What is Meow Ransomware
If your files became no longer accessible and now appear with the new .MEOW extension, then you are most likely infected with Meow Ransomware (a.k.a. MeowCorp2022 Ransomware and ContiStolen Ransomware). This file-encryptor blocks access to practically all types of system-stored data using the ChaCha20 algorithm and demands victims to establish contact with its developers (presumably to pay for decryption). In addition, it was also determined that this ransomware works on code stolen from another popular file-encryptor named Conti-2 Ransomware. Information about contacting swindlers can be found inside a text note called readme.txt, which the virus drops into each folder with encrypted files.
MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!
Your files has been encrypted!
Need decrypt? Write to e-mail:
Uniq ID: eabc2ef6-246a-482c-8c20-c306d0ada***
Unlike other ransomware infections, developers behind Meow Ransomware keep it short and only write what communication channels can be used to reach out to them. Victims can use a variety of e-mail addresses (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org) and also Telegram contacts (@meowcorp321; @meowcorp123; @meowcorp2022). There is also a unique ID, which determines what victim has been attacked. Unfortunately, there is little information on how much Meow developers demand to pay for decryption. As a rule, it is not recommended to trust threat actors as many of them turn out to be scammers who do not send any promised decryption instruments/keys in the end. Note also that it is less likely you will be able to decrypt Meow files without the help of its developers. You can give a try to some decryption/recovery instruments we recommend in our guide, however, do not put high hopes on reaching successful results. Many ransomware infections use military-grade algorithms, which make manual decryption complex or even impossible. The best way to recover your data for free is to use backup copies stored on external storage like USB flash cards or cloud services. Note that before trying any recovery path that excludes the participation of cybercriminals, it is important to delete the infection in the first order. Otherwise, it may continue its malicious activity and encrypt additional data (for instance, when plugging external devices) as well. Follow our guide below to perform thorough and traceless removal and also get recommendations on how to protect yourself against such threats in the future.
How Meow Ransomware infected your computer
- Download Meow Ransomware Removal Tool
- Get decryption tool for .MEOW files
- Recover encrypted files with Stellar Data Recovery Professional
- Restore encrypted files with Windows Previous Versions
- Restore files with Shadow Explorer
- How to protect from threats like Meow Ransomware
Download Removal Tool
To remove Meow Ransomware completely, we recommend you to use SpyHunter 5 from EnigmaSoft Limited. It detects and removes all files, folders, and registry keys of Meow Ransomware. The trial version of SpyHunter 5 offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.
Alternative Removal Tool
To remove Meow Ransomware completely, we recommend you to use Norton Antivirus from Symantec. It detects and removes all files, folders, and registry keys of Meow Ransomware and prevents future infections by similar viruses.
Meow Ransomware files:
Meow Ransomware registry keys:
How to decrypt and restore .MEOW files
Use automated decryptors
Download Kaspersky RakhniDecryptor
Use following tool from Kaspersky called Rakhni Decryptor, that can decrypt .MEOW files. Download it here:
There is no purpose to pay the ransom because there is no guarantee you will receive the key, but you will put your bank credentials at risk.
Dr.Web Rescue Pack
Famous antivirus vendor Dr. Web provides free decryption service for the owners of its products: Dr.Web Security Space or Dr.Web Enterprise Security Suite. Other users can ask for help in the decryption of .MEOW files by uploading samples to Dr. Web Ransomware Decryption Service. Analyzing files will be performed free of charge and if files are decryptable, all you need to do is purchase a 2-year license of Dr.Web Security Space worth $120 or less. Otherwise, you don’t have to pay.
If you are infected with Meow Ransomware and removed from your computer you can try to decrypt your files. Antivirus vendors and individuals create free decryptors for some crypto-lockers. To attempt to decrypt them manually you can do the following:
Use Stellar Data Recovery Professional to restore .MEOW files
- Download Stellar Data Recovery Professional.
- Click Recover Data button.
- Select type of files you want to restore and click Next button.
- Choose location where you would like to restore files from and click Scan button.
- Preview found files, choose ones you will restore and click Recover.
Using Windows Previous Versions option:
- Right-click on infected file and choose Properties.
- Select Previous Versions tab.
- Choose particular version of the file and click Copy.
- To restore the selected file and replace the existing one, click on the Restore button.
- In case there is no items in the list choose alternative method.
Using Shadow Explorer:
- Download Shadow Explorer program.
- Run it and you will see screen listing of all the drives and the dates that shadow copy was created.
- Select the drive and date that you want to restore from.
- Right-click on a folder name and select Export.
- In case there are no other dates in the list, choose alternative method.
If you are using Dropbox:
- Login to the DropBox website and go to the folder that contains encrypted files.
- Right-click on the encrypted file and select Previous Versions.
- Select the version of the file you wish to restore and click on the Restore button.
How to protect computer from viruses, like Meow Ransomware , in future
1. Get special anti-ransomware software
Use ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware
Famous antivirus brand ZoneAlarm by Check Point released a comprehensive tool, that will help you with active anti-ransomware protection, as an additional shield to your current protection. The tool provides Zero-Day protection against ransomware and allows you to recover files. ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware is compatible with all other antiviruses, firewalls, and security software except ZoneAlarm Extreme (already shipped with ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware) or Check Point Endpoint products. The killer features of this application are: automatic file recovery, overwrite protection that instantly and automatically recovers any encrypted files, file protection that detects and blocks even unknown encryptors.
2. Back up your files
As an additional way to save your files, we recommend online backup. Local storage, such as hard drives, SSDs, flash drives, or remote network storage can be instantly infected by the virus once plugged in or connected to. Meow Ransomware uses some techniques to exploit this. One of the best services and programs for easy automatic online backup is iDrive. It has the most profitable terms and a simple interface. You can read more about iDrive cloud backup and storage here.
3. Do not open spam e-mails and protect your mailbox
Malicious attachments to spam or phishing e-mails are the most popular method of ransomware distribution. Using spam filters and creating anti-spam rules is good practice. One of the world leaders in anti-spam protection is MailWasher Pro. It works with various desktop applications and provides a very high level of anti-spam protection.