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Remove Madek ransomware (Virus Removal Guide) - Bonus: Decryption Steps

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware

Madek ransomware is type of malware that seeks to make users pay for their encrypted files

Madek ransomware

Madek ransomware is one of many variants of the STOP/Djvu virus and was first spotted in July 2019.[1] Just as its predecessors, the infection pollutes Windows operating system by performing a variety of changes to it and then starts the encryption of documents, pictures, videos, databases, and other files – all of them are appended with .madek extension.

Although it might seem like the data is corrupted, it is not the case. Hackers apply a sophisticated encryption algorithm (usually AES,[2] although it can vary from version to version) to lock up data, which can later be deciphered with the help of the unique key which only Madek virus authors have access to.

Madek ransomware then drops a _readme.txt note into each of the affected folders and the desktop, so that the victims could easily access it. Unlike other stealthy malware, ransomware does not hide its presence, as its goal is to make users pay the ransom – $980 in Bitcoin. However, users are also offered a 50% discount as an attempt to make them pay quicker, which consequently guarantees steady income from Madek ransomware victims.

Name Madek
Type Ransomware
Family STOP/Djvu
Extension .madek
Ransom note _readme.txt
Ransom size $980/$490
Contact  gorentos@bitmessage.ch, varasto@firemail.cc, @datarestore (Telegram)
Decryptable? Might be possible with a decryptor [download link]. Otherwise, check alternative options below
Termination Employ reputable anti-malware software
Recovery To fix virus-damaged system files, scan your PC with Reimage

Madek ransomware can be spread using various methods – it increases victim count, as well as profits for hackers. Here are a few malware distribution methods:

  • Exploits
  • Unprotected RDP
  • Web injects[3]
  • Spam emails
  • Corrupted or infected installers
  • Software cracks
  • Fake updates, etc.

Regardless of how you got infected, it is Madek ransomware removal what you should be thinking of now, as the infected machine is compromised and not safe to use. Therefore, employ anti-malware software and perform a full system scan, as well as repair damaged system files using Reimage.

While there is no universal decryption tool available that would help all Madek virus victims, STOPDecrypter can be used to retrieve at least some files back. On the good note, those whose data was encrypted while being offline, the tool will be able to decrypt everything. Unfortunately, that is not usually the case.

Madek ransomware virus
Madek is a file locking malware that asks users to pay $980/$490 ransom for the file decryptor

As soon as Madek ransomware encrypts all the data, it drops _readme.txt ransom note which states the following:

ATTENTION!

Don’t worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
https://we.tl/t-WbgTMF1Jmw
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that’s price for you is $490.
Please note that you’ll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail “Spam” or “Junk” folder if you don’t get answer more than 6 hours.

To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
gorentos@bitmessage.ch

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
varasto@firemail.cc

Our Telegram account:
@datarestore
Mark Data Restore

Do not get lured by crooks promising a 50% discount – they just want your money. Fast. However, it does not mean that you will receive the alleged decryptor, or they might even ask for more money. Remember, these people criminals who distribute malicious software in order to extort money from victims worldwide, and they do not care about your well-being.

Instead, remove Madek ransomware from your device and then try restoring data using methods we provide below.

Be attentive while browsing the internet – ransomware can automatically infect your PC

There are people who up to this day do not employ anti-virus programs because they think that, as long as they browse safe sites and not download pirated software, they are safe. However, it cannot be farther from the truth, as various distribution methods require different protection measures, and anti-malware software is one of the primary ones.

Nevertheless, it is obviously not enough. Vulnerabilities can render your machine exposed to exploits, which can download and install the malicious payload automatically and without any signs. For that reason, updating your machine and all the programs installed is absolutely necessary.

Possibly the most ransomware infections come from careless users, however. Some malware samples can be never before seen, which would render security software ineffective. Thus, watch out for phishing emails, do not download pirated software or cracks, avoid torrent sites, and be overall warier when browsing the net.

Madek ransomware locked files
As soon as Madek ransomware finishes the encryption process, all personal files on the local HDD become inaccessible

Delete Madek ransomware by using reputable security application

While manual Madek ransomware removal is indeed possible, it would be too complicated of a procedure for regular users. Therefore, experts[4] recommend not meddling with system files and instead install a powerful anti-virus solution that would be able to find all the malware components and delete them. However, be aware that Madek virus might have modified Windows registry or other vital parts of the OS, so you should use Reimage to fix the damage done by the infection.

Once you remove Madek ransomware from your computer thoroughly, you can attempt file recovery. If the provided decryptor does not work, as well as all the alternative solutions, we recommend copying all the locked files and hope for the official decryptor released in the future. 

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Madek virus, follow these steps:

Remove Madek using Safe Mode with Networking

In case Madek ransomware stops your security software from performing a scan, you should access Safe Mode with Networking – a secure environment the troubleshooting should be performed in:

  • 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 Madek

    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 Madek removal.

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

Remove Madek using System Restore

If the previous method did not work for some reason, employ 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 Madek. 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 Madek removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Madek 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 Madek, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro might be able to help you

You should try Data Recovery Pro – this tool might be able to recover at least some of your files.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by Madek ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Make use of Windows Previous Versions feature

This option is only available for those who had System Restore feature enabled. Besides, the recovery can only be performed for one file at the time.

  • 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”.

In some cases, ShadowExplorer would be able to restore all your files

ShadowExplorer is especially useful if Shadow Volume Copies were not deleted by Madek ransomware.

  • 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.

Make use of STOPDecrypter

You should try a decryption tool developed by Michael Gillespie. Download it here [download link].

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Madek and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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