.maoloa Ransomware — How to Remove Virus Infections
THREAT REMOVAL

.maoloa Ransomware — How to Remove Virus Infections

This article will aid you to remove .maoloa Ransomware. Follow the ransomware removal instructions provided at the end of the article.

.maoloa Ransomware is one that encrypts your data and demands money as a ransom to get it restored. Files will receive the .maoloa extension. The .maoloa Ransomware will leave ransomware instructions as a desktop wallpaper image. Keep on reading the article and see how you could try to potentially recover some of your locked files and data.

Threat Summary

Name.maoloa ransomware
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts files by placing the .maoloa before the affected files on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
SymptomsThe ransomware will encrypt your files and leave a ransom note with payment instructions.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .maoloa ransomware

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .maoloa ransomware.
Data Recovery ToolWindows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.

.maoloa Ransomware – Distribution Techniques

These samples have been sighted in a relatively low-quantity campaign. The code analysis is not yet complete which doesn’t give out details about the possible infection campaign.

One of the most popular options is to coordinate email phishing campaigns that attempt to confuse the victims into thinking that they have received a legitimate notification from a well-known service or product. They will feature file attachments or malicious content that once interacted with will lead to the virus infection.

A similar strategy is the creation of malicious sites that use similar sounding domain names and fake security certificates. They are made in order to confuse the victims into thinking that they have accessed a legitimate site by copying down their design and main contents.

A popular alternative is the distribution of payload carriers which contain the .maoloa ransomware infection instructions. Whenever these files are engaged the relevant code will be started. There are two popular variants which are most commonly used:

  • Infected Documents — Malicious documents can be used to produce infections. They are crafted en-masse with virus installing macros which can be embeddded across all popular document types: spreadsheets, presentations, text documents and databases. Whenever they are opened by the victims a prompt will be spawned requesting for the scripts to be run. This will trigger the infection.
  • Application Installers — The same procedure can be used with installers of popular applications. The criminals will embed the necessary code in hacker-made setup files. They are made by taking the original executables and modifying them with the relevant instructions. The finished installers will be delivered to the target users by posing as legitimate packaged applications.

All of these files can additionally be spread via file-sharing networks like BitTorrent. They are widely used by Internet users to spread both legitimate and pirate data.

Larger infiltration attempts can be made by attaching the virus files in malicious web browser plugins which are otherwise known as hijackers. They are often distributed with fake user reviews on the relevant repositories and promise to enhance productivity by adding in new features or optimizing the performance.

.maoloa Ransomware – Detailed Analysis

So far the initial code analysis does not indicate code snippets from any of the famous ransomware families. This leads us to believe that the hackers have have created the .maoloa ransomware from scratch. The fact that the captured files are early test sample shows that it is very possible for future releases to contain an expanded list of features. The other possibility is that it is ordered through the dark underground markets and that future versions may be upgraded with more modules.

It is expected that a typical infection behavior will be followed. This means that the infections will probably begin with a data gathering module which will scan the local con tents and hijack information that can be categorized into one of these two groups:

  • Machine Identification Data — By taking various data from the infected computers the engine can generate an unique ID which is assigned to each different host. It is usually calculated from values such as the installed hardware components, user settings and Windows Registry entries.
  • Personal Information — The criminals can hijack information that can be used to directly expose the identity of the victims. This is done by programming the relevant engine into retrieving information about a given user’s name, address, location, interests and even any stored account information.

The harvested information can be found not only on the local drive, but also on the attached removable storage devices and network shares as well if the .maoloa ransomware interacts with the Windows Volume Manager. Furthermore the collected information can be used to bypass security software by looking for engines of applications that can block the proper .maoloa ransomware execution. The list includes: anti-virus programs, sandbox environments, virtual machine hosts and debug software. If detected they will be removed instantly.

As soon as these two actions have completed running the computer hackers will have the ability to modify the system according to the virus instructions. Most commonly this will lead to value modification in the Windows Registry. In most of the cases this can lead to overall system instability — the computer’s performance may degrade to the point of being unusable unless the virus infections is completely removed. Modifications to strings that are part of third-party applications can result in the inability to use them properly as unexpected errors can appear.

When the virus has obtained full control of the machine it can set itself as a persistent threat. This means that it will set itself to automatically launch as soon as the computer is powered on. These infections can be used to deploy other malware such as the following:

  • Trojans — These local installations will establish a connection with a predefined server thus allowing the remote operators to spy on the victim computers. They can overtake control at any given time, deploy other threats and steal files before the encryption process is engaged.
  • Cryptocurrency Miners — These are small-sized applications that wiil download resource-intensive tasks from a remote server and start them on the infected computers. They will utilize the available hardware resources by placing a heavy load on the CPU, GPU, hard disk space and memory. Whenever one of them is reported to the servers cryptocurrency assets will be automatically transferred to the hacker controllers.
  • Browser Redirect Code — They are able to introduce changes to the web browsers which will redirect the victims to hacker-controlled landing pages. They can be either used to engage the users into intrusive ads which will direct revenue to the hacker controllers or to the ransomware note itself.

All kinds of changes can take place as the hackers can dynamically send new configuration options as new samples are produced.

.maoloa Ransomware – Encryption Process

The .maoloa Ransomware encrypts user data with a strong cipher according to a built-in list of target data extensions. In most cases it will target the most popular ones:

  • Archives
  • Backups
  • Documents
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Music

The victim files will be renamed with the .maoloa extension and a ransomware note added to coerce the victims into paying a decryption fee to the hackers.

Remove .maoloa Ransomwareand Try to Restore Data

If your computer system got infected with the .maoloa ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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