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Mole66 ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware

Mole66 is the latest version of CryptoMix ransomware

Mole66 ransomware - the latest CryptoMix variant

Mole66 is a crypto-malware that belongs to the CryptoMix ransomware family. It has been revealed at the end of March 2018 by a group of ransomware researchers and caused commotion due to active CryptoMix rebound. The Mole66 Cryptomix ransomware targets the most popular files types and uses AES[1] cipher to lock them. Upon encryption, personal data gets .MOLE66 file extension and the victim is presented with the _HELP_INSTRUCTIONS_.TXT ransom note.

Name Mole66
Family CryptoMix
Danger level High. Locks files and demands a ransom
Decryptable No. Removes Volume Shadow Copies and Restore option. Practically impossible to unlock files
Symptoms File names appended with .MOLE66 file extension. _HELP_INSTRUCTIONS_.TXT  ransom note on the desktop
Related files  BC2D64A077.exe
Distribution spam attachments, malvertising, exploit kits, fake software updates
Removal options Automatic only. Download Reimage and run a full system scan

Likewise, CryptoMix and most of its versions, Mole66 ransomware's payload is distributed via malicious scripts embedded into online ads, spam email attachments, fake software updates, and exploit kits. The virus is usually disguised under BC2D64A077.exe file, which once executed roots into the % AppData% \ BC2D64A077.exe location.

Mole66 Cryptomix ransomware variant exhibits a high danger level. Yes, it locks files and demands the victim to pay the ransom in Bitcoins within 72 hours. However, it stops the Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) Service and runs the following scrips via an elevated Command Prompt:

  • C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe” /C sc stop VVS”
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe” /C  sc stop wscsvc
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe” /C  sc stop WinDefend
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe” /C  sc stop wuauserv
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe” /C  sc stop BITS
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe” /C  sc stop ERSvc
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe” /C  sc stop WerSvc
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe” /C vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet”
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe” /C bcdedit /set {default} recoveryenabled No”
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe” /C bcdedit /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures”

Consequently, Volume Shadow Copies are removed permanently without leaving the victim the option to retrieve files encrypted by .MOLE66 file extension using ShadowExplorer or another third-party recovery tool. Besides, MOLE66 CryptoMix ransomware disables Windows Recovery and Repair options.

One the changes are made, MOLE66 virus generates a _HELP_INSTRUCTIONS_.TXT note on the desktop, which provides the following information:

Contents of the note on redemption:
!!! All your files are encrypted !!!
What to decipher write on mail alpha2018a@aol.com
Do not move or delete files !!!!
—- Your ID: ***** —-
!!! You have three days otherwise you will lose all your data. !!!

The victim is demanded to contact crooks via alpha2018a@aol.com email and indicate a unique ID to find out a redeem size, which is currently unknown. However, experts point out that it's yet another Bitcoin-related ransomware. The payment has to be transferred with 72 hours before permanent data removal. 

The interesting fact is that the encryption is terminated if the ransomware scanner detects Russian locale. This fact implies a possible origin or close relation of the MOLE66 ransomware with Russia.[2] 

The changes and data encryption that this ransomware initiates make data decryption practically impossible. Free decryptor has not been developed yet. Nevertheless, paying the ransom is not recommended due to the risk of both data and money loss. Even more, a supposed MOLE66 decryptor might be a rootkit that may download other malicious programs to your PC.

The only reasonable solution is to remove MOLE66 CryptoMix ransomware and recovery locked files from backups. If you don't backup your data, it might be problematic to get your files for free. Nevertheless, we would strongly recommend not to trust criminals and restrain from paying the ransom. Instead, run a scan with Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes to remove MOLE66 ransomware and then try third-party data recovery tools.

Possible ways to fall ransomware victim

Like CryptoMix and its family members, this particular ransomware exploits a multitude of social engineering strategies to attack people's PCs. Statistically, these are the most frequently used methods to spread the infection:

  • malicious spam email attachments;
  • malvertising;
  • fake software updates or downloads;
  • exploit kits.

According to NoVirus.uk[3] experts, there's no hundred percent protection from ransomware. Even the best anti-virus with updated definitions and real-time protection might fail to recognize zero-day and other attacks.

Thus, people must comply with safe online behavior rules. First of all, avoid visiting illegal and highly suspicious content. Gambling and porno sites are at the tops of the domains that are most frequently filled with malicious content. Besides, avoid installing updates and software when prompted by pop-up ads. Finally, don't forget to backup your files regularly.

Uninstall Mole66 Cryptomix ransomware for good

Manual Mole66 removal is not possible. The ransomware is a severe infection which alters some of the core system's functions. To get rid of it completely, you will have to use a professional anti-virus program, say Reimage. Besides, do not forget to update it before running a scan.

In most of the cases, people cannot remove Mole66 ransomware easily because it is programmed disable antivirus programs. Thus, you may need to boot the system into Safe Mode with Networking.

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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 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 Mole66 virus, follow these steps:

Remove Mole66 using Safe Mode with Networking

Mole66 CryptoMix virus tends to block anti-virus programs. To launch it, boot the system 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 Mole66

    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 Mole66 removal.

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

Remove Mole66 using System Restore

If the previous method did not help you to run a scan with antivirus due to antivirus firewall applied, try these steps:

  • 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 Mole66. 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 Mole66 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Mole66 from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

As we have already pointed out, Mole66 ransomware virus deletes Volume Shadow Copies, disables Windows Recovery, and Repair options.Thus, you don't have many choices to recover your files, though third-party data recovery tools can help:

If your files are encrypted by Mole66, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro

After complete ransomware removal, download Data Recovery Pro and run a scan with it. This software has been developed to retrieve accidentally deleted files or recover them after system's crash. However, it can find files encrypted by ransomware as well. 

  • 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 Mole66 ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try free CryptoMix decryptor

Although Mole66 ransomware does not have a decryptor, it belongs to the CryptoMix family, so the official CryptoMix decryptor might turn out to be helpful. You can download it by clicking on this link

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Mole66 and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

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

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References