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Remove MAKB ransomware (Virus Removal Instructions) - Free Guide

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware

MAKB ransomware – data locking computer infection that will ask you to pay money

MAKB ransomwareMAKB ransomware is a file locking virus that is designed for money extortion purposes

MAKB ransomware[1] is a dangerous computer virus that stems from extensive malware family – Scarab. Soon after the infiltration, the malware immediately modifies Windows settings and then begins the file encryption process – it looks for pictures, videos, documents, and other data. While the virus appends .MAKB extension at the end of each locked file, it also replaces original names with a random string.

Suchlike modified data can no longer be opened by victims – it is not corrupted, however. To regain access to files, users need a unique key that is owned by cybercriminals behind MAKB ransomware. However, malware authors are not willing to give up the decryptor for free and are asking for a ransom to be paid in bitcoin cryptocurrency. The ransom note HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT also explains that users only have 72 hours to recover the decryptor, as it will be deleted otherwise and files lost forever.

Name MAKB ransomware
Type File locking virus,crypto-malware
Malware family Amnesia/Scarab
Distribution Multiple methods, including exploits and vulnerabilities, botnets, spam emails, 
File extension  Each of the file names is scrambled and replaced with a random string of alphanumeric characters. At the end, each file is marked with .MAKB. Example of an encrypted file: 2g000000001ApTyVbzcewHBAVOYllw-U.MAKOB
Ransom note  HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT is dropped in multiple directories and the desktop 
Contact Crooks are asking to send an email to makbigfast@india.com
File recovery Not decryptable. There are little chances of recovering files without restoring them from backups or paying cybercriminals. However, in some cases, victims could be able to retrieve data via alternative methods we provide below
Malware elimination To delete malware components and prevent the incoming files from being locked, you need to remove MAKB ransomware by scanning the machine with anti-malware software
Windows fix  Malware might sometimes corrupt vital OS parts, which might prompt you to reinstall Windows altogether. To fix issues after malware infection instead, we recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 

MAKB file virus is just one of many variants (e.g., Ambrosia, InchinOmerta, Artemy) of Scarab, which itself has ties with Amnesia ransomware. The malware has a long history since its release in 2017 and has been distributed by several different gangs over time. As evident, some encryption patterns, ransom note names, extensions, and other features might change or prevail over time, although the main functionality of MAKB and other versions remains the same – to extort money from innocent users.

While it is known that previous versions of the malware family have been spread around via sophisticated methods such as Necurs botnet,[2] MAKB ransomware infection can come from plenty of other sources, including:

  • Malicious spam email attachments and embedded links
  • Fake Flash Player updates/installers;
  • Software cracks and pirated program installers;[3]
  • Software vulnerabilities and exploits, etc.

Once inside, MAKB ransomware will perform the regular Windows system modifications to perform data encryption without interruptions. For example, it will delete Shadow Copies to prevent easy recovery or change Windows registry keys to acquire persistence. Due to these changes, the computer might not operate as before (even after MAKB ransomware removal). Thus, in some cases, you might have to reinstall the OS, or you can rely on automatic fixing solutions such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

MAKB virus attempts to encrypt the most common types of files, such as PDF, MS Office documents, archives, image files, and similar. Instead of appending an extension, malware scrambles the names of each file, so they become unrecognizable. Without a doubt, suchlike data can no longer be used.

MAKB ransomware virusMAKB ransomware is a file-encrypting virus that stems from Scarab ransomware family

To ensure that victims are aware of what happened to their files, MAKB ransomware actors provide a ransom note HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT, which reads:

YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED!

Your personal ID

All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC.
To restore all your files, you need a decryption.
If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail makbigfast@india.com.
In a letter to send Your personal ID (see In the beginning of this document).
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins.
The price depends on how fast you write to us.
After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
In the letter, you will receive instructions to decrypt your files!

