The Mlza virus, known as a ransomware, belongs to the STOP/DJVU family. This malware is notorious for malignant file encryption operations. When the Mlza virus gets into a computer system, it targets various types of files, such as videos, photos, documents, and more. It changes the file structure and adds the “.mlza” extension to each file, making them unusable without the decryption.
Mlza Virus Overview
🤔 Mlza virus can be classified as ransomware that originates from the DJVU/STOP ransomware family. Its main target is to lock all of your files it can reach. After that this ransomware asks its victims to pay the ransom – ($490 – $980) in Bitcoin.
The Mlza virus is a malware type that ciphers your files and coerces you into paying for their recovery. This ransomware encrypts various file types. Encrypted files become identifiable by a distinct “.mlza” extension. The files touched by ransomware become impossible to access and use.
Then, the ransomware asks for a ransom payment in Bitcoin from its victims, ranging from $490 to $980. In all cases, a text file with ransom payment guidances is named as “_readme.txt“.
Mlza Ransomware uses Salsa20 encryption algorithms to scramble the contents of the targeted files. Since Mlza virus utilizes such a robust ciphering method, it becomes pretty hard, if even possible, to find the decryption key without cooperating with the attackers.
Once Mlza malware finishes the encryption, it shows a ransom note to the user, demanding a ransom payment for the decryption key. The ransom note contains instructions on the ways of making the payment and also often contains threats of permanent data loss or increased ransom amounts if the demands are not met within a specified timeframe.
I have compiled a comprehensive list of the solutions, tips, and methods to disable the Mlza malware and decrypt and recover your files. There are cases when it may be feasible to restore your files, but sometimes, it may be impossible.
📌 Important Note!
It is essential to note that paying the ransom is not a guarantee of the successful recovery of your files. The cybercriminals behind the Mlza virus are known for their untrustworthiness. There were the cases where people have paid the ransom, only to be denied by the cybercriminals with the decryption key provision.
Mlza employs a unique key for every victim, with one exception:
- If Mlza fails to connect the command and control server (C&C) before starting the encryption process, it resorts to using offline keys. This key is not unique and is the same for all users, allowing for the decryption of files encrypted by the ransomware.
The Mlza virus is highly similar to other DJVU ransomware variants like Mlrd, Mlrd, Mlwq, and Ttap. This virus encrypts a wide range of common file types and appends its distinct “.mlza” extension to all files. For instance, a file named “1.jpg” would be altered to “1.jpg.mlza” and “2.png” to “2.png.mlza“.
Upon successful encryption, the virus spawns a special text file named “_readme.txt” and places it in every folder containing the encrypted files. It as well adds this file to the desktop, so the user will not miss the attack even without opening folders.
The image below provides a visual representation of files with the “mlza” extension:
|Ransomware family1||DJVU/STOP2 ransomware|
|Ransom||From $490 to $980 (in Bitcoins)|
|Contact||[email protected], [email protected]|
|Detection||Trojan:Script/Phonzy.B!ml Virus Removal, Trojan:MSIL/SnakeKeylogger.SPAQ!MTB Virus Removal, Trojan:Win32/Gozi.RF!MTB Virus Removal|
To remove possible malware infections, scan your PC:
6-day free trial available.
This message asking payment is for restore files via decryption key:
Mlza ransomware arrives as a set of tasks that are meant to carry out different tasks on a victim’s computer. One of the initial processes being launched is winupdate.exe, a tricky process that shows a false Windows update prompt during the attack. Such a trick helps to convince the victim that their PC has become slow because of a Windows update.
At the same time, the ransomware runs another process (named as 4 random chars) which starts scanning the computer for target files and encrypting them. Then the ransomware deletes Volume Shadow Copies from the disk through the following CMD command:
vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet
Once erased, it becomes nearly impossible to restore the previous computer state using System Restore Points. The issue is, ransomware operators are eliminating any built-in Windows techniques that could aid the victim to regain files for free. In addition, the rascals modify the Windows HOSTS file by adding a list of domains to it and directing them to the localhost IP. As a result, the victim will encounter a DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error when trying to open one of the blacklisted websites.
We’ve observed that ransomware endeavors to block websites that post various how-to guides for computer users. It is obvious that by limiting specific domains, the malefactors are trying to hinder the victim from accessing relevant and helpful ransomware-attack-related information online. This malware also stores two .txt files on the victim’s computer that present attack-related details – the public key of this victim and personal ID. These two files are named bowsakkdestx.txt and PersonalID.txt.
