THREAT REMOVAL

MBRlock Virus — How to Remove + Restore Encrypted Files

The MBRlock virus is a dangerous ransomware that is able to corrupt the Master Boot Record (MBR) of the victim machines. It then extorts the victims to pay a ransomware fee. The infections can also cause a wide variety of system changes and the installation of other viruses.

Threat Summary

Name MBRlock
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The main goal of the MBRlock Virus is to encrypt sensitive user files and extort the victims for a ransom fee payment.
Symptoms The victims will be unable to boot their computers once the MBRlock virus has executed its components.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
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Data Recovery Tool 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.

MBRlock Virus – Infection Process

The MBRlock virus is distributed using the most popular infection strategies. At the moment it is not possible to judge which is the primary distribution method. It is possible to create several campaigns running at once in order to maximize the infection ratio. In this article we list the most popular ways which the virus operators can utilize in order to spread it.

Email messages are among the top choices when it comes to bulk sending of malware copies. The hackers employ social engineering techniques in order to blackmail the victims into interacting with the dangerous components. Depending on the case there are two primary forms that the messages can take:

  • File Attachments — These types of messages include the MBRlock virus as an integrated part of the contents. The samples are attached directly and the victims are manipulated through to interact with the malware. In certain cases the files can be placed in archives that needs to be opened using the quoted password in the message. This is an often used trick that is used several scenarios throughout the years.
  • Malware Links — The email messages links to MBRlock virus instances that are hosted on malware sites.

Two specific cases are noteworthy for being popular in the last few months. The first one is the distribution of infected documents that contain malware scripts. Once the files are opened a notification message pops-up and requests the execution of built-in macros (scripts). If this is done the infection follows as the malware is downloaded from a remote site and started on the compromised machine. Such files usually consist of rich text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. The other type of infection is the distribution of malware software installers. They are very dangerous as sometimes the victims have no indication that the setup file can infect their computers with viruses. These files are made by taking legitimate installers of famous software (either free or trial versions) that are then modified to include the dangerous code. In certain cases the victims can protect themselves from the infections by unchecking certain options during the setup process.

Another method of distribution is the use of browser hijackers that can deliver as part of the their infection behavior patterns. This type of computer malware seek to infect the most popular web browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge) with dangerous code that redirects the victims to a hacker-controlled site. Upon infection with them default settings are changed and various data can be extracted. During this phase the virus infection can be acquired.

MBRlock Virus – Analysis and Activity

An in-depth analysis of the MBRlock virus has been made using captured samples. Its interesting to note that the initial infection engine does contain advanced stealth protection tactics that are found on complex viruses. At the same time the security experts were not able to uncover a similarity with any of the famous malware families. The fact that the stealth protection is launche at the beginning of the infection shows that it might be difficult for some security software to detect and remove the virus if it cannot detect its signatures.

The module creates a detailed profile of the installed security software. Once all potential applications are detected the virus can opt to bypass or entirely remove the program. If they are unable to do so they can remove themselves from the computer to avoid detection.

A next step is the launch of an information gathering module that starts to gather sensitive data from the compromised hosts. In a similar to way browser hijackers the collected data can be classified into two categories:

  • Personally-Identifiable Information — This type of data refers can directly expose the victim’s identity: name, telephone, address, passwords, account credentials and etc.
  • Anonymous Data — Such information is used by the hackers to judge how effective the attack campaign is. It is mainly composed of operating system data and the available hardware components.

Significance is given to location data such as the host’s machine time, timezone and user set regional settings. This is done in order to select an appropriate version of the ransom note in the later stages. Once all security software have been bypassed the malware continues further by creating its own resource forks. The MBRlock virus can hook to running processes and creates its own dependant threads with various privilege levels. This makes it very difficult to uncover how exactly the virus works and at which stage it is currently active.

The modular framework has been found to have a loader component that allows it to be further upgraded with other capabilities. The security experts note that the captured samples were found to modify the boot options, as a result the virus automatically launches every time the computer is started. In addition a persistent state of execution is instituted. As a result the main virus engine modifies the Windows Registry & important operating system configuration files. As a result the victims may experience symptoms such as performance issues and application/service failure.

There are several other dangers that are associated with the MBRlock virus infections. One of them is the ability to deliver additional malware threats. The engine can also allow the criminals to set up a network connection. Using it they can spy on the victims (similar to the way dedicated Trojan viruses work) and overtake control of the compromised hosts at any given time.

Such infections allow the criminal operators to harvest sensitive data from the compromised hosts before the ransomware engine is called. In addition the module can recruit the compromised host into a worldwide botnet. They are usually leased to other hackers and used in massive DDOS attacks against high end targets.

The ransomware engine is also capable of interacting with the Windows Volume Manager which makes it possible to access removable devices and network shares. To make data recovery more difficult the engine can also opt to remove any Shadow Volume Copies of the identified target data. In such cases the victims will need to use the data recovery software listed in our ransomware removal instructions below to restore their computers.

MBRlock Virus – Encryption Process

Once all preliminary components have completed execution the ransomware engine is started. Like other similar threats the default behavior of using a built-in list of target file type extensions is employed. Example data includes the following:

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

Some of the acquired samples feature the following built-in list:

.BMP, .CUR, .GIF, .ICO, .JPG, .MID, .PNG, .prn, .txt, .WAV

Once all files have been processed they may be assigned a ransomware extension depending on the case. Usually they take the name of the virus, in this example it would be .mrblock.

One of the most dangerous aspects related to this threat is the fact that the MBRlock virus does not write the ransom note directly as a file, but overwrites the Master Boot Record (MBR) with it. This is the place that keeps the boot loader part of the operating system. As a consequence the victims cannot boot their computers and are blackmailed by the hackers to pay the ransom fine.

The following message is written to the screen:

Your disk have a lock!!!Please enter the unlock password
yao mi ma gei 30 yuan jia qq

How to Remove MBRlock Virus and Restore Encrypted Files

In order to make sure that this malware is permanently gone from your computer, you should follow the manual or automatic removal instructions down below. If you have the experience in removing ransomware manually, we advise you to focus on the first 2 steps from the manual removal and to look for the registry files which we have explained in the analysis part above. Otherwise, if you want a more automatic and faster solution and lack the expertise in malware removal, we urge you to download an advanced anti-malware program, which aims to automatically perform the removal operation of MBRlock ransomware and secures your computer against future infections in real-time.

If you want to restore files that have been encrypted by this ransomware infection, we advise you to try out the alternative tools for file recovery down below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by encrypted Files Virus”. They may not guarantee fully that you will recover all of the files, but if you haven’t reinstalled your OS already, there is a good chance that you might just restore them.

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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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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.


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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


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove MBRlock from Windows.


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

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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 MBRlock 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 MBRlock 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 MBRlock 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 MBRlock 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.

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

Ransomware infections and MBRlock 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 reccomended 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.


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of MBRlock from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall MBRlock 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 MBRlock:

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 MBRlock. 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 MBRlock. 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 MBRlock 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 MBRlock. 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 MBRlock:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and MBRlock 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 reccomended 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.


MBRlock FAQ

What is MBRlock ransomware and how does it work?

MBRlock 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 MBRlock ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.MBRlock 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 MBRlock 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 .MBRlock files?

You can't. At this point the .MBRlock 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 .MBRlock files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by MBRlock 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 ".MBRlock" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .MBRlock 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 MBRlock 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 MBRlock ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .MBRlock files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like MBRlock 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.

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