THREAT REMOVAL

Remove .MOLE Ransomware and Restore Files (July 2017)

Article, designed to assist with the removal of .MOLE file ransomware and to show how to restore files encrypted by this virus.

Ransomware infection, using the .MOLE file extension has been detected in the middle of April 2017. The virus aims to encrypt the files on the computers compromised by it. Then, the ransomware infection leaves behind a ransom note in which it demands victims to pay a hefty ransom fee to restore encrypted files. The ransomware virus is believed by security analysts to be a part of the CryptoMix ransomware variants. In case you have become a victim of this ransomware infection, we advise reading the below-mentioned article carefully.

Threat Summary

Name.MOLE virus
TypeRansomware Virus
Short DescriptionAims to encrypt the files on compromised computers and after encryption, it will display a detailed ransom note with payment instructions on how to decrypt them..
SymptomsThe .MOLE virus will encrypt your files and then place the extension .MOLE on them.
Distribution MethodVia spam e-mails pretending to be legitimate service. They contain a malicious web link that leads to a phishing web page where the malicious file posing as a document is downloaded.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .MOLE virus.
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.

Update July 2017! New version of Mole ransomware has come out into the open, carrying the .MOLE02 file extension. You can learn more about it on the following web link.

How Does .MOLE Ransomware Infect

The infection process of the .MOLE virus is very particular, but also common. The ransomware infection uses multiple different deceptive e-mail templates that make it resemble a legitimate service, like USPS Ground mail, for example. Messages may trick victims into clicking on a suspicious URL:

After the victim in question clicks on the URL, he or she is redirected to a phishing Office365 website, which pretends to open a Microsoft Word document online. However, the result of this is that the Word document seems corrupt and displays a message “This document cannot be read in your browser”. And the phishing site wants the user to download the document in order to open it on his/her computer.

What the user actually downloads however is a dropper or other type of intermediary malware, which causes the infection with the .MOLE ransomware virus. Once the virus has been activated, it immediately connects via an unsecured port to a distribution site. From there, the malicious files of .MOLE ransomware are downloaded on the victim’s computer. They may be located in the following directories:

  • %AppData%
  • %Local%
  • %LocalLow%
  • %Roaming%
  • %SystemDrive%
  • %Windows%

After the malicious files are downloaded, the virus begins it’s malicious activity.

.MOLE Ransomware – Malicious Activity

The activity of .MOLE ransomware virus is composed of several malicious actions. It’s first step is to display a fake error message after the user opens the fraudulent Microsoft Word document, he believes is from USPS or other service. The fake error message is in the form of a Windows Error pop-up which has the following notification:

The pop-up box does not have any other button except “OK” and after it is clicked, the malware injects a prompt to launch a Windows command with an elevated privilege (as an administrator).

→ ”C:\Windows\SysWOW64\wbem\WMIC.exe” process call create “%UserProfile%\pluginoffice.exe”

After tis command is launched, the .MOLE file virus begins to stop process related to critical Windows defense features such as Defender and SmartScreen. The processes that are ended are the following:

wscsvc
WinDefend
wuauserv
BITS
ERSvc
WerSvc

After the processes are terminated, the virus may begin the encryption procedure.

.MOLE Ransomware Virus – Encryption Process

The encryption process of the .MOLE ransomware is conducted via two primary encryption algorithms – the RSA and AES ciphers. This combination results in two types of keys generated – an asymmetric key (AES cipher) and then public and private RSA keys to the encrypted files. The difficulty in decrypting such files is that unique keys are generated for each victim. These keys are then saved in the %Roaming% directory under a random name and the .MOLE extension after which the private ones are sent to the servers of the cyber-criminals who are behind .MOLE ransomware.

The file types which .MOLE ransomware is per-programmed to hunt for and encrypt if detects them are the following:

.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

After the encryption process is complete, .MOLE ransomware may display it’s previously dropped ransom note, which is called “INSTRUCTION_FOR_HELPING_FILE_RECOVERY.txt” and has the following content:

Remove .MOLE Ransomware and Restore Your Files

For the removal process of this infection, security experts strongly advise users to backup their files, before they delete the virus.

Then, recommendations are to follow the instructions below and isolate .MOLE ransomware in Safe Mode if you are to remove it manually. If you lack the experience to remove it manually, however, recommendations are to use an advanced anti-malware tool which will automatically take care of the removal for you.

If your files have been encrypted by the ransomware virus, you can go ahead and try the alternative methods we have suggested in step “2. Restore files Encrypted by .MOLE virus” down below. They are designed so that you eventually restore at least some of your encrypted files, until a free decryptor is hopefully released.

Avatar

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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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 .MOLE virus from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .MOLE virus

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 .MOLE virus 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 .MOLE virus 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 .MOLE virus 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 .MOLE virus 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 .MOLE virus.

Ransomware infections and .MOLE virus 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 .MOLE virus from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall .MOLE virus 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 .MOLE virus:

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 .MOLE virus. 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 .MOLE virus. 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 .MOLE virus 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 .MOLE virus. 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 .MOLE virus:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and .MOLE virus 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.


.MOLE virus FAQ

What is .MOLE virus ransomware and how does it work?

.MOLE virus 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 .MOLE virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..MOLE virus 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 .MOLE virus 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 ..MOLE virus files?

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

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .MOLE virus 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.

4 Comments

  1. AvatarELIN Tseng
    1. AvatarGarima Uttarakhand

      Yes it appears.. and directory %roaming% could be crucial to you as it is the folder where Private Key was saved before being send to hackers..

      since your system is already infected … play a gamble…

      backup all your data.. install network monitoring software like wireshark. save new files to your PC.. see if virus tries to decrypt them if it does then definitely it will send private key again.. through wireshark you can catch that private key I guess. Good luck

      Reply
      1. AvatarELIN Tseng

        what kind of solutions to solve my file?

        Reply
  2. Avatarclara

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