MMVB ransomware virus and why your computer should be protected
- MMVB ransomware virus and why your computer should be protected
- How to safeguard your computer against STOP/DJVU ransomware variants
- Safe method to remove MMVB ransomware virus
- Decrypt MMVB files
- Frequently Asked Questions
MMVB ransomware is a new computer virus arising from the STOP/DJVU malware family. Every computer is at risk of being infected, except preventive measures are taken by the owners. The cybercriminals behind this virus seek to infiltrate as many computers as possible, encrypt files contained in them, and thereafter ask the owners to pay specific fees before they allow access to them. To make it easier for the victim to identify files that were successfully encrypted, the virus is developed to attach .mmvb extension to each of the data names. For instance, files with names like 1.jpg or 2.jpeg will appear as 1.jpg.mmvb or 2.jpeg.mmvb after the attack. The virus creates and saves ransom notes named _readme.txt with a message to the victim.
As mentioned earlier, this malware was created by a notorious cybercriminal group that is referred to as STOP/DJVU. Their mission is to demand the victims to purchase tools required for data decryption, or, in other words, extort the computer users who do not have data backups. They have devised various deceptive methods of taking their victims unawares, such as setting up traps in a form of pirated software version downloads as well as sending unsolicited but infected emails, among others.
The ransomware introduces cybercriminals’ terms in a ransom note
The letter from the attackers is contained in each of the _readme.txt file copies that the virus drops in every affected data folder. The cybercriminals warn the victim that MMVB ransomware virus attack was successful, and as a result, the victim can no longer have access to their files. Also, since very strong encryption keys were used during the process, they have no other choice than to pay ransom fee to enable them to receive some decryption tools, if they hope to retrieve the files.
Typically, most ransomware attack victims, particularly those that had no backup files would be alarmed at the development. Some of them would be willing to do anything to recover their files, depending on how important it is to them. In anticipation that such a desperate situation may arise, cybercriminals would equally drop two email addresses i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, for further communication.
The note also suggests that the demanded ransom amount is $980, but the attackers would be willing to accept 50% of it if only the victim writes to the attackers ASAP, not exceeding 72 hours after being informed to do so. They also warn that once the deadline for payment elapses, only the maximum ransom fee would be acceptable.
To complicate the situation further for the victim, the cybercriminals would equally state that the victim can only make ransom payments with cryptocurrency. The apparent reason why they insist on this payment method is to avoid being tracked down and arrested by law enforcement agencies which the victim may inform about the situation.
No matter what happens, ransomware attack victims should never comply with the demands of cybercriminals and are not advised to communicate with them at all. This advice is in tandem with the position of top global cybersecurity organizations, including the FBI. They gave reasons for insisting against such, as reproduced below:
- The law enforcement agency is against payment of a ransom in any form.
- Cybercriminals typically repeatedly attack victims that pay the ransom because they’re greedy and never satisfied.
- Considering there is no assurance that the victim would recover encrypted files after payment, it becomes a huge gamble paying ransom, and evidence abound that cybercriminals rarely ever keep to their promise.
- It puts vast sums of money at the disposal of cybercriminals, thereby helping them to expand their operations.
- Ransom payment makes criminality profitable and thus should be prevented.
People should also note that MMVB virus also spreads other dangerous Trojans, generally referred as RATs. This is an acronym that stands for Remote Access Trojans. This secondary malware are used surreptitiously to obtain necessary personal details like banking details, software login credentials, passwords, etc. By stealing these pieces of sensitive information, they open up other means of committing further criminal acts against the victim.
The risks associated with both the primary and secondary malware is the reason why it is indispensable to remove MMVB ransomware virus once it is found in any computer. The most reliable way to effectively get rid of this virus is set up the system through Safe Mode with Networking before applying antivirus. Another good idea is to download RESTORO and leverage its functionality to identify and repair Windows OS files that were damaged by malware.
