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Remove .Merry file extension virus (Removal Instructions) - Quick Decryption Solution

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware

.Merry file extension virus converts files into useless records that cannot be opened

.Merry file extension virus belongs to Merry Christmas ransomware family. This virus is also known under Merry X-Mas! Ransomware name, and, just like its name suggests, it is a Christmas-themed program[1]. However, this program was not developed to get you into Christmas spirit – most likely it will ruin the holidays for you. The virus is actively distributed in 2017[2] as well, so beware not to install it to your computer accidentally. When this virus steps into a target computer, it drags Diamondfox malware (virus that connects compromised devices into a botnet) into it and encrypts all files[3] that it finds and appends a .merry file extension to each of them. We must mention that there are different versions of this virus, and while part of them use .merry file extension, other might be adding .PEGS1, .RARE1 OR .MRCR1 file extensions to encrypted data. Please note that these files can no longer be opened until someone decrypts them. Sadly, data decryption can be done only with the help of special key that cybercriminals have on their secret servers – and criminals suggest buying it for a certain price. That is why the virus creates and saves MERRY_I_LOVE_YOU.HTA file on the desktop, which contains instructions on how to pay the ransom and restore encrypted files.

Questions about .Merry file extension virus

Now the interesting part is that the virus authors pretend to be directly related to a security firm known as Comodo. This company is entirely legitimate and has nothing to do with this virus. The ransomware provides Telegram address @comodosecurity and email comodosec@india.com (or comodosec@yandex.ru) and says that the victim should contact them using these communication methods. We assume that criminals wanted to appear credible, although it is clear that they are not. Frauds then ask the victim to transfer a certain amount of money to them via Bitcoin[4] payment system (pay a ransom). No one can say if criminals actually provide the decryption key, so we do not recommend paying the ransom. The ideal solution would be to remove .MERRY file extension virus and restore your files from a backup, but if you do not have it, sadly, you are entangled in a much more complicated situation. We suggest you complete .MERRY removal and try data recovery methods described at the end of this post. If you do not have any program that could remove the virus for you, we suggest using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego software.
.Merry file extension virus
Researcher shows how the MERRY_I_LOVE_YOU.HTA file looks like. .Merry file extension virus saves it on a desktop after encrypting all files.

How does ransomware virus enter a target system?

An absolute majority of computer viruses are distributed via phishing emails[5] and so does .Merry virus. Your PC can suddenly become an infected machine right after opening a compromised email attachment, so better resist the urge to open interesting-looking emails if they were sent to you from unknown companies or individuals. You need to memorize the fact that cybercriminals do everything to make these phishing emails look reliable. Therefore, they will copy and paste every logo and detail from legitimate emails (for example, automatic response letters from PayPal or Amazon) to trick you into opening links or files attached to them. Apparently, such move would only drop a malicious file on your system, which, once executed, encrypts all target files with strong encryption ciphers and makes them inaccessible. Besides staying away from suspicious emails, you should also:

    1. Keep all programs up-to-date or enable automatic updates.
    2. Install anti-malware software (alone or along with antivirus software).
    3. Stay away from suspicious websites online and avoid clicking on click bait articles or catchy-looking ads.

How can I remove .Merry file extension virus?

If your files are corrupted, and you no longer can open them, and also if they all have .MERRY file extensions, you should wait no longer and remove .MERRY virus immediately. For that, you should install and use the anti-malware program. If you do not own it yet, we advise you to use the one our team recommends. Before you run this program, make sure you prepare your PC for it. You can find .MERRY removal instructions right below this post.

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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 .Merry virus, follow these steps:

Remove .Merry using Safe Mode with Networking

Reboot your PC using instructions provided below. Then install and run anti-malware software to successfully wipe out Merry X-Mas ransomware from your computer.

  • 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 .Merry

    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 .Merry removal.

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

Remove .Merry 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 .Merry. 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 .Merry removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Created a restore point?

If you have set up a restore point a while ago, now you can use it to restore encrypted files to their previous condition. However, this method works only if you have created the restore point.

  • 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”.

Shadow Copies

Sometimes ransomware viruses fail to delete Volume Shadow Copies, and then data recovery becomes possible. Try the method described below – your files might be recoverable!

  • 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 .Merry and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

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

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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References


  1. alish says:
    February 2nd, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    My files have .MERRY extensions now… not sure what to do. Nothing helps to restore them!

  2. Marysia says:
    February 2nd, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    omghfhhdgdg I just remembered that I DO HAVE A BACKUP. Im safe! Gotta remove the virus now! yasss

  3. Herniq says:
    February 2nd, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    good for you… i lost years of work… and cant restore them because i didnt create a damn backup. not a single one. my files are devastated….

  4. Lauma says:
    February 2nd, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you. I removed MerryChristmas ransomware. Getting infected with ransomware was a shocking experience, I gotta say. Especially because it happened during the holiday season…

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