MOTD ransomware / virus (Decryption Methods Included) - Tutorial
MOTD virus Removal Guide
What is MOTD ransomware virus?
What damage might cause MOTD ransomware virus?
MOTD ransomware is a new file-encrypting virus that uses RSA cipher  to encode files on the targeted computer. Usually, ransomware-type viruses use AES encryption or combination of AES and RSA algorithms. The motives why developers used this algorithm are unknown; thus, it’s clear that malware differs from other file-encrypting viruses that are currently spreading on the Web. Malware researchers suggest that the name of the virus is an acronym which stands for “Message Of The Day”  — which is widely known saying in the IT world. Apart from encrypting the files, MOTD virus also aims at web servers and might infect websites. This feature allows it to stand out from other file-encrypting viruses and cause people more damage. What is more, developers of the ransomware might get access to the affected computer. As a result, they might install other malware or try to steal personal and sensitive information. Thus, we highly recommend scanning the system with RestoroIntego or other malware removal program as soon as virus appears on the computer. Detailed instructions how to remove MOTD are presented at the end of this article.
MOTD ransomware virus might attack individual computer users and web browsers.
The MOTD virus aims at widely used files, such as MS Word documents, different types of image, audio, video files, databases, etc. As we mentioned at the beginning, it uses RSA cryptosystem to take data to hostage. However, it also appends the .enc file extension to the corrupted files. Thus, encrypted files easily differ from the safe data. Though, you should not expect that the virus leaves some of the important files untouched. In order to get back access to your files, you need either data backups or specific decryption key. When MOTD ransomware virus finishes messing up with files, it drops the ransom note in the motd.txt file. Victims are supposed to contact cyber criminals via provided email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and send their unique ID number provided in the ransom note. However, following cyber criminals’ orders is not recommended. We can reveal that people standing behind the virus will ask to pay the ransom which might be up to 2 Bitcoins. The size of the payment might vary due to a number of encrypted files. However, no one can assure that hackers have the decryption software and are willing to restore the files. Thus, we believe that it’s better to initiate MOTD removal and think about alternative data recovery options or wait for the official decryption software.
How does the ransomware spread?
Authors of the MOTD ransomware use a combined distribution techniques and strategies. As you already know, the virus aims at both – home computer users and web servers. Obviously, hackers need different strategies and tools to launch successful campaigns. It seems that the virus might affect web servers with a help of vulnerable WordPress plugins. Meanwhile, other computer users should be aware that the virus widely uses exploit kits  to infect devices. Though, the best prevention of the ransomware is up-to-date software. Additionally, people might encounter MOTD malware if they download programs or files from various file-sharing websites or P2P Networks, click on the malicious email attachments, links or ads or install bogus software. Hence, if you haven’t encountered this crypto-malware yet, please take all necessary precautions and make data backups. They are crucial in case of emergency.
How to withdraw the MOTD ransomware from the computer safely?
Some cyber parasites can be deleted from the system manually; however, MOTD removal must be performed automatically. File-encrypting viruses are complicated cyber threats that might be hiding in the system and pretending to be legitimate files or applications. To avoid irreparable mistakes, you should install professional malware removal tools and run a system scan. To do that you may need to reboot your PC to the Safe Mode with Networking. The instructions below will help you to deal with all obstacles and remove MOTD entirely.
Getting rid of MOTD virus. Follow these steps
Manual removal using Safe Mode
Sometimes ransomware-type viruses prevent users from installing or running antivirus software. In this way, malware protects itself and makes removal procedure complicated. However, if MOTD ransomware virus prevents you from scanning the system with malware removal tool, you need to reboot your computer to the Safe Mode with Networking. When in Safe Mode, install the program and run a full system scan again.
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.
Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking
Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment.
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
- Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
- On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
- Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Press Restart.
- Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes
Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Click on More details.
- Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
- Right-click and select Open file location.
- Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
- Delete the contents of the malicious folder.
Step 3. Check program Startup
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Go to Startup tab.
- Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
Step 4. Delete virus files
Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:
- Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
- Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
- Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:
Temporary Internet Files
- Pick Clean up system files.
- You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):
After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.
Remove MOTD using System Restore
If the previous method hasn’t helped you to disable the virus and activate virus removal tools, follow these steps. Then, try scanning the system again.
Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Command Prompt from the list
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
- Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
- Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window.
Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
- Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.
- Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again..
- When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of MOTD. After doing that, click Next.
- Now click Yes to start system restore.
Bonus: Recover your dataGuide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove MOTD from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.
If you do not have data backups, your chances to recover your files are not high. However, this fact should not encourage you to pay the ransom for the cyber criminals. No one can assure you that they are willing to help you. Thus, save your money and try additional data recovery methods. Hopefully, they will help to restore at least some of the files.
If your files are encrypted by MOTD, you can use several methods to restore them:
Restore files encrypted by MOTD ransomware with a help of Data Recovery Pro
Data Recovery Pro is a professional tool that helps to restore corrupted, deleted and encrypted files automatically. This tool is easy to use even for inexperienced computer users. Follow these steps:
- 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 MOTD ransomware;
- Restore them.
Restore files encrypted by MOTD virus with a help of Windows Previous Versions feature
Windows Previous Versions feature allows getting back in computer’s time and copy previously saved versions of the encrypted files. However, this method only works if System Restore function has been enabled before ransomware 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”.
Restore files encrypted by MOTD malware with a help of ShadowExplorer
If MOTD ransomware left Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files, you could easily recover your files using ShadowExplorer. Follow these steps:
- 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.
We are sorry, but the official decryption software for the MOTD ransomware virus is not available yet.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from MOTD and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as RestoroIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
How to prevent from getting ransomware
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 from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.
When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.
- ^ Public Key Cryptography and The RSA Cipher. Invent with Python. A free ebook programming tutorial for the Python programming language.
- ^ Motd (Unix). Wikipedia. The free encyclopedia.
- ^ Computer Hacking and Identity Theft. PrivacyMatters. Online Credit Score, Identity Theft.
- ^ Forrest Williams. Understanding Exploit Kits: How They Work and How to Stop Them. Barkly Blog. The latest endpoint security news, tips, and actionable insights.
- ^ Ray Holt. 7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Ransomware. NovaBACKUP blog. Backup Software for Windows Servers.