Easy .masked File Virus removal guide
Masked or otherwise called .masked File Virus is a new aurora ransomware variant. It uses RSA-2048 encryption algorithm to encrypt essential files. During encryption, it appends the files with .masked extension name. After this, it drops @[email protected] file on the system. This file contains information about the ransomware attacks and instructions the possibility of files decryption and ransom payment details. It contains an email address and urges its victims to contact the Cybercriminals via this email address. Victims are demanded a payment of $50 for a unique decryption tool. You can contact Michael Gillespie, as many of the variants of aurora ransomware family viruses are decoded and decryption tool of respective are available. However, if this does not work for you, you have to rely on existing backup for the data recovery and there is no other option than this because the virus can delete the system files including backups and even volume shadow copies.
English speaking people are the major target of .masked ransomware. This means, the virus spreads around via spam emails or other popular distribution strategies. Usually, a malicious payload of virus is attached with legit exe file and the packages are offered for download by attached them such emails. The emails are designed in such a way that it seems to be coming from some well reputable company and the text contains on it tries to convince recipients into clicking/opening the attachments by presenting them as legit and important. Once done, they are asked to enable macros command. One more click leads the malware intrusion.
Immediately after intrusion, .masked File Virus starts encryption procedure and leaves the following ransom note:
SORRY! Your files are encrypted.
File contents are encrypted with random key.
Random key is encrypted with RSA public key (2048 bit).
We STRONGLY RECOMMEND you NOT to use any “decryption tools”.
These tools can damage your data, making recover IMPOSSIBLE.
Also we recommend you not to contact data recovery companies.
They will just contact us, buy the key and sell it to you at a higher price.
If you want to decrypt your files, you have to get RSA private key.
In order to get private key, write here:
And send me your id, your id:
And pay 100$ on 172fqoLfYkMQXk6tmEqGH3y43gQwAzSSFJ wallet
If someone else offers you files restoring, ask him for test decryption.
Only we can successfully decrypt your files; knowing this can protect you from fraud.
You will receive instructions of what to do next.
As per the text presented, the victims need to pay $100 to the ransomware developers to get a decryption tool that helps in files decryption. It also states that it is impossible to get the files back without using a unique code embedded in the decryption tool. Unfortunately, this is true. The ransomware encrypts files using RSA-2048 algorithm that allows developers to create a unique key of their choice. At the same time, believing them that they will provide the decryption tool once the payment is done is risky. The safest way is to remove .masked File Virus and recover the files using existing backups or contact Cyber researcher Michael Gillespie.
As it mentioned, the ransomware commonly infiltrates when users allow macros commands when downloading and files provided as an attachment on any emails. It is important to be careful and analyze well before clicking on any attachments. Spam emails can be recognize as they have unknown senders’ addresses, text contains various spelling/grammatical errors and an attachment. You should install an antivirus suite that provides protection to your PC. Apart from this, remember the following points:
- Installed software and OS should be updated
- Use firewall and ad-block
- Avoid torrents, porn-sites and gambling pages and others similar
- Do not use software cracks or illegal programs downloading from unknown sites
Remove .masked File Virus
Below, complete step by step removal guide is provided for you. Follow it so that you will not find any trouble when performing the removal process. You can use any reputable antivirus tool to automatically remove .masked File Virus from the system.
How to turn your encrypted files working once again?
Well, through the above explanations mentioned, you might have learned actually what happened to your files after encryption. Since the malware that has affected your files is now removed with suggested scanner, you would still require to turn your files working. And we are now going to discuss how to accomplish this task. Based on expert’s researches and their findings, there’s a number of possible methods or ways which a user can get through to restore their encrypted files to work. Even many of victimized users have tried these methods with their own infected computer and success rate is almost 95 percent. So, you can hope to have your files back, and in order to accomplish complete restore of your infected data, we suggest you check out some suggested methods here:
Methods 1: Restore encrypted files using a powerful data recovery software
Before you start to read the steps, you should know this method is appropriate to those users who have found no solutions to decrypt their files affected by ransomware. But still they are able to utilize their system and can install a software. According to experts, this method has very low difficulty level as it utilizes a program to do so.
