Remove Maql ransomware
Maql ransomware is malware that encrypts files and demands money for their decryption. It comes from a notorious Djvu/STOP family of ransomware infections. The gang behind this infection has released hundreds of similar ransomware. Maql is one of the most recent ones It can be differentiated by the .maql extension it adds to encrypted files. Unfortunately, users will not be able to open files with this extension, unless they are first run through a special decryptor, which the cybercriminals operating this ransomware will try to sell you for $980.
Maql ransomware comes from the Djvu/STOP ransomware family, which has released ransomware like Zaps, Irjg, Nqsq, and Tisc. Because they are created by the same cybercriminals, they are all more or less identical, with only the extensions they add to encrypted files being different. This one adds .maql, hence why it’s called Maql ransomware. For example, image.jpg would become image.jpg.maql. All your personal files will have this extension because those are the files ransomware target. That includes photos, images, videos, documents, etc. None of the files with that extension will be openable.
While the ransomware is encrypting your files, it will show a fake Windows update window. Once file encryption is done, the ransomware will drop a _readme.txt ransom note. The note explains what you need to do to get the decryptor, and it involves paying a ransom. The regular price is $980 but the cybercriminals claim that a 50% discount would be applied to victims who make contact within the first 72 hours. If this is your first time dealing with a ransomware infection, paying the ransom may seem like the best course of action. However, in reality, giving in to the demands does not guarantee file decryption. Keep in mind that you are dealing with cybercriminals and there is nothing obligating them to help, even after payment is made. Furthermore, the reason ransomware is prospering to this extent is that victims keep paying the ransom. The more people pay, the more profitable the ransomware business becomes, thus encouraging cybercriminals to continue their malicious activities.
If you were in the habit of backing up your files regularly, you should have little issues with recovering the ones that have been encrypted. However, before accessing backup, it’s important that you fully remove Maql ransomware from the computer. If the ransomware is still on the computer when you connect to backup, files in it would become encrypted as well.
If you have not backed up files anywhere, your only option is to wait for a free decryptor to be released. However, that could be difficult because Djvu versions released after 2019 mostly use online keys to encrypt files, meaning the keys are unique to each victim. Unless those keys are released, a working decryptor cannot be released. There is a free Djvu/STOP decryptor developed by Emsisoft but it only works to decrypt files encrypted by old Djvu ransomware. Nonetheless, we recommend you back up your encrypted files and occasionally check NoMoreRansom for a free decryptor.
Ransomware distribution methods
If your computer got infected with ransomware, you likely have bad browsing habits. Something seemingly harmless like opening an unsolicited email attachment or pirating via torrents could lead to a serious malware infection. If you want to avoid infections in the future, you need to be careful when browsing the Internet. Furthermore, you also need to familiarize yourself with how ransomware infections spread.
Spam email attachments are one of the most common ways users pick up ransomware infections. Cybercriminals purchase email addresses from hacker forums and then use them to launch massive spam campaigns. Those spam emails carry attachments that would initiate an infection if opened. Senders usually pretend to be from companies whose services users supposedly use to pressure users into engaging with the emails. Fortunately, whether it’s done purposely or not, cybercrooks make it quite easy to differentiate between malicious and legitimate emails. One of the most noticeable signs that an email could be malicious is noticeable grammar/spelling mistakes. Official correspondence from a company will not have any grammar/spelling mistakes because it looks unprofessional. But spam emails are always written in broken English and contain loads of mistakes. Another rather obvious sign of a malicious email is the sender addressing you in generic terms like “User”, “Customer”, “Member” when they should be aware of your name. If a company whose services you use sends you an email, you will always be addressed by name. Otherwise, it would look unprofessional. Because malicious emails can be more sophisticated in some cases, even when an email looks legitimate, we strongly recommend scanning unsolicited email attachments with anti-virus software or VirusTotal before opening them.
Torrents are also a common way users pick up malware. Torrent sites are quite badly moderated, which allows cyber crooks to easily upload malicious content disguised as something legitimate. Entertainment content (movies, TV series, video games, software, etc.) torrents in particular often contain malware. By downloading copyrighted content for free via torrents, you are not only essentially stealing content but also endangering your computer and your files.
Maql ransomware removal
Ransomware is a highly complex malware infection so it’s not recommended for you to try to remove Maql ransomware manually. You could end up causing even more damage and/or not removing the infection completely. If you try to access your backup while the ransomware is still present, the backed-up files would become encrypted as well. Thus, use anti-malware software to make sure the ransomware is fully gone. Only when you are sure it’s gone should you connect to your backup.
If your files haven’t been backed up anywhere, your only option is to backup encrypted files and wait for a free decryptor. While it’s not available at the moment, that may change in the future. However, we must warn you that there are many questionable sites promoting fake decryptors which would actually bring even more malware. If you cannot find a free decryptor on a legitimate site like NoMoreRansom, you will not find it anywhere else, especially not on some random forum.
WiperSoft.com is not sponsored, affiliated, linked to or owned by malware developers or distributors that are referred to in this article. The article does NOT endorse or promote malicious programs. The intention behind it is to present useful information that will help users to detect and eliminate malware from their computer by using WiperSoft and/or the manual removal guide.
The article should only be used for educational purposes. If you follow the instructions provided in the article, you agree to be bound by this disclaimer. We do not guarantee that the article will aid you in completely removing the malware from your PC. Malicious programs are constantly developing, which is why it is not always easy or possible to clean the computer by using only the manual removal guide.