Maql Virus


Maql

Maql is a sneaky virus of the Ransomware type that has recently attacked a big number of computers, locking all user data located on them. The goal of the Maql threat is to force the attacked users to release a ransom payment if they want to be able to access their files again.

Djvu Ransom Note
The Maql virus ransom note

Ransomware is a dangerous, insidious malware group that has been terrorizing users for the last twenty years and has recently begun evolve really rapidly, becoming one of the nastiest and most widely-spread cyber-threats out there. What the most typical kind of Ransomware does is it encrypts your files. In today’s article, we are going to give you some details about a very common version of Ransomware 

The Maql virus

The Maql virus is an advanced form of Ransomware that initiates a data-encrypting process on the infected computers to lock the files stored on them. Once the Maql virus has finished with the encryption phase of its attack, it is ready to show its victims a message with ransom-payment instructions.

It is said that these viruses enter your system without any help. In the end, the virus could infect your system automatically as long as you interact with its distribution source. The list with all the typical Ransomware sources can be seen below.

Another general aspect of all Ransomware types like Maql and Irjg is that they might deny access to something significant on your computer, and after all that, they might demand a ransom for unlocking it. Also, almost all viruses like these are pretty difficult to deal with and, unfortunately, sometimes there might not even be a fully effective method for dealing with such an infection.

Subtypes:

Ransomware includes three main sub-categories. They are:

  • The file-encrypting type: These Ransomware versions are used for encrypting the files of the targeted victim. They infect your PC and after that they attack your hard drives, looking for the data you have recently been operating with, and encode that data with a key, which is extremely difficult to be cracked. To be honest, that is the most dreadful type of Ransomware, because all of your information is endangered, and most of the time, you are helpless against it. Everything is really intricate when it comes to this type of Ransomware – even providing the ransom, which you are told about by an intimidating message, might not be enough to get back your encrypted files. This is the type of Ransomware that we are going to be focusing in this article and in the guide down below.
 
  • Screen-locking Ransomware: This group contains two subcategories on its own:
    • The first one is Ransomware that is able to lock up the screens of your mobile devices such as phones and tablets and they might become useless for the victim user. That kind of malware subtype usually can’t alter any files. However, you still won’t be granted access to them as the screen of your device will be covered with a huge notification informing you that the hackers require a ransom if you want the screen to be made usable again.
    • The second one – Ransomware that blocks the desktops of your PCs and laptops. As a whole, it employs the same strategy as the mobile-device-locking viruses. Again, you don’t get to access/use your computer or laptop and they put a notification with a large ransom demand on your desktop.
  • Government-exploited Ransomware: There are cases when Ransomware is used in order to punish hackers and make them pay for what they have done. However, such practices are rather rare and uncommon.

Which category does Maql belong to?

Maql belongs to the file-encrypting (also known as cryptovirus) Ransomware sub-type. Unfortunately, as we have already stated, this category is the worst and most problematic one. This means that all your data will be blocked, and then you will be harassed and blackmailed for making the requested payment to the hackers.

The Maql file decryption

The Maql file decryption is the preferred method of recovering the files that this virus is locked but it may not always be a possible option. If you don’t have the corresponding key for the Maql file decryption, you will have to resort to alternative methods of restoring the locked data.

Maql File
The Maql file virus

After the infection has already spreaded, we can say that there is no particular cure against it. To avoid that, the best advice we can give you, is to backup all the files on your PC that are important to you. After your PC has caught Maql , you can’t do a lot. Don’t expect anybody to promise you a 100% effective removal and decryption of the affected files. All you can do is simply improvise and do whatever is needed to cut off the virus, for example:

  • Backup your data that is locked-up and keep it that way for when the time comes for a guaranteed data recovery method to be released to the public.
  • A good idea might be to consult an expert and work together. This could turn out to be costly, but it is still a better option than carelessly sending a ransom to some scammers.
  • Searching and finding a successful know-how in blogs and forums.

Our Removal Guide

There is something more – if you need, you can use our Guide placed below. It might really help you! It costs nothing to try. The most important thing is not to pay the wanted price immediately unless you are certain that there’s nothing else that could be done.

SUMMARY:

NameMaql
TypeRansomware
Danger LevelHigh (Ransomware is by far the worst threat you can encounter)
Detection Tool

anti-malware offerOFFER *Free Remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. SpyHunter's EULA,  Privacy Policy, and more details about Free Remover.

