible and you will have to look for other methods to recover your data.
Viruses like .Maak could get to your machine in a number of ways. They could get delivered to you through a spam e-mail attachment or through some shady and illegally distributed pirated piece of software. Malvertising ads are also a common way of distributing Ransomware. Another method that hackers tend to use is employing Trojan backdoor viruses to sneak the Ransomware inside an already infected machine. There are many other possible distribution techniques which is why you should always try to keep away from sketchy and obscure online content so as to avoid the potential sources of Ransomware. Also, a good way to keep your files safe even in case such a virus manages to get inside your system is to backup your important and valuable data. You can use a cloud service or an external drive or even some other device (preferably, one that is disconnected from the Internet). Just make sure that you always have safe copies of your most important files on a location where no Ransomware could reach them.
Remove .Maak Ransomware
For the following steps, you’ll need to restart your computer in Safe Mode, then return to this page for the remaining of the .Maak removal steps.
Before you restart the computer, however, we suggest that you bookmark these removal instructions so that you don’t lose the page and easily reload it once the computer starts.
Once you make sure that your machine has rebooted in Safe Mode, go to the Windows Search field and type msconfig in it. Then open the System Configuration window and click the “Startup” tab at the top.
You should uncheck the checkmarks of any startup items that .Maak has added, then click the OK button to save your changes. This will stop the infection-related startup items from running.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Open the Task Manager (CTRL + SHIFT + ESC) and click on the Processes Tab to see if any malicious ransomware-processes have been launched in the background of the system:
If you detect suspicious processes, right-click on them and select Open File Location from the quick menu.
You’ll be able to access the files associated with that process and scan them for malicious code with the help of the free virus scanner below:
You will know that the process is really malicious if one or more of its files have been flagged as dangerous by the scanner. In such a case, you first need to end the running process and then remove the malicious files from their File Location.
Open a Run window by pressing and holding the Start Key and R at the same time. After that, copy and paste the following into the window, and then click OK:
A Hosts file will open in Notepad on the screen. Locate the phrase “Localhost” by swiping down the text. Once you find it, pay attention to the IP addresses that have been written below. If you see IPs like those in the sample image below, let us know by leaving us a comment. It is best not to do any changes and wait for our reply, where you can get advice on what to do in case we see something disturbing.
Ransomware may add dangerous entries to the Registry, and detecting and deleting them is the most difficult aspect of the .Maak removal.
In general, we do not advise regular users to make any changes to the Registry unless you are a computer expert. Instead, we recommend using a professional removal tool (such as the one that you can find on this page) to delete any registry files that are harmful.
Still, since we are providing a manual removal guide here, we will try to explain the manual instructions on how you can search and clean the Registry of your computer in the most detailed way.
As a start, you need to start the Registry Editor by going to the Windows Search field, typing Regedit in the search bar and clicking Enter.
Next, press CTRL and F at the same time and type the name of the ransomware into the Find box in order to search for it. If you find any entries in the Registry with that name, you should carefully remove them, since they might be linked to the virus.
Once you are done with this, it’s also a good idea to check a few other locations on your computer. To do that, type each of the lines below in the Windows Search field and check for files and folders that have been added around the time that the ransomware infection occurred:
Search all directories and subdirectories for suspicious subfolders or files. When you open the Temp folder, select all files in there and delete them. These are temporary files, some of which could contain entries related to .Maak.
How to Decrypt .Maak files
Once infected, you’ll need to know exactly what ransomware variant you’re dealing with and what steps to take to remove it before beginning the file recovery process. Extensions added to files encrypted by the ransomware might help identify its variant.
First, however, you need to make sure that the ransomware infection has been completely eliminated from your machine. In order to protect your computer from further harm, we suggest that you follow the removal steps above carefully and run a system check with a professional anti-virus program or an online virus scanner.
New Djvu Ransomware
The newest threat from the Djvu Ransomware strain is known as STOP Djvu, a sophisticated ransomware variant that is now attacking people all over the world. The ..Maak extension on files encrypted with this variation makes it easier to tell it apart from other versions of the same virus.
While it can be extremely difficult to deal with new variants of ransomware, it is possible to decipher data encoded with STOP Djvu, assuming an offline key was used for the encryption. What is more, a decryption software exists that you may use to try to recover your data. To download it, open the URL below and click the Download button on the page:
It’s important to run the decryptor that you have downloaded as an administrator and then click “Yes” on the confirmation dialog box. Be sure to read the license agreement and the short set of instructions shown on the screen before continuing. To decrypt your data, click the Decrypt button. Consider that the tool may not be able to decode data encrypted using unknown offline keys or online encryption.