PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS ransomware is a crypto-virus that threatens to delete all files after 24 hours
PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS virus is a file locker that was discovered by security experts in April 2018. It uses a complicated algorithm to lock up files and adds .PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS_OR_ALL_YOUR_FILES_WILL_BE_DELETED file extension after encryption. Then, the malware drops a ransom note called HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt, where hackers inform victims that they need to pay 0.7 Bitcoin within next 24 hours for data release.
|First spotted||April 2018|
|Ransom size||0.7 BTC|
|Ransom note||HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt|
|Distribution||Spam emails, malicious websites, repacked or cracked software, etc.|
|Elimination||Download and install security software: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes|
The virus typically enters users’ computers via contaminated spam email attachments, compromised RDS configuration or through repacked/cracked software installers. Thus, it is another great reason to employ powerful security software like ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes – it can prevent malware infection. Nevertheless, if your files are encrypted, you should remove PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS ransomware immediately and then proceed with data decryption.
PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS virus can implement several malicious files that alter operating system’s settings to ensure the startup up with every Windows boot up. Right after that, the malicious software scans the computer for files to encrypt, namely all video, image, document, text and similar data.
For example, if you had a file named picture.jpg, the encrypted version would look like this: picture.jpg.PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS_OR_ALL_YOUR_FILES_WILL_BE_DELETED. PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS will then drop a ransom note explaining the situation to the victim.
It becomes clear that unlocking files without decryption key is impossible (it is stored on a remote server by hackers). What makes matters worse, is that the demands of criminals need to be fulfilled within 24 hours; otherwise, the decryption key will be deleted automatically.
Email_Decryptor_Payment@scryptmail.com is the email address users should contact the crooks through after the payment of 0.7 BTC ($6.7k) is complete. Allegedly, file decryptor will be then sent back to the victim, and he/she will be able to get all files back.
Security experts warn that contacting cybercriminals is not the optimal solution. First of all, PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS creators already infected your machine with a virus and now demand payment. What stops them from ignoring you entirely after the ransom is paid? Nothing. Hence, do not trust these people.
Additionally, even if you get your files back, you would only be sponsoring criminal hackers’ activities and encourage them to produce more ransomware attacks. Instead, ignore all demands to pay and recover your files from a backup. If you do not possess one, you can try a few third-party programs that might help you.
Nevertheless, PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS removal should be executed first. Do not attempt to get rid of the virus manually as you might damage system files. Instead, let security software take care of everything automatically.
PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS virus locks up all personal files and demands 0.7 BTC fro data release
Ways ransomware is delivered to users' machines
There are many different ransomware distribution methods; however, security researchers concluded that in most cases ransomware is injected into users’ PCs via spam emails. Hackers typically employ bots that send our hundreds or even thousands of phishing emails.
Usually, the author of the email pretends to be an important entity, such as tax office representative. Then, he urges the user to open an attachment, claiming that it is a valuable document. These attachments frequently ask the user to enable macro function – this allows the malicious payload to be executed.
Thus, be extremely wary when opening email attachments, as some of them might look legitimate. Never allow the macro function to be enabled. Besides, most email providers have a built-in scanning tool which marks suspicious emails.
Other ransomware distribution methods are:
- Unprotected RDP configuration;
- Exploit kits;
- Fraudulent downloads;
- Repacked/cracked software, etc.
PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS elimination procedure
Ransomware infection is a dangerous threat and should not be treated lightly. Even if hackers try to scare people by threatening to delete their files, the first thing you should do is remove PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS virus and ignore their demands.
As we already mentioned, attempting to eliminate the virus manually will not only result in failure but also permanently damage system files. Then, the only option is to reinstall Windows and format the hard drive.
Nevertheless, PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS removal should be performed using malware removal tool. The virus might block security software; in that case, reboot your PC and enter Safe Mode with Networking as explained below.
To remove PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS virus, follow these steps:
Manual PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS removal using Safe Mode
To securely open anti-malware software, you should enter Safe Mode with Networking:
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 PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS using System Restore
You can eliminate the PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS by using System Restore:
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 PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS. 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 PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.
We highly discourage people contacting cybercriminals. There is no guarantee that you will get your files back. Besides, you are risking a large sum of money. Thus, try third-party software that might help you to recover your data.
If your files are encrypted by PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS, you can use several methods to restore them:
Data Recover Pro might recover your files
This software is designed to return accidentally deleted or otherwise corrupted files. Nevertheless, it sometimes might help with the recovery of ransomware infected 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 PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS ransomware;
- Restore them.
Windows Previous Versions feature can recover certain files
Windows Previous Versions feature can only recover one file at the time. So, recovering a large amount of data might be impossible. Besides, for this method to work, you should have had System restore function enable before the virus 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”.
If the virus did not delete shadow volume copies, ShadowExplorer will be able to help you.
- 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.
Decryptor is not available yet
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from PAY_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, 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 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.