How to remove MarioLocker ransomware from the operating system

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

MarioLocker ransomware removal instructions

What is MarioLocker?

Discovered by Raby, MarioLocker is a malicious program classified as ransomware. Typically, people with computers infected with software of this type cannot access/use their files. Ransomware encrypts data so that victims are unable to decrypt it without specific tools that can only be purchased from the cyber criminals who designed the program. Therefore, victims of ransomware are encouraged to pay ransoms. This malware renames encrypted files by replacing filenames with ".wasted" plus a sequential number. For example, "1.jpg" might become ".wasted2", the next file to ".wasted3", and so on. It also creates a text file called "YourFiles.txt", which contains a list of encrypted files and a ransom message within the "@Readme.txt" file.

The "@Readme.txt" file states that victims must open a file named "WastedBitDecryptor" and follow the instructions. To check the list of encrypted files, they must open another file called "YourFiles.txt", which can be found in the "C:\Windows\Temp\" directory, however, MarioLocker does not provide victims with any instructions about how to contact its developers, pay the ransom, and so on. Therefore, it is very likely that this ransomware is still in development or under test. Even if it was possible to contact (and/or pay) these cyber criminals, we would advise against it. Victims who pay the ransom are often scammed - cyber criminals do not send decryption software and/or keys, even if they are paid. Another problem with ransomware is that software of this type encrypts files with strong encryption algorithms. Therefore, it is impossible to decrypt files without specific tools held only by the developers of the ransomware. Victims of ransomware thus have two options: pay cyber criminals and hope not to be scammed, or restore files from an existing data backup. Uninstalling ransomware from the system does not restore files (they remain encrypted), it simply prevents ransomware from causing further encryption.

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

MarioLocker decrypt instructions

Calum, TurkStatik, and Rote are just some examples of other ransomware-type malware infections. In most cases, these programs block access to users' files by encryption and provide instructions about how to pay the ransom. The two main variables are cost of decryption software/key and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) used to encrypt data. Generally, victims cannot decrypt their files without involvement of the cyber criminals. Victims, are often tempted to pay for decryption. This situation can be avoided in rare cases when the ransomware is not complete and contains bugs/flaws, etc., or when victims have data backups. Therefore, we recommend that you maintain backups and store them on a remote server and/or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is unknown exactly how cyber criminals proliferate MarioLocker ransomware, however, in most cases, malware is distributed through spam campaigns, Trojans, untrustworthy software download channels, fake software updaters, and unofficial activation tools. Cyber criminals use spam campaigns to proliferate malware through files attached to emails. Typically, they attach MS Office, PDF documents, executable files (.exe), archive files such as RAR, ZIP and JavaScript files. Their main purpose is to trick recipients into downloading and opening a malicious attachment. If opened, it infects the system with malware. Another way to proliferate malicious programs is through Trojans, a type of malware that, if already installed on the operating system, installs other malware. Programs of his type thus cause chain infections. Cyber criminals use various untrustworthy download sources (such as Peer-to-peer networks, freeware download or file hosting websites, unofficial pages, third party downloaders, etc.) to proliferate malicious software. They disguise infected files as legitimate and hope that someone will download and open them. When opened, the files install malicious programs. Fake software updaters distribute malware by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software, or simply by installing rogue software rather than updates. Unofficial activation tools are used by people who seek to bypass paid activation of licensed software (or operating systems). Note, however, that these tools often install malware and do not activate any legitimate software.

Threat Summary:
Name MarioLocker virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension This ransomware does not add any extension.
Ransom Demanding Message @Readme.txt
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMalware), BitDefender (Gen:Trojan.RegistryDisabler.tMW@a0aYl2gO), Emsisoft (Gen:Trojan.RegistryDisabler.tMW@a0aYl2gO (B)), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Diztakun.bopi), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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.
Additional Information There is no way to contact the cyber criminals who designed this ransomware. Therefore, it is likely to be in a development state or they are testing it.
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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections

Installation of malware can be avoided by not opening attachments or website links included in irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Download your software using direct links and reputable, official websites. Do not use the tools mentioned above. Update installed software only through tools or implemented functions designed by official software developers, and NOT via third party, fake updaters. If software is not free (licensed/paid), it should not be activated using unofficial 'cracking' tools. Keep your computer safe by regularly scanning it with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite and keep this software up-to-date. If your computer is already infected with MarioLocker, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in MarioLocker ransomware text file ("@Readme.txt"):

You'r files has been locked by Mario.
Please open 'WastedBitDecryptor', And follow the steps.
If you want to see your files, please go to this path and open 'YourFiles.txt' -- > C:\Windows\Temp\

Or press Win+R and type 'temp'.

Screenshot of the "YourFiles.txt" file (which contains a list of encrypted files) created by MarioLocker ransomware:

MarioLocker file containing the list of encrypted files

Screenshot of files encrypted by MarioLocker:

Files encrypted by MarioLocker

MarioLocker ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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 MarioLocker 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 MarioLocker 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 MarioLocker 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 MarioLocker 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 MarioLocker, 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 MarioLocker 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, and 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 MarioLocker 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
MarioLocker 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 MarioLocker virus on your mobile device.
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