Masok Ransomware
Ransomware | 08/09/2019

How to remove Masok ransomware from your system?

About: Masok ransomware is another malicious program that silently infiltrates your system, to trouble you. The nasty activity starts with the file encryption process. And ends with extorting money!

| Ransomware | How to remove Masok ransomware from your system?

Understanding .Masok file virus

Masok Ransomware – Another name added in the endless list of infamous DJVU ransomware family. Developers have a strong financial motive behind such attacks! In order to fulfil the mal intentions, the attack begins with the encryption of stored files. Later, comes the extortion part! Confused? Read the article to get the insights of the menace caused by .masok file virus.

 

Masok Virus

The rise in technology encourages the developers to initiate another destructive member in the family. Malicious Masok virus sneaks into your system and infects all the targeted files in your system. To ensure complete encryption, a unique extension is added with the filename. As a consequence, the files become unusable! In order to recover your locked files, you are bound to pay large ransom to hackers. Of course in the form of bitcoins – a crypto currency!

Hence, the fear of losing data encourages the victims to make the payment ASAP. However, paying ransom is not the solution! It motivates hackers to initiate another malicious project. Instead of funding them, download Masok decrypter & get rid of the malicious program.

Threat Summary

Name Masok Virus
Type Ransomware
Category Malware
Targeted OS Windows
Symptoms Files are encrypted with a unique extension and users are encouraged to pay hefty ransom
Damage Since the files are locked & if you fail to make the payment in time. You might lose your data permanently!

 

Distribution Technique

The seed of this malicious crypto virus is planted deep in malicious websites to frame the honey trap for users. However, the primary gateway of Masok ransomware is spam emails. It is the most common tactic used by developers to proliferate .masok file virus. During spam campaign, emails are sent with the name of some famous shipping company. FedEx, DHL or PayPal are the most names! The catchy subject line, makes the emails look legitimate however, the reality has a different face! Mostly, the content tells about some unauthorised transaction. Though such emails look real and trustworthy, the danger lies within the malicious attachment.

These attachments could be a text file, word document, zip file or PDF. In reality, the attachments carry macros of the malicious programs. Hence, when you open/download these files, your system will be exposed to the risk of Masok Ransomware.

Apart from spam campaign, bundling is another most used method to spread malicious payload. It is a method whereby the developer hides the malicious software within the installation process of regular software. Hence, when user downloads regular software, the malicious program is automatically downloaded alongside. This additional download could be conducted with or without your knowledge!

To conclude, the two major reasons for this dangerous infiltration are – Careless behaviour of the users and lack of proper knowledge.

 

Threat Behavior

To show its unethical presence, the malicious .masok file virus encrypts the stored files using strong algorithm. It is said that, it is next to impossible task to manually recover .Masok files. Unfortunately, it’s true! The cryptographic algorithm used by infamous DJVU ransomware family generates a unique decryption key. This key is secured at the remote server and hence, getting it is not a child’s play!

To ensure the encryption of files, this crypto virus appends .masok extension as suffix with the filenames. For example, it changes ‘abc.jpeg’ to ‘abc.jpeg.masok’ and so on. The additional Masok extension makes the targeted files unreadable! After encrypting, cyber criminals start blackmailing the victim users. As stated by hackers, if you fail to make the payment well in time, you might lose your data permanently. Sadly, it is true! Hence, with the fear of losing the data, Masok victims get ready to obey the instructions.

Furthermore, hackers trick you into believing that you can actually restore data after successful payment. Hence, they allow you to send any one encrypted file, which they decrypt for free. And this is how you fall in the real trap!

Instead of funding the criminals, download Masok decrypter in your system. But first, install a good antivirus and scan your system on regular basis. Bull Guard, Vipre or Hitman pro are a few notable mentions. Moreover, below are a few possible steps to decrypt .masok files without the key.

 

Details of Ransom Note

Right after a successful encryption, the malicious ransomware drops a ransom – demanding message in your system. The Masok ransomware drops ‘_readme.txt’ file in each folder having .Masok files. This message pops-up on your screen every time you try to open a locked file.

Ransom Note - Masok

Additionally, after notifying about .Masok file virus attack, the developers ask for hefty ransom, in exchange of Masok decryption tool. In general, $980 is demanded to decrypt .Masok files however, hackers offer you a special discount of 50% in the ransom amount. It means the amount reduces to $490. The payment is expected in bitcoins, obviously! Furthermore, you can only avail this discount on one condition – you have to contact hackers within 72 hours of Masok ransomware attack. Keep in mind, it is just a mere trick to encourage victim users to make the payment quickly.

If you got stuck at any point while doing the transaction, hackers provide you the solution beforehand! You can contact them on the given emails – gorentos@bitmessage.ch or gorentos2@firemail.cc. They will assist you with every problem that you are facing regarding the payment in bitcoins.

