Our research indicates that there’s a new version of the Jigsaw ransomware, called MAYA. The MAYA ransomware virus would append the .LOCKED_PAY extension to encrypted files.
As seen in nearly all ransomware instances, the main purpose of the MAYA ransomware is to encrypt valuable files, so it can extort a ransom payment. For the purpose, MAYA ransomware is designed to compromise the computer system and transform the code of target files with the help of a sophisticated cipher algorithm.
Upon encryption, all files typically remain inaccessible and unable to decrypt, unless a special decrypter is developed. Continue reading to learn how to remove MAYA ransomware also known as .LOCKED_PAY files virus.
|A data locker ransomware that utilizes strong cihper algorithm to encrypt valuable files stored on the infected computer.
|Important files are decry[ter and renamed with LOCKED_PAY extension. Ransom message appears as desktop wallpaper.
|Spam Emails, Email Attachments
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|Join Our Forum to Discuss MAYA.
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|Windows 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.
LOCKED_PAY Files Virus (MAYA Ransomware) – Distribution
For the delivery of LOCKED_PAY file virus cybercriminals are usually creating mass malspam (malicious spam) campaigns as well as using software cracks, fake software update notifications, freeware with compromised installers and malicious web links.
All these techniques aim to trick you into executing the malicious ransomware payload on your device without noticing its presence. Considering how most ransomware has been distributing in recent months, malspam certainly is a prevalent distribution technique for MAYA ransomware. A malicious email would usually attempt to mislead you that an email you received is sent by a representative of a legitimate company or governmental institution. Be careful not to open any file attachments, clickable hyperlinks or buttons which are usually featured in such emails.
Also note that with the aid of malicious scripts embedded in the code of various web pages, the ransomware infection may be triggered automatically once you visit a malicious, specially crafted page. As for the URLs of such pages, they may be spread across all popular social media channels, various forums, and websites for free programs.
.LOCKED_PAY Files Virus (MAYA Ransomware) – Overview
The.LOCKED_PAY File infection is initiated once its activation file is executed on your system. The purpose of this file is to initiate various malicious activities that compromise essential components and their settings. Also note that the ransomware could create or drop additional malicious files.
As their locations, .paycoin could choose some of the following system folders:
Once the MAYA ransomware establishes all needed files, it starts executing them in a predefined order. By doing this, .LOCKED_PAY files virus would effectively manipulate system functionalities and may evade detection.
A deeper look into .LOCKED_PAY files virus reveals that it is configured to manipulate the functionalities of some registry keys stored by the Registry Editor. These keys are Run and RunOnce and their directories are:
The reason why .LOCKED_PAY ransomware plagues these two registry keys is their ability to auto-execute all processes listed under them. So by adding its malicious values under these keys,.paycoin infection files load along with all essential files that support the sooth system performance every next time you start the infected operating system.
In addition, .LOCKED_PAY files virus is likely to change your preferred desktop wallpaper to the image presented below:
Once the ransomware completes all infection stages, it usually drops a file that contains a ransom message. With this message, hackers attempt to trick you into paying ransom fee in cryptocurrency, usually Bitcoin, for supposed data decryption. Beware that paying the ransomware is not a reassurance that you would get your files back in normal condition.
Remove .LOCKED_PAY Files Virus (MAYA Ransomware)
The .LOCKED_PAY files virus is a ransomware with highly complex code, designed to corrupt both system settings and valuable data. The only way to securely use your infected system again is to remove all malicious files and objects created by the MAYA ransomware. For the purpose, you could use our removal guide that reveals how to clean and secure your system step by step.
What is MAYA Ransomware?
MAYA 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.
What Does MAYA Ransomware Do?
Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
How Does MAYA Infect?
Via several ways.MAYA 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.
Another way you may become a victim of MAYA 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 .MAYA files?
You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .MAYA files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key 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 .MAYA files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".MAYA" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .MAYA 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 MAYA 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 MAYA ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .MAYA files.
Can I 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 MAYA 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.
Can a 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 MAYA Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this MAYA 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.
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