Matrix ransomware issues a notification from which the victims learn the actions the virus wants them to take. The infection is a piece of ransom encryption malware. Its latest release when installing on the host machine drops the following file: readme-matrix.rtf, hence the edition is commonly referred to as Matrix readme-matrix.rtf version.
The infection propagates with a number of schemes and by a number of actors. It is basically available on the underground online forums. Those social hubs are not that hard to infiltrate. The distributors that immediately drop the virus are just as remote from the scam masterminds as the forensics.
Despite a number of unrelated actors involved in the Matrix Ransomware propagation, there is a distribution scheme that explicitly prevails. It basically features a spamming with an infecting file attached. Once the recipient opens the attached item, the file may prompt to activate a macro or such like content. Otherwise, opening the attachment launches the ransomware installation routine immediately and all files get encrypted. After that the .matrix extension is added to all files.
The above is the infection vector that dominates. It does not exclude other infiltration option.
The installation of the ransomware does not automatically continue to the encryption. In between, Matrix Trojan scans the affected system memory for certain file formats. The items detected are to be encrypted, those skipped survive. The survivors basically include critical system files to ensure the system remains intact. The encryption virus needs your system to survive so that you would read its ransom note, readme-matrix.rtf. If you do, beware of the version of the Matrix ransomware that has hit your PC, and kindly proceed with the ransom-free removal of the malicious encryption. Relevant tips and tools follow.
Automatic removal of Matrix file virus
The benefits of using the automatic security suite to get rid of this infection are obvious: it scans the entire system and detects all potential fragments of the virus, so you are a few mouse clicks away from a complete fix.
- Download and install recommended malware security suite
- Select Start Computer Scan feature and wait until the utility comes up with the scan report. Proceed by clicking on the Fix Threats button, which will trigger a thorough removal process to address all the malware issues compromising your computer and your privacy.
Restore files locked by Matrix file virus
new Locky variant aka Matrix ransomware represents a unique category of malicious software whose attack surface reaches beyond the operating system and its components, which is why removing the virus itself is a part of the fix only. As it has been mentioned, it encrypts one’s personal information, so the next phase of the overall remediation presupposes reinstating the files that will otherwise remain inaccessible.
Launch data recovery software
Similarly to the rest of its fellow-infections, Matrix file virus most likely follows an operational algorithm where it erases the original versions of the victim’s files and actually encrypts their copies. This peculiarity might make your day, because forensics-focused applications like Data Recovery Pro are capable of restoring the information that has been removed. As the virus further evolves, its modus operandi may be altered – in the meanwhile, go ahead and try this.
Take advantage of Volume Shadow Copy Service
This technique is based on using the native backup functionality that’s shipped with Windows operating system. Also referred to as Volume Snapshot Service (VSS), this feature makes regular backups of the user’s files and keeps their most recent versions as long as System Restore is on. Matrix ransomware hasn’t been found to affect these copies therefore the restoration vector in question is strongly recommended. The two sub-sections below highlight the automatic and manual workflow.
- a) Use Shadow Explorer
Shadow Explorer is an applet that provides an easy way of retrieving previous versions of files and folders. Its pro’s include an intuitive interface where the computer’s entire file hierarchy is displayed within one window. Just pick the hard disk volume, select the object or directory to be restored, right-click on it and choose Export. Follow the app’s prompts to get the job done.
- b) Use file properties
Essentially, what the above-mentioned Shadow Explorer tool does is it automates the process that can otherwise be performed manually via the Properties dialog for individual files. This particular approach is more cumbrous but just as effective as its software-based counterpart, so you can proceed by right-clicking on a specific file, which has been encrypted by Matrix file virus, and selecting Properties in the context menu. The tab named Previous Versions is the next thing to click – it displays available versions of the file by date of the snapshot creation. Pick the latest copy and complete the retrieval by following the prompts.
Data backups work wonders
Ransomware like Matrix file virus isn’t nearly as almighty and destructive in case you run regular file backups to the cloud or external data media. The virus itself can be completely removed in a matter of minutes, and the distorted information can then be just as easily recovered from the backup. Luckily, this is a growing trend, so ransom Trojans are hopefully going to become less subversive in the near future.
Verify thoroughness of the removal
Having carried out the instructions above, add a finishing touch to the security procedure by running an additional computer scan to check for residual malware activity