Before you begin this guide

Make sure you take note of the following four points before starting the guide:

  • If there are external HDDs, USB sticks, tablets, phones, or other external devices with storage memory connected to your PC, unplug them immediately to prevent their files from getting encrypted as well.
  • Disconnect the computer from the web – this will ensure Maql doesn’t receive further instructions from its creators.
  • We advise against sending the requested ransom sum to the hackers but if you have nevertheless decided to o so, it’s recommended to not remove the Ransomware just yet and wait for after you’ve paid the ransom and hopefully received the decryption key.
  • Maql may seem to have automatically been removed from your computer, but even in such cases it’s still recommended completing the next steps.

Maql Ransomware Removal

To remove Maql and prevent the future encryption of more of your files, there are four main steps that you must perform:

  1. Find out if there’s a potentially rogue program on your computer that may be the cause of the Ransomware infection, and if there is, delete it.
  2. Make sure that there are no malware processes still running on your computer by using the Task Manager tool.
  3. Search the system for remaining malware files and delete anything harmful you may find.
  4. Clean the System Registry, as well as the Hosts file, and the Startup items list, to fully remove Maql .

For more details about each of those four steps, please, have a look at the instructions we’ve shared below.

Detailed removal instructions

Step 1

To look for potentially rogue programs, go to Start Menu > Control Panel > Uninstall a Program, where you will see what programs are on your computer and hopefully find the one that has caused the infection. Look through the entries in the list, and if you notice anything suspicious or unfamiliar that has been installed recently, select it, and then use the Uninstall button from the top to proceed to the uninstallation. Make sure that you disable any options in the uninstall are that would allow data related to the unwanted program to remain on the computer.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is uninstall1.jpg

Step 2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

Search for the Task Manager tool using the search bar below the Start Menu or simply press Ctrl, Shift, and Esc. Next, open Processes from the top and look for unusually-named processes with excessive RAM memory and/or CPU use. To figure out if a given suspected process is harmful, do the following:

  • First, we suggest looking up the name of the process – if it is indeed related to any malware, there will probably be many posts on cybersecurity forums that talk about it and warn about its malicious nature.
  • The next thing you could do is go to the process’ File Location by right-clicking it in the Task Manager and selecting the first option from the menu. Then, using the scanner we’ve shared below, test each file in the Location folder to see any of them are malicious. Obviously, if anything gets flagged as malware, this would also mean that the process the file is related to is also malicious.
    Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
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    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is task-manager1.jpg

    Processes that are detected as harmful must be ended and their file location folders must be deleted from the computer.

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is task-manager2.jpg

    Step 3

    You need to ensure Maql is unable to start its processes again – do this by booting your computer into Safe Mode.

    Step 4

    Click the Start Menu, type Folder Options, press the Enter key, and click the View section in the newly-opened window. Then check the Show hidden files, folders, and drives setting, and click on OK.

    Next, copy-paste the first of the items listed below in the Start Menu, press Enter, and sort the files in the folder that opens by date. Delete everything that’s been created after Maql infected you, and then repeat the same process with the other folders. Only in the one named Temp you must delete all data and not only the most recent files.

    • %AppData%
    • %LocalAppData%
    • %ProgramData%
    • %WinDir%
    • %Temp%

    Step 5

    Press together Winkey and R and when the Run search box shows, type msconfig in it and press Enter. When taken to the System Configuration window, click Startup, search the list of items for ones with unknown manufacturers and/or ones you don’t recognize, disable those items and click OK.

    The next thing you have to do is go to the hard drive where your Windows is installed (on most PCs that would be the C: drive), and navigate to the Windows/System32/drivers/etc folder. Once there, double-click on the file named Hosts, then select Notepad when asked to pick a program, and when the file opens, look towards the end of the text to see if there are any strange IPs present there. If there are, copy-paste them down in the comments and we will soon tell you if anything needs to be done about them.

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hosts2.jpg

    Step 6

    Be very careful with this step and only delete items you are certain are related to Maql . Ask us in the comments if you are unsure about anything.

    Start the Registry Editor tool by typing regedit.exe in the Start Menu, clicking the first result, and then clicking Yes.

    In the Editor, press Ctrl + F, then type Maql , and hit Enter. Delete any item that gets found in the Registry, and repeat the search to look for more rogue Maql items and to delete them as well.

