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Mole ransomware. How to delete? (Removal tutorial)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware

Mole ransomware adds more viruses into its ‘delivery package’

Mole virus is the title given to the file-encrypting threat which gained IT experts attention for its exceptionally insidious transmission campaign. It drew attention when a cyber security specialist Brad Duncan discovered the malware impersonating US Postal Service emails in the middle of April. It has been revealed that the malware functions as the improved version of CryptoMix ransomware family. The threats, affiliated to this group, contain several universal features – RSA-1024 encryption algorithm. Furthermore, it leaves its evident mark on the corrupted data – .mole file extension. The cyber villains manifested their mastery by elaborating and improving the malware. It is programmed to delete shadow volume copies – one of the few alternative data decryption solutions. This peculiarity leaves few viable solutions for users to recover the data without paying the money. As a result, it claims to be one of the most problematic cyber issues at present. If you this cyber menace has not occupied your PC yet, there is no need to be concerned about. Nonetheless, retain vigilance and educate yourself about the key distribution and prevention means. You will also find the section about Mole removal useful. On the other hand, if this advice is too little too late and you are desperately looking for a solution to remove Mole virus, let us advise you not to contact the hackers. In the INSTRUCTION_FOR_HELPING_FILE_RECOVERY.TXT file, oceanm@engineer.com and oceanm@india.com emails are provided for the public. The victims should contact the racketeers within 78 hours. Otherwise, the decryption key would be permanently eliminated. The cyber villains prefer exerting psychological pressure on the victims. However, whether you would retrieve all of your files after transmitting the money, remains a highly disputable issue. Instead of wasting time, let us proceed towards the sections where we explain how you can remove Mole virus in a more efficient way.The picture of enoded files by Mole virus

The peculiarities of the ransomware transmission techniques

Mole malware has become one of the most discussed threats due to its exquisite distribution campaign. Besides the number of employed distribution channels, sudden alterations only fortify the position of the malware in the cyber space even more. In the initial stages of distribution, the virus has disguised in messages supposedly sent by the US Postal Service. The subject of such messages would be ‘Prompt Action Needed: your order’s been delayed,’ ‘Important USPS Refund Info’ etc. When a user unwraps the attached file, he accidentally activates the virtual menace. At the same time, the gearheads also launched another campaign to increase the magnitude of the assault. The perpetrators bombarded users with counterfeited Windows Office site link to malicious Office plug-in. For netizens surprise, such strategy even outperformed the techniques of Spora ransomware which attacked users with fake Chrome Font update alerts.

In the case of Mole malware, on April 11th, the perpetrators invaded Google Docs in order for it to deliver corrupted link. Users saw a fake message about the inability to open a .doc file. In order to do it, they were asked to download a special plug-in. The virus would arrive in the form of plug-in.exe and plugin-office.exe file. After clicking the link and enabling the plug-in from doc-14-8g-docs.googleusercontent.com, malware gets downloaded into a device. Nonetheless, the developers of this malware had not concentrated on this distribution technique too long. Two days later, on April 13th, they have introduced another update. Now the corrupted spam emails would deliver plugin.js file in the plugin.zip folder.

The recent analysis revealed, that the crooks do not intend to withdraw from the spotlight. They have ‘armed’ Mole ransomware with several more malware. Now the spam emails contain plugin.js or similarly-named files, placed in a zip folder. Nemucod trojan, incorporated into the executable file, accelerates the infiltration technique. Moreover, the ransomware is equipped with Kovter and Miuref (known as Boaxxe) trojans. At the same time, cyber specialists have noticed a revival of another virtual threat – Nymaim virus. It also targets users with the same sort of spam emails and malware collection. Currently, the former infection is reported to divert to a lottery and parking-related messages. Thus, you should pay attention not to open a similar email in order to evade Mole hijack.

Performing Mole termination procedure

Taking into account the technical capabilities of the malware, manual elimination hardly would take any effect. Initiate automatic Mole removal right away. For that purpose, you may benefit from the combination of an anti-virus and anti-malware programs. Such malware eradication tools as Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security can also be of assistance terminating the menace. Though there are no reports that the malware behaves as a screen locker, you might encounter certain counterfeited system errors which prevent you from terminating the threat. In order to fully remove Mole virus, use the below instructions. Only when the device is cleaned, you can shift to data encryption options.

