MARNET Ransomware πŸ” (.MARNET2 File) β€” Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith
The Marnet virus belongs to the ransomware type of infection. Harmful software of this type encrypts all user’s data on the computer (photos, documents, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its own extension to every file, creating the how_to_back_files.html files in each folder containing encrypted files.
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What is known about the Marnetvirus?

☝️ A strictly accurate designation for the Marnet is “a ransomware-type malicious agent”.

Marnet adds its specific .marnet2 extension to the title of every encoded file. For instance, an image entitled “photo.jpg” will be changed to “photo.jpg.marnet2”. Just like the Excel sheet with the name “table.xlsx” will be renamed to “table.xlsx.marnet2”, and so forth.

In every directory that contains the encrypted files, a how_to_back_files.html file will appear. It is a ransom money memo. It contains information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note most probably contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the racketeers. That is basically the scheme of the crime.

Marnet overview:
NameMarnet Virus
Extension.marnet2
Ransomware notehow_to_back_files.html
Detection1Crytex.Virus.FileInfector.DDS, Win32/Filecoder.OLC, Malware-Cryptor.InstallCore.5
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .marnet2 extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Marnet virus

In the picture below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Marnet looks like. Each filename has the “.marnet2” extension added to it.

Marnet Virus - encrypted .marnet2 files

An example of encrypted .marnet2 files.

How did my machine catch Marnet ransomware?

There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware injection.

Nowadays, there are three most popular methods for tamperers to have the Marnet virus settled in your system. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer-to-peer networks.

If you open your mailbox and see letters that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is strange to you, beware of opening those emails. They are very likely to have a viral file enclosed in them. Therefore, it is even riskier to download any attachments that come with letters like these.

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan horse scheme2. A Trojan is an object that infiltrates into your PC disguised as something different. For example, you download an installer of some program you want or an update for some service. However, what is unpacked reveals itself a harmful program that corrupts your data. Since the installation wizard can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the stuff you’re downloading. The optimal way is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer file transfer protocols like torrent trackers or eMule, the danger is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never know what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy websites. Also, it is a good idea to scan the folder containing the downloaded items with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is done.

How to remove the Marnet virus?

It is important to inform you that besides encrypting your files, the Marnet virus will most likely install the Azorult Spyware on your machine to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned spyware3 can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Often racketeers would unblock few of your files so you know that they do have the decryption tool. Since Marnet virus is a relatively recent ransomware, security software engineers have not yet found a way to undo its work. Nevertheless, the decoding instruments are frequently updated, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Sure thing, if the tamperers do the job of encrypting victim’s essential files, the desperate person will most likely comply with their demands. Despite that, paying to criminals does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your data back. It is still dangerous. After obtaining the ransom, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption key to the injured party. There were reports of hackers just vanishing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.

The best safety measure against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud drive or at least on an external drive. Of course, that might be insufficient. The most important thing could be that file you were working on when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your drives with the anti-malware utility after the system restoration.

There are other ransomware products, besides Marnet, that work similarly. For instance, Bpws, Znto, Bpsm, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Marnet are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: files become encrypted, their extensions changed, ransom notes are created in each folder containing encoded files.

Some lucky victims were able to decode the blocked files with the aid of the free tools provided by anti-malware specialists. Sometimes the criminals mistakenly send the decryption key to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But of course, one should never rely on such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a bandits’ instrument to pull the money out of their victims.

How сan I avoid ransomware attack?

Marnet ransomware doesn’t have a endless power, neither does any similar malware.

You can armour yourself from its attack within several easy steps:

  • Never open any letters from unknown senders with unknown addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (how can you win in a money prize draw without participating in it?). In case the email subject is more or less something you are waiting for, scrutinize all elements of the dubious letter with caution. A fake letter will surely contain a mistake.
  • Do not use cracked or unknown programs. Trojans are often spreaded as a part of cracked software, possibly under the guise of β€œpatch” to prevent the license check. But dubious programs are difficult to distinguish from reliable ones, as trojans sometimes have the functionality you need. Try searching for information on this software product on the anti-malware forums, but the optimal solution is not to use such programs at all.
  • And finally, to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful armor for your personal computer.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft4

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft5.

Download Removal Tool.

You can download GridinSoft Anti-Malware by clicking the button below:

Run the setup file.

When setup file has finished downloading, double-click on the setup-antimalware-fix.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your computer.

Run Setup.exe

An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click β€œYes” to continue with the installation.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Setup

Press “Install” button.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Install

Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Splash-Screen

Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your system for Marnet infections and other malicious programs. This process can take a 20-30 minutes, so I suggest you periodically check on the status of the scan process.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scanning

Click on “Clean Now”.

When the scan has completed, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the β€œClean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

FAQ

πŸ€” How can I open “.marnet2” files?Is it possible to openβ€œ.marnet2” files?

Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.marnet2” files first. Then you will be able to open them.

πŸ€” The encrypted files are very important to me. How can I decrypt them quickly?

Hopefully, you have made a copy of those important files. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. All other solutions require time.

πŸ€” You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Marnet virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?

Absolutely not! The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.

With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your PC off the actual viruses. The ransomware that has attacked your computer is most likely still functional and launching checks from time to time to encode any new files you might create on your PC after the infection. As it has been said above, the Marnet ransomware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide hackers with easy access to your computer in the future.

πŸ€” What to do if the Marnet malware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation code.

In such an unfortunate situation, you need to have a flash memory card with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the procedure. You see, the ransomware runs automatically as the system launches and encrypts any new files created or imported into your system. To block this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential applications to run upon system start. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

πŸ€” What could help the situation right now?

Many of the encrypted files might still be within your reach

  • If you exchanged your important files by email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You might have shared images or videos with your friends or family members. Just ask them to give those images back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Internet, you can try doing it again.
  • Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud disks might have all those files too.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a portable device, phone, memory stick, etc.

HINT: You can employ data recovery utilities6 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware encrypts the copies of your files, deleting the original ones. In the tutorial below, you can see how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, but be advised: you can do it only after you remove the ransomware itself with an anti-malware program.

Also, you can contact the following official fraud and scam sites to report this attack:

To report the attack, you can contact local executive boards. For instance, if you live in USA, you can have a talk with FBI Local field office, IC3 or Secret Service.

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Brendan Smith
How to Remove MARNET Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: MARNET Virus

Description: MARNET Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .marnet2 extension. So, you can't use them at all.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. Encyclopedia of threats.
  2. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  3. You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective section of GridinSoft official website.
  4. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  5. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  6. Here are the best 10 file recovery tools of 2021.

About the author

Brendan Smith

Journalist, researcher, web content developer, grant proposal editor. Efficient and proficient on multiple platforms and in diverse media. Computer technology and security are my specialties.

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