Remove .mdk4y Ransomware Infections
THREAT REMOVAL

Remove .mdk4y Ransomware Infections

This article will aid you to remove .mdk4y Ransomware. Follow the ransomware removal instructions provided at the end of the article.

.mdk4y Ransomware is one that encrypts your data and demands money as a ransom to get it restored. Files will receive the .mdk4y extension. The .mdk4y 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.mdk4y ransomware
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts files by placing the .mdk4y 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 .mdk4y ransomware

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .mdk4y 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.

.mdk4y Ransomware – Distribution Techniques

The .mdk4y ransomware is a new release that is attributed to the Kraken ransomware family. At the moment of writing this article no in-depth information is available about it which probably means that the sent volume of infections is low. This may mean that the virus is still being developed and a testing wave has been initiated or that an early version has been leaked onto the web. Whatever the reason the hackers behind it will probably attempt different tactics in order to judge which one would be the most effective at infecting as much victims as possible.

Most ransomware will be spread via SPAM email messages that use both phishing and SPAM tactics in order to coerce as much targets into infecting themselves as possible. They will be designed as legitimate notifications from a well-known company, portal or product that the victims might recognize. The .mdk4y ransomware files can be either attached directly to the messages as file attachments or linked in the body contents via multimedia content and in text links.

The creation of malicious web sites is the other popular tactic which is done by the hackers. They will create fake landing pages, download portals or other web addresses that can impersonate popular and safe sites. Most of the successful ones use stolen or hacker-made security certificates and similar sounding domain names.

To deliver more files and increase the number of potentially affected users the hackers can also send them via file-sharing networks like BitTorrent. It is used by computer users to share both legitimate and pirate content such as applications, movies, games, e-books and etc.

The .mdk4y ransomware samples can additionally be embedded in other files to create the so-called payload carriers of which there are two popular variants:

  • Software Installers — The criminals behind the malware can modify the legitimate setup files of popular applications to lead to the virus infections. Choices include system utilities, productivity and office apps, as well as creativity suites and games. Whenever one of these files is run the ransomware installation will begin in the background.
  • Malicious Documents — The same strategy can be used to modify documents across all popular formats: spreadsheets, databases, text documents and presentations. Whenever one of them is opened by a victim user it will spawn a notification prompt requesting that the built-in macros (scripts) to be enabled in order to “correctly view” the file.

In order to carry out larger .mdk4y ransomware attacks the hackers may use malicious browser plugins which are also known as hijackers. They are widely deployed to the relevant repositories using fake (or stolen) developer credentials and user reviews. The elaborate descriptions promise new features and enhancements. As soon as they are installed the .mdk4y ransomware will be installed. Most of the hijackers additionally will change the settings of the browsers by redirecting the victims to a hacker-controlled landing page. Modifications include the default home page, search engine and new tabs page.

.mdk4y Ransomware – Detailed Analysis

The .mdk4y ransomware is a new samples that belongs to the Kraken ransomware family. As such the behavior patterns that are known from the previous versions will probably be used. It is possible that follow-up versions of it will be developed with additional features and upgraded code.

The Kraken ransomware infections are notorious for impacting as many devices as possible during a single infection which is attributed to the fact that some of the samples may have launched an advanced data harvesting module. It is used to gather sensitive data that can be grouped into two main categories:

  • Personal Data — The engine can be programmed to extract data that can directly expose the identity of the victim users. This is possible due to the fact that the engine can scan for specific strings both in the hard disk contents, memory and the Windows Registry. This leads to the exposure of their name, address, location, interests and any stored account credentials.
  • Machine Information — The engine can harvest metrics about the infected computers, specifically the hardware components, user configuration, boot options and regional settings. The bulk of the collected is run through an algorithm that takes the collected information and as a result an unique infection ID is generated. It can uniquely identify each compromised machine.

This information can be used to identify if any security software can be bypassed. This is done by scanning the hard disk contents, memory, Windows Registry values and other sources for applications and services that can interfere with the proper virus execution. The list of affected software includes anti-virus products, firewalls, virtual machine hosts and debug environments. As soon as any of them are identified their real-time engines will be stopped, in other cases the whole applications can be removed altogether.

As soon as the .mdk4y ransomware has taken control of the computer it will be able to modify the system according to the built-in instructions of the hackers. One of the most popular actions is the installation of the threat as a persistent threat. This is done by modifying system settings, boot options and configuration files to make the malicious automatically to start once the computer is booted.

Interaction with the Windows Registry is also widely considered — changes made to strings belonging to the operating system can cause services to fail to start and severe performance and stability issues. On the other hand modifications to individual applications can render them unusable or to exit with unexpected errors. Corruption of user data is also possible.

Hooking up to existing processes is used to extract information about the user activities. Additionally advanced infections can start a Trojan infection which establishes a secure connection to a hacker-controlled service. It allows the criminals to spy on the victims, harvest the collected information and additionally take over control of the machines at any given time.

As this sample belongs to the Kraken ransomware family it is expected that it will be pushed via large-scale attack methods as soon as an upgraded version is ready.

.mdk4y Ransomware – Encryption Process

The .mdk4y ransomware follows the typical behavior as previously reported by the Kraken ransomware family. A powerful cipher will be used to encrypt sensitive data based on a list of target file extensions. Most of them will act against the following data:

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

All affected files will be assigned the .mdk4y extension indicating that they have been processed by the virus. A standard ransomware note will be created in a file called HOW_TO_RETURN_FILES.txt.

Remove .mdk4y Ransomwareand Try to Restore Data

If your computer system got infected with the .mdk4y 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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