I wrote this article to help you remove MafiaWare Ransomware. This MafiaWare Ransomware removal guide works for all Windows versions.
MafiaWare ransomware is an infection which belongs to the win-locker category. This is the most devastating type of computer virus. Researchers have concluded that MafiaWare ransomware is a variant of HiddenTear ransomware. The malignant program scans the hard disk drive for files and encrypts them. The locked objects receive the .Locked-by-Mafia extension. MafiaWare ransomware targets different file formats, including Microsoft documents, .pdf documents, archives, databases, images, videos, audios, and others. The win-locker’s creator has chosen the advanced encryption standard (AES). This algorithm has been used in the development of some of the most successful encryption viruses.
Like its predecessor, MafiaWare ransomware is distributed through spam emails. This is a textbook propagation vector. The furtive program gets secluded behind an attachment. Accessing the host file can be enough to initiate the download and install of the win-locker. Spammers often use macros and scripts which launch the transfer on command prompt. The bogus notification will be formulated to resemble a legitimate message from a reputable entity. The represented organization can be a bank, a courier firm, a government branch, a social network, a shopping platform, and even the local police department. The best way to filter spam from genuine emails is to check the sender’s contacts.
The payload of MafiaWare ransomware is contained in a file called mafiaware.exe. The presence of this file on your computer evidences that you have contacted this particular build of the win-locker. There may be other versions of the nefarious program down the line. If the executable gets renamed, this detail would help you identify the build you have contacted. Pursuant to the encryption process, MafiaWare ransomware drops a ransom note on the desktop. The file is titled READ_ME.txt. The hacker has not put on much of an effort into the message. He simply informs victims that their files have been encrypted and tells them that they have to pay a certain ransom in order to have their data unlocked.
The ransom note will notify you that your files have been encrypted by “depsex”. Whether this term refers to the program or is a pseudonym of the developer remains up in the air. The attacker instructs users to send $155 USD to his bitcoin wallet. He demands a proof of payment. After completing the transaction, the user has to send a confirmation message to his email: firstname.lastname@example.org. There are no time constraints for making the payment and no consequences for refusing to make it, apart from having your files remain locked.
The owner of MafiaWare ransomware has chosen the bitcoin cryptocurrency as the payment method for a reason. This monetary unit is the safest on the market. To begin with, the platforms for trading bitcoins do not require users to enter any personal details. In addition, the portal protects the details from the transaction confidential. Not even the proprietors of the website can track the transfer to the bank account of the recipient. This allows cyber criminals to get away with people’s money.
Adding things up, the aftermath is that you could end up losing more by collaborating. The attacker who unleashed MafiaWare ransomware into your system has already exploited a vulnerability once. The renegade developer did not hesitate to sneak the clandestine program into your machine behind your back. He could deceive you again at the blink of an eye. Under no circumstances can you trust a cyber criminal. Take matters into your own hands. Install a professional anti-virus program and run a full system scan to remove the virus. After you have cleansed your computer from the infection, you can tend to your files. There are a few tools you can use to recover the lost data. We have listed them below this article where you can find full removal and recovery instructions.
MafiaWare Ransomware Removal
Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, MafiaWare Ransomware deletes all shadow copies, stored in your computer. Luckily, the ransomware is not always able to delete the shadow copies. So your first try should be restoring the original files from shadow copies.
- Download ShadowExplorer from this link: http://www.shadowexplorer.com/downloads.html.
- Install ShadowExplorer
- Open ShadowExplorer and select C: drive on the left panel
- Choose at least a month ago date from the date field
- Navigate to the folder with encrypted files
- Right-click on the encrypted file
- Select “Export” and choose a destination for the original file
Method 2: Restore your encrypted files by using System Restore
- Go to Start –> All programs –> Accessories –> System tools –> System restore
- Click “Next“
- Choose a restore point, at least a month ago
- Click “Next“
- Choose Disk C: (should be selected by default)
- Click “Next“. Wait for a few minutes and the restore should be done.
Method 3: Restore your files using File Recovery Software
If none of the above method works, you should try to recover encrypted files by using File Recovery Software. Since MafiaWare Ransomware first makes a copy of the original file, then encrypts it and deletes the original one, you can successfully restore the original, using a File Recovery Software. Here are a few free File Recovery Software programs: