Remove Mpaj Ransomware (Decrypt .mpaj Files)

By CK Quinito | Posted on April 9, 2020 | Updated on May 13, 2020

Mpaj ransomware is malicious software and considered as hazardous crypto-virus. Typically, ransomware-type programs attack computers to encrypt files and force victims to pay a ransom fee or purchase a decryption tool. This ransomware appends the data with .mpaj file extension. For example, the existing file name personal.docx will become personal.docx.mpaj once infected. As part of the operations, Mpaj will drop a ransom note to the victim’s computer within a text file named _readme.txt.

The ransom note contains the message of the hackers stating that Mpaj ransomware encrypts files that may include the personal documents, photos, databases, or any valuable data of the victims. Mpaj usually uses a strong encryption algorithm in order to access the files. All the infected files will be inaccessible and remain locked until the victims pay the ransom fee. The cost of ransom normally ranges from $490 to $980. However, the ransom fee may also vary depending on how quickly the victims will contact the Mpaj developers. There are instances that the Mpaj developers offer a 50% discount to the victims who will send an email to provided address within 72 hours. The victims are requested to attach a personal identification together with one infected file, which Mpaj developer will decrypt free of charge. After that, Mpaj developers will send instructions on how to make payments that are usually through crypto-currency.

Unfortunately, only the Mpaj developers can provide the appropriate decryption tool for the files encrypted by their ransomware. But what is worse, there are cases that hackers did not send the decryption tool even if victims have settled the ransom fee. The main point is, do not ever trust cyber-criminals and always secure the important files or data with a backup copy. In that way, it is easier to recover the files in case of ransomware attacks.

Mpaj ransomware usually enters the computer through spam emails or fake software updates and downloads. Mpaj developers usually send emails to their targets containing malicious attachments. Clicking and opening such files could possibly execute the ransomware on the computer. Therefore, beware of opening unfamiliar email messages especially if the address is somewhat suspicious. It might inject malware or any infectious content to the computer.

How to Remove Mpaj Ransomware

Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Mpaj 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 MBSetup.exe.

3. Carry out the installation with default setup process.

4. After the installation process, click the Get Started button to launch the program.

5. Continue with the prompts until the main program opens.

6. On the main console, click on Scan to run most complete detection method to find hidden objects associated to Mpaj ransomware.

7. Scanning may take a while. Please wait until the anti-malware tool is done with the checking.

MBAM-threatscan

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 Mpaj’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)

download-msrt

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 Mpaj ransomware. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.

msrt-icon

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.

msrt1

5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Mpaj 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.

msrt2

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.

msrt3

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 Mpaj ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.

Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Mpaj Decryption Tool

Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu will work only if affected files were encrypted using Offline Keys. Mpaj ransomware uses the alternate Offline Keys during encryption if there is a problem encountered while communicating to a remote command-and-control server. Follow the guide to start recovering .mpaj encrypted files.

1. As precautionary measures, we suggest to BACKUP all your .mpaj encrypted files first on a separate media (USB Drive, Flash Drive, DVD Discs, etc…).

2. Download Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu from this archive page.

3. Right-click on decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe and click “Run as Administrator“. Windows may prompt “Do you want to allow this app…” just click Yes to continue.

4. By default, the tool will pre-populate the locations where encrypted files were identified. To include other directories, simply click Add Folder button.

5. To start recovering files infected by Mpaj ransomware, click on Decrypt button to start the procedure. The interface will display status of the current decryption process.

decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe

We will update this section once the full decryption tool is on hand. In the meantime, please try other options below if the above procedure is not not effective.

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 Mpaj 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 Mpaj 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 Mpaj 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 Mpaj ransomware infection.

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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.

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