MEKWYK Ransomware 🔐 (.MEKWYK File) — Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith
The Mekwyk virus belongs under the ransomware type of malicious agent. Ransomware of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the PC (photos, text files, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its extra extension to every file, creating the RESTORE_FILES_INFO.txt files in each directory containing encrypted files.
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What is Mekwyk virus?

☝️ A scientifically accurate designation for the Mekwyk is “a ransomware-type infection”.

The pattern of renaming is this: [id-xxxxx].mekwyk. In the course of encryption, a file entitled, for example, “report.docx” will be renamed to “report.docx.[ID-9ECFA84E].mekwyk”.

In each directory that contains the encrypted files, a RESTORE_FILES_INFO.txt file will be created. It is a ransom money note. Therein you can find information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other information. The ransom note most probably contains instructions on how to buy the decryption tool from the tamperers. You can get this tool after contacting qTox contact by email. That is how they do it.

Mekwyk summary:
NameMekwyk Virus
Extension.mekwyk
Ransomware noteRESTORE_FILES_INFO.txt
ContactqTox contact
DetectionCrytex.Virus.FileInfector.DDS, Win32/Filecoder.OLC, Malware-Cryptor.InstallCore.5
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) have a .mekwyk extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Mekwyk virus

The RESTORE_FILES_INFO.txt file coming in package with the Mekwyk ransomware provides the following discouraging information:

::: Greetings :::

Little FAQ:
.1.
Q: Whats Happen?
A: Your files have been encrypted. The file structure was not damaged, we did everything possible so that this could not happen.

.2.
Q: How to recover files?
A: If you wish to decrypt your files you will need to pay in Monero(XMR) - this is one of the types of cryptocurrency, you can get acquainted  with it in more detail here: hxxps://www.getmonero.org/

.3.
Q: What about guarantees?
A: Its just a business. We absolutely do not care about you and your deals, except getting benefits. If we do not do our work and liabilities - nobody will cooperate with us. Its not in our interests.
To check the ability of returning files, you can send to us any 2 files with SIMPLE extensions(jpg,xls,doc, etc... not databases!) and low sizes(max 1 mb), we will decrypt them and send back to you. That is our guarantee.

.4.
Q: How to contact with you?
A: Please, write us to our qTOX account: A2D64928FE333BF394C79BB1F0B8F3 E85AFE84F913135CCB481F0B13ADDDD1055AC5ECD33A05
   You can learn about this way of communication and download it here: hxxps://qtox.github.io/
Or use Bitmessage and write to our address: BM-NC6V9JcMRuLPnSuPFN8upRPRRmHEMSFA
   You can learn about this way of communication and download it here: hxxps://wiki.bitmessage.org/ and here: hxxps://github.com/Bitmessage/PyBitmessage/releases/

.5.
Q: How will the decryption process proceed after payment?
A: After payment we will send to you our scanner-decoder program and detailed instructions for use. With this program you will be able to decrypt all your encrypted files.

.6.
Q: If I don’t want to pay bad people like you?
A: If you will not cooperate with our service - for us, its does not matter. But you will lose your time and data, cause only we have the private key. In practice - time is much more valuable than money.

:::BEWARE:::
DON\'T try to change encrypted files by yourself!
If you will try to use any third party software for restoring your data or antivirus solutions - please make a backup for all encrypted files!
Any changes in encrypted files may entail damage of the private key and, as result, the loss all data.

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

Mekwyk Virus - encrypted .mekwyk files

An example of encrypted .mekwyk files.

How did my computer get infected with Mekwyk ransomware?

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

Nowadays, there are three most exploited ways for criminals to have ransomware planted in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer networks.

