What is Maak virus?
Maak virus is a new ransomware that attacks the victim’s computer by encrypting files and demanding a ransom for decrypting them. The ransomware attack can lead to data loss and financial losses. Maak encrypts files, renames them by appending the .maak extension, and creates files named “_readme.txt” containing the ransom demand message. For example, a file named “document.docx” will be renamed to “document.docx.maak”, a “image.jpg” file to “image.jpg.maak”, “invoice.pdf” to “invoice.pdf.maak”, and so on.
- What is Maak virus?
- Remove Maak virus (ransomware)
- Decrypt .maak files
- Restore .maak files
- Video Guide
Maak ransomware is a malware that is the 375th variant of STOP (DJVU) ransomware. Like other variants of this ransomware, it is distributed through key generators, cracked software, adware and torrents web-sites. Upon execution, Maak creates a folder in the Windows system directory and copies itself there. Then the virus collects information about the victim’s computer and changes some Windows OS settings so that it starts automatically every time the PC is turned on or restarted.
Having collected information about the victim’s computer, the Maak ransomware tries to establish a connection with its command-and-control server (C&C). If the connection has been established, the virus receives a key (so called ‘online key’) from the command server that will be used to encrypt files. In addition, Maak virus may receive additional commands and files that will be executed on the victim’s computer. If the ransomware could not connect to the command server, then it uses a fixed key, which the security researchers called ‘offline key’.
There is a significant difference between ‘online key’ and ‘offline key’. The online key is unique for each victim, that is, the key from one victim will not help decrypt the files of the other victim. The offline key is the same for all victims. Thus, it can be used to decrypt files regardless of where they were encrypted.
Having a key to encrypt files, the Maak ransomware proceeds directly to the process of encrypting files. It encrypts file-by-file, so that all files of the victim will be encrypted. It doesn’t matter where the files are located, on the internal drive, flash drive, external media, cloud storage, all of them can be encrypted. There is a small exception, the virus does not encrypt files located in the Windows system directories, files with the extension from the list ‘.lnk, .bat, ini, .sys, .dll’ and files with the name ‘_readme.txt’. Thus, almost all of the victim’s data will be encrypted, including documents, pictures, databases, archives and other types of files, such as:
.kf, .xy3, .wn, .rofl, .zip, .dxg, .ybk, .sie, .xls, .d3dbsp, .ztmp, .rwl, .gdb, .gho, .xmind, .odt, .m2, .ibank, .wdb, .ntl, .x3f, .xxx, .arch00, .sql, .zabw, .sr2, .jpeg, .dng, .cdr, .xar, .tor, .hkdb, .xml, .mpqge, .upk, .js, .pptx, .xlgc, .docx, .wri, .wbk, .zw, .slm, .itl, .1st, .xyp, .bar, .webp, .svg, .blob, .xll, .wpd, .2bp, .der, .rtf, .orf, .eps, .py, .csv, .m4a, .crt, .xlsb, .ppt, .3fr, .erf, .vpk, .psk, .z, .cer, .x3f, .forge, .dbf, .w3x, .wpb, .xls, .wp, .nrw, .wbmp, .lvl, .hkx, .doc, .p7c, .dba, .xbdoc, .bsa, .ltx, .ff, .mlx, .pptm, .x, .bkf, .rgss3a, .snx, .kdb, .xyw, .wp6, .rar, .dcr, .ysp, .zdb, .jpe, .cr2, .r3d, .wmv, .x3d, .ai, .bkp, .iwi, .vdf, .big, .mdf, .pem, .ptx, .re4, .ws, .wp7, .dwg, .mrwref, .xf, .mdbackup, .xmmap, .wbc, .wpa, .wmf, .arw, .rw2, .mcmeta, .vfs0, .sis, .wpd, .xlsx, .db0, .litemod, .wp5, .p12, .fpk, .sidd, .lrf, .wm, .jpg, .bay, .xdl, .srw, .wsd, .mdb, .docm, .vpp_pc, .wsh, .mov, .wpl, .bik, .wsc, .pkpass, .m3u, .txt, .raf, .rb, .png, .epk, .wbz, .y, .crw, wallet, .icxs, .wdp, .3dm, .lbf, .fos, .zdc, .map, .odc, .ods, .srf, .kdc, .esm, .pst, .mddata, .wotreplay, .fsh, .hvpl, .cfr, .wmv, .7z, .accdb, .xx, .psd, .itdb, .xdb, .zif, .vtf, .menu
Each file that has been encrypted by the Maak ransomware will be renamed. It will append the extension ‘.maak’ at the end of the name of the affected file. Thus, a file named ‘image.jpg’, after it is encrypted, will receive the name ‘image.jpg.maak’. To encrypt as many files as possible in the minimum time, the virus does not encrypt the entire file, but only its initial part in the amount of 154 kb. The Maak ransomware encrypts files sequentially, when all files in the directory are encrypted, it places a new file in it. This file is called ‘_readme.txt’ and its contents are shown below.
