If your precious files have been encrypted by a nasty Ransomware infection called Mole02 and you don’t want to pay ransom to the hackers, who are ruthlessly blackmailing you, this article is written just for you. Mole02 is a very nasty and sophisticated cryptovirus, but we hope that the information and the instructions, which you will find below, will help you remove it and eventually handle its harmful effects in the best possible way.
What is Ransomware?
There is no way that you have not heard about Ransomware in the news headlines at least once. This type of malware has recently gained huge popularity and is responsible for numerous infections all over the world. Basically, Ransomware is a cyber-threat, created to encrypt the files, found on the infected computer, and blackmail the user to pay ransom if they want to decrypt them. Unfortunately, this is a very notorious online criminal scheme and Mole02 is just one of the latest tools for that. The encryption doesn’t really corrupt or damage your files, but it renders them inaccessible and keeps them hostage until you fulfill the demands of the hackers, who control the threat. Nothing can help you open or use your data unless you apply the unique decryption key, which the criminals keep and usually trade for a fat amount of money in ransom.
How is Mole02 Ransomware spreading online?
According to the latest reports, most of the infections with Mole02 occur when the users happen to interact with a well camouflaged malicious transmitter. Such transmitter could be a spam message, an email or malicious attachment, an ad or a link, an already compromised website, a torrent, some software installers or .exe files that you happen to run on your machine. In most of the cases, the Ransomware gets delivered inside the computer thanks to a Trojan horse infection, which provides the necessary vulnerability and coverage. The moment the malware gets inside, the users can hardly notice it because it tries to perform its encryption without any visible symptoms. When all the files are secured, however, a ransom note appears on the victims’ screen, asking for a ransom payment.
Is there a way to decrypt the files and restore them?
There are very few things that may help in case of a Ransomware attack. Usually, the encryption applied by threats like Mole02 is undecryptable without the proper decryption key. The hackers normally require a huge amount of money for it, ranging from a couple of hundreds to a couple of thousands! The sum is often demanded in Bitcoins, which is a special cryptocurrency that provides anonymity and helps the criminals to hide their traces once they get the money. Very often, various types of pressure are put on the victims in order make them pay as soon as possible. The hackers don’t hesitate to threaten to delete the decryption key or cause some other type of harm if the ransom payment is not made or delayed. So what should one do?
Obviously, negotiating with crooks is the worst idea ever! Not only is such an act a form of sponsorship of this criminal practice, but there is absolutely no guarantee that the victims will be able to restore your files. Complicated encryptions like the one that Mole02 applies are often very hard to reverse even with the decryption key, and the chance of you paying for something that doesn’t work are very high. Not to mention that you may not get any key at all, because the hackers will most probably disappear the moment they receive the ransom payment.
Restoration of all or at least some of your files could be possible if you have a file backup somewhere on an external drive, cloud storage or another, uninfected computer. This is also the smartest protection against infections of this type. Another option you can try to get some of your data back is to use the steps, shown below. We cannot tell you exactly how they will work for you, but giving them a try costs you nothing and hides no risk for your system. But before you proceed with your file-restoration attempts, first, it is of utmost importance to remove Mole02 and all of its traces from your computer! This will eliminate the chance of the hackers to access or control your system through some vulnerability. Detecting the Ransomware and deleting it is possible with the help of the instructions in the removal guide below. A special Mole02 removal tool is also at your disposal, should you need a deep scan for leftovers. Make sure you follow everything strictly and clean your system thoroughly.
Mole02 Virus Ransomware Removal
Prior to starting to execute the steps from the guide, we advise you to either bookmark this page or open it on a separate device since throughout the process of completing the guide, you might need to exit your browser.
1: Using Safe Mode
Before beginning to troubleshoot the issue, you are advised to enter Safe Mode on your PC. If you do not know how to do that, use this guide on how to enter Safe Mode.
2: Spotting the process
Open your Task Manager using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc key combination. Next, go to the processes tab and carefully look through the list for any shady entries. Usually, malicious processes will be consuming large amounts of CPU and RAM and will either have no description or will have a suspicious-looking one.
Once you identify the virus’ process, right-click on it and select Open File Location. Delete everything in the folder that opens if you are sure that the process was malicious. If you are not sure, contact us in the comments.
Go back to the Task Manager and end the potentially harmful process.
3: Hosts file IP’s
Go to your start menu and in the search field, paste the following address: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts. Select the first result and look at the bottom of the newly opened notepad file. See if there are any IP’s below “Localhost” and tell us in the comments if there were any IP addresses.
4: System Configuration Startup Programs
Type System Configuration in the Windows search bar and open the first result. Go to the Startup tab and take a look at the list of startup programs (on Windows 10, the Startup programs can be seen in the Startup Section of the Task Manager). If any of them look shady or have unknown manufacturer or a manufacturer with a sketchy name, uncheck those entries and click on OK.
Open the Run window (WinKey + R), type regedit and press Enter. Once the Registry Editor opens, press Ctrl + F and type the name of the virus. Select Find Next and delete whatever gets found that has the virus’ name. Do that with all search results.
6: Deleting potential virus files
Open the Start Menu and separately type each of the following locations: %AppData% %LocalAppData% %ProgramData% %WinDir% %Temp% . Open each of those folders and sort their contents by date. Delete the most recent files and folders. When you open the Temp folder, delete everything in it.