If you access your inbox and see emails that look like familiar notifications from utility services companies, delivery agencies like FedEx, Internet providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is strange to you, be wary of opening those emails. They are very likely to have a ransomware item enclosed in them. So it is even riskier to download any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan virus scheme1. A Trojan is a program that gets into your PC disguised as something legal. Imagine, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some service. But what is unpacked turns out to be a harmful program that corrupts your data. As the installation package can have any name and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the source of the files you’re downloading. The best thing is to trust the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer file transfer protocols like BitTorrent 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. So you’d better be using trustworthy resources. Also, it is a good idea to scan the directory containing the downloaded files with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is complete.

How to remove the Mekwyk virus?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Mekwyk virus will probably install the Azorult Spyware on your machine to get access to credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Sometimes racketeers would decode few of your files so you know that they do have the decryption program. As Mekwyk virus is a relatively recent ransomware, anti-malware developers have not yet found a method to reverse its work. However, the decoding instruments are constantly upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Sure thing, if the evildoers succeed in encoding someone’s critical files, the desperate person will most likely comply with their demands. Nevertheless, paying to racketeers gives no guarantee that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still risky. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption key to the injured party. There were reports about malefactors simply vanishing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.

The optimal countermeasure to ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud disk or at least on an external drive. Of course, that might be insufficient. Your most important thing could be that one you were working on when it all started. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also advisable to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the OS is rolled back.

There are other ransomware products, besides Mekwyk, that work similarly. Examples of those are Mzop, Bpws, Bpsm, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Mekwyk are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is almost identical: files become encrypted, their extensions changed, ransom notes are found in every directory containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate victims were able to decrypt the arrested files with the aid of the free tools provided by anti-ransomware experts. Sometimes the hackers 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 expect such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a bandits’ tool to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How to avert ransomware attack?

Mekwyk ransomware has no superpower, neither does any similar malware.

You can protect your computer from ransomware attack within several easy steps:

  • Never open any emails from unknown mailboxes with strange addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are waiting for (can you win in a money prize draw without even taking part in it?). If the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, scrutinize all elements of the questionable email with caution. A hoax letter will surely have a mistake.
  • Avoid using cracked or untrusted software. Trojan viruses are often spreaded as a part of cracked products, possibly as a “patch” which prevents the license check. Understandably, potentially dangerous programs are very hard to tell from reliable ones, as trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. You can try searching for information about this software product on the anti-malware message boards, but the optimal solution is not to use such software.
  • And finally, to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, scan them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful armor for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft2

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft3.

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 PC.

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 “Yes” 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 Mekwyk 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 finished, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the “Clean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 Are the “.mekwyk” files accessible?

Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.mekwyk” files you will not be able to access them.

🤔 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. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.

🤔 Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the Mekwyk virus?

No way! The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.

With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your computer off the actual threats. The virus that has infiltrated your PC is probably still functional and it scans your system from time to time to encode any new files you might create on your PC after the attack. As it has been said above, the Mekwyk virus comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide malefactors with easy access to your computer in the future.

🤔 What to do if the Mekwyk malware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation key.

In such a case, you need to have a flash memory card with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. You see, the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or brought into your system. To suppress this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital applications to run upon system start. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 What can I do right now?

Some of the encrypted files can be located elsewhere.

  • If you sent or received your important files by email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You might have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Simply ask them to post those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, you can try downloading them again.
  • Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud drives might have all those files as well.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old PC, a notebook, cellphone, external storage, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can use file recovery programs4 to get your lost data back since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, deleting the authentic ones. In the tutorial below, you can see how to recover your files with PhotoRec, 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 MEKWYK Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: MEKWYK Virus

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

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  2. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  3. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/comparison
  4. Here’s the list of Top 10 Data Recovery Software Of 2023.

About the author

Brendan Smith

I'm Brendan Smith, a passionate journalist, researcher, and web content developer. With a keen interest in computer technology and security, I specialize in delivering high-quality content that educates and empowers readers in navigating the digital landscape.

With a focus on computer technology and security, I am committed to sharing my knowledge and insights to help individuals and organizations protect themselves in the digital age. My expertise in cybersecurity principles, data privacy, and best practices allows me to provide practical tips and advice that readers can implement to enhance their online security.

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