What is Mzlq file extension
.Mzlq file extension is an identifier that is appended to the name of files that have been encrypted by the Mzlq ransomware virus. The Mzlq ransomware is a new malware that belongs to the STOP (Djvu) ransomware family. It encrypts the victim’s files, changes the names of the affected files, appending .mzlq extension to their name, creates a file called “_readme.txt” with a ransom demand message. After the files are encrypted, their contents become inaccessible. The Mzlq authors demand to pay the ransom in exchange for the key and the decryptor necessary for decrypting the files. Fortunately, there is a free Mzlq File Decrypt Tool and several other alternative methods that can help the ransomware victims decrypt .mzlq files and restore the encrypted files to their original state.
Ransomware is one of the most dangerous types of computer viruses. What is characteristic of these viruses is that they stealthily encrypt files of the victim without giving themselves away. Most often, the victim does not notice the activity of a virus that encrypts files. Only when all the files are encrypted, it becomes clear that the computer was the victim of a ransomware attack. If you encounter such a situation, your computer was infected with the ransomware, and your files are encrypted with the .mzlq file extension, know that we created this article for you and other people faced with the same problem. This article contains a guide with important information about Mzlq ransomware, how it functions, how to remove the ransomware from a computer. But more importantly, this article contains detailed instructions with information on how to decrypt .mzlq files, as well as what other methods exist to restore encrypted files without paying a ransom to criminals.
What is Mzlq ransomware
Mzlq ransomware is a malware that was created to encrypt files located on the victim’s computer, and then extort money to decrypt them. Mzlq virus sneaks into the system without any visible symptoms, which is why users notice that their computer is infected too late, when the files are already encrypted.
Typically, ransomware like Mzlq can infect a computer when installing programs downloaded from torrent web-sites as well as when running cracked games, freeware, key generators and other similar software. Upon execution, the virus creates a directory in the Windows system directory, copies itself to this directory, changes some OS settings, and also collects information about the infected computer. After that, Mzlq virus tries to connect to its command server. If this succeeds, the virus sends data on the infected computer to the server, and from it receives a key (so-called ‘online key’) necessary for file encryption. If the connection to the command server has not been established, then the virus uses a fixed key (so-called ‘offline key’).
The main difference between an online key and an offline key is that the online key is in the hands of criminals and cannot be determined. The offline key is fixed and can be determined by security researchers. This gives hope that the ransomware victims will be able to decrypt files without paying ransom.
What is Mzlq file
Mzlq file is a file that has been encrypted by the Mzlq ransomware and therefore the contents of this file are locked. Each file that has been affected by the virus is renamed in such a way that the ‘.mzlq’ extension is added to its old name on the right. This means the following, if the file was named ‘document.docx’, then after it is encrypted, it will be called ‘document.docx.mzlq’. Each file on the victim’s computer becomes the target of the Mzlq virus. No matter where the file is located, on the internal drive or network storage, this file will be encrypted. The ransomware only does not encrypt files in the OS system directories, files with the extension .dll, .lnk, .bat, ini, .sys and files named ‘_readme.txt’. Thus, the following types of files can be encrypted:
.mdb, .txt, .wn, .x3f, .sis, .7z, .webdoc, .xxx, .ws, .crt, .accdb, .bkp, .rw2, .wma, .re4, .xmind, .map, .mp4, .odm, .odt, .m3u, .sie, .pptx, .itm, .vpk, .wbmp, .ibank, .sr2, .rwl, .raf, .xlk, .psk, .xlsx, .rtf, .wdp, .vdf, .wpa, wallet, .cer, .xdb, .sql, .wpl, .mcmeta, .wotreplay, .dwg, .r3d, .xll, .vtf, .orf, .asset, .svg, .wp4, .mpqge, .p12, .xpm, .crw, .xbplate, .litemod, .wpd, .zabw, .wav, .pak, .xyp, .wma, .erf, .bik, .fsh, .bkf, .kf, .pfx, .iwd, .wsd, .avi, .dmp, .snx, .mddata, .wpd, .pkpass, .w3x, .pdd, .css, .py, .hvpl, .lvl, .xbdoc, .big, .xls, .wmf, .kdc, .icxs, .webp, .zi, .wp6, .pptm, .p7b, .db0, .xar, .xlgc, .wmv, .d3dbsp, .wmo, .blob, .z, .wbk, .esm, .zip, .x3d, .png, .mlx, .wps, .yal, .wpw, .zdc, .eps, .xld, .mdf, .wm, .epk, .fpk, .mdbackup, .itl, .csv, .wbm, .xls, .xlsb, .wmv, .vfs0, .xy3, .wgz, .1, .3ds, .pem, .bc6, .ppt, .xmmap, .arw, .xlsx, .tor, .y, .0, .rar, .menu, .sum, .wmd, .xlsm, .apk, .jpeg, .doc, .dcr, .rgss3a, .wp7, .wot, .dng, .slm, .wp5, .3dm, .lrf, .m2, .wsc, .bsa, .desc, .vpp_pc, .xx, .ods, .zip, .p7c, .xlsm, .lbf, .hkx, .m4a, .rim, .mov, .xdl, .sav, .hkdb, .cfr, .bay, .bar, .dba, .ysp, .mef, .zif, .ybk, .wpb, .ptx, .xml, .qdf, .wdb, .docx, .vcf, .jpg, .xf, .rofl, .zw, .dazip, .odc, .ntl, .hplg, .iwi, .raw, .2bp, .wri, .z3d, .syncdb, .mrwref
As we said, ‘Mzlq file’ is an encrypted file. To decrypt it, you must use the key and the decryptor. This is reported by the authors of Mzlq virus, in a message that they leave on the infected computer. This message is in a file called ‘_readme.txt’. The criminals place such a file in every directory where there is at least one encrypted file. An example of the contents of this file is given below.
The contents of this file are a ransom demand message. Criminals report that all files on the computer are encrypted, and only the key and decryptor can decrypt these files and restore access to their contents. Attackers demand a ransom of $980 in exchange for a key and a decryptor. If the victim is ready to pay the ransom quickly, within 72 hours, the size of the ransom is halved to $490. The authors of the virus offer to decrypt one Mzlq file for free and thus prove the possibility that the files can be decrypted.
|Type||Crypto virus, Filecoder, File locker, Crypto malware, Ransomware|
|Encrypted files extension||.mzlq|
|Ransom amount||$490,$980 in Bitcoins|
|Detection Names||Trojan.Ransom.Stop, Win32:DropperX-gen [Drp], Win32/GenKryptik.EKKD, Win32.Trojan-Ransom.STOP.XQ922Z, Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Stop.mq, Trojan.Malware.300983.susgen, BehavesLike.Win32.Generic.cc, Ransom:Win32/STOP.BS!MTB|
|Symptoms||Files won’t open. You get an error message like ‘Windows can’t open this file’, ‘How do you want to open this file’. Your file directories contain a ‘ransom note’ file that is usually a .html, .jpg or .txt file. Ransom demanding message on your desktop.|
|Distribution ways||Unsolicited emails that are used to deliver malware. Drive-by downloading (when a user unknowingly visits an infected web-page and then malware is installed without the user’s knowledge). Social media posts (they can be used to mislead users to download malware with a built-in ransomware downloader or click a suspicious link). USB flash drives containing malware.|
|Removal||Mzlq ransomware removal guide|
|Decryption||Mzlq File Decrypt Tool|
|Recovery||Mzlq File Recovery Guide|
How to remove Mzlq ransomware, Recover, Decrypt .mzlq files
Security researchers confirm that files with .mzlq extension are encrypted and to decrypt them you need to use a key and special software – decryptor. Fortunately there is a Mzlq File Decypt Tool which was created by Emsisoft and named Stop (djvu) decryptor. This tool allows everyone to decrypt .mzlq files completely free. Unfortunately, this decryptor is limited in that it can only decrypt files encrypted with an offline key, files encrypted with an online key cannot yet be decrypted. The reason for this is that only the Mzlq ransomware creators have the online key and this key cannot be determined or cracked. In addition to using the Mzlq File Decypt Tool from Emsisoft, there are several other ways to restore the content of encrypted files.
The instructions below detail how to remove Mzlq ransomware virus, decrypt .mzlq files, and also how to recover encrypted files if the free Mzlq File Decypt Tool could not decrypt them. Read the entire manual carefully. To make it easier for you to follow the instructions, we recommend that you print it or open it on your smartphone.