|Name||MMVB Ransomware Virus|
|Type||Ransomware; Crypto-malware; Virtual Extortion Virus|
|Encryption type||RSA 2048 + Salsa20|
|Previous versions||EEYU, AAYU, AABN, AAMV, AAWT, EEBN, (find full list here)|
|Cybercriminal firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com|
|Additional malware dropped||Azorult or Vidar Trojan|
|Damage||The ransomware uses encryption to maliciously modify all files on the PC and marks their original names with .mmvb extension. Ransom notes called as _readme.txt will be dropped in every computer folder. This piece of malware usually drags VIDAR Stealer alongside it and also eliminates VSS from the system. On top of that, it tends to modify Windows HOSTS file to restrict computer user’s access to cybersecurity-related websites online.|
|Ransom demand||$490-$980 in Bitcoin|
|Distribution||Victims often download this ransomware along illegal torrent downloads, cracked software, activators, key generators or tools like KMSPico.|
|Known software cracks to contain this malware||Corel Draw, Tenorshare 4ukey, Adobe Photoshop, Cubase, Adobe Illustrator, Internet Download Manager, Tally, League of Legends.|
|Detection names||Ransom:Win32/Vigorf.A (Microsoft), Ransom:Win32/Vigorf.A, HEUR:Trojan-HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Injuke.gen (Kaspersky), Trojan.GenericKD.61723659 (BitDefender), Trojan.MalPack.GS (Malwarebytes), ML.Attribute.HighConfidence (Symantec) see all detection name variations on VirusTotal|
|Removal||Remove ransomware and related malware from your PC using trustworthy software. To repair virus damage on Windows OS files, consider scanning with RESTORO (secure download link).|
REPAIR VIRUS DAMAGE
Scan your system for FREE to detect security, hardware and stability issues. You can use the scan results and try to remove threats manually, or you can choose to get the full version of software to fix detected issues and repair virus damage to Windows OS system files automatically. Includes Avira spyware/malware detection & removal engine.
The encrypted files have blank icons and new extensions appended to their original names.
How to safeguard your computer against STOP/DJVU ransomware variants
Computer users should be mindful of their online activities because that would make all the difference. Computer users should avoid going to online torrent platforms, sharing software through peer-to-peer platforms, opening of emails and attachments from questionable sources and other unwholesome activities. You should also be wary of emails with spoofed originating addresses or unsolicited ones because cybercriminals can go to any length including impersonating popular brands. These sorts of emails are to be deleted the moment they appear on your computer’s inbox or spam folders.
You should also note that cybercriminals usually name the malware after software in high demand because they intend to spread the virus to as many computers as possible. When the unsuspecting user downloads the compromised software contents, they would unwittingly unleash the virus that would encrypt their files. From our records gathered over the years, we realized that particular popular software contents are usually exploited, and they are listed below for your consideration:
- Corel Draw;
- VMware Workstation;
- Adobe Photoshop;
- Tenorshare 4ukey;
- League of Legends;
- Internet Download Manager.
Going to online torrent platforms may seem like a cheap sourcing alternative for software contents, but this could be counterproductive and lead to losses and disruptions, especially when you eventually become a victim. Instead of taking such dangerous route, you’re better off doing the right thing by paying the requisite fees and downloading needed software legitimately.
The original software owners spend a lot of resources on research and development; therefore, they would have to request appropriate fees for them in order to remain profitable. On the other hand, cybercriminals only stole what does not belong to them and equally tries to use them in duping others. Do not encourage cybercriminals by downloading the cloned software contents to the copyright owners’ detriment.
Files with macro function abilities like PDF, DOCX or XLS are often exploited by cybercriminals in their illegal activities because they make it possible for them to embed malware on cloned software. These files were created for altruistic reasons but now unfortunately exploited by these rogues. So, caution should be applied when opening attachments on such files.
Likewise, victims of STOP/DJVU ransomware virus should avoid websites that provide dubious declarations of decryption tools because they’re primarily ineffective and fraudulent. We can only vouch for Emsisoft and DiskTuna because their software have proven to be reliable to a measurable extent.
Safe method to remove MMVB ransomware virus
The standard advice is that victims should remove MMVB ransomware virus once it is spotted on their computer. You can easily log into your computer using Safe Mode with Networking option and apply antivirus software. Not all antivirus software is effective, so only go for reputable ones. In addition, we recommend that you download RESTORO to repair virus-affected Windows OS items.
Victims of this ransomware should take the following steps after MMVB removal procedure:
- Restore lost files using backup.
- Report to local authorities.
- Change every password used on the computer.
OUR GEEKS RECOMMEND
Our team recommends removing malware using a professional antivirus software and then using the following tool to repair virus damage to Windows system files:
REPAIR VIRUS DAMAGE TO YOUR COMPUTER
RESTORO provides a free scan that helps to identify hardware, security and stability issues and presents a comprehensive report which can help you to locate and fix detected issues manually. It is a great PC repair software to use after you remove malware with professional antivirus. The full version of software will fix detected issues and repair virus damage caused to your Windows OS files automatically.
RESTORO uses AVIRA scanning engine to detect existing spyware and malware. If any are found, the software will eliminate them.
Read full review here.
