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Remove Maak Virus Ransomware [.maak Files] Decrypt Guide [2022]

What Is Maak Virus?

maak virus filesMaak virus is and advanced malware infection that belongs to Stop/DJVU family of ransomware threats v0375. Its primary purpose when it gets in your computer system is to attack your most often used and important files and encrypt him by using the AES encryption algorithm. This virus then leaves behind a ransom note file, that carries the name _readme.txt. The files are left with the .maak extension and cannot be opened unless you follow the instructions in this ransom note. They state that you have to pay a lot of money in the form of Bitcoin to the criminals who have infected you with the virus.

Read this article to learn more information about this ransomware infection and how you can get rid of it and try to recover your documents.

Maak Virus Summary

Name Maak virus, also known as UDS:Trojan.Win32.Chapak.gen, Ransom:Win32/StopCrypt.KM!MTB, Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj], Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj], A Variant Of Win32/GenKryptik.FHJB – more detections of this virus on VirusTotal
File Extension .maak
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The ransomware encrypts files on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
Symptoms The Maak Virus ransomware will encrypt your files by appending the .Maak extension to them.
Ransom Demanding Note _readme.txt
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

Maak Virus – How Did I Get Infected?

The Maak virus is similar to some of the recent variants of the Djvu family, like Zaqi, Luez and Yber. These viruses often use different methods to get in your computer without your knowledge. One of them is if they get sent to you in the form of a document that is attached to an email, which appears as if the document is legitimate and important, for example:

  • Work-related files.
  • Receipts.
  • Invoices.
  • E-Tickets for events or flights.

Downloading and running this document may trigger an infection process, that is achievable via using malicious macros, like the following graphic below shows:

Another scenario of infection is if you have downloaded some type of an executable file and ran it. Most victims of this family of threats often complain of downloading files from some low reputation website that could have been of the following kinds:

  • Self extracting archives or regular archives.
  • Fake installation files.
  • Software patches.
  • Cracked portable versions of apps.
  • Software or game cracks.
  • Key generator (or Keygen).

Maak Virus – What Does It Do?

Maak virus is the type of infection that firstly connect to the server of the criminals who are behind it and downloads its malicious payload files. These files often exist in the system Windows directoreies under different names:

  • %Windows%
  • %SystemDrive%
  • %LocalLow%
  • %AppData%
  • %Local%
  • %Temp%
  • %System%
  • %system32%

One of the most important files it creates while active on your computer system is the ransom note file, that carries the following message:

STOP ransomware virus ransom message

The virus may also create value entries in the “Run” Registry sub-keys:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

This allows Maak virus to run each time you boot Windows.

What Are .maak Files

The .maak files are the result of this virus encrypting your important data. They are encoded using AES encryption algorithm, which is very strong and cannot be decrypted easily, unless the key that is used for decoding the files is offline. If the key is online, then it is nearly impossible to decode the files.

The .maak virus is very careful which files it encrypts, as it skips the driver folders of Windows and system directories. This is done so that you can still use your computer to pay the ransom. The main files that are attached or scanned for are encoded based on their file extensions and most often end up being the following:

  • Audio (.mp3, .wav, etc.).
  • Picture file kinds (.jpg, .png, .etc).
  • Videos (.mp4, .avi, etc.).
  • Archive file formats (.zip, .rar, etc).
  • Documents of different types (.docx, .pptx, etc.).
  • Others.

When it finishes encrypting your important files, the virus leaves them looking like the following example shows:

Picture.jpg.maak

How to Remove Maak Virus?

Maak virus could be dangerous for your computer and newly added files if not removed immediately. To delete it, we suggest following the removal instructions below only if you have experience with malware removal. In case you want an easy solution that is also user-friendly, we suggest following the expert recommendations in downloading a professional anti-malware software to scan your computer with. Such a program is designed from the ground up to thoroughly and automatically detect and remove any malicious files and secure your system in the future as well.

How to Decrypt .maak Files?

Following our STOP Ransomware File Decryption Guide should be able to help you to decrypt the .maak files only in case the decryption key is offline. The decryption software there is created by reputable and independent malware researchers to help the victims of the virus and this is why we have used it in our instructions. You can also follow the decryption video guide below for more convenience as well.

Video guide for using the STOP Ransomware Decryptor:

Gergana Ivanova

Highly motivated writer with 5+ years of experience writing for ransomware, malware, adware, PUPs, and other cybersecurity-related issues. As a writer, I strive to create content that is based on thorough technical research. I find joy in the process of creating articles that are easy to understand, informative, and useful. Follow me on Twitter (@IRGergana) for the latest in the field of computer, mobile, and online security.

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Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.

As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.

How to recognize trustworthy sources:

  • Always check "About Us" web page.
  • Profile of the content creator.
  • Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
  • Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.

OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy

About the Maak Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Maak how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.

How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?

Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.

Furthermore, the research behind the Maak ransomware threat is backed with VirusTotal and the NoMoreRansom project.

To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.

References

1. How to Recognize Spam Emails with Ransomware
2. How Does Ransomware Encryption Work?
3. How to Decrypt Ransomware Files
4. Ransomware Getting Greedier and Bigger, Attacks Increase by 40%
5. 1 in 5 Americans Victim of Ransomware



Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove Maak from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Maak

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows Key + R.


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".

Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Maak and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"

Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Maak on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Maak there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.

Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Maak with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Video Guide for Automatic and Fast Removal

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Maak.

Ransomware infections and Maak aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on the top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.

Step 6: How to Restore Files Encrypted by Ransomware (Video Guide)


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of Maak from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Maak and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy

1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Maak:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Maak. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash

”.


6. Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference.

Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Maak. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7. Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove Maak via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Maak. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Maak:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Maak.

Ransomware infections and Maak aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Maak FAQ

What is Maak ransomware and how does it work?

Maak is a ransomware infection - the malicious software that enters your computer silently and blocks either access to the computer itself or encrypt your files.

Many ransomware viruses use sophisticated encryption algorithm how to make your files inaccessible. The goal of ransomware infections is to demand that you pay a ransom payment to get access to your files back.

How does Maak ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Maak Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, containing virus attachment.

This attachment is usually masked as an important document, like an invoice, bank document or even a plane ticket and it looks very convincing to users.

After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.

Another way, you may become a victim of Maak is if you download a fake installer, crack or patch from a low reputation website or if you click on a virus link. Many users report getting a ransomware infection by downloading torrents.

How to open .Maak files?

You can't. At this point the .Maak files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Maak files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Maak ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.

How Do I restore ".Maak" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Maak files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How do I get rid of Maak ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate Maak ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Maak files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Maak ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.

What to Do If nothing works?

There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:

  • Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
  • Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
  • Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted it can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way to get back some of your files is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
  • You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.

More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.

How to Report Ransomware to Authorities?

In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer. Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:

Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:

Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.

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