Maoloa Ransomware

Also Known As: Maoloa virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Maoloa ransomware removal instructions

What is Maoloa?

Discovered by S!Ri, Maoloa is a malicious program categorized as ransomware. Once it has infiltrated the system, Maoloa encrypts all files stored on the computer and generates a ransom-demand message called "HOW BACK YOUR FILES.txt". It also renames all encrypted files by adding a new/additional ".maoloa" extension. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.maoloa". Updated variants of this ransomware add ".shelbyboom" extension to encrypted files.

The ransom demand message ("HOW BACK YOUR FILES.txt" file) states that all files have been encrypted and to retrieve them (obtain a decryption tool), affected users must contact these cyber criminals using one of the following email addresses:,, or The email must include the assigned personal ID. Receipt of this email indicates a willingness for Maoloa victims to pay the ransom - effectively, buy a decryption tool. It is possible to send them two files for free decryption before purchasing the tool. Cyber criminals offer this as 'proof' that they have the correct tool capable of decryption. Victims with computers infected with this ransomware are warned not to rename any of the encrypted files or make attempts to decrypt them using other (third party) tools. According to these developers, such attempts might result in permanent data loss. Note that most cyber criminals (ransomware developers) employ cryptographies (symmetric or asymmetric) that are impossible to 'crack' without the correct tool. Generally, only ransomware developers have these tools. Despite this, do not purchase any tools from these people - most cyber criminals do not send any tools even when their ransom demands are met and payments are made. Therefore, most people are scammed. The best free choice in these situations is to use a data backup created before encryption and to recover files from there.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

Maoloa decrypt instructions

Most ransomware-type programs share two main similarities: they encrypt data stored on computers and allow developers to make ransom demands. Common differences are cost of decryption (via a decryption tool) and cryptography algorithm employed to encrypt files. Most of these programs are quite similar. Unfortunately, most are impossible to 'crack' without the involvement of the developers, or when the ransomware contains bugs/flaws or is still in development. Therefore, maintain data backups at regular intervals and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices. Some examples of other ransomware-type programs are .blower, CryptoID, and 888.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is difficult to determine exactly how developers proliferate Maoloa, however, most use spam campaigns (emails), Trojans, unofficial software download channels, software cracking tools and fake software updaters. Ransomware and other infections are proliferated through spam campaigns by sending emails that contain malicious attachments. These attachments are various files such as Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, archive files (such as RAR, ZIP), executables (.exe files), and so on. The main objective of these campaigns is to trick people (recipients) into opening these attachments. Opening them usually results in download and installation of high-risk infections such as ransomware-type programs. Trojans are malicious programs that cause chain infections (they proliferate other programs of this type). To do so, however, they must first be installed. Untrustworthy, dubious software download sources such as freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, peer-to-peer networks (torrents, eMule etc.) third party software downloaders and other such tools are used to infected computers. Cyber criminals present their malicious programs as legitimate and use dubious tools to install computer infections rather than the chosen software. By using software cracking tools, many people cause computer infections. These tools are supposedly capable of activating software or operating systems free of charge (without paying for activation), however, cyber criminals design these tools to install malicious program rather than activating any software. Fake software updaters cause damage by downloading malware rather than the promised updates, or by exploiting bugs/flaws of the outdated software (a similar strategy to software cracking tools).

Threat Summary:
Name Maoloa virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Symptoms Can't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
Damage All files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.

To eliminate Maoloa virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Download, install, update software, and browse the web with care. Avoid using third party software downloaders/installers, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks, and other such tools. Download software using only official and trustworthy websites (or other reliable channels). Update installed software using implemented functions or tools provided by official software developers. Be careful with opening attachments (or web links) that are presented in emails received from unknown/suspicious email addresses. Do not open them if they seem suspicious. Software cracking tools are illegal and often cause computer infections. Therefore, do not use them. Having reputable anti-spyware/anti-virus software installed and keeping it enabled is is good prevention against various computer infections. These tools can detect threats and eliminate then before any damage is done. If your computer is already infected with Maoloa, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Maoloa ransomware text file "HOW BACK YOUR FILES.txt" :

** All your files have been encrypted **
| * Do not rename encrypted files. |
| * Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, this can |
| result in complete data loss. |

Send us email with your personal id.
This email will be as confirmation you are ready to pay for decryption key.
After payment, we send you the decryption tool, that decrypt all your files.

Before paying you can send 2 file for free decryption. The total size of file
must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable
information (backups, databases, large excel-word sheets, etc.)


------------------------------------- KEY -------------------------------------

Screenshot of files encrypted by Maoloa (".maoloa" extension):

Files encrypted by Maoloa

Maoloa ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Maoloa virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Maoloa virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the Maoloa virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the Maoloa ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Maoloa ransomware files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of Maoloa are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.

To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by Maoloa, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

To protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Maoloa ransomware.

Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.

Controll Folder Access

Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.

Other tools known to remove Maoloa ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Maoloa virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Maoloa virus on your mobile device.
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