MMVB Ransomware Virus Removal Guidelines
Method 1. Enter Safe Mode with Networking
Step 1. Start Windows in Safe Mode with Networking
Before you try to remove MMVB Ransomware Virus virus, you must start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking. Below, we provide the easiest ways to boot PC in the said mode, but you can find additional ones in this in-depth tutorial on our website – How to Start Windows in Safe Mode. Also, if you prefer a video version of the tutorial, check our guide How to Start Windows in Safe Mode on Youtube.
Instructions for Windows XP/Vista/7 users
- First of all, turn off your PC. Then press the Power button to start it again and instantly start pressing F8 button on your keyboard repeatedly in 1-second intervals. This launches the Advanced Boot Options menu.
- Use arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate down to Safe Mode with Networking option and press Enter.
Instructions for Windows 8/8.1/10/11 users
- Open Windows Start menu, then press down the Power button. On your keyboard, press down and hold the Shift key, and then select Restart option.
- This will take you to Windows Troubleshoot screen. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart. Tip: If you can't find Startup Settings, click See more recovery options.
- In Startup Settings, press the right key between F1-F9 to enter Safe Mode with Networking. In this case, it is the F5 key.
Step 2. Remove files associated with the virus
Now, you can search for and remove MMVB Ransomware Virus files. It is very hard to identify files and registry keys that belong to the ransomware virus, Besides, malware creators tend to rename and change them repeatedly. Therefore, the easiest way to uninstall such type of a computer virus is to use a reliable security program such as INTEGO Antivirus, which also includes data recovery software. For virus damage repair, consider using RESTORO.
Compatibility: Microsoft Windows
See Full Review
RESTORO is a unique PC Repair Tool which comes with an in-built Avira scan engine to detect and remove spyware/malware threats and uses a patented technology to repair virus damage. The software can repair damaged, missing or malfunctioning Windows OS files, corrupted DLLs, and more. The free version offers a scan that detects issues. To fix them, license key for the full software version must be purchased.
Method 2. Use System Restore
In order to use System Restore, you must have a system restore point, created either manually or automatically.
Step 1. Boot Windows in Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Instructions for Windows XP/Vista/7 users
- Shut down your PC. Start it again by pressing the Power button and instantly start pressing F8 button on your keyboard repeatedly in 1-second intervals. You will see Advanced Boot Options menu.
- Using arrow keys on the keyboard, navigate down to Safe Mode with Command Prompt option and press Enter.
Instructions for Windows 8/8.1/10/11 users
- Launch Windows Start menu, then click the Power button. On your keyboard, press down and hold the Shift key, and then choose Restart option with the mouse cursor.
- In Startup Settings, press the right key between F1-F9 to enter Safe Mode with Command Prompt. In this case, press F6 key.
Step 2. Start System Restore process
- Wait until system loads and command prompt shows up.
- Type cd restore and press Enter, then type rstrui.exe and press Enter. Or you can just type %systemroot%system32restorerstrui.exe in command prompt and hit Enter.
- This launches System Restore window. Click Next and then choose a System Restore point created in the past. Choose one that was created before ransomware infection.
- Click Yes to begin the system restoration process.
After restoring the system, we recommend scanning the system with antivirus or anti-malware software. In most cases, there won't be any malware remains, but it never hurts to double-check. In addition, we highly recommend checking ransomware prevention guidelines provided by our experts in order to protect your PC against similar viruses in the future.
Alternative software recommendations
Removing spyware and malware is one step towards cybersecurity. To protect yourself against ever-evolving threats, we strongly recommend purchasing a Premium version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which provides security based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Includes ransomware protection. See pricing options and protect yourself now.
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Decrypt MMVB files
Fix and open large MMVB files easily:
It is reported that STOP/DJVU ransomware versions encrypt only the beginning 150 KB of each file to ensure that the virus manages to affect all files on the system. In some cases, the malicious program might skip some files at all. That said, we recommend testing this method on several big (>1GB) files first.
- Create a copy of encrypted file to a separate folder using Copy > Paste commands.
- Now, right-click the created copy and choose Rename. Select the MMVB extension and delete it. Press Enter to save changes.
- In the prompt asking whether you want to make the changes as file might become unusable, click OK.
- Try opening the file.
STOP/DJVU decryption tool usage guide
STOP/DJVU ransomware versions are grouped into old and new variants. MMVB Ransomware Virus is considered the new STOP/DJVU variant, just like EEYU, AAYU, AABN, AAMV, AAWT, EEBN, (find full list here). This means full data decryption is now possible only if you have been affected by offline encryption key. To decrypt your files, you will have to download Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP DJVU, a tool created and maintained by a genius security researcher Michael Gillespie.
