MINLWON Virus 🔐 (.IP Files) — How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Minlwon virus belongs to the ransomware type of infection. Malware of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the computer (images, text files, excel sheets, music, videos, etc) and appends its specific extension to every file, creating the LeadMe.txt text files in each directory which contains the encrypted files.
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Minlwon virus: what is known so far?

☝️ A scientifically correct denomination for the Minlwon is “a ransomware malicious agent”.

Minlwon appends its specific .IP extension to the title of each encoded file. For example, an image entitled “photo.jpg” will be changed to “photo.jpg.IP”. Likewise, the Excel file with the name “table.xlsx” will end up as “table.xlsx.IP”, and so on.

The victims of MinlWon ransomware are notified through a ransom note that they need to pay to retrieve their encrypted files. The note states that the decryption tools will cost $5, and upon payment, the victims are instructed to contact the cyber criminals. It is cautioned in the note that using third-party recovery tools may result in the data becoming undecryptable.

In our experience of researching ransomware infections, we have found that decryption is seldom possible without the intervention of the attackers, except in cases where the ransomware-type programs are seriously flawed.

However, we strongly advise against paying the ransom, even if it is possible. In many cases, victims do not receive the decryption tools even after meeting the ransom demands. The size of the payment requested by MinlWon ransomware is highly unusual, indicating that the malware may have been launched for testing purposes. It is unclear whether the cybercriminals will bother to send the decryption keys/software after receiving payment.

To prevent further encryption by MinlWon ransomware, it must be removed from the operating system. Unfortunately, removing it will not recover the already compromised files. The only solution is to recover the files from a backup if one was created earlier and stored in a different location.

The general recommendation for safeguarding data is to keep backups in various locations such as remote servers, unplugged storage devices, etc.

Minlwon abstract:
Name Minlwon Virus
Extension .IP
Ransomware note LeadMe.txt
Contact [email protected]
Detection Trojan:Win32/Smokeloader.GHN!MTB, Trojan:Win32/RedLine.LD!MTB, Ransom:MSIL/TankixCrypt.PA!MTB
Symptoms Your files (photos, videos, documents) get a .IP extension and you can’t open them.
Fix Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Minlwon virus

The LeadMe.txt file accompanying the Minlwon malware provides the following discouraging information:

Hello!
 
I'm keeping my files safe
But you can keep it as you want, but it\'s not up to you to disclose it.
 
If you want to restore the file, please deposit it as below.
Toss Bank: -
5$ Payment
Send the money and follow the instructions
 
1. Pay for it.
2. Send an email
[email protected]
4. If you send me an email, I will send you the file within 24 hours.
5. Recovery file.
6. Run on an infected computer.
7.If you do not follow the above procedure and use other recovery tools, you may not be able to recover your files. Please let me know the above information.

In the screenshot below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Minlwon looks like. Each filename has the “.IP” extension appended to it.

Minlwon Virus - encrypted .IP files

An example of encrypted .IP files.

How did my computer get infected with Minlwon ransomware?

There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware infiltration.

Nowadays, there are three most exploited ways for criminals to have the Minlwon virus working in your system. These are email spam, Trojan infiltration and peer-to-peer networks.

If you access your mailbox and see emails that look like familiar notifications from utility services companies, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose mailer is unknown to you, beware of opening those emails. They are most likely to have a viral item attached to them. Thus it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan horse scheme. A Trojan is a program that gets into your machine pretending to be something else. For example, you download an installer for some program you need or an update for some program. However, what is unboxed reveals itself a harmful agent that encrypts your data. Since the installation package can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the files you’re downloading. The optimal way is to trust the software companies’ official websites.

As for the peer file transfer protocols like torrents or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Internet. You can never know what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy resources. Also, it is reasonable to scan the directory containing the downloaded objects with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is finished.

How do I get rid of the Minlwon virus?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Minlwon virus will most likely install Vidar Stealer on your computer to get access to credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned spyware can derive your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Sometimes tamperers would unblock few of your files so you know that they indeed have the decryption program. As Minlwon virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures developers have not yet found a way to reverse its work. However, the anti-ransomware tools are constantly upgraded, so the solution may soon be available.

Understandably, if the evildoers succeed in encoding victim’s critical data, the desperate person will probably fulfill their demands. However, paying a ransom gives no guarantee that you’re getting your files back. It is still risky. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption key to the victim. There were reports of criminals simply vanishing after getting the money without even writing back.

The optimal solution against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud storage or at least on an external drive. Surely, that might be not enough. 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 antivirus program after the OS is rolled back.

Minlwon is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. Examples of those are Nifr, Boty, Niwm, and some others. The two main differences between them and the Minlwon are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: files become encrypted, their extensions changed, ransom notes appear in every folder containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate users were able to decode the arrested files with the aid of the free tools provided by anti-malware developers. Sometimes the racketeers mistakenly send the decoding key to the victims in the ransom readme. Such an epic fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But of course, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a bandits’ tool to pull the money out of their victims.

How do I avoid ransomware infiltration?

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

You can protect your system from its injection taking several easy steps:

  • Ignore any emails from unknown senders with unknown addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (can you win in a money prize draw without participating in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are expecting, scrutinize all elements of the questionable email carefully. A hoax letter will surely contain mistakes.
  • Do not use cracked or unknown programs. Trojan viruses are often spreaded as an element of cracked software, possibly as a “patch” which prevents the license check. But dubious programs are very hard to distinguish from trustworthy software, because trojans may also have the functionality you seek. You can try searching for information about this software product on the anti-malware forums, but the best way is not to use such software.
  • And finally, to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful armor for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft1

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft2.

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 PC for Minlwon 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 “Clean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 How can I open “.IP” files?Are the “.IP” files accessible?

There’s no way to do it, unless the files “.IP” files are decrypted.

🤔 What should I do to make my files accessible as fast as possible?

If the “.IP” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. 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.

🤔 If GridinSoft deletes the Minlwon malware, will it also delete my files that were encrypted?

No way! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with real threats. The virus that has infiltrated your computer is most likely still active and launching checks periodically to encrypt any new files you might create on your computer after the initial attack. As it has already been said, the Minlwon virus does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide criminals with easy access to your system after some time.

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

If that happened, you need to prepare a memory stick with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. You see, the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encodes any new files created or imported into your machine. To stop this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital applications to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 What can I do right now?

Many of the blocked files might still be within your reach

  • If you exchanged your critical files through 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 pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Web, you can try downloading them again.
  • Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud storage might have all those files as well.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old computer, a laptop, phone, memory stick, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can employ file recovery programs3 to get your lost data back since ransomware blocks the copies of your files, removing the original ones. In the tutorial below, you can learn how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, but remember: you won’t be able to do it before you kill the virus with an anti-malware program.

Also, you can contact the following governmental 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 MINLWON Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: MINLWON Virus

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

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  2. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  3. Here are Best 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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