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1-1.jpg

    After having deleted all Maql items from the Registry, navigate to the next three directories using the panel to the left and search them for suspicious keys (sub-folders). Tell us in the comments if you find anything with a strange name that seems to be randomly-generated, and we will tell you if it is something that must be eliminated.

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Internet Explorer > Main

    If Maql is still in the system

    Ransomware infections are often facilitated by Rootkits, Trojans, or other secondary threats that make sure the Ransomware stays in the system in spite of the users’ attempts to delete it. If you haven’t been able to manually delete Maql , it’s possible that you are in such a situation and that there’s another malicious program on your PC.

    In this case, what we’d advise you to do is use a specialized anti-malware program that can take care of all threats that are on your computer at the same time. A powerful tool we can recommend in such scenarios can be found throughout the guide, so consider giving it a try.

    How to Decrypt Maql files

    To decrypt Maql files, we encourage trying alternative recovery options rather than choosing to pay the demanded ransom. If you send your money to the hackers in an attempt to decrypt Maql files, you simply lose that money without ever getting your files back.

    Before you attempt any alternative data-restoration variant, however, make sure that the system is clean from any threat, so that the data you may manage to bring back won’t get locked-up again. Remember that you can always use our powerful online scanner for free to test questionable files on your computer for malware code.

    Once you are certain Maql is gone from your computer, it’s recommended to go to our How to Decrypt Ransomware article and familiarize yourself with the alternative file restoration methods shown there, so that you can use them and hopefully recover your files with their help.

    What is Maql ?

    Maql is an encryption virus that makes its victims unable to open the most important files stored on the attacked computer. The goal of the Maql encryption is to give the virus’ creators blackmailing leverage that they can use to demand a ransom payment.

    Maql is an advanced and stealthy form of computer malware and it rarely gets noticed before it has already managed to encrypt all of the files that it has targeted. Upon finishing with the encryption process, the virus automatically creates a note on the computer of its victim, in which it gives details about the demanded payment. If the victim pays the required sum, they’d be sent a special private key and with the help of said key, the user would be able to recover their locked (encrypted) data.

    The obvious problem here, aside from the fact that the demanded sum might not be affordable to a lot of users, is that paying the money is not a guarantee that the hackers would keep their promise and provide the necessary decryption key.

    Is Maql a virus?

    Maql is a virus program that specializes in locking up its victim’s data through the use of data encryption. Maql is categorized as Ransomware because its purpose is to extort money from its victims by blackmailing them, using their locked files as leverage.

    Unfortunately, there aren’t many options to recover the files that such a virus may lock up, and even if you remove the Ransomware, the data locked by it won’t automatically get released. The good news is that most forms of Ransomware don’t have the ability to damage anything in the system. This means that if Maql hasn’t locked up any particularly important data, the effects of the attack by this virus would be minimal. You’d still need to delete the virus, though, in order to prevent the potential future encryption of any new files.

    If, on the other hand, Maql has succeeded in taking hostage some important files that are on your computer, then you’d need to choose whether to pay the ransom or seek alternative options.

    How to decrypt Maql files?

    To decrypt Maql files, you are advised to try using alternative recovery methods rather than going straight for the payment. Know that if you pay the ransom in order to decrypt Maql files, the blackmailers may still decide to never send you the decryption key.

    The risk of simply wasting the money you send as a ransom without ever getting your files back is the main reason we advise our readers to refrain from this course of action and only consider it as a last resort option. There are other things you can try in order to bring back your data that do not involve contacting the hackers and sending them your money. Unfortunately, no course of action could guarantee full data recovery but it’s still better to first try all available alternatives before choosing to give in to the demands of the cybercriminals.

    Another thing you must remember to do is to check your other devices and your cloud storage, as there may be accessible copies of your encrypted files that are saved there and that you may have forgotten about.

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    About the author

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    Brandon Skies

    Brandon is a researcher and content creator in the fields of cyber-security and virtual privacy. Years of experience enable him to provide readers with important information and adequate solutions for the latest software and malware problems.

    2 Comments

    • I was attacked by ransomware, the school data file that I made into maql, how to fix it,
      please help me, the file is important for my student.

      Thanks.

      • Hi Ramadhan,
        you are infected with Maql Ransomware from DJVU/Stop ransomware family. If you are encrypted with offline ID you can decrypt your files by following this link , but if you are infected with an online ID, decryption is impossible.

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