The ‘_readme.txt’ file is a ransom note that is a message from Maak creators. In this message, the criminals report that the victim’s files are encrypted and there is only one way to decrypt them – purchase the key and the decryptor from them. Attackers set the price for the key and decryptor at $980. If the victim pays the ransom within 72 hours, then Maak authors agree to make a discount of half the ransom, that is, reduce the size of the ransom to $490. Criminals offer to decrypt one file for free. To do this, the victim needs to send this file to one of the email addresses listed in the ransom demand message. But successful decryption of one file does not guarantee the possibility of decryption of files even after payment of the ransom.
Text presented in the Maak ransomnote:
Don’t worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like pictures, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that’s price for you is $490.
Please note that you’ll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail “Spam” or “Junk” folder if you don’t get answer more than 6 hours.
To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
Your personal ID:
|Name||Maak ransomware, Maak File Virus|
|Type||Crypto malware, Ransomware, Crypto virus, Filecoder, File locker|
|Ransom amount||$490, $980 in Bitcoins|
|Detection Names||FileRepMalware, VHO:Trojan.Win32.Agent.gen, GenericRXAA-AA, Trojan:Win32/Raccrypt.GB!MTB, Trojan.Win32.Save.a, BScope.TrojanSpy.Stealer, Mal/Generic-R + Mal/Agent-, BehavesLike.Win32.Lockbit.cc, Trojan.Malware.300983.susgen, Trojan.MalPack, Trojan.Crypt (A)|
|Symptoms||Personal files won’t open. Your documents, photos and music now have a new extension. Files named like ‘_readme.txt’, ‘#_README_#’, ‘_DECRYPT_’ or ‘recover’ in each folder with at least one encrypted file. Ransom note displayed on your desktop.|
|Distribution ways||Spam mails that contain malicious links. Exploit kits (cybercriminals use crypto malware packaged in an ‘exploit kit’ that can find a vulnerability in Web-browser, Microsoft Windows operating system, Adobe Flash Player, PDF reader). Social media posts (they can be used to trick users to download malware with a built-in ransomware downloader or click a suspicious link). Torrent web-pages.|
|Removal||Maak ransomware removal|
|Decryption||Maak File Decrypt Tool|
|Recovery||Maak File Recovery Tools|
In the ransom note, the Maak authors report that it is impossible to decrypt files without a key and a decryptor. In general, this is true; to decrypt .maak files, you must use the key and the decryptor. This is confirmed by the security researchers. As we reported at the very beginning of this article, there is a free Maak File Decrypt Tool, which in some cases can decrypt .maak files. In the case when it could not decrypt the files, there are several more methods, each of which can help the victim restore the files encrypted by Maak ransomware. These methods do not require the use of a key and decryptor, and therefore are suitable for all victims.
How to remove Maak ransomware virus
You need to remove the Maak ransomware virus and its autostart entries before proceeding to decrypt or restore encrypted files. This must be done since otherwise the ransomware may re-encrypt the restored files. You can stop the ransomware from working, as it is not difficult to do. Another option is to perform a full system scan using free malware removal tools capable of detecting and removing ransomware infection. 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.
It is very important to scan the computer for malware, as security researchers found that spyware could be installed on the infected computer along with the Maak ransomware. Spyware is a very dangerous security threat as it is designed to steal the user’s personal information such as passwords, logins, contact details, etc. If you have any difficulty removing the Maak virus, then let us know in the comments, we will try to help you.
To remove Maak ransomware, follow the steps below:
Kill Maak virus
Press CTRL, ALT, DEL keys together.
Click Task Manager. Select the “Processes” tab, look for something suspicious that is the Maak ransomware then right-click it and select “End Task” or “End Process” option. If your Task Manager does not open or the Windows reports “Task manager has been disabled by your administrator”, then follow the guide: How to Fix Task manager has been disabled by your administrator.
It is not difficult to detect a process related to the Maak ransomware. When looking for a malicious process, pay attention to the process icon and its name. Most often, this ransomware has a process name in the following format: 4-characters.tmp.exe or 4-characters.exe. For example: 7533.tmp.exe, A4b1.exe, CD15.tmp.exe, 19b2.exe. The process name can also contain “(32 bit)”. If you do not find a process with a similar name in the list of processes, then most likely the Maak ransomware has finished working. But keep in mind, if you do not remove the ransomware autostart entries, as demonstrated below, and do not delete its file, then after a while it may start again, and if it finds unencrypted files, immediately encrypt them.