Although this method is called to be the safest way to recover encrypted files, it still have some limitations. Technically, the encrypted data recovery solution looks through your system and its partitions to recover original files which are actually deleted by virus to replace with the encrypted one. In many cases, the user tend to copy the encrypted files on some external drive and re-install Windows OS that actually declines the chances of data recovery through this method. So, after you have managed to clean your system against malware effects, leave the files as they are and get through the steps to restore your files using one of the top most data recovery app called Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery Software.
Step 1: At first, download the app on your system by clicking the download button below.
Step 2: Click on the downloaded file through your browser to execute its installer.
Step 3: In the license agreement page, click to accept the terms and click Next button. Further, follow on-screen instructions to complete the installation, and click on Finish button finally.
Step 4: After the installation is done, the program will run automatically. At the first interface, select the file types now that you intend to recovery followed by clicking Next.
Step 5: Select the drives over which you need the software to run over and perform the recovery of encrypted files. Done? Click on Scan button.
Step 6: The software will now scan all selected drive to complete the restore process, however it may take some time depending upon volume of drives and number of files or directories were there previously. After the scanning process ends, you will be shown with a file explorer with preview of your data which you want to recover. Just select those which you need to be restored.
Step 7: Browse a location where you want the restored data to be saved.
Method 2: Encrypted file recovery with a lately created Windows backup
This method is technically for those who have a lately created Windows backup saved somewhere and is not affected by the ransomware. Using inbuilt system recovery services, the backup can restore the files which are included under the backup. This method is considered easier as well and leaves no software, thus considered as a very popular method to fight against emergencies caused by infectious malware. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Hit Win + R key combination and to execute Run command line.
Step 2: In the Run text field, type ‘ms-settings:windowsupdate’ and hit the OK button.
Step 3: You will be shown Windows update settings, but you have actually to click Backup option as shown in picture, and located in left pane.
Step 4: Click on ‘More Options’ to open Backup Options panel.
Step 5: As shown in the image below, select or click on “Restore files from a current backup.”
Step 6: In the next shown window, locate the backup where you have saved it, and click on restore button below as marked in the image.
Methods 3: Using Shadow Explorer Application
This file recovery solution is recommended to those who have their backup but is currently not working, still the files under backup are not yet deleted. In this case, Shadow Explorer is an application that can help you restoring your files from those backup files which are active, but still disabled by ransomware somehow. Under this circumstance, inbuilt Windows Backup and Recovery option will not work for you, rather the software will do the magic easily. To accomplish file recovery in this case, get through the steps here mentioned:
Step 1: Click the button below to download Shadow Explorer on your computer.
Step 2: Browser the location where you have downloaded the file. Double click and extract the zip file.
Step 3: Click to open ShadowExplorerPortable directory and double click on the file as shown in the image below.
Step 4: A drop down menu will appear on screen, so just select a desired Date and time according to your requirements on the top left of Shadow Explorer app, and choose the files in given interface that you want to restore using the software. Once the selection is done, Click on the button Export..
Methods 4: Using other decryptors
Well, this method might sounds a bit weird as every ransomware identity basically uses different enciphers and methods to encrypt files on targeted computers. But when the a ransomware which has actually infected your machine comes from a ransomware family for which a decryptor is officially working and available as well, then this might work for you. Technically, this method is just based on luck and analysis, still many users have reported this worked for them. So, if you have seen a ransomware has infected your computer, the very first thing you should do is to identity what kind of virus has actually affected your machine. In most of the cases, ransomware attacks are irreversible, still those infections basically comes from a parent ransomware which might be cracked earlier. For an instance, Scarab ransomware or Hiddentear ransomware are some families which can be decrypted. To check your luck if the present ransomware that has affected your machine is decryptable or not. To do so, follow the guidelines below:
Step 1: Check the Ransomware Database Here and check if decryptor is available for the malware
Step 2: In case you find no results, you can check an open source project called NoMoreRansom to find the ransomware details and decryptor, which has affected your machine. If found, download the decryptor on your computer’s local drive. This page is being regularly updated by its officials once a ransomware is discovered in world.
Step 3: Before you proceed with the downlaoded decryptor, make sure you have backup all your important files.
Step 4: Execute the decryptor to scan and restore your files easily.