Avoid Moka ransomware attacks

Also Known As: Moka virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

Moka ransomware removal instructions

What is Moka?

Moka is a part of the Djvu ransomware family and was discovered by Michael Gillespie. Like most programs of this type, Moka encrypts files to prevent access. To regain access, victims must pay ransoms to cyber criminals (i.e., purchase a decryption tool). Moka renames all encrypted files by changing extensions to ".moka". For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.moka". It also creates a ransom message within a text file called "_readme.txt".

To purchase a decryption tool and key, victims are encouraged to contact Moka developers via the gorentos@bitmessage.ch or gerentoshelp@firemail.cc email address. They are permitted to attach one encrypted file, which cyber criminals offer to decrypt free of charge. These decryption tools cost $980, however, victims can purchase them for $490 if they contact Moka developers within 72 hours of encryption. Like most ransomware-type programs, Moka encrypts files with a strong encryption algorithm. Therefore, it is impossible to decrypt files without tools held only by the cyber criminals who designed Moka. Note that cyber criminals cannot be trusted - they often send no decryption tools even if their demands are met. In most cases, the only way to recover files free of charge (without having to contact and pay cyber criminals) is to restore them from a backup created prior to infection.

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

Moka decrypt instructions

Moka is very similar to many other programs of this type, such as Kokoklock, .cmd, and Peta. In most cases, these programs encrypt data using strong cryptographic algorithms (symmetric or asymmetric) and create or display ransom messages. Typically, the main differences are size of ransom and algorithm that was used to lock the victim's data. Encrypted files cannot be decrypted without the tools held only by the ransomware developers, unless the program is not complete (contains bugs, flaws, and so on). In summary, the only way to recover files is to use a data backup. Therefore, maintain backups and store them on a remote server (such as Cloud) or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Typically, cyber criminals proliferate malware such as ransomware through spam campaigns, Trojans, untrustworthy software download channels, unofficial/fake software updating or activation tools. In spam campaigns, they send emails that contain malicious attachments. When attached files are opened, they install malicious software. Examples of files that can infect computers through emails are PDF documents, archive files (RAR, ZIP), executable files (.exe) JavaScript files, and Microsoft Office documents. Trojans are malicious programs that usually cause chain infections to proliferate malware, however, this is possible only when the computer is already infected with software of this type. Furthermore, untrustworthy software download sources such as freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks such as torrent clients, eMule etc., and other tools can be used to proliferate malware. Cyber criminals use these download sources to disguise malicious files as legitimate and harmless. If people download and open them, however, computers are infected with high-risk malware. Fake software updaters infect operating systems by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software installed on the operating system, or by installing malicious programs rather than updates. Software 'cracking' tools supposedly activate licensed (paid) software free of charge, however, in many cases, these tools infect computers with ransomware, Trojans, or other malicious software.

Threat Summary:
Name Moka virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.32413934), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.GWGW), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Stop.dj), Full List (VirusTotal)
Encrypted Files Extension .moka
Ransom Demanding Message _readme.txt
Ransom Amount $980/$490
Cyber Criminal Contact gorentos@bitmessage.ch, gorentoshelp@firemail.cc
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand payment of a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads, unofficial activation and updating tools.
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.
Removal

To eliminate Moka 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

Ignore irrelevant emails that include various attachments or links and are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. These are often disguised as official and important, however, they should not be trusted or files attached to them, opened. Do not download or install software using third party downloaders/installers, unofficial websites, or other tools/sources of this kind. The safest way to download files and programs is to use official websites and direct download links. Installed software should be updated properly using tools or implemented functions designed by official software developers. If an installed program is not free, it should be activated properly. Various 'cracking' tools often infect systems with malware and are illegal to use. Scan the operating system for viruses regularly using reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software. If your computer is already infected with Moka, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Moka ransomware text file ("_readme.txt"):

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-BDgg6lyvws
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:
gorentos@bitmessage.ch

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
gerentoshelp@firemail.cc

Your personal ID:
-

Fake Windows Update window displayed during the encryption:

Moka installation process

Screenshot of files encrypted by Moka (".moka" extension):

Files encrypted by Moka

Moka ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Moka 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 Moka 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 Moka 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 Moka 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 Moka 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 Moka 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 Moka, 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 Moka 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 Moka 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 pcrisk.com 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
Medium

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

QR Code
Moka 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 Moka virus on your mobile device.
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