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M0on ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware
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New ransomware called M0on has been released:

M0on virus is a cyber infection based on the illegal money extortion, using data encryption as a blackmailing tool. The virus acquires its leetspeak-inspired title due to the extensions it adds to the encrypted files. The filenames are appended with .m0on extension immediately after the virus is done locking them with a complex encryption algorithm. After that, the computer data becomes inaccessible. This means that trying to replace this newly-appeared extension with an original one will not help decrypt the files and may even damage them more. In general, when infected with any ransomware, it is especially important to use proper tools for the virus elimination and, if possible, file decryption. For the M0on removal, in particular, we recommend using Reimage or other sophisticated anti-malware tools. When it comes to the data recovery, though, we cannot recommend such a reliable solution since decryption tool for this virus has not been invented yet. Nevertheless, there are alternative data recovery approaches that might be useful in retrieving at least a fragment of the lost data. You will find them discussed below the article.

Image of the m0on ransomware virus

Though we do not know much about the M0on ransomware so far, we can presume that it is a late descendant of my-Little-Ransomware — an open source build-it-yourself virus that was initially released for the educational purposes. Nevertheless, M0on is not a program you can play around with anymore. It is a serious computer parasite that is distributed around the web with the help of Trojans, exploit kits and through other malicious means. Once its main executable m0on.exe is deployed on the computer, it immediately starts scanning the system for over 180 types of files including music, video, office document, images, archives, and programs. Then, the virus drops a ransom in which the hackers lay out their demands. This ransomware is relatively new and is still undergoing various modifications, so the ransom note and the amount of ransom varies. Although, we can speculate that it fluctuates somewhere between 0.5 to 1 Bitcoin. M0on developers are most likely using the good old Tor network to collect the ransom since it ensures anonymity and prevents the criminals from being tracked down and exposed to justice. This way, these fraudulent programmers become virtually unstoppable. You can simply reject the rules they want to play by and remove M0on virus from the computer without paying the ransom. The hackers will be left without the money they so desire, and all of their efforts will go to waste. This may not be a great loss for them, but it will definitely demotivate them in creating such programs in the future.

Is there a way to prevent this ransomware from infecting computers?

M0on virus is one of those viruses that work by the principle of destruction, so you should not expect any mercy from it. The way it infiltrates the computer is deceptive and stealthy as well. You may get infected by it in a place where you would the least suspect it — your email. The virus spreads with the help of exploit kits and Trojans as well, but the most commonly, it infects computers disguised as attachments sent from governmental institutions or companies that the users simply cannot ignore. To verify the legitimacy of such emails, you should always contact the sender and check all the facts. Most importantly, keep backuping the data you find important and keep these copies in places other than your computer.

What can be done about the M0on removal?

If you find the M0on virus residing on your device — do not wait and remove it without delay. Do not even think about downloading the decryption key that the hackers may suggest and focus strictly on the M0on removal. For this process to go smoothly, make sure you use sophisticated and trusted software, such as Reimage antivirus, for instance. Before the scan, update the software to the latest version and you are set! If after taking all these measures you still cannot remove M0on from your device, check out the guidelines below and after you complete the indicated steps try running the system scan again.

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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 M0on 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.
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Manual M0on virus Removal Guide:

Remove M0on using Safe Mode with Networking

  • 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 M0on

    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 M0on removal.

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

Remove M0on using System Restore

  • 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 M0on. 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 M0on removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove M0on from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

If your files are encrypted by M0on, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro solution

Data Recovery Pro is a quick solution that the users who want to recover their data automatically will enjoy. This simple yet sophisticated software will try to recover files after M0on encryption taking this burden from you. Do not hesitate giving it a go, using the following steps: 

Data recovery using Windows Previous Versions feature

You can recover data using the old versions of the files that the System Restore feature has saved on the computer. If this function has been enabled before or during the virus attack, Windows Previous Versions feature may be able to recover some of your files.

  • 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”.

ShadowExplorer solution

If the M0on virus leaves Shadow Volume Copies of the encrypted files untouched, you can use ShadowExplorer for their recovery. The instructions how to use this software are presented below.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from M0on 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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