To remove Mzlq ransomware virus & Recover, Decrypt .mzlq files, use the following steps:
- How to remove Mzlq ransomware virus
- How to decrypt .mzlq files
- How to restore .mzlq files
- How to protect your machine from Mzlq ransomware
How to remove Mzlq ransomware virus
Of course, if you become a victim of ransomware, the first thing you need to do is perform a full scan of your computer, find and remove Mzlq ransomware. If there is no antivirus on your computer, then you need to install it; if there is an antivirus, update it and then perform a full scan. In addition to an antivirus, we strongly recommend that you use free malware removal tools. The utilities below will help you find all the components of the ransomware, and then remove it. Do not use only one utility, at least two, since they use different engines, this will significantly increase the chances that Mzlq will be completely removed.
Remove Mzlq ransomware with Zemana Free
Zemana AntiMalware is a complete package of anti malware tools that can help you delete Mzlq . Despite so many features, it does not reduce the performance of your machine. Zemana Anti Malware can uninstall almost all the types of ransomware including crypto malware, trojans, worms, adware software, browser hijackers, potentially unwanted apps and other malware. Zemana AntiMalware has real-time protection that can defeat most malware and crypto malware. You can run Zemana Free with any other antivirus software without any conflicts.
Download Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) from the link below. Save it directly to your Microsoft Windows Desktop.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
After the downloading process is finished, close all apps and windows on your machine. Double-click the install file named Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup. If the “User Account Control” prompt pops up as on the image below, click the “Yes” button.
It will open the “Setup wizard” which will help you install Zemana Free on your PC system. Follow the prompts and don’t make any changes to default settings.
Once installation is finished successfully, Zemana will automatically start and you can see its main screen as shown on the image below.
Now press the “Scan” button to perform a system scan for the Mzlq ransomware, other kinds of potential threats like malware and trojans. This task can take quite a while, so please be patient. While the Zemana AntiMalware (ZAM) program is scanning, you can see how many objects it has identified as threat.
After the scanning is finished, the results are displayed in the scan report. Next, you need to click “Next” button. The Zemana Free will remove Mzlq crypto virus related folders,files and registry keys. When finished, you may be prompted to restart the PC system.
Run MalwareBytes to remove Mzlq ransomware
You can remove Mzlq automatically through the use of MalwareBytes AntiMalware. We suggest this free malicious software removal utility because it may easily uninstall ransomware, adware, malware and other unwanted apps with all their components such as files, folders and registry entries.
- First, click the link below, then click the ‘Download’ button in order to download the latest version of MalwareBytes AntiMalware (MBAM).
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
- Once the downloading process is done, close all apps and windows on your computer. Open a folder in which you saved it. Double-click on the icon that’s named MBsetup.
- Choose “Personal computer” option and press Install button. Follow the prompts.
- Once installation is finished, click the “Scan” button to perform a system scan for the Mzlq ransomware virus, other malicious software, worms and trojans. A system scan may take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your computer. When a threat is detected, the number of the security threats will change accordingly. Wait until the the scanning is done.
- As the scanning ends, a list of all threats found is created. In order to delete all items, simply click “Quarantine”. Once that process is finished, you may be prompted to restart your personal computer.
This video step-by-step guide will demonstrate How to use Malwarebytes to remove Mzlq ransomware and other malware for free.
Remove Mzlq ransomware virus from personal computer with KVRT
Kaspersky virus removal tool (KVRT) is a free portable program that scans your system for spyware, ransomware, adware, potentially unwanted applications, trojans, worms, malicious software and helps remove them easily. Moreover, it’ll also help you delete any other security threats for free.
Download Kaspersky virus removal tool (KVRT) from the link below.
Author: Kaspersky® lab
Category: Security tools
Update: March 5, 2018
After the download is finished, double-click on the Kaspersky virus removal tool icon. Once initialization procedure is done, you will see the KVRT screen as shown on the screen below.
Click Change Parameters and set a check near all your drives. Click OK to close the Parameters window. Next click Start scan button for checking your PC system for the Mzlq ransomware and other malware. A system scan may take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your personal computer. During the scan Kaspersky virus removal tool will search for threats exist on your computer.
