I wrote this article to help you remove Matrix Ransomware. This Matrix Ransomware removal guide works for all Windows versions.
Matrix ransomware is a Trojan win-locker. The virus has multiple versions, of which we can isolate two main variations. In the beginning, Matrix ransomware was a basic win-locker. Later updates saw the virus become police ransomware. Regardless what statement the malevolent program makes, the concept is always the same. The cyber criminals use scare tactics to make the victims pay a ransom. Whether the payment will be presented as a ransom or not is irrelevant to the ultimate result. In this article, we will compare and contrast the two concepts and give details about the different builds of Matrix ransomware.
To begin with, the propagation vector of Matrix ransomware has not changed throughout. This makes sense, as the virus was using an efficient distribution technique from the get go. The furtive program gets spread through Trojan horses. HEUR/QVM10.1.0000.Malware.Gen, TR/Crypt.Xpack.uhqit, and malicious_confidence_100% (D) have been cited as hosts for the win-locker. The Trojan responsible for distributing Matrix ransomware can enter your computer via an email. The fake message will be presented as a notification from a reputable entity, like the national post, a courier firm, a shopping platform, a bank, a government institution, or the local police department. The spammer can copy a template of a legitimate notification to make the message appear genuine. To check whether a given email is reliable, look up the sender’s contacts.
The attackers have not made modifications to the program’s technical characteristics, either. Matrix ransomware uses the GnuPG command line tool to encrypt files. This is a free application which is easy to exploit. It is not commonly used by win-lockers. This is not because this method is any less effective. Matrix ransomware is a prime example as to the potential of GnuPG as an encryption tool. Since its inception in December of last year, the code of the nefarious program has not been broken.
Matrix ransomware appends the .matrix extension to the names of the encrypted files. It makes the locked objects easy to identify. The win-locker can compromise different file types, including MS Office documents, Adobe documents, images, audios, videos, databases, archives, and others. The encryption is performed on the background. You may remain unaware of the actions of the sinister program until it discloses its presence. This will happen when the encryption has been completed.
As we alluded to earlier, Matrix ransomware started off as a classic win-locker. Upon finishing the encryption, the insidious program would drop a ransom note to explain what has been done. If you have contacted an earlier version of the virus, you will find a copy of the ransom note in all folders which contain encrypted files. The message can be titled matrix-readme.rtf or Readme-Matrix.rtf, as there are a few early builds. The ransom note will give you accurate disclosure about the occurrence.
The purpose of the win-locker is to have people pay a ransom. To force them, the win-locker holds their files hostage until they do. The message explains that you have to send an email, listing your unique ID. You should get a response within 24 hours. If you do not, you can send a request to the reserve email. The main account of the renegade developers is firstname.lastname@example.org, while the reserve is email@example.com.
Matrix ransomware was modified to become a police ransomware program. The new variant of the win-locker uses a bogus message, stated to be from the police department. The notification explains that you have been found guilty of violating federal laws. It gives the ultimatum of paying a penalty within 96 hours or getting arrested. It should be noted that the message provides limited information. The victim is instructed to request payment instructions per email. The cyber criminals use different email accounts for the modification of Matrix ransomware: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. The ransom has to be paid in bitcoins. We do not have word on how much it amounts to.
To set the record straight, the scheme of sending legal notifications in an electronic format is flawed. Authorities do not have this practice. All such messages can be dismissed as fake. Our advice to the victims of Matrix ransomware is not to pay the ransom. There is no guarantee that the cyber thieves will recover your files and remove the malignant program from your system. At this point in time, it may be impossible to restore your data on your own. Matrix ransomware deletes the shadow volume copies of the encrypted files which could be used for a recovery. You may need to wait until experts manage to crack the code of the win-locker.
Matrix Ransomware Removal
Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, Matrix 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 Matrix 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: