Files converted into .nakw file type only signify that computer is infected with a crypto-virus, which name was derived from the said extension. Nakw ransomware originates from the notorious malware family of STOP where hundreds of variants were already lurking the internet. These hazardous computer threats spread normally in several methods like spam emails, cracked software, and malicious freeware. Hence, the most effective is through mass-mailing campaign where the sender deceives recipients by masquerading that the email is from a prominent organization.
To convince recipient into opening the supposed document, the message body contains enticing subject that sways to read the attached file. Unknown to user, this simple execution allows Nakw ransomware to initiate its process and drop several files on the computer. In short, the first attack stage has begun.
Following the integration of malicious files onto the system, Nakw ransomware proceeds with the decryption of files that will make them useless. As part of this process, all data will get appended with .nakw file extension, which removes its association to relevant application. Attackers are using a highly complex algorithm that makes .nakw files impossible to decrypt. On the final stage of the attack, the virus will leave a ransom message stating the current file condition and steps that victim should take to recover their files. Unfortunately, attackers require a hefty $980 before they can provide decryption tool and private key, which are vital in the recovery process.
Paying the ransom money is highly discouraged by malware researchers and computer security experts. They always reiterate that the attack will persists as long as cyber crooks continue to profit from this illegal online act. The recommendation would be to backup all infected files and wait for the full and free decryption tool for Nakw ransomware infected files.
How to Remove Nakw Ransomware
Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Nakw virus. Aside from our suggested tool, you may also run your own security program.
Though affected files may be impossible to decrypt due to complexity of the encryption, you can still try recovery method like alternative tool, Shadow Explorer or Previous Version as described below.
Stage 1: Scan the Computer with Anti-Malware Tool
1. Download free anti-malware scanner called MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (this will open a new window)
2. After downloading, install the program. It may run automatically or you have to double-click on the downloaded file MB3-Setup-[version].exe.
3. Carry out the installation with default setup process.
4. At the last stage of installation process, click the Finish button. The program should launch momentarily.
5. On Malwarebytes Anti-Malware console, select Scan from the menu to see available Scan Method.
6. Next, click on Threat Scan. This is the most complete scan method that will surely find any hidden malicious objects associated to Nakw ransomware.
7. Finally, click on Start Scan begin checking the computer for malware and similar threats.
8. Once the scan has completed, the tool will display the list of detected threats. Remove all identified malicious items and restart the computer if necessary.
Stage 2: Double-check for Nakw’s leftover with Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool
1. Download the free scanner called Malicious Software Removal Tool.
Malicious Software Removal Tool Download Link (this will open a new window)
2. The tool automatically checks the operating system and suggest appropriate download version. Click on Download button to begin. Save the file to a convenient location, preferably on Desktop.
3. After downloading the file, Windows will prompt that download has completed. Click Run to start scanning for Nakw ransomware. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.
4. The tool will display Welcome screen, click Next. Please note the message “This tool is not a replacement for an antivirus product.” You must understand that this program is made specifically to find and remove malware, viruses, Trojans, and other harmful elements on the computer. It was not designed to protect the computer.
5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Nakw ransom virus entities and other harmful files left on the computer will be found and removed. For advanced computer user, you can opt for Customized Scan, if there are other drives or folders you wanted to include in this scan.
6. Full scan may take a while, please wait for Malicious Software Removal Tool to complete the tasks. However, you may cancel the scan anytime by clicking on the Cancel button.
7. After scanning, the tool will reveal all identified threats. There may be other threats that our first scan fails to detect. Please remove/delete all detected items.
8. When removal procedure is complete, you may now close Malicious Software Removal Tool. We hope that Nakw ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.
Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Nakw Decryption Tool
Tools that may decrypt files infected by Nakw is not yet available at this time. We will update this section once the tool is on hand. In the meantime, please try the options below.
Option 1: Windows Previous Version Tool
Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a feature called Previous Versions. However, this tool is only usable if restore point was made prior to Nakw ransomware infection. To use this tool and recover files affected by the virus, please follow these steps:
1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.
2. Right-click on the affected files or folders. From the drop-down list, please click on Restore previous versions.
3. New window will open display all backup copy of files and folders you wanted to recover. Choose the appropriate file and click on Open, Copy, or Restore. Restoring selected files overwrites the current encrypted files on the computer.
Option 2: Use ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Nakw Ransomware
Just like Previous Version tool, ShadowExplorer is taking advantage of shadow copy created by Windows. This tool allows you to retrieve older version of files before it was encrypted by Nakw ransomware.
1. Download ShadowExplorer from the official web site.
2. Install the program with the default settings.
3. The program should run automatically after installation. If not, double-click on ShadowExplorer icon.
4. You can see the drop-down list on top of the console. Please select proper drive and the most recent point-in-time shadow copies of files you wish to restore prior to Nakw ransomware infection.
5. Right-click on the Drive, Folder, or File you wish to restore and click Export…
6. Lastly, ShadowExplorer will prompt for location where you want to save the copy of recovered files.