Remove Mzlq Ransomware (Decrypt .mzlq Files)

By Chona Esjay | Posted on May 12, 2020 |

Mzlq ransomware is another remake of hazardous malware coming from STOP/DJVU clan. The threat is a crypto-virus that targets common files on the computer like documents, spreadsheets, archives, databases, images, drawings, and so on. Bear in mind that ransomware is a virus that locks majority of computer files and cyber criminals who made them requires victim to pay certain amount in order to obtain the retriever whether it is unique keys, decryption tool, or password combination.

This new variant of ransomware has identical characteristics to its predecessors like Sqpc, Mpal, and Qewe. All of these threats are spreading over the internet using spam email messages. It is a hit-and-miss attack where most vulnerable are those that are careless when opening email attachment. One reason why Mzlq ransomware triumphs in infecting computer is for the reason that attackers made the email message so believable and it can deceive recipients into opening the attached file. Attackers also tweaked the senders email address to make it look like that origin is a prominent company or organization.

Upon the execution of the infectious attachment, Mzlq ransomware initiates the first attack stage where it will drop several files on the computer. Consequently, it searches the hard drive for user’s data and applies a highly complex algorithm as its encryption tactic. Infected files are highly identifiable because they contain the appended .mzlq file extension. Along with the number of encrypted files, Mzlq ransomware also generates a ransom note containing attacker’s message to victims. Here is an excerpt:

ATTENTION!
Don’t worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.

Mzlq Ransomware

From this ransom note, one can clearly imagine how complicated it is to recover .mzlq encrypted files. As stated, unique key and decryption tool combination are required and only this method will work in restoring encrypted files to its original format. Hence, victims need to pay a hefty price for this.

How to Remove Mzlq Ransomware

Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Mzlq 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 Mzlq 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 Mzlq’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 Mzlq 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 Mzlq 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 Mzlq ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.

Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Mzlq Decryption Tool

Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu will work only if affected files were encrypted using Offline Keys. Mzlq 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 .mzlq encrypted files.

1. As precautionary measures, we suggest to BACKUP all your .mzlq 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 Mzlq 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 Mzlq 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 Mzlq 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 Mzlq 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 Mzlq ransomware infection.

shadow3

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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