Disable Maak Start-Up
Select the “Start-Up” tab, look for something similar to the one shown in the example below, right click to it and select Disable.
Close Task Manager.
Delete Maak Task
Type “Task Scheduler” in the search bar. Click Task Scheduler app in the search results. Click “Task Scheduler Library” in the left panel. On the right panel, right-click to “Time Trigger Task” and select Delete.
Close Task Scheduler.
Remove Maak virus
Run Task Manager and select the “Start-Up” tab. Right click to the Maak ransomware Start-Up entry and select Open File Location as shown below.
A directory containing one file will open in front of you, this file is the Maak virus. It needs to be removed. If you try to delete it immediately, then you will not succeed, since this file is protected from deletion.
To delete this file, you need to do the following. Right-click on the file, select Properties. In the window that opens, select Security tab. Next, click the Advanced button below. A window will open as shown in the following example.
Click Disable inheritance. In the Block inheritance dialog box that opens, select the first item (Convert inherited permissions…) as shown below.
In the Permission entries list, select “Deny Everyone”, click Remove button and then OK. Close the file properties window. You should now be able to remove Maak virus. Right-click on the file and select Delete.
Scan computer for malware
Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) is a malware removal tool that can detect all types of malware, including ransomware, as well as a variety of spyware, Trojans, viruses and rootkits. After the detection of the Maak virus, you can easily and quickly delete it.
Installing the Zemana tool is simple. First you’ll need to download it on your Windows Desktop by clicking on the link below.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
Once the download is done, close all windows on your device. Further, launch the install file called Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup. If the “User Account Control” prompt pops up as on the image below, click the “Yes” button.
It will show the “Setup wizard” which will assist you install Zemana on the computer. Follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
Once installation is complete successfully, Zemana will automatically run and you can see its main window as shown on the screen below.
Next, press the “Scan” button . The Zemana AntiMalware tool will begin scanning the whole device to find out the Maak crypto malware, other malware, worms and trojans. When a threat is detected, the number of the security threats will change accordingly.
As the scanning ends, you will be displayed the list of all found items on your personal computer. Review the report and then click “Next” button.
Zemana will start to remove Maak virus, other malware, worms and trojans. After finished, you may be prompted to reboot your computer.
In order to be 100% sure that the computer no longer has the Maak virus, we recommend using the Kaspersky virus removal tool (KVRT). It is a free malware removal tool which can scan your computer for a wide range of security threats such as ransomware, adware, spyware, PUPs, trojans, worms as well as other malware. It will perform a deep scan of the computer including hard drives and MS Windows registry. Once a malicious software is detected, it will help you to delete all detected threats from your computer with a simple click.
Download Kaspersky virus removal tool (KVRT) by clicking on the link below.
Author: Kaspersky® lab
Category: Security tools
Update: March 5, 2018
Once the downloading process is finished, double-click on the Kaspersky virus removal tool icon. Once initialization procedure is complete, you will see the KVRT screen as displayed on the image below.
Click Change Parameters and set a check near all your drives. Click OK to close the Parameters window. Next click Start scan button to perform a system scan for the Maak crypto virus. While the Kaspersky virus removal tool tool is checking, you can see count of objects it has identified as being infected by malicious software.
When the system scan is done, you can check all items detected on your PC system as displayed in the following example.
Make sure to check mark the items which are unsafe and then click on Continue to start a cleaning procedure.
How to decrypt .maak files
To decrypt .maak files, you need to use a unique key and decryptor. Security researchers confirm that it is impossible to access the contents of encrypted files without decryption. Renaming the affected files, changing their extension cannot help the victim, the files will still remain encrypted. Fortunately, Emsisoft created a free decryptor, which in some cases can decrypt .maak files.
To decrypt .maak files, use Maak File Decrypt Tool
- Download Maak File Decrypt 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.
Maak File Decrypt Tool is a free decryptor that can decrypt files only in some cases, when the files were encrypted with an ‘offline key’. If the files were encrypted with an ‘online key’, then they cannot be decrypted. The reason for this is that the ‘online key’ is in the hands of criminals and this key can not be determined. But even in this case, there is a chance to restore the contents of encrypted files, we will talk about this in section “How to restore .maak files” of this article.
How to find out which key was used to encrypt files
Since Maak File Decrypt Tool only decrypts files encrypted with the offline key, each Maak’s victim needs to find out which key was used to encrypt the files. Determining the type of key used is not difficult. Below we give two ways. Use any of them.
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 ‘0375’ – 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 Maak ransomware 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’, Maak 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.