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To remove Mole virus, follow these steps:

Eliminate Mole using Safe Mode with Networking

Safe Mode is the first option you should divert to if the malware has locked your screen. Follow the steps and regain the access.

  • Step 1: Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Go to Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. As soon as your computer starts, start pressing F8 key repeatedly before the Windows logo shows up.
    3. Choose Safe Mode with Networking from the list Choose 'Safe Mode with Networking' option

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Click on the Power button at the Windows login screen, and then press and hold Shift key on your keyboard. Then click Restart.
    2. Then select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and click Restart.
    3. Once your computer starts, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking from the list of options in Startup Settings. Choose 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking' option
  • Step 2: Remove Mole

    Sign in to your account and launch any Internet browser. Download a legitimate anti-malware software, for instance, Reimage. Make sure you update it to the latest version and then run a full system scan with it to detect and eliminate all malicious components of the ransomware to remove Mole completely.

If your ransomware does not allow you to access Safe Mode with Networking, please follow the instructions provided below.

Eliminate Mole using System Restore

If the first method failed to restore access to essential Windows functions, opt for System Restore option. The system would be rebooted into the last saved system image. Note that the files or applications, installed from the last auto-saved system restore point up till now, may be lost.

  • Step 1: Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Go to Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. As soon as your computer starts, start pressing F8 key repeatedly before the Windows logo shows up.
    3. Choose Command Prompt from the list Choose 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Click on the Power button at the Windows login screen, and then press and hold Shift key on your keyboard. Then click Restart.
    2. Then select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and click Restart.
    3. Once your computer starts, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of options in Startup Settings. Choose 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option
  • Step 2: Perform a system restore to recover files and settings
    1. When the Command Prompt window appears, type in cd restore and press Enter. Type 'cd restore' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    2. Then type rstrui.exe and hit Enter.. Type 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    3. In a new window that shows up, click the Next button and choose a restore point that was created before the infiltration of Mole and then click on the Next button again. When 'System Restore' wizard comes up, click 'Next'. Choose a preferable restore point and click 'Next'
    4. To start system restore, click Yes. Hit 'Yes' and start system restore
    After restoring the computer system to an antecedent date, install and check your computer with Reimage to uncover any remains of Mole.

Bonus: Restore your files

Using the tutorial provided above you should be able to eliminate Mole from the infected device. novirus.uk team has also prepared an in-depth data recovery guide which you will also find above.

Data backups is one of the viable ways to return the files without remitting the payment to hackers.

There are a couple of methods you can apply to recover data encrypted by Mole:

Does Data Recovery Pro recovers data encoded by Mole?

This tool was originally developed for recovering files lost after an unexpected system crash. The developers also promote this tool to be capable of restoring lost, deleted emails, and files encoded by ransomware. 

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Install Data Recovery on your computer following the steps indicated in the software’s Setup;
  • Run the program to scan your device for the data encrypted by Mole ransomware;
  • Recover the data.

Opt for Windows Previous Versions

This is one of the remaining few solutions to recover the files corrupted by the malware. Note that this method requires more of your time as you have to apply the steps to each file individually. Note that the function only works if System Restore was enabled before hand.

  • Right-click on the encrypted document you want to recover;
  • Click “Properties” and navigate to “Previous versions” tab;
  • In the “Folder versions” section look for the available file copies. Choose the desired version and press “Restore”.

Mole Decryptor

At the moment, there is no official decryption tool released. Do not use any decryption programs promoted in ad-supported and poorly protected domains or torrent-sharing websites.

It is strongly recommended to take precautions and secure your computer from malware attacks. To protect your PC from Mole and other dangerous viruses, you should install and keep a powerful malware removal tool, for instance, Reimage, Malwarebytes Malwarebytes or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security.

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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Source: https://www.2-spyware.com/remove-mole-ransomware-virus.html

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