Remove Makop ransomware and prevent it from further encryptions

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

Makop ransomware removal instructions

What is Makop?

Makop is a type of malware, categorized as ransomware. It operates by encrypting data of infected systems and demands payment for decryption tools/software. During the encryption process all affected files are retitled according to this pattern: original filename, unique ID, cyber criminals' email address and the ".makop extension. For example, a file named "1.jpg" would appear as something like "1.jpg.[EF7BE7BC].[makop@airmail.cc].makop", and so on. After this process is finished, a text file titled - "readme-warning.txt" is created on the desktop. Updated variants of this ransomware use ".[mrdjohni@tutanota.com].makop", ".[akzhq412@aol.com].makop", ".[savedata2@protonmail.com].makop", ".[ruthlessencry@qq.com].makop", ".[irisaneby@aol.com].makop", ".[makop@tuta.io].makop", ".[tomasrich2020@aol.com].makop", ".[genfiles@protonmail.com].makop", ".[backup_499@protonmail.com].makop", ".[KILLYOUASS@protonmail.com].makop", ".[buydecryptor@aol.com].makop", ".[restoring.data@protonmail.com].makop", ".[farik1@protonmail.com].makop", ".[antiransomware@aol.com].makop", ".[admcphel@protonmail.ch].makop", ".[akzhq12@cock.li].makop", ".[data.compromised@protonmail.com].makop", ".[giantt1@protonmail.com].makop", ".[viginare@aol.com].makop", ".[verilerimialmakistiyorum@inbox.ru].makop", ".[moncler@cock.li].makop", ".[ww6666@protonmail.com].makop", ".[xaodecrypt@protonmail.com].makop", ".[cock89558@cock.li].makop", ".[prndssdnrp@mail.fr].makop", ".[MikeyMaus77@protomail.com].makop", ".[modeturbo@aol.com].makop", ".[buydecryptor@cock.li].makop" and ".[helpdesk_makp@protonmail.ch].makop" extensions for encrypted files.

The text file contains the ransom note. It clarifies that the victims data has not been damaged, it was encrypted. According to the message the only way to recover the compromised files is to purchase decryption tools from the developers of Makop ransomware. To receive further instructions how to do this, the note instructs users to establish contact with the criminals via email. Prior to paying, victims can test decryption by sending up to two small files (no larger than 1Mb each). These test files cannot contain valuable information, such as databases. Formats like .jpg, .xls and .doc are given as examples of what files can be used for this purpose. The size of the ransom is not stated, however it will have to be paid in Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Following payment, users are promised to receive the decryption tools/software and instructions how to use them. The note ends with warnings, alerting users that modifying the encrypted files in any way, attempting to decrypt them with third party software, running anti-virus programs - can result in permanent data loss. So, it recommends making copies of the files before trying any of the aforementioned actions. In most cases of ransomware infections, decryption is impossible without the involvement of the malware's developers. It might be viable, if the malicious program is still in development and/or has certain bugs/flaws. Regardless, it is ill-advised to communicate with and/or meet the demands of cyber criminals. These individuals cannot be trusted and often, despite paying - victims do not received the necessary tools/software to decrypt their data. Therefore, their files remain encrypted and worthless, and they experience significant financial losses. To prevent Makop from further encryptions, it must be removed form the operating system. Unfortunately, removal will not restore already affected data. The sole solution is recovering it from a backup, if one was made before the infection and was stored in a separate location.

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

Makop decrypt instructions (readme-warning.txt)

Ransomware is designed to encrypt files and demand a ransom to be paid for the decryption. TRSomware Is BackRagnarokPRT and Devos are a couple examples of such malicious programs. However, there are several key differences between them: the cryptographic algorithm they use (symmetric or asymmetric) and the demanded payment size. The sums tend to range between three and four digits (in USD). Cyber criminals prefer digital currencies (mainly, cryptocurrencies), due to transactions of them being difficult/impossible to trace. To protect data from these infections, it is advised to keep backups in remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices (ideally, in multiple locations).