After all these changes, the malware doesn’t stop. Variants of STOP/DJVU tend to install Vidar password-stealing Trojan on compromised systems. This threat possesses an extensive list of capabilities, including:
- Manipulating and viewing files on the victim’s computer without their knowledge.
- Extracting sensitive information such as browser cookies, saved passwords, and browsing history.
- Obtaining unauthorized access to login credentials of Steam, Telegram, and Skype.
- Granting the hackers remote control over the victim’s computer for various malicious activities.
- Stealing cryptocurrency wallets from the victim’s system.
- Gathering sensitive data by running malicious software on the victim’s computer.
The cryptography algorithm in STOP/Djvu ransomware is AES-256. So, if your data got encrypted with an online decryption key, the chances to get your files back are quite low. Thing is, this key is unique for each victim, and picking it will take exceptionally big amount of time.
Getting the online decryption key in another way is also close to impossible. It is kept on a server owned by the criminals who spread the Mlza infection. For receiving unlocking key the payment should be $980. To get the payment details, the victims should contact the hackers by email ([email protected]).
The message by the ransomware states the following information:
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. What guarantees you have? You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free. But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information. You can get and look video overview decrypt tool: https://we.tl/t-WJa63R98Ku Price of private key and decrypt software is $980. Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $490. Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment. Check your e-mail "Spam" or "Junk" folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours. To get this software you need write on our e-mail: [email protected] Reserve e-mail address to contact us: [email protected] Your personal ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
How To Remove STOP/Djvu Ransomware?
Remove Mlza Virus with Gridinsoft Anti-Malware
We have also been using this software on our systems ever since, and it has always been successful in detecting viruses. It has blocked the most common Ransomware as shown from our tests with the software, and we assure you that it can remove Mlza Virus as well as other malware hiding on your computer.
To use Gridinsoft for remove malicious threats, follow the steps below:
1. Begin by downloading Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, accessible via the blue button below or directly from the official website gridinsoft.com.
2.Once the Gridinsoft setup file (setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe) is downloaded, execute it by clicking on the file.
3.Follow the installation setup wizard's instructions diligently.
4. Access the "Scan Tab" on the application's start screen and launch a comprehensive "Full Scan" to examine your entire computer. This inclusive scan encompasses the memory, startup items, the registry, services, drivers, and all files, ensuring that it detects malware hidden in all possible locations.
Be patient, as the scan duration depends on the number of files and your computer's hardware capabilities. Use this time to relax or attend to other tasks.
5. Upon completion, Anti-Malware will present a detailed report containing all the detected malicious items and threats on your PC.
6. Select all the identified items from the report and confidently click the "Clean Now" button. This action will safely remove the malicious files from your computer, transferring them to the secure quarantine zone of the anti-malware program to prevent any further harmful actions.
8. If prompted, restart your computer to finalize the full system scan procedure. This step is crucial to ensure thorough removal of any remaining threats. After the restart, Gridinsoft Anti-Malware will open and display a message confirming the completion of the scan.
Remember Gridinsoft offers a 6-day free trial. This means you can take advantage of the trial period at no cost to experience the full benefits of the software and prevent any future malware infections on your system. Embrace this opportunity to fortify your computer's security without any financial commitment.
Trojan Killer for “Mlza Virus” removal on locked PC
In situations where it becomes impossible to download antivirus applications directly onto the infected computer due to malware blocking access to websites, an alternative solution is to utilize the Trojan Killer application.
There is a really little number of security tools that are able to be set up on the USB drives, and antiviruses that can do so in most cases require to obtain quite an expensive license. For this instance, I can recommend you to use another solution of GridinSoft - Trojan Killer Portable. It has a 14-days cost-free trial mode that offers the entire features of the paid version. This term will definitely be 100% enough to wipe malware out.
Trojan Killer is a valuable tool in your cybersecurity arsenal, helping you to effectively remove malware from infected computers. Now, we will walk you through the process of using Trojan Killer from a USB flash drive to scan and remove malware on an infected PC. Remember, always obtain permission to scan and remove malware from a computer that you do not own.
