Security researchers have reported that a new malicious program of ransomware-type has been released in the wild. The threat called Mlock locks personal files and appends an extension of the same name followed by a number. One of the strains of this virus based on the code of MedusaLocker ransomware renames corrupted files as follows – the presentation file project.ppt becomes project.ppt.mlock5 when encoded by the threat. The reason why Mlock encodes personal files is its main goal is to extort a ransom fee from victims. Since all encrypted files remain inaccessible, victims are expected to act as the ransom note HOW_TO_RECOVER_DATA.html guides them. Before taking any actions note that the decryption tool owned by hackers may be broken, hence, inefficient.
Find more information about the Mlock virus and then see how to remove malicious files from an infected PC. Bonus steps reveal how to potentially recover files encrypted by this ransomware.
|Name||Mlock also known as Trojan/Generic.ASMalwS.2CD56B2, Win32.Trojan-Ransom.Filecoder.BO, Ransom:Win32/MedusaLocker.A!MTB, Ransom.Win32.MEDUSALOCKER.SMTH|
|Short Description||Ransomware infection that plagues computer systems, encodes valuable files with strong cipher algorithm and demands a ransom fee.|
|Symptoms||Important files cannot be opened. They appear with the extension .mlock5 appended to their names. A crafted ransom message extorts ransom payment for files decryption.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Hacked Websites|
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Mlock Virus – How Does It Infect PCs?
Mlock ransomware infection has been launched in active attack campaigns againt computer users worldwide. To blackmail people into running it on their machines, the virus can appear as:
- Important document attached to a spam email message;
- Corrupted web page;
- Misleading advert;
- Cracked version of legitimate program.
Malspam or spam email messages that attempt to deliver malicious code on PCs are considered to be preferred. In this case, the malicious Mlock ransomware may be presented as a file attachment or a link to a hacked website.
Mlock Ransomware – What Does It Do?
Mlock ransomware supports cybercriminals’ activities by requesting hefty ransom fees for files decryption. In case of infection with this malicious software, your system will be corrupted as well as your personal files.
During the attack, Mlock performs lots of damaging operations that affect the settings of essential system components. First, it installs and runs additional files to evade detection and then it fulfils a data encryption process.
The encryption module that is built in the code of Mlock ransomware is set to utilize two strong cyphers – AES and RSA to corrupt target files. It scans predefined folders for certain types of files and restricts access to their information by modifying their code.
The encryption of target files transforms their code and leaves them renamed with the extension .mlock5. Unfortunately, all of the following types of files may be encoded by Mlock ransomware:
- Audio files;
- Video files;
- Document files;
- Image files;
- Backup files;
- Banking credentials, etc.
When the virus ends the encryption process it will download its ransom note file HOW_TO_RECOVER_DATA.html to instruct victims how to acr further. The instructions try to force victims to purchase a decryption tool. Here is a copy of the whole text message:
YOUR PERSONAL ID:
/!\ YOUR COMPANY NETWORK HAS BEEN PENETRATED /!\
All your important files have been encrypted!
Your files are safe! Only modified. (RSA+AES)
ANY ATTEMPT TO RESTORE YOUR FILES WITH THIRD-PARTY SOFTWARE
WILL PERMANENTLY CORRUPT IT.
DO NOT MODIFY ENCRYPTED FILES.
DO NOT RENAME ENCRYPTED FILES.
No software available on internet can help you. We are the only ones able to
solve your problem.
We gathered highly confidential/personal data. These data are currently stored on
a private server. This server will be immediately destroyed after your payment.
If you decide to not pay, we will release your data to public or re-seller.
So you can expect your data to be publicly available in the near future..
We only seek money and our goal is not to damage your reputation or prevent
your business from running.
You will can send us 2-3 non-important files and we will decrypt it for free
to prove we are able to give your files back.
Contact us for price and get decryption software.
* Note that this server is available via Tor browser only
Follow the instructions to open the link:
1. Type the addres “hxxps://www.torproject.org” in your Internet browser. It opens the Tor site.
2. Press “Download Tor”, then press “Download Tor Browser Bundle”, install and run it.
3. Now you have Tor browser. In the Tor Browser open qd7pcafncosqfqu3ha6fcx4h6sr7tzwagzpcdcnytiw3b6varaeqv5yd.onion
4. Start a chat and follow the further instructions.
If you can not use the above link, use the email:
* To contact us, create a new free email account on the site: protonmail.com
IF YOU DON’T CONTACT US WITHIN 72 HOURS, PRICE WILL BE HIGHER.
Don’t forget that even a successful ransom payment does NOT guarantee the recovery of .mlock5 files. Here is why it is better to refrain from following the steps presented by this note. Some alternative approaches may be in help for the recovery of .mlock5 files. Check out the guide below.
Remove Mlock Ransomware Virus and Restore Files
The so-called Mlock ransomware virus is a threat with highly complex code that heavily damages essential system settings and valuable files. So the only way to use securely your infected computer system is to remove all malicious files and objects created by the ransomware.
The ransomware removal guide that follows reveals how you can clean virus files from the infected system manually and automatically. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual steps, you can download the advanced anti-malware tool we added and let it scan the infected system. All malicious files it detects will be a click away from a complete delete.
What is Mlock Ransomware?
Mlock 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 Mlock 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 Mlock?
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 Mlock Infect?
Via several ways.Mlock 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 Mlock 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 .Mlock files?
You can't. At this point, the .Mlock 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 .Mlock files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Mlock" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Mlock 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 Mlock 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 Mlock ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Mlock files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Mlock 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 Mlock 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 Mlock Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Mlock 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.