THREAT REMOVAL

.MOLE03 File Virus – Remove It and Restore Files

This article will aid you to remove the .MOLE03 File Virus completely. Follow the ransomware removal instructions given at the end of this article.

MOLE03 is the latest variant of Mole ransomware and is named after the extension it places on encrypted files, namely the .MOLE03 extension. Malware researchers believe that the code of the virus is based on the CryptoMix ransomware. The distribution can happen via spam e-mails and malvertising chains prompting you to download and update things or with malicious domains loading its payload. Once that payload is triggered after downloading it from any location, your data will get encrypted and the virus will leave a ransom note with instructions. Read on to see how you might try to potentially restore some of your files.

Threat Summary

NameMOLE03
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware virus is still believed to be a variant of CryptoMix. After encryption, it will display a detailed ransom note with payment instructions.
SymptomsThe ransomware will encrypt your files and then place the extension .MOLE03 on each encrypted file.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss MOLE03.
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.

.MOLE03 File Virus – Distribution

The .MOLE03 file virus can distribute its infection through different methods. For now, one of the main distribution methods is via spam e-mails. Such an e-mail will pretend to be regarding some sort of a shipping notification and in most cases that a package has failed to be delivered. If you open the attached fake Word file, it will show that you have to download a plugin or something similar. If you do download that file, your PC will become infected with the cryptovirus.

Malware researchers have detected .MOLE03 file virus to distribute its payload file with the help of a Google Chrome pop-up message. Here is how that pop-up looks like:

If you open the malicious domain spreading it and namely, “one-hour.fr” you will see a fake Google Font Installer. If you open that with the Internet Explorer browser, you will see a tech support scam loaded on your browser that looks like this:

Refrain from downloading and opening files from suspicious websites like the examples portrayed above. You should always scan your computer system with a security tool. You should read the ransomware prevention tips written in our forum.

.MOLE03 File Virus – Details

The .MOLE03 file virus is dubbed like that due to the fact that it encrypts files while appending the .MOLE03 extension to them. Malware researchers claim that the ransomware is a variant of the CryptoMix ransomware virus.

After you have downloaded the ransomware there will be some sort of an error message popping on your screen. The result is a UAC (User Account Control) window launching and asking you to give permission for the execution of a certain command.

Giving that permission will launch the ransomware with Administrative privileges, and your computer will be scanned so your files to get encrypted.

The following files will be created:

  • _HELP_INSTRUCTION.txt
  • NTUSER.DAT
  • ntuser.dat.log1
  • ntuser.dat.log2
  • some other files with similar names

Also, note that some processes could be stopped like Windows Defender and other similar security mechanisms of the Windows OS.

The ransom note will appear after the encryption process is finished. The note is written in English. Inside, you will see instructions with the demands for payment and how you might recover your files. The ransom note is inside the above-mentioned file called “_HELP_INSTRUCTION.txt” as it was with previous variants of the ransomware as well. You can preview it down here:

That ransom note reads the following:

!_! INFORAMTIONS !_!

All of your files are encrypted with RSA_2048 and AES_128 ciphers.
More information about the RSA and AES can be found here:
URL1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_numbers
URL2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Encryption_Standard

Decrypting your files is only possible with
he private key and decrypts program, which is on our secret server.

Follow these steps:
1. Download and install Tor Browsers: https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html
2. After a successful installation, run the browser and wait for initialization.
3. Type in the address bar:
URL1: http://supportxxgbefd7c.onion/
URL2: http://supportjy2xvvdmx.onion/
4. Follow the instructions on the site.
!_! Your DECRYPT-ID: XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXX-XXXXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXXX !_!

Below you can see the payment page hosted on the TOR Network, as a reference:

That page states the following:

MOLE RANSOMWARE
DECRYPT-ID
E-mail
Submit

Attention!

Price of software and your private key is 1.0 bitcoins. With this product you can decrypt all your files.

If you are willing to pay for a software product, then:

Dear user, leave your DECRYPT-ID and e-mail. We will contact you within 24 hours and give further instructions. !!! You do not need to leave different electronic addresses, or the same address many times.

The ransom note of the .MOLE03 file virus should not be followed. You shouldn’t under any circumstances pay 1 Bitcoin (or any other sum) nor contact the cybercriminals. Your files may not even be restored, and nobody could give you a guarantee for that. Furthermore, supporting criminals is not a good idea. The crooks may get motivated to do more criminal activities, like creating more ransomware viruses.

.MOLE03 File Virus – Encryption

.MOLE03 file virus has an interesting encryption process. The encryption algorithms which are used for the process are both RSA with 2048-bit ciphers and AES with 128-bit ciphers.

Every file that gets encrypted will receive the same extension appended to each one of them, and that is the .MOLE03 extension. For instance Job.doc will look like YG8FGS87S7G4R8SF76SD7F8SD8FCPK3L.MOLE03 after encryption is done. Below you can see all file extensions that the .MOLE03 ransomware probably seeks to encrypt, if the list is unchanged from its previous variants:

→.doc, .xls, .pub, .odt, .ods, .odp, .odm, .odc, .odb, .wps, .xlk, .ppt, .mdb, .accdb, .pst, .dwg, .dxf, .dxg, .wpd, .rtf, .wb2, .mdf, .dbf, .psd, .pdd, .eps, .ai, .indd, .cdr, .jpg, .dng, .3fr, .arw, .srf, .sr2, .bay, .crw, .cr2, .dcr, .kdc, .erf, .mef, .mrw, .nef, .nrw, .orf, .raf, .raw, .rwl, .rw2, .r3d, .ptx, .pef, .srw, .x3f, .der, .cer, .crt, .pem, .pfx, .p12, .p7b, .p7c

The .MOLE03 file virus cryptovirus will delete the Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows operating system with issuing the command:

→vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet

That also makes the encryption process more viable since it eliminates one of the ways for decrypting your data. Read on through and see what kind of ways you might try out to potentially recover some of your data.

Remove .MOLE03 File Virus and Restore Data

If your computer got infected with the .MOLE03 file 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 computer systems. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.

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Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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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.


OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
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 MOLE03 from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove MOLE03

OFFER

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 MOLE03 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 MOLE03 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 MOLE03 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 MOLE03 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 MOLE03.

Ransomware infections and MOLE03 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 MOLE03 from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall MOLE03 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 MOLE03:

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 MOLE03. 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 MOLE03. 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 MOLE03 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 MOLE03. 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 MOLE03:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by MOLE03.

Ransomware infections and MOLE03 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.


MOLE03 FAQ

What is MOLE03 ransomware and how does it work?

MOLE03 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 MOLE03 ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.MOLE03 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 MOLE03 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 .MOLE03 files?

You can't. At this point the .MOLE03 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 .MOLE03 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by MOLE03 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 ".MOLE03" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .MOLE03 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 MOLE03 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 MOLE03 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .MOLE03 files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like MOLE03 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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