Mpal ransomware is one of the so many crypto-virus variants from STOP/DJVU family that infect computers in a deceptive way. The computer can get infected with Mpal ransomware through spam email messages containing infectious attachments. Once the victim opens the file, the activation or installation of Mpal virus follows. This method is one of the common techniques of developers for spreading the hazardous ransomware.
As ransomware, Mpal locates valuable files on the computer. Right after spying inside the computer, Mpal encrypts the data using a sophisticated algorithm. Once encrypted, the victim cannot be able to open the files and remains in this inaccessible. The ransom virus usually adds the .mpal extension to all the infected files and drops a ransom note _readme.txt. This note contains the message of Mpal developers stating that the files are encrypted and the only way to recover the data is by paying a ransom fee covering a decryption tool and private key.
The ransom fee costs $980, but in most cases, Mpal developers offer discounts depending on how fast the victim can contact them. The victim must send an email to Mpal developers within 72 hours if they want to avail of the 50% discounted rate. Mpal developers are very specific that they prefer to receive payments through crypto-currency (Bitcoin).
However, computer professionals strongly suggest that instead of negotiating with Mpal developers, it is much better to focus on removing the ransomware. The victims should not trust any cyber-criminals. In some worst cases, even victims comply with the demands of the hackers; they still did not send any decryption tool. To avoid this from happening, important files and data must be secured with a backup in order to easily retrieve them without having to communicate with hackers.
How to Remove Mpal Ransomware
Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Mpal 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 Mpal ransomware.
7. Scanning may take a while. Please wait until the anti-malware tool is done with the checking.
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 Mpal’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 Mpal 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 Mpal 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 Mpal ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.
Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Mpal Decryption Tool
Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu will work only if affected files were encrypted using Offline Keys. Mpal 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 .mpal encrypted files.
1. As precautionary measures, we suggest to BACKUP all your .mpal 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 Mpal ransomware, click on Decrypt button to start the procedure. The interface will display status of the current decryption process.
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 Mpal 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 Mpal 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 Mpal 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 Mpal 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.