Mole02 ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware
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Mole02 – a new file-encrypting virus from CryptoMix family

The ransom note by Mole02 ransomware virus

Mole02 is a recently discovered ransomware[1] virus that seems to belong to CryptoMix family. The virus might be an updated version of Revenge and Mole ransomware viruses. Currently, the virus is under investigation. However, it’s already known that it uses a combination of RSA and AES ciphers, appends .MOLE02 file extension and drops a ransom note in the _HELP_INSTRUCTION.TXT file.

Malware is executed from Mole02.exe. On the affected machine it contacts its Command and Control (C&C) server, and once it responds, ransomware starts malicious tasks. Mole02 ransomware is capable of modifying the system and creating entries in Windows Registry. It also injects malicious codes into legitimate system processes, queries the Internet cache and sensitive IE settings, and makes other critical changes.

However, the most important task for the ransomware is data encryption. According to the ransom note, it uses RSA-2048 and AES-128 encryption algorithm. It seems that the virus aims at the majority of files and stays away only from the crucial system files. It appends .MOLE02 file extension to each of the encoded data and prevents victims from accessing their files. Unfortunately, Mole02 removal does not help to recover encrypted files.

In order to make data recovery more complicated, the virus deletes Shadow Volume Copies and backups. In this way, cyber criminals want to be the only ones who can offer the decryption possibility. Following data encryption, malware downloads are ransom note called _HELP_INSTRUCTION.TXT. It gives information that victims have to pay the ransom in Bitcoins using Tor browser. The size of the ransom is currently unknown. Thus, it may differ based on the size of encrypted files.

Therefore, currently, the only way to restore files encrypted by Mole02 are backups. Otherwise, chances to get back access to the documents and pictures are not very high. However, this situation should not motivate you to follow hackers’ orders and pay the ransom. No one can guarantee that cyber criminals will keep their word and help you to decrypt files. Once they receive the money, they may ask for more, install additional malware or keep you waiting for the decryptor.

Instead of risking to lose your money, you should remove Mole02 from the device. Ransomware elimination is performed using reputable malware removal program, such as Reimage. For detailed instructions, scroll down to the end of the article.

Dissemination methods of the ransomware virus

The specific ways how Mole02 ransomware spreads are unknown. It seems that criminals rely on traditional distribution methods, such malicious spam emails, malvertising, fake downloads, and updates.

Malicious emails remain the most popular way to spread malware. Such letters have infected attachments[2] or links. Once a victim clicks on a dangerous content, the payload is downloaded and executed on the system.

Mole02 might also enter the system when a user clicks on a malicious ad. Malvertising is gaining more and more attention between cyber criminals. This method allows placing infected ads even on popular and legitimate sites. Thus, it becomes easy to trick people into clicking hazardous ads without suspecting anything wrong.

Installation of bogus software, such as unknown antivirus, various PC optimization tools from a file-sharing site, and other content from insecure online sources may also lead to ransomware attack.

Thus, in order to keep your computer and files safe from being encrypted, you should take all necessary precautions when browsing the Web and backup your files.

Removal of the Mole02 ransomware virus

Before starting Mole02 removal, you may need to reboot the computer to Safe Mode with Networking. For the elimination, you will need to install or update your current security program, but malware might stop you from doing it. To avoid this problem, you should run your PC in Safe Mode. Then, you will be able to access your preferred security program and run a full system scan. You can remove Mole02 automatically with Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Mole02 ransomware virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual Mole02 virus Removal Guide:

Remove Mole02 using Safe Mode with Networking

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

If you cannot run automatic virus removal, you have to reboot the computer to Safe Mode with Networking as shown below.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove Mole02

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Mole02 removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove Mole02 using System Restore

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Follow the steps below to disable the virus and run a full system scan with malware removal program.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Mole02. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that Mole02 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Mole02 from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

Currently, the only safe way to restore files encrypted by Mole02 ransomware is data backups. However, if you do not have them, these methods presented below may help you to get back at least some of the files.

If your files are encrypted by Mole02, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro helps to recover files automatically

This professional tool is originally created to restore deleted or corrupted files. However, it has been updated and now helps victims of the ransomware to recover the majority of encrypted files.

Windows Previous Versions feature helps to restore individual files

This Windows feature allows traveling back in time and accessing previously saved version of the encrypted files. However, this feature only works if System Restore was activated before ransomware attack.

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

Decryptor for Mole02 ransomware virus is not available yet

As soon as the official decryption software will be released, we will update the information. Meanwhile, be patient and do not pay the ransom!

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Mole02 and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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