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MBRlock ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

MBRlock – new crypto-ransomware that targets Chinese and English-speaking users

Lock screen of MBRlock ransomware virus

MBRlock is file-encrypting ransomware, which locks most of the personal files on a target PC and demands a ransom for a unique decryption code. Since it's oriented to Chinese-speaking users, in particular, the virus name 易 语言 程序 in Chinese can be found even more often. Nevertheless, English version is also available and spreads on the Internet quite actively. Usually, hackers embed the virus on PCs with Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol[1] enabled or distribute spam with malicious attachments. The executable file of the MBRlock virus varies, but the currently used files are MBRLock.exe, runas.exe, and Hax.exe.

When the executable file is enabled, MBRlock ransomware encrypts the following file types: .BMP, .CUR, .GIF, .ICO, .JPG, .MID, .PNG, .prn, .txt, and .WA. Right after that, extortionists enable a black lock screen on the desktop of the hijacked PC and displays a red skull icon with the text written in white. People are informed that “Your disk has a lock !!! Please enter the unlock password.” Currently, the MBRlock ransomware demands its victims to pay 30 CNY ransomware,[2] which is equal to 4.76 USD.

For some, such a small ransom[2] may seem to be funny. However, it may be the strategy used by hackers to check the potential of the file-encrypting ransomware. In case of success, criminals may increase the increase the amount of demanded redeem, which is why we do not recommend paying it. For the sake of security, remove MBRlock from your PC as soon as attacks it using one of these tools: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. Keep in mind that each ransom, even if it's only 4.76 USD, motivates cyber criminals for further attacks.

Ransomware dissemination methods: spam email, unprotected RDP configuration, fake updates

Ransomware virus developers exploit various techniques to disseminate their “products” to the greatest extent possible. One of the mainly used strategies is spam email with malicious attachments. It's used since the beginning of ransomware “business” and is still the most successful ransomware execution strategy.

Hackers can easily get thousands of email addresses from the black market and set fake email messages to randomly chosen people. The subject of such messages is usually a mix of letters and numbers to resemble the code of a document or something. Some spam contains text, while the others simply enclose a .doc, .jpg, .png, .avi or .pdf file. For opening the attachment, people are usually asked to enable Macros. The virus won't be executed as long as you won't enable Macros and launch the file completely.

In addition to malspam, hackers often exploit unprotected RDP configuration or spread infected stand-alone installers of system files, fake software updates, and similar techniques. Unfortunately, but having an anti-virus program installed cannot ensure full ransomware protection. To keep the system secured, security specialists ask people to think twice before accessing illegal domains[3] and weighing the risks. 

Safely remove MBRlock ransomware from the system

If MBRlock evaded your antivirus protection and encrypted your files, do not rush to pay the ransom. Although the ransom demanded is not large, don't forget with whom you are dealing. Paying the ransom does not guarantee that hackers will send you a working MBRlock decryptor. Contrary, you may motive extortionists to attack you again in the future.

Since we have already clarified the reason why MBRlock removal is a must, now we should discuss all possible removal options. In general, manual ransomware removal is hardly possible because they consist of multiple files that are scattered in random system's folders. Therefore, the best way to remove MBRlock virus or any other crypto-ransomware is to run a scan with Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes tool.

At the moment of writing, a free MBRlock decryption key is not available. Nevertheless, you can always try to recover lost data by following the methods listed down below this article.

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If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
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Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
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 MBRlock virus, follow these steps:

Remove MBRlock using Safe Mode with Networking

Ransomware-type viruses often block antivirus to evade removal. If you cannot remove MBRlock virus due to that, please restart your PC into 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 MBRlock

    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 MBRlock removal.

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

Remove MBRlock using System Restore

Also, there is another way to reboot your system to Safe Mode:

  • 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 MBRlock. 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 MBRlock removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro is one of the mist effective ways to recover encrypted files

Data Recovery Pro is not officially promoted as a data recovery tool that helps after ransomware attack. It is supposed to help people who accidentally removed files or experienced fatal system crash. Nevertheless, many people reported this tool for ability to recover files encrypted by ransomware. 

  • 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 MBRlock ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try to enable Windows Previous Versions Feature

IMPORTANT: this method is available only if System Restore feature was enabled on the PC before it has been infected by MBRlock ransomware. 

  • 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”.

Use ShadowExplorer for easy data recovery

If you have already removed MBRlock, check if it didn't remove Shadow Volume Copies. Most ransomware removes them, but not all, so it's worth trying. 

  • 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.

MBRlock decryptor is not available

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from MBRlock and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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