However, be careful and protect yourself from ransomware attack!

 

Removal guidelines for .Masok file virus

 

STEP A: Reboot your system to Safe Mode

Windows 7/ Vista/ XP

  1. Click on Windows icon present in the lower left corner of the computer screen.
  2. Select and click  Restart.
  3. When the screen goes blank, Keep tapping  F8  Key until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  4. With the help of arrow keys on keyboard, Select Safe Mode with Networking  option from the list and press the Enter Key. The system will then restart to Safe Mode with Networking.

5 Click on the username and enter the password (if any).

Windows 10 / Windows 8

  1. Press and hold the Shift Key and simultaneously click on the windows icon present in the lower left corner of your computer screen.
  2. While the Shift key is still pressed click on the Power button and then click on Restart.
  3. Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings.
  4. When the Startup Settings screen appears which is the first screen to appear after restart, select and click on Enable Safe Mode with Networking. The system will then restart to Safe Mode with Networking.
  5. Click on the username and enter the password.

STEP B: Delete the suspicious file from Configuration Settings

  1. Type “Msconfig” in search box / Run Box, select it and press Enter.
  2. Click on “Services” Tab and click on “Hide all Microsoft services”.
  3. Select Masok Ransomware from the list of remaining services and disable it by removing the tick mark from the checkbox and click on Apply button.

Windows 7

  1. Click on the next tab – “Startup”.
  2. Find any blank or suspicious entry or the entry with Masok Ransomware mentioned and remove the check mark.
  3. Click on Apply button and then click on OK.

Windows 10

  1. Click on the next tab – “Startup”.
  2. Take the mouse cursor to ‘Open task Manager‘ link and click on it.  This opens the Task Manager window.
  3. Find any blank or suspicious entry or the entry with Masok Ransomware mentioned and click on it.
  4. Then click on Disable button.

STEP C: Remove malicious file from Command Prompt

Once the system starts, ensure to use an account with administrative privilege to access Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

After the user enters admin credentials, Command prompt window is displayed wherein you are entitled to enter the below commands:

  1. Type the command “sc delete Masok Ransomware” in the command prompt and press Enter.
  2. Type “exit” to exit the command prompt and restart the system in safe mode with command prompt.

 

STEP D: Restore the system files & folders

Method 1 using Control Panel

  1. Click on the ‘Start’ button on the taskbar. This will open the Start menu.
  2. Click on the ‘Control Panel’ button in the Start menu. This will open the control panel window.
  3. In the Control Panel window, click on the ‘View by:’ button on the top right. Select the Large Icon option
  4. In the control Panel window click on the ‘Recovery Icon’. This will open a window that will ask ‘Restore the computer to an earlier point in time’.
  5. Click on the ‘Open system restore’ button. This will open the ‘system restore ’window where you need to click on the Next Button.
  6.  Select the restore point that is prior the infiltration of Masok Ransomware. After doing that, click Next.
  7. This will open the ‘Confirm your restore point’ dialog box. Click on Finish button. This will restore your system to a previous restore point before your system was infected by Masok Ransomware.

OR

Method 2 using Command Prompt

  1. Type cmd in the search box and click on the command prompt to open the Command Prompt window. box and clicking on it.
  2. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.(Ensure that you in the system32 directory of Windows folder in C Drive)
  3. Now type rstrui and press Enter again.
  4. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Masok Ransomware. After doing that, click Next.
  5. This will open the ‘Confirm your restore point’ dialog box. Click on Finish button. This will restore your system to a previous restore point before your system was infected by Masok Ransomware.

 

OR

Method 3 : Directly type 'rstrui' in the search box

  1. Type ‘Rstrui’ in the search box present on the task bar. This will open the System restore dialog box.

Continue to follow steps 4 & 5 of Method 2 to restore the System Files and settings.

Tips to prevent your system from .Masok file virus  

  1. Keeping the Operating System Updated- In order to remain protected and avoid such infections, it is recommended to keep your Operating System updated by enabling the automatic update on your system. The systems with outdated or older versions of Operating System become an easy target for the attackers.
  2. Resist clicking on spam emails – One of the major techniques used for malware distribution is forwarding spam emails to the user. The system gets infected as soon as the user clicks on the attachment. These mails appear to be genuine, so be aware and resist falling for these tricks.
  3. Keep an eye on third party installations- It is quite important that you take due care while installing any third party applications for they are major source of such infections. Such malware programs come bundled with the free applications thereby requiring the user to remain cautious.
  4. Regular periodical backup- In order to keep your data and files safe, it is recommended to take regular back up of all your data and files either on an external drive or cloud.
  5. Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet security in your PC like Vipre, Kaspersky and Hitman Pro so that it remains safe.
  6. Enable the Ad Blocker/Popup Blocker in your browser- Enabling the popup blocker/ ad blocker in your chosen browser will help you to stay protected from annoying adware.

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