When the scan is done, the results are displayed in the scan report as shown on the screen below.
Review the scan results and then click on Continue to begin a cleaning process.
How to decrypt .mzlq files
All files with .mzlq extension are encrypted and the only way to access their contents is to decrypt them. To decrypt .mzlq files, you need to use a unique key and the Mzlq File Decypt Tool. As we said above, Emsisoft company was able to create a decryptor and found a way in some cases to determine the key that was used to encrypt the files. This allows victims of the virus to decrypt .mzlq files for free.
To decrypt .mzlq files, use free Mzlq File Decypt Tool
- Download Mzlq File Decypt Tool from the following link.
STOP Djvu decryptor
- Scroll down to ‘New Djvu ransomware’ section.
- Click the download link and save the decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe file to your desktop.
- Run decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe, read the license terms and instructions.
- On the ‘Decryptor’ tab, using the ‘Add a folder’ button, add the directory or disk where the encrypted files are located.
- Click the ‘Decrypt’ button.
Mzlq File Decypt Tool is a free software that can decrypt files that were encrypted with an offline key, as Emsisoft found a way to determine this key. Unfortunately, files encrypted with an online key cannot yet be decrypted. The online key is unique to each infected computer, and at the moment there is no way to find this key. Of course, criminals have this key, but we do not think that paying a ransom is a way to decrypt .mzlq files. In the case when the files are encrypted with an online key, there is a chance to restore the encrypted files using alternative methods, which are described below.
How to find out which key was used to encrypt files
Below we show two ways to help you determine what type of key was used to encrypt the files. This is very important, since the type of key determines whether it is possible to decrypt .mzlq files for free. We recommend using the second method, as it is more accurate.
Find out the type of key using ‘_readme.txt’ file
- Open the ransom demand message (‘_readme.txt’ file).
- Scroll down to the end of the file.
- There you will see a line with the text ‘Your personal ID’.
- Below is a line of characters that starts with ‘0225’ – this is your personal id.
Find out the type of key using ‘PersonalID.txt’ file
- Open disk C.
- Open directory ‘SystemID’.
- Open file named ‘PersonalID.txt’. This file lists ‘Personal ID’s that match the keys that the virus used to encrypt files.
The ‘Personal ID’ is not a key, it is an identifier related to a key that was used to encrypt files. If the ID ends with ‘t1’, then the files are encrypted with an offline key. If the ID does not end with ‘t1’, Mzlq ransomware virus used an online key. If you could not figure out how to determine which key was used to encrypt files, then we can help. Just write a request here or in the comments below.
Mzlq File Decypt Tool : No key for New Variant offline ID
If during decryption of .mzlq files the Mzlq File Decypt Tool reports No key for New Variant offline ID, then this means the following: your files are encrypted with an ‘offline key’, but the key itself has not yet been found by security researchers, in this case, you need to be patient and wait a while, in addition, you can also use alternative ways for recovering encrypted data. It is impossible to say exactly when the ‘offline key’ will be determined. Sometimes it takes several days, sometimes more. We recommend that you try to decrypt .mzlq files from time to time. You can also use alternative ways listed below for recovering encrypted data.
Mzlq File Decypt Tool : No key for New Variant online ID
If, when you try to decrypt .mzlq files, the Mzlq File Decypt Tool reports No key for New Variant online ID, then this means that your files are encrypted with an ‘online key’ and their decryption is impossible, since only the Mzlq authors have the key necessary for decryption. In this case, you need to use alternative methods listed below to restore the contents of encrypted files.
How to restore .mzlq files
If your files were encrypted with .mzlq extension, then there is a chance that you can recover the files without decryption. We recommend using PhotoRec and ShadowExplorer that are designed to find and recover lost and deleted data. Mostly such programs are paid, but these tools can restore your files for free. Each of these tools has helped many times to recover files after ransomware infection in what would seem to be the most hopeless cases. We want to remind you that before you try to recover files, you need to check your computer for ransomware using free malware removal tools. It is very important to find the Mzlq virus and completely remove it.