Note! Please do not spam the security researcher with questions whether he can recover your files encrypted with online key - it is not possible.
In order to test the tool and see if it can decrypt MMVB files, follow the given tutorial.
- Download the decryption tool from Emsisoft.
- Click the little arrow next to your download and choose Show in Folder.
- Now, right-click the file and choose Run as Administrator. If asked, enter administrator's password.
- In UAC window, click Yes.
- Click Yes to agree to software terms in both windows.
- The tool will automatically include C:// disk as a location to decrypt. The file recovery tool will prepopulate the locations to scan, including connected data storage drives or network drives. Click Add folder if you wish to add additional locations.
In Options tab, you can choose to keep encrypted file copies. We recommend leaving this option selected, especially if you do not know if the decryption tool will work.
- Click Decrypt to start restoring MMVB files. You will see the progress in the Results tab. Here, you can see messages from the tool, such as whether the decryption procedure is successful, or you need to wait for an update.
You might also be informed that online key was used to encrypt your files. In such case, the decryption tool won't work for you, and the only way to recover your files is to use a data backup.
Meanings of decryptor's messages
The MMVB decryption tool might display several different messages after failed attempt to restore your files. You might receive one of the following messages:
Error: Unable to decrypt file with ID: [example ID]
This message typically means that there is no corresponding decryption key in the decryptor's database.
No key for New Variant online ID: [example ID]
Notice: this ID appears to be an online ID, decryption is impossible
This message informs that your files were encrypted with online key, meaning no one else has the same encryption/decryption key pair, therefore data recovery without paying the criminals is impossible.
Result: No key for new variant offline ID: [example ID]
This ID appears to be an offline ID. Decryption may be possible in the future.
If you were informed that an offline key was used, but files could not be restored, it means that the offline decryption key isn't available yet. However, receiving this message is extremely good news, meaning that it might be possible to restore your MMVB extension files in the future. It can take a few months until the decryption key gets found and uploaded to the decryptor. We recommend you to follow updates regarding the decryptable DJVU versions here. We strongly recommend backing up your encrypted data and waiting.
Report Internet crime to legal departments
Victims of MMVB Ransomware Virus should report the Internet crime incident to the official government fraud and scam website according to their country:
- In the United States, go to the On Guard Online website.
- In Australia, go to the SCAMwatch website.
- In Germany, go to the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik website.
- In Ireland, go to the An Garda Síochána website.
- In New Zealand, go to the Consumer Affairs Scams website.
- In the United Kingdom, go to the Action Fraud website.
- In Canada, go to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- In India, go to Indian National Cybercrime Reporting Portal.
- In France, go to the Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information.
If you can't find an authority corresponding to your location on this list, we recommend using any search engine to look up "[your country name] report cyber crime". This should lead you to the right authority website. We also recommend staying away from third-party crime report services that are often paid. It costs nothing to report Internet crime to official authorities.
Another recommendation is to contact your country's or region’s federal police or communications authority.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can only open MMVB files if you have the decryption key, or if you were affected by offline encryption type.
To figure out whether you were affected by offline encryption, please go to C:/SystemID/PersonalID.txt and see if the string inside of it ends in t1. You can also try using Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP/DJVU.
Please follow the guidances provided by the official MMVB decryption tools and believe what they say. If they say it is impossible to decrypt, it really is so. There is no magic tool or human capable of decrypting your files hiding somewhere. Encryption is a technique created to be nearly impossible to decrypt without a special private key (held by the criminals).
We advise scanning with anti-virus, anti-malware, malware removal tools or software like RESTORO to eliminate virus damage on the system. If you do not trust using a single tool, try running one after another. However, we do not recommend keeping several security programs on a computer at once as they can interfere with each other's work.
Beware of fake MMVB decryption tools circulating around the web. Cyber criminals are uploading them to various shady websites, also might be promoting them via suspicious Youtube videos. These programs can infect your computer even more heavily (Trojans, miners, etc.). We suggest being extremely cautious around the web. If there will be an official STOP/DJVU decryption tool available, it will be widely discussed in public media.
Norbert Webb is the head of Geek’s Advice team. He is the chief editor of the website who controls the quality of content published. The man also loves reading cybersecurity news, testing new software and sharing his insights on them. Norbert says that following his passion for information technology was one of the best decisions he has ever made. “I don’t feel like working while I’m doing something I love.” However, the geek has other interests, such as snowboarding and traveling.