During one summery day in July, we composed an article, discussing a dawn of CuteRansomware virus. We emphasized a detail that this infection attempted to inflict on Chinese-speaking users, but also stressed out the importance of bearing it in mind that ransomware viruses are unpredictable. my-Little-Ransomware (CuteRansomware) has not been identified among the most sufficient viruses. Well, it is obvious that not all infections can be Locky (and that is for the better of online community). M0on ransomware virus is related with the authors of my-Little-Ransomware infection and it can also be referred to as a sneaky Trojan. Overbearing viruses are guilty for lurking for victims in forms of ordinary executables that are not suspected to mean any harm. M0on virus is a crypto-ransomware that has been first noticed about a month ago. Its intention of chief importance is to lead users’ data into a state of complete idleness. Victims usually fall under the influence of the creators of ransomware. These shady programmers will use their leverage to gain profit.
About M0on Ransomware
A continual direction that ransomware viruses follow is not going to be abandoned by M0on virus. After succeeding in its arrival-phase, ransomware infection takes over a throne quite silently. Until victims’ files are not encrypted, M0on virus will find little to boast about. Security researchers have also noticed that the activity of this ransomware is missing one significant detail. It seems to do well with the encryption of files: this process is accomplished with an AES algorithm for encoding. Over a hundred types of files are the potential victims of encryption. This means that valuable Power Point presentations, Word documents, heart-warming family videos and photos can be tragically sucked into a vortex.
However, the transformed files are going to be affected in such a way that people will find them indistinguishable. The original file name is going to be turned into a bunch of symbols, usually containing multiple %. The file type is also going to get modified. Instead of regular .doc, .png, .jpg, victims will see .m0on. Surprisingly, from this point forward, M0on virus acts completely illogically. IT specialists suggest that ransomware does not produce an actual letter of demands. It is yet undetermined whether this is a flaw of the M0on virus or it is just a glitch for the time being. Nevertheless, this infection has to be eliminated.
How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by M0on Ransomware?
Files that are encoded by M0on virus are not available for free restoration at the moment. In fact, there is doubt whether this ransomware infection actually requires a fee or is created for the sake of causing chaos. Even if you do receive a file with instructions, never actually follow the enumerated recommendations/orders. By sending money for decryption you are not only giving up your resources, but making sure that ransomware viruses won’t cease to exist. As long as people respond to ransomware viruses, developers will put their efforts into these projects. Even now, the number of these infections is constantly shifting. The change usually means that the number increases. M0on virus might still be in development, and its fragmented version was released as a warning. It might be that in the upcoming days, infected people will receive a proper ransom letter. If they do, the recommended decision would be not to pay the demanded sum. Decryption process should begin with victims removing the virus itself. After that, you can get back your files from backup storages or USB flash drives.
How is M0on Ransomware Distributed?
IT specialists debate whether this ransomware can be received by infectious email letters. Of course, this is the explanation that we have grown accustomed to, but it is possible that M0on virus has not been released into the pool to swim. It can be that this variant is taking baby steps and examining the waters by infecting couple computers randomly. Whichever the case, you should be aware of this ransomware and impel yourself to cease all potentially harmful activity that might lead to a virus. This includes opening spam letters, visiting adult-oriented sites or other domains that feature unreliable third-party promotions/links. The most widely accepted distribution method of ransomware remains to be spam letters with attachments.
A proper removal of M0on crypto-nightmare is a must. You have to find the payload of this virus and destroy it. However, it is a complex task to successfully pursue on your own. Since your device might have become a residence for a number of malware parasites, it is more acceptable to employ sophisticated anti-malware tools that will detect and remove them. Reimage, Spyhunter or Hitman will be powerful tools for destruction of malware.
- About M0on Ransomware
- How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by M0on Ransomware?
- How is M0on Ransomware Distributed?
- Automatic M0on ransomware removal tools
- How to recover M0on ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
- Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
- Step 2. Complete removal of M0on ransomware
- Step 3. Restore M0on ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover M0on ransomware encrypted files
- Removal guides in other languages
Automatic M0on ransomware removal tools
How to recover M0on ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt:
for Windows 7 / Vista/ XP
- Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
- Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
for Windows 8 / 10
- Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart.
- Choose Troubleshoot → Advanced Options → Startup Settings and click Restart.
- When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings.
2.Restore System files and settings.
- When Command Prompt mode loads, enter cd restore and press Enter.
- Then enter rstrui.exe and press Enter again.
- Click “Next” in the windows that appeared.
- Select one of the Restore Points that are available before M0on ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of M0on ransomware
After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Reimage and remove all malicious files related to M0on ransomware. You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore M0on ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
If you do not use System Restore option on your operating system, there is a chance to use shadow copy snapshots. They store copies of your files that point of time when the system restore snapshot was created. Usually M0on ransomware tries to delete all possible Shadow Volume Copies, so this methods may not work on all computers. However, it may fail to do so.
Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There are two ways to retrieve your files via Shadow Volume Copy. You can do it using native Windows Previous Versions or via Shadow Explorer.a) Native Windows Previous Versions
Right-click on an encrypted file and select Properties → Previous versions tab. Now you will see all available copies of that particular file and the time when it was stored in a Shadow Volume Copy. Choose the version of the file you want to retrieve and click Copy if you want to save it to some directory of your own, or Restore if you want to replace existing, encrypted file. If you want to see the content of file first, just click Open.
b) Shadow Explorer
It is a program that can be found online for free. You can download either a full or a portable version of Shadow Explorer. Open the program. On the left top corner select the drive where the file you are looking for is a stored. You will see all folders on that drive. To retrieve a whole folder, right-click on it and select “Export”. Then choose where you want it to be stored.
Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover M0on ransomware encrypted files
There are several data recovery programs that might recover encrypted files as well. This does not work in all cases but you can try this:
- We suggest using another PC and connect the infected hard drive as slave. It is still possible to do this on infected PC though.
- Download Data Recovery Pro (commercial)
- Install and scan for recently deleted files.
Note: In many cases it is impossible to restore data files affected by modern ransomware. Thus I recommend using decent cloud backup software as precaution. We recommend checking out Carbonite, BackBlaze, CrashPlan or Mozy Home.