Use shadow copies to recover mzlq files
Modern versions of the Windows OS have one very useful feature. The Windows automatically makes copies of the files you use. These copies are called ‘Shadow Volume Copies’ and are not directly visible to the user. ShadowExplorer will allow you to get easy access to these files, and thus restore the original state of encrypted files. Of course, not everything is so simple, unfortunately very often ransomware deletes these copies, thus preventing the simple recovery of encrypted files. But in some cases, copies of the files remain and allow for quick file recovery. Therefore, our opinion, you need to try this method.
Download ShadowExplorer on your PC from the following link.
Category: Security tools
Update: September 15, 2019
Once downloading is done, open a directory in which you saved it. Right click to ShadowExplorer-0.9-portable and select Extract all. Follow the prompts. Next please open the ShadowExplorerPortable folder as shown in the following example.
Double click ShadowExplorerPortable to start it. You will see the a window similar to the one below.
In top left corner, choose a Drive where encrypted photos, documents and music are stored and a latest restore point as displayed in the figure below (1 – drive, 2 – restore point).
On right panel look for a file that you wish to recover, right click to it and select Export as shown on the image below.
This video step-by-step guide will demonstrate How to recover encrypted files using Shadow Explorer.
Restore mzlq files with PhotoRec
There is another very good way to recover .mzlq files – use a tool that finds and restores deleted files. We recommend using PhotoRec. This is one of the few programs that allows you to do this for free. The reason that allows you to recover encrypted files using this method is simple – when you or any program, including the ransomware, deletes the file, this file is not deleted, the Windows OS marks it as deleted and hides it. PhotoRec finds such deleted files and restores them. Thus, at the output, you get files in an unencrypted state. The only thing I want to draw your attention to is that the less you used your computer after ransomware infection, the higher your chance of recovering encrypted files.
Download PhotoRec on your MS Windows Desktop by clicking on the link below.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 1, 2018
When downloading is finished, open a directory in which you saved it. Right click to testdisk-7.0.win and select Extract all. Follow the prompts. Next please open the testdisk-7.0 folder as shown in the figure below.
Double click on qphotorec_win to run PhotoRec for MS Windows. It’ll open a screen as shown below.
Select a drive to recover as on the image below.
You will see a list of available partitions. Select a partition that holds encrypted documents, photos and music as shown on the screen below.
Press File Formats button and specify file types to restore. You can to enable or disable the restore of certain file types. When this is complete, click OK button.
Next, press Browse button to select where recovered photos, documents and music should be written, then click Search.
Count of recovered files is updated in real time. All recovered documents, photos and music are written in a folder that you have selected on the previous step. You can to access the files even if the recovery process is not finished.
When the restore is done, click on Quit button. Next, open the directory where recovered personal files are stored. You will see a contents as displayed on the screen below.
All recovered photos, documents and music are written in recup_dir.1, recup_dir.2 … sub-directories. If you’re looking for a specific file, then you can to sort your restored files by extension and/or date/time.
This video step-by-step guide will demonstrate How to recover encrypted files using PhotoRec.
How to protect your machine from Mzlq ransomware
Most antivirus applications already have built-in protection system against the crypto virus. Therefore, if your PC system does not have an antivirus program, make sure you install it. As an extra protection, run the HitmanPro.Alert. All-in-all, HitmanPro.Alert is a fantastic tool to protect your computer from any ransomware. If ransomware is detected, then HitmanPro.Alert automatically neutralizes malware and restores the encrypted files. HitmanPro.Alert is compatible with all versions of Microsoft Windows operating system from Microsoft Windows XP to Windows 10.
Visit the following page to download HitmanPro Alert. Save it to your Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 6, 2019
Once the download is complete, open the directory in which you saved it. You will see an icon like below.
Double click the HitmanPro.Alert desktop icon. When the utility is started, you’ll be displayed a window where you can select a level of protection, like below.
Now press the Install button to activate the protection.
To sum up
This guide was created to help all victims of Mzlq ransomware virus. We tried to give answers to the following questions: how to remove Mzlq ransomware; how to decrypt .mzlq files; how to recover files, if the Mzlq File Decypt Tool does not help; what is an online key and what is an offline key. We hope that the information presented in this manual has helped you.
If you have questions, then write to us, leaving a comment below. If you need more help with Mzlq related issues, go to here.