Step 1: Download & Install Trojan Killer on a Clean Computer:
1. Go to the official GridinSoft website (gridinsoft.com) and download Trojan Killer to a computer that is not infected.
2. Insert a USB flash drive into this computer.
3. Install Trojan Killer to the "removable drive" following the on-screen instructions.
4. Once the installation is complete, launch Trojan Killer.
Step 2: Update Signature Databases:
5. After launching Trojan Killer, ensure that your computer is connected to the Internet.
6. Click "Update" icon to download the latest signature databases, which will ensure the tool can detect the most recent threats.
Step 3: Scan the Infected PC:
7. Safely eject the USB flash drive from the clean computer.
8. Boot the infected computer to the Safe Mode.
9. Insert the USB flash drive.
10. Run tk.exe
11. Once the program is open, click on "Full Scan" to begin the malware scanning process.
Step 4: Remove Found Threats:
12. After the scan is complete, Trojan Killer will display a list of detected threats.
13. Click on "Cure PC!" to remove the identified malware from the infected PC.
14. Follow any additional on-screen prompts to complete the removal process.
Step 5: Restart Your Computer:
15. Once the threats are removed, click on "Restart PC" to reboot your computer.
16. Remove the USB flash drive from the infected computer.
Congratulations on effectively removing Mlza Virus and the concealed threats from your computer! You can now have peace of mind, knowing that they won't resurface again. Thanks to Gridinsoft's capabilities and commitment to cybersecurity, your system is now protected.
How To Decrypt .mlza Files?
How to restore big files?
Try removing .mlza extension on a few big files and opening them. This malware has issues with large files encryption. Either the virus scanned and did not encrypt the file, or it failed and did not add the filemarker. If you have files that are very large (2GB+), the latter is most likely. Please, text me in the comments whether this helped you or not.
As a result of the alterations made by the criminals, STOPDecrypter is no longer backed. It has been replaced with the Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu Ransomware developed by Emsisoft.
You can download free decryption tool here: Decryptor for STOP Djvu.
Download and run decryption tool.
Start downloading the decryption tool.
Make sure to launch the decryption utility as an administrator. You need to agree with the license terms that will come up. For this purpose, click on the “Yes” button:
As soon as you accept the license terms, the main decryptor user interface comes up:
Select folders for decryption.
Based on the default configurations, the decryptor will automatically choose the accessible directories in order to decrypt the currently accessible drives (the connected ones), including the network drives. You can select extra locations with the “Add” button.
Decryptors usually propose several options considering the specific malware family. The present possible options are shown in the Options tab and can be enabled or disabled there. You may discover a detailed list of the currently active Options below.
Click on the “Decrypt” button.
As soon as you add all the desired locations for decryption into the list, click on the “Decrypt” button in order to initiate the decryption procedure.
Note that the main screen may turn you to a status view, letting you know of the active process and the decryption statistics of your data:
The decryptor will notify you as soon as the decryption procedure is completed. If you need the report for your personal papers, you can save it by choosing the “Save log” button. Note that it is also possible to copy it directly to your clipboard and to paste it into emails or messages here if you need to do so.
The Emsisoft Decryptor might display different messages after a failed attempt to restore your files:
✓ Error: Unable to decrypt file with ID: [your ID]
Emsisoft failed to find a correspondnig decryption key in their database.
✓ No key for New Variant online ID: [your ID]
Notice: this ID appears to be an online ID, decryption is impossible
Malware used an online key to cipher your files. There is no one to share the decryption key with you. File recovery is only possible through paying the ransom. 🙁
✓ Result: No key for new variant offline ID: [example ID]
This ID appears be an offline ID. Decryption may be possible in the future.
An offline key was used, though the file recovery operation failed (the offline decryption key isn’t available yet). But, this message is a good news for you, because it might be possible to restore your files in the future. 🙂
It can take a few weeks or months until the decryption key gets found and uploaded to the decryptor. Please follow updates regarding the decryptable DJVU versions here.
✓ Remote name could not be resolved
It’s an indication of a DNS issue on your PC. Consider resetting your HOSTS file to default.
How to Restore .mlza Files?
In some case ransomware is not doom for your files…
The Mlza ransomware encryption mechanism is next: it encrypts every file byte-by-byte, then saves a duplicate, erasing (not overriding!) the initial file. Hence, the data of the file location on the physical disk is lost, but the original file is not erased from the physical disk. The cell, or the sector where this file was kept, can still keep this file, but it is not listed by the file system and can be rewritten by data that has been loaded to this disk after the removal. Hence, it is possible to restore your files using special software.
