Merl Virus Removal Guide (+Decrypt .merl files)

Merl Virus – Details

Merl is a harmful software working as typical ransomware. Michael Gillespie, the well-known virus researcher, very first found this new name in the DJVU ransomware family.

Merl was created for the sole purpose to encrypt all popular file types. Rationally, as quickly as the file encryption is successfully accomplished, the users are unable to get access to them. Merl ransomware adds its own “.merl” to all the encrypted files. For example, the file “price_list.xls”, as soon as crypted by Merl, will be entitled as “price_list.xls.merl”. Once the encryption is accomplished, Merl puts its own distinct text document (_readme.txt) into all the folders that save the encrypted files.

The alert specified by text file asking for the random os extremely similar to the notices given by other ransomware hazards belonging to the DJVU family. The warning basically shows that the data has been encrypted and the only option to get access to it is to use a special standalone key. Regretfully, this statement is absolutely true.

The approach to secure the files utilized by Merl is not totally investigated. However, there is no doubt that each computer owner may be issued a special decryption key, which is absolutely special. It is exceptionally tough to recover the information without the proper type in place.

“Don’t worry, you can return all your files!”, from text file message:

message from Merl virus

One more peculiarity of the Merl virus is that the users are unable to get access to the key. The decrypting key is hosted on a special server under the total control by the scoundrels who have actually released the Merl infection into the world wide web. In order to obtain the key and restore the essential information, the users are told to contact the frauds via email or by telegram and to pay the ransom in the quantity of $980.

The message also states that the people should get in touch with the Merl authors within 72 hours upon the minute of the data encryption. The alert suggests that by doing so the people will get a 50% discount, therefore, the ransom amount falls to $490.

No matter what the amount of the ransom is, we highly advise that you do not pay the ransom. There is no warranty that these online scoundrels will keep their promises, so they may not care at all what the victims feel about the file encryption, even when the amount of the ransom is gotten into their accounts. Hence, paying ransom often does not lead to an effective recovery. So, the users might just lose their money for absolutely nothing.

Likewise, we urge you not to get in touch with the frauds as they advise. Do not transfer cash into their wallets. There are no applications that might crack the Merl virus or restore the information at no charge. For that reason, the only proper choice is to bring back the data from possible backups (if available).

Virus Summary

NameMerl Ransomware
File Extensionmerl
TypeRansomware
FamilyDJVU
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts all the data stored on your system and requires a ransom to be paid on your part supposedly to recover your important files.
SymptomsFile encryption by the ransomware is performed by means of the AES-256 algorithm (CFB mode) encryption algorithm. Once the encryption is completed, the ransomware adds its special .merl extension to all the files modified by it.
Distribution MethodAdware bundles and software cracks
Similar InfectionsGesd, Righ, Msop
Removal Tool   GridinSoft Anti-Malware

Do not forget that the Internet is now filled with infections comparable to the Merl virus. For instance, this specific threat is generally similar to Brusaf and other ransomware-type infections. These harmful utilities have been developed in order to encrypt the crucial information and express the demand for the users to pay the ransom. All these infections use the identical algorithm to produce the particular key for successful data decryption.

Unless the Merl ransomware is still under the advancement process or has got some concealed bugs, it is not possible to bring back the data by hand. Therefore, the only working solution to prevent the loss of your essential data is to frequently keep current backups of all your crucial files.

Another essential piece of suggestions is to store the backups on special storage not connected to your primary PC. For instance, you may store it on the USB Flash Drive, or some external disk drive, or by using the cloud data storage services. Keeping the backups on your routine drive is extremely dangerous, because the backup might also be secured by the Merl ransomware.

Leakages for the Merl ransomware attack.

Merl utilizes lots of courses to penetrate the vulnerable computer systems. It is not particular what particular method was utilized in your case, nevertheless, the invasion might happen by means of the following channels:

  • bundling with third-party programs, generally free apps;
  • spam emails from the unidentified senders;
  • websites offering complimentary hosting;
  • P2P (peer-to-peer) torrent software.

There are times when the Merl ransomware may camouflage itself as some real application, for instance, through the deceptive informs requiring installation of some software update. This is the most typical trick utilized by the frauds to inject the Merl infection files into the system. By doing this users partially take part in its setup, without plainly understanding the risk.

Furthermore, the scams may send unsolicited spam e-mail with tricky alerts motivating individuals to open dubious attachments or click on some download links, for example, those encouraging individuals to open particular images, text files, tax documents and other information.

No doubt, opening these files or clicking on the harmful links might essentially harm the system. Fake Adobe Flash Player upgrade notifications may cause the Merl ransomware seepage. Similarly, downloading the cracked software application might furthermore include the ransomware installer. The last but not the least, setup of Merl might occur through some Trojan horses that might be installed stealthily into the system and without the user’s direct consent or even permission.

Preventing the Merl ransom virus injection.

Of course, there is no absolute assurance that your computer system will be constantly without any malware attacks, nevertheless, we want to share some beneficial pointers with you to make it much safer. Make certain to pay very very close attention while searching the web and specifically while downloading cost-free programs. Do not open any dubious email attachments, specifically if the sender is not known to you.

Do not forget that particular freeware installer may also include some other additional apps in the package. These additional applications may be extremely damaging. It is of utmost value to keep your anti-virus software and your operating system in basic to be always effectively upgraded.

It is rather rational that downloading pirated software is prohibited, nevertheless, additionally, such unauthorized software application usage might also bring severe damage to your system. Thus, do not download any split programs. Plus, the truth that your current anti-virus did not safeguard the system from the Merl ransomware is a good reason for you to reassess your options and switch to another program that can render the safeguarding functions on a better level.

Below please find the quotation from the Merl text file:

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-2P5WrE5b9f
 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:
 restorealldata@firemail.cc
  
 Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
 gorentos@bitmessage.ch 

 Our Telegram account:
 @datarestore

Screenshot of files with “.merl” extension added by the ransomware:”

Merl Ransomware - encrypt files with .merl extension

Use GridinSoft Anti-Malware to remove Merl ransomware from your computer

1.Download GridinSoft Anti-Malware.

You can download GridinSoft Anti-Malware by clicking the button below:

  GridinSoft Anti-Malware

2. Double-click on the setup file.

When setup file has finished downloading, double-click on the setup-antimalware-ag.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your computer.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware
An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware Setup

3. Press Install button for run GridinSoft Anti-Malware.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Install

3.Once installed, GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically run.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware  Start

4. Wait for the GridinSoft Anti-Malware scan to complete.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your computer for Win Speedup 2018 and other malicious programs. This process can take a 20-30 minutes, so we suggest you periodically check on the status of the scan process.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan

5. Click on “Clean Now”.

When the scan has completed, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the “Clean Now” button in right corner.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

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About Daniel Zimmermann

Daniel Zimmermann has been writing on security and malware subjects for many years and has been working in the security industry for over 10 years. Daniel was educated at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany and currently lives in New York.

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