Maak File Decrypt Tool : “No key for New Variant online ID”
If, when you try to decrypt .maak files, Maak File Decrypt Tool reports:
No key for New Variant online ID: *
Notice: this ID appears to be an online ID, decryption is impossible
It means that your files are encrypted with an ‘online key’ and their decryption is impossible, since only the Maak 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.
Maak File Decrypt Tool : “No key for New Variant offline ID”
If, during decryption of .maak files, Maak File Decrypt Tool reports:
No key for New Variant offline ID: *t1
Notice: this ID appears be an offline ID, decryption MAY be possible in the future.
It means the following: your files are encrypted with an ‘offline key’, but the key itself has not yet been obtained 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.
If for some reason you were unable to decrypt the encrypted files, then We recommend to follow the news on our Facebook or YouTube channels. So you ‘ll know right away that it ‘s possible to decrypt .maak files.
This video step-by-step guide will demonstrate How to remove Maak virus, Decrypt/Recover .maak files.
How to restore .maak files
If the Maak File Decrypt Tool did not help you, or your files are encrypted using an online key, then there is no need to panic! There are several other alternative methods that may help you to restore the contents of encrypted files. Once again, remember to be sure to check your computer for ransomware and malware using free malware removal tools. You must be sure that Maak ransomware is completely removed.
Recover .maak files with ShadowExplorer
First of all, try to recover .maak files from Shadow Volume Copies, which are automatically created by Windows OS. In order to recover photos, documents and music encrypted by Maak virus from Shadow Volume Copies you can use a tool called ShadowExplorer. We recommend using this free utility because it is small in size, has a simple interface and does not require installation on a computer. Unfortunately, ransomware often removes all Shadow copies. Therefore, if Shadow Explorer cannot help you, then immediately proceed to the second method, which is given below.
Visit the following page to download ShadowExplorer. Save it to your Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: September 15, 2019
After the download is done, extract the saved file to a directory on your personal computer. This will create the necessary files as on the image below.
Start the ShadowExplorerPortable program. Now choose the date (2) that you wish to recover from and the drive (1) you want to restore files (folders) from as on the image below.
On right panel navigate to the file (folder) you want to recover. Right-click to the file or folder and click the Export button like below.
And finally, specify a directory (your Desktop) to save the shadow copy of encrypted file and click ‘OK’ button.
This video step-by-step guide will demonstrate How to recover encrypted files using Shadow Explorer.
Restore .maak files with PhotoRec
Another alternative way to recover .maak files is to use data recovery software. This method requires a lot of time, but in most cases it allows you to recover part, and sometimes all, encrypted files. To restore .maak files, use a free tool called Photo Rec. It has a simple interface and does not require installation.
Download PhotoRec by clicking on the link below.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 1, 2018
Once the download is finished, open a directory in which you saved it. Right click to testdisk-7.0.win and choose Extract all. Follow the prompts. Next please open the testdisk-7.0 folder as on the image below.
Double click on qphotorec_win to run PhotoRec for Microsoft Windows. It’ll show a screen like the one below.
Choose a drive to recover like the one below.
You will see a list of available partitions. Choose a partition that holds encrypted documents, photos and music as displayed on the screen below.
Click File Formats button and specify file types to restore. You can to enable or disable the restore of certain file types. When this is done, click OK button.
Next, click Browse button to choose where restored personal files should be written, then press Search. We strongly recommend that you save the recovered files to an external drive.
Count of restored 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 finished, press on Quit button. Next, open the directory where restored files are stored. You will see a contents as shown on the screen below.
All restored personal files 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 PC from Maak ransomware
Most antivirus apps already have built-in protection system against the crypto virus. Therefore, if your machine does not have an antivirus program, make sure you install it. As an extra protection, use 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 OS from Microsoft Windows XP to Windows 10.
First, click the following link, then click the ‘Download’ button in order to download the latest version of HitmanPro.Alert.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 6, 2019
After the downloading process is complete, open the file location. You will see an icon like below.
Double click the HitmanPro Alert desktop icon. After the utility is started, you will be shown a window where you can select a level of protection, like below.
Now click the Install button to activate the protection.
To sum up
This guide was created to help all victims of Maak ransomware virus. We tried to give answers to the following questions: how to remove ransomware; how to decrypt .maak files; how to recover encrypted files; 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 Maak related issues, go to here.
este é meu codigo, sera que tem soluçâo?
The “0375UIhfSdoQgHbY6wRg1OYHVVKtoEgIkZsHoRJ0ftaqxwt00M” ID is related to an online key, so files cannot be decrypted. Try to restore the contents of encrypted files using the steps linked below: How to recover encrypted files.
.maak virus Disk-D and E all of files was encrypted.
As soon as I realized, I did installed new window.Therefore, I don’t know where is Ransomware file.
Could you help me?🙏🙏