What Is Maak Virus?
Maak 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|
|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|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
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.
- 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:
One of the most important files it creates while active on your computer system is the ransom note file, that carries the following message:
The virus may also create value entries in the “Run” Registry sub-keys:
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.).
When it finishes encrypting your important files, the virus leaves them looking like the following example shows:
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:
What is Maak Ransomware?
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 algorithms 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.
Can Maak Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like Maak?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does Maak Infect?
Via several ways.Maak Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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 using a specific decryptionkey for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
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.
Can I Restore ".Maak" Files?
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% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of Maak Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
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.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
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 can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way 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:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can Maak Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
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.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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.