About the Masok Virus
The Internet is definitely among the biggest inventions of the human race. With that being said, it could also be something hazardous if you are not observant and cautious enough. One particularly dangerous type of malware which will be the focus of this article is what is known as Ransomware. The reason why this form of PC viruses are called Ransomware has to do with the fact they’re typically employed for blackmailing the web users into transferring a set amount of money to some anonymous online hackers. The cryptovirus we are going to be putting our emphasis on within the next paragraphs is one that’s well known for sealing the targeted user’s personal files by using a highly-advanced encryption code and afterward, demanding a ransom to be paid in exchange for the file-decryption key that can recover the data. The name of this particular virus that we’re referring to is Masok and in case you’re among the numerous unlucky victims of this dangerous infection, in the next lines, you will find some vital information that might help you deal with it and a special Masok removal guide.
Ransomware isn’t like any other malware on the web and operates quite differently than the majority of computer infections. Perhaps that’s the main reason this kind of insidious threats should be blamed for such a big number of hard-to-deal-with issues. Anti-malware programs are, most of the time, ineffective against Ransomware due to the ability of the malware to remain completely hidden. This is possible mostly due to the unique and uncommon behavior and methods, used by the infection. If malware like Masok, Prandel, Zatrov gets in your system, it will actually not aim to cause any destruction or harm to the computer or the files which are on it. That way, the cryptovirus will not trigger the virus definitions of the anti-virus program that you might have on your PC and will be able to remain unnoticed. The file encryption it uses to render your personal files inaccessible is, actually, a widely used file protection method, that does not damage anything and is usually non-harmful. Its idea is only to lock the target data and secure it with a special decryption key. Nevertheless, since you don’t have the key needed to decrypt your files, you will still be in trouble if they’ve been locked-up by Masok since you won’t be able to open or use them, even though they may still be stored on your computer.
What to do with .masok files?
The hackers, who stay behind Masok, will use that against you and will not hesitate to blackmail you in all possible ways in order to make you pay for the decryption key which is typically stored on their servers. The success of the Ransomware blackmailing method relies on the fear of the victims and their desperate attempts to regain access to their files.
If you want to tackle such a virus attack, however, it is necessary to get well aware of all the alternatives and the risks and try to explore other options instead of acting out of panic and giving the hackers the money they desire. In this way, you will have a chance to remove the nasty virus from your system and even restore some of your files from backups or by other means without risking your hard-earned money.
|Danger Level||High (Ransomware is by far the worst threat you can encounter)|
|Symptoms||Very few and unnoticeable ones before the ransom notification comes up.|
|Distribution Method||From fake ads and fake system requests to spam emails and contagious web pages.|
Masok Ransomware Removal
Note: Before you go any further, we advise you to bookmark this page or have it open on a separate device such as your smartphone or another PC. Some of the steps might require you to exit your browser on this PC.
2: Task Manager
Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to enter the Task Manager. Go to the Tab labeled Processes (Details for Win 8/10). Carefully look through the list of processes that are currently active on you PC.
If any of them seems shady, consumes too much RAM/CPU or has some strange description or no description at all, right-click on it, select Open File Location and delete everything there.
Also, even if you do not delete the files, be sure to stop the process by right-clicking on it and selecting End Process.
3: IP related to Masok
Go to c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. Open the hosts file with notepad.
Find where it says Localhost and take a look below that.
If you see any IP addresses there (below Localhost) send them to us here, in the comments since they might be coming from the Masok.
4: Disable Startup programs
Re-open the Start Menu and type msconfig.
Click on the first search result. In the next window, go to the Startup tab. If you are on Win 10, it will send you to the Startup part of the task manager instead, as in the picture:
If you see any sketchy/shady looking entries in the list with an unknown manufacturer or a manufacturer name that looks suspicious as there could be a link between them and Masok , disable those programs and select OK.
5: Registry Editor
Press Windows key + R and in the resulting window type regedit.
Now, press Ctrl + F and type the name of the virus.
Delete everything that gets found. If you are not sure about whether to delete something, do not hesitate to ask us in the comments. Keep in mind that if you delete the wrong thing, you might cause all sorts of issues to your PC.
6: Deleting potentially malicious data – Masok
Type each of the following locations in the Windows search box and hit enter to open the locations:
Delete everything you see in Temp linked to Masok Ransomware. About the other folders, sort their contents by date and delete only the most recent entries. As always, if you are not sure about something, write to us in the comment section.
7: Masok Decryption
The previous steps were all aimed at removing the Masok Ransomware from your PC. However, in order to regain access to your files, you will also need to decrypt them or restore them. For that, we have a separate article with detailed instructions on what you have to do in order to unlock your data. Here is a link to that guide.