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware primarily proliferate via spam campaigns, trojans, software "cracking" (activation) tools, fake updaters and untrustworthy download channels. "Spam campaign" is a term used to define the act of sending deceptive/scam emails on a large scale. This mail is usually disguised as "official", "priority", "important" and similar. These letters have infectious files attached to or linked inside. These virulent files can be in various formats (e.g. executable and archive files, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.) and when they are opened - it initiates the infection (i.e. they begin downloading/installing malware). Trojans are malicious programs, capable of causing chain infections. Rather than activate licensed product, illegal activation ("cracking") tools can download/install malicious software. Illegitimate updaters infect systems by exploiting flaws present in outdated programs and/or by simply installing malware instead of the promised updates. Malicious content can be downloaded from untrustworthy download sources, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.) and other third party downloaders.

Threat Summary:
Name Makop virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .makop (files are also appended with a unique ID and developers' email address)
Ransom Demanding Message readme-warning.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact makop@airmail.cc
Detection Names BitDefender (Gen:Heur.Kelios.1), Fortinet (W32/Cryptor.CZN!tr.ransom), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Phobos.E), Emsisoft (Gen:Heur.Kelios.1 (B)), 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.
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?

Unknown, suspicious and/or irrelevant emails should not be opened. Any attachments or links present in dubious letters - must never be opened, as doing so can lead to an infection. All downloads should be done from official and verified download channels. Only tools/functions provided by genuine developers should be used to activate and update programs. Illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters carry a high risk of malware installation, therefore they are advised against use. It is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed. Furthermore, it should be kept up-to-date, used to perform regular system scans and removal of detected/potential threats. If your computer is already infected with Makop, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Makop ransomware's text file ("readme-warning.txt"):

::: Greetings :::


Little FAQ:
.1.
Q: Whats Happen?
A: Your files have been encrypted and now have the "makop" extension. The file structure was not damaged, we did everything possible so that this could not happen.

.2.
Q: How to recover files?
A: If you wish to decrypt your files you will need to pay in bitcoins.

.3.
Q: What about guarantees?
A: Its just a business. We absolutely do not care about you and your deals, except getting benefits. If we do not do our work and liabilities - nobody will cooperate with us. Its not in our interests.
To check the ability of returning files, you can send to us any 2 files with SIMPLE extensions(jpg,xls,doc, etc... not databases!) and low sizes(max 1 mb), we will decrypt them and send back to you. That is our guarantee.

.4.
Q: How to contact with you?
A: You can write us to our mailbox: makop@airmail.cc

.5.
Q: How will the decryption process proceed after payment?
A: After payment we will send to you our scanner-decoder program and detailed instructions for use. With this program you will be able to decrypt all your encrypted files.

.6.
Q: If I donít want to pay bad people like you?
A: If you will not cooperate with our service - for us, its does not matter. But you will lose your time and data, cause only we have the private key. In practice - time is much more valuable than money.

:::BEWARE:::
DON'T try to change encrypted files by yourself!
If you will try to use any third party software for restoring your data or antivirus solutions - please make a backup for all encrypted files!
Any changes in encrypted files may entail damage of the private key and, as result, the loss all data.

Screenshot of files encrypted by Makop (".makop" extension):

Files encrypted by Makop ransomware (.makop extension)

Update March 24, 2020 - Cyber criminals have recently released yet another variant of Makop ransomware, which drops a different ransom note and appends filenames only with victim's unique ID and the ".makop" extension (e.g., "1.jpg" is renamed to "1.jpg.[E38D7F03-W].makop" and so forth).

Screenshot of the updated Makop ransomware's text file ("readme-warning.txt"):

The updated Makop ransomware ransom note

Text presented within this file:

Dear customer We apologize for having to encrypt your
files.
It’s not your fault, because your security system is
built at a good level, but during the attack we used
unique exploits designed for vulnerabilities in
microsoft software and antiviruses, which completely
does not depend on how well your security system is
built.

Encryption algorithm:
Master key: RSA-2048, the public key is stored in the
body of ransomwsre,
private is not available (the master key is individual
for each
companyes, only used to create decrypt software)
Session key: RSA-512, private key not available
(Session
individual key for each attacked PC, private
The session key is encrypted with a Master key and is
stored in the body of each
encrypted file, as well as the public Session key)
File key: AES-256 / CBC: individual for each file,
encrypted with a Session key and sewn into the body of
each encrypted file.