Anyway, after realizing it was an online algorithm, it is impossible to retrieve my encrypted files. I also had my backup drive plugged in at the time of the virus, and this was also infected, or so I thought. Every folder within my backup drive had been infected and was encrypted. However, despite losing some important files, I retrieved almost 80% of my 2TB storage.
When I started going through the folders, I noticed the readme.txt ransom note in every folder. I opened some of the folders and found that all files that were not in a subfolder within that folder had been encrypted. However, I found a flaw and glimmer of hope when I went into the subfolders in other folders and found that these files had not been encrypted. Every folder within my c and d drives, including subfolders, had been encrypted, but this was not the case with the backup drive. Having subfolders created within a folder has saved 80% of my data.
As I said, I believe this to be only a small loophole on a backup drive. I’ve since found a further 10 % of my data on another hard drive on a different pc. So my advice is if you use a backup drive, create subfolders. I was lucky, I guess. But I was also unlucky that the virus hit as I was transferring some files from my backup.
Hopefully, this can help some other people in my situation.Jamie Newland
Recovering your files with PhotoRec
PhotoRec is an free program, which is originally created for file retrieval from damaged disks, or for file retrieval in case if they are unintentionally deleted. However, as time has gone by, this program adopted the ability to retrieve the files of 400 different file types. Hence, it can be used for data recovery after the Mlza attack.
First, you need to download this app. It is 100% free, but the developer states that there is no warranty that the files will be retrieved. PhotoRec is distributed together with other tool of the same developer – TestDisk. The program archive will have TestDisk name, but don’t worry. PhotoRec files are right inside.
To run PhotoRec, find and open “qphotorec_win.exe” file. No setup is required – the program has all the files it need inside of the archive, hence, you can fit it on your USB drive, and help your friends/parents/anyone who has been attacked by Mlza ransomware.
Upon the start, you will observe the screen showing you the full list of your disk drives. However, this details are probably useless, because the required menu is placed a bit higher. Click this bar, then choose the disk which was attacked by ransomware.
After opting for the disk, you need to opt for the destination folder for the restored files. This menu is located at the lower part of the PhotoRec window. The best selection is to export them on USB drive or any other type of removable disk.
Then, you need to designate the file formats. This choice is located at the bottom, too. As it was mentioned, PhotoRec can regain the files of about 400 different formats.
Finally, you can initiate files retrieval by pressing the “Search” button. You will see the screen where the outcomes of the scan and recovery are shown.
Mlza files recovery Video Guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
No way. These files are encrypted by ransomware. The contents of encrypted files are not available until they are decrypted.
In this situation, you need to prepare the memory stick with a pre-installed Trojan Killer.
Have patience. You are infected with the new version of STOP/DJVU ransomware, and decryption keys have not yet been released. Follow the news on our website.
We will keep you posted on when new keys or new decryption programs appear.
The Mlza ransomware encrypts only the first 150KB of files. So MP3 files are rather large, some media players (Winamp for example) may be able to play the files, but – the first 3-5 seconds (the encrypted portion) will be missing.
You can try to find a copy of an original file that was encrypted:
- Files you downloaded from the Internet that were encrypted and you can download again to get the original.
- Pictures that you shared with family and friends that they can just send back to you.
- Photos that you uploaded on social media or cloud services like Carbonite, OneDrive, iDrive, Google Drive, etc
- Attachments in emails you sent or received and saved.
- Files on an older computer, flash drive, external drive, camera memory card, or iPhone where you transferred data to the infected computer.
If the guide doesn’t help you to remove infection, please download the GridinSoft Anti-Malware that I recommended. Do not forget to share your experience in solving the problem. Please leave a comment here! This can help other victims to understand they are not alone. And together we will find ways to deal with this issue.
I need your help to share this article.
It is your turn to help other people. I have written this guide to help people like you. You can use buttons below to share this on your favorite social media Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.Brendan Smith
How To Restore & Decrypt .MLZA Files?
Name: MLZA Ransomware
Description: The MLZA Virus belongs to the STOP/DJVU family of ransomware infections. This malicious software encrypts various file types, including videos, photos, and documents, which become identifiable by a distinct mlza extension. As a result, the affected files become inaccessible and unusable. Subsequently, the MLZA ransomware demands a ransom payment in Bitcoin from its victims, ranging from $490 to $980.
Operating System: Windows
Application Category: Virus
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