In a response letter you will receive the address of Bitcoin-wallet, which is necessary to perform the transfer of funds.
HURRY! Your personal code for decryption stored with us only 72 HOURS!

Our tech support is available 24 \ 7
Do not delete: Your personal ID
Write on e-mail, we will help you!

Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send to us up to 3 files for free decryption.
Please note that files must NOT contain valuable information and their total size must be less than 10Mb.
When the transfer is confirmed, you will receive interpreter files to your computer.
After start-interpreter program, all your files will be restored.

Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.
Do not attempt to remove the program or run the anti-virus tools
Attempts to self-decrypting files will result in the loss of your data
Decoders are not compatible with other users of your data, because each user's unique encryption key

What might make users contact criminals immediately is that they claim that there is no way to decrypt MAKB files besides paying the ransom. Additionally, they try to scare victims by claiming that the decryption tool will be permanently deleted within 72 hours of the infection.

However, we do not recommend contacting malicious actors, as they might never provide the required decryption software, and you may lose all your money, along with the files. Instead, check out the alternative recovery solutions we provide below.

Alternative solutions for MAKB file recovery

MAKB file virus uses a combination of sophisticated encryption algorithms RSA and AES. While that might not tell much to inexperienced users or those who do not know much about cybersecurity, one thing is certain – files encrypted by such a method are impossible to decrypt.

To recover MAKB files, victims need a special key that is unique to each of the victims. This way, users cannot share the tool between one another, which would completely negate the purpose of the encryption. Each of the keys is stored on a Command & Control server controlled by hackers and is only accessible by them. Of course, they will not give it for free, and are asking Bitcoins in return – as we already mentioned, this is not recommended due to various reasons. Thus, how to recover MAKB files without paying cybercriminals?

Many users believe that they will be able to open MAKB virus files as soon as they scan their computer with anti-malware. While it is a correct step towards recovery, it will not grant access to the locked data (this is why ransomware is such a devastating computer infection), as it will remain locked.

Besides paying criminals, there are a few alternative methods that might help:

  • If malware failed to perform Shadow Copy removal, it might be possible to use built-in Windows recovery tools to recover encrypted files;
  • Third-party recovery solutions might sometimes be successful in recovering at least some portion of the encrypted data;
  • Security researchers might find bugs in malware and develop a working decryptor, although this might also never happen.

As evident, the success of MAKB file recovery if no backups were preserved, is relatively low. Nonetheless, if you are not willing to risk paying criminals but need your files, check the alternative recovery methods we provide below.

MAKB ransomware encrypted filesOnce MAKB ransomware encrypts files, there are very few chances of retrieving them without backups

MAKB removal is a necessary step

Before you remove MAKB ransomware from the infected computer (note that, in case you leave malware running the background, all the incoming files, including backups, will be encrypted as well), you should make a copy of the encrypted files. You can send them to a cloud-based storage or use physical drive such as USB flash.

After that, you should perform a complete MAKB ransomware removal by scanning the machine with a powerful anti-malware program. In case it is tampering with your security software, you can access Safe Mode with Networking as explained below, and perform a scan from there.

Only after you delete MAKB virus completely, you can proceed with data recovery process. As evident, it is up to you whether you want to risk paying the criminals, as you might not get the decryption tool at all – so be warned.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove MAKB virus, follow these steps:

Remove MAKB using Safe Mode with Networking

If you can't remove MAKB virus in a regular way, access 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 MAKB

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

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

Remove MAKB 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 MAKB. 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 Reimage Cleaner Intego and make sure that MAKB removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro method

In case you did not use your computer much after the infection, Data Recovery Pro might be successful in retrieving at least some 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 MAKB ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Make use of Windows Previous Versions Feature

This method can only work if you had System Restore enabled prior to malware 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”.

ShadowExplorer might sometimes work when trying to recover encrypted files

Use ShaodwExplorer – this tool should be able to recover all the locked data if the virus failed to delete Shadow Volume Copies.

  • 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.

No decryption tool is currently available

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

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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