We strongly recommend that you do not use third-party
software to decrypt your files, as this can lead to
the final loss of files due to corrupted headers. But
if you still want to try to decrypt your files
yourself, then make sure that you back up all
encrypted files.
You can familiarize yourself with our product on the
following reputable site:
hxxps://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/712395/oled-makop-ransonware-makop-support-topic/

In no case do we extort money from you, we only offer
you our services for decrypting your files + you can
get a bonus in the form of a free audit of your
security system in order to protect yourself from such
attacks and malicious software in the future.

You can contact us by email: established01@protonmail.com

In the subject line, indicate your personal ID number,
which is indicated in the name of your files.
If you do not receive a response after 6 hours, then
resend the message to our backup email:
fargodrops@cock.li

Screenshot of files encrypted by this Makop ransomware variant:

Files encrypted by the updated Makop ransomware

Appearance of another Makop ransomware variant's ransom note which targets Turkish-speaking users:

Makop ransomware Turkish ransom note

Text presented within this file:

Sisteminizde Onemli Gordugumuz Verilerinizi Sifreledik. Bilindik Veri Kurtarma Yontemleri ile Verilerinizi Geri Getiremeyeceginizi Bilmenizi isteriz.

Bu Yontemler Sadece Sizin icin Vakit Kaybi Olacaktir.


1-) Son Zamanlarda Bazi Meslektaslarimiz Utanarak ve Uzulerek Soylemek isterimki Para Almalarina Ragmen Dosyalari Acmiyor Bozuk Aciyorlar ve Tekrar Para istiyorlar
Biz Onlardan Degiliz Yaklasik Olarak 6 Senedir Bu isi Yapiyoruz ve Binlerce Referansa Sahibiz Guven Konusunda Size Bildirecegimiz Referans Firmalari Arayarak Daha Once
Tarafimizdan Hacklendiginive Odemeden Sonra Sorunsuz Olarak Verilerini Aldigini Teyit Edebilirsiniz.

2 -) Bir Diger Sorun ise Son Zamanlarda Data Kurtarma Firmalarina Bilgisayarcilariniza Gonderdiginiz Serverlari istedikleri Rakama Vermedigimiz Takdirde Musteriye Yani Size Dosyalarin Kurtulmayacagini
Odeme Yapsaniz Dahi Acmayacagimizi Soyleyebiliyorlar veya Sozlesme Yaptiginiz Bilgisayarcinin Sorumlulugunda Olan Rakami Bilgisayarci Bilgi islem Elemani vs. vs. Rakami Odemeyemeyince ve Odemek istemediginde
Hardiski Tornavidayla Bozarak Sorunun Donanimsal Oldugunu Soyleyebiliyorlar.

3-) Yukarida Bahsettigim Sorunlari Yasamamak Adina Fake Mailler Acarak Bize Mail Atmayiniz Cevap Vermiyoruz Firma Mailleri Disindan Gelen Hic bir Mail Cevaplanmamaktadir.

4- ) Sizi Tanimiyorum, Dolayisiyla Size Karsi Kotu Duygular Beslememin Size Kotuluk Yapmamin Bir Anlamida Yok Amacim Sadece Bu isten Bir Gelir Elde Etmek. Yaptiginiz Odeme Sonrasinda
En Kisa Zamanda Verilerinizi Eski Haline Getirmek icin Sunucunuza Baglanacagim.

Assagidaki Referans Kodunuzla Birlikte Verilerinizi Almak isterseniz Lutfen SAAT 10:00 a Kadar Mail Atiniz

Yinede Veri Kurtarma Firmalari ve Programlari Denemek isterseniz Lutfen Dosyalarin Asli uzerinde Degil Bir Yere Kopyalayip Onlar Uzerinde Deneme Yapiniz

Saat 10:00' a Kadar Donus Yapilmadigi Takdirde Sistemde Anahtar Kodlariniz Saklanmayacak Otomatik Olarak Silinecektir Gec Bile Gormus Olsaniz Bu Notu Uzulerek Soylemeliyimki Mail Atmayiniz.
Cunku Yardimci Olamayacagim

Bunun Yaninda Bilmek istediginiz Bazi Konulara Deginmek isterim

MAiL ADRESiMiZ

verilerimialmakistiyorum@inbox.ru

Screenshot of files encrypted by this Makop ransomware variant:

Files encrypted by Turkish variant of Makop ransomware

Makop 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 Makop 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 Makop 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 Makop 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 Makop 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 Makop, 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 Makop 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 Makop 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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Makop 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 Makop virus on your mobile device.
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