JohnyCryptor Ransomware [Updated]

Also Known As: JohnyCryptor virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

JohnyCryptor ransomware removal instructions

What is JohnyCryptor?

JohnyCryptor is another ransomware-type virus that stealthily infiltrates systems and encrypts stored files. During encryption, JohnyCryptor generates a "How to decrypt your files.txt" file, placing it on the desktop. It also changes the desktop background. This behavior is common to ransomware-type malware.

While the text file contains only a contact email address, the new desktop wallpaper displays a message stating that users' files have been encrypted. Note that JohnyCryptor uses an asymmetric encryption algorithm, generating two keys (public and private) during encryption - public to encrypt and private to decrypt. The private key is stored on Command and Control (C&C) servers controlled by cyber criminals A.K.A. developers of JohnyCryptor. These people encourage victims to use the email addresses provided to receive payment instructions. After paying the ransom, victims supposedly receive a decryptor with an embedded private key. It is stated that victims have just one week to pay the ransom, after which the private key will be deleted forever and decryption becomes impossible. The size of ransom is currently unknown, however, these viruses usually demand 0.5-1.5 Bitcoin (currently equivalent to $236.12-$708.35). At time of research, unfortunately there were no tools capable of decrypting files compromised by JohnyCryptor ransomware. Therefore, the only and best solution to this problem is to restore your files/system from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to contact the developers of JohnyCryptor ransomware (JohnyCryptor@aol.com) to decrypt their compromised data:

JohnyCryptor decrypt instructions

Research shows that JohnyCryptor shares many similarities with hundreds of other ransomware infections such as zCrypt, CryptXXX, and BadBlock. All encrypt victims' files and demand ransom payments. There are two main differences between these viruses - size of ransom and type of algorithm used to compromise files. Be aware that developers of ransomware-type viruses often ignore victims, despite ransom payments made - thus, paying does not guarantee successful decryption. Never attempt to contact these criminals or pay any ransom. In doing so, you will merely support their malicious businesses. Furthermore, ransomware is mostly distributed using deceptive software updates, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks (such as, Torrent), malicious email attachments, and trojans. Be very cautious when downloading files from third party sources. In addition, keep all installed software up-to-date and never open any attachments sent from unrecognized/suspicious email addresses. Using a legitimate anti-spyware/anti-virus suite is also paramount.

Ransom-demand message (JohnyCryptor desktop wallpaper):

Your computer has been encrypted by cryptographically strong algorithm. All your files are now encrypted. You have only one way to get them back safely - using original decryption tool. Using another tools could corrupt your files, use it on your own risk. To get original decryptor contact us with email. JohnyCryptor@aol.com It is in your interest to respond as soon as possible to ensure the restoration of your files, because we won’t keep your decryption keys at our servers more than one week in interest of our security. PS. only in case you do not receive a response from the first email address within 48 hours, please use this alternative email address JohnyCryptor@india.com

Screenshot of "How to decrypt your files.txt" file:

JohnyCryptor text file

Screenshot of files encrypted by JohnyCryptor ransomware (JohnyCryptor@aol.com.xtbl extension ):

Files encrypted by JohnyCryptor

Update 11 August 2016 - Cyber criminals have updated this ransomware with new wallpaper and an updated ransom demand message. The email address used to communicate with potential victims is now JohnyCryptor@hackermail.com The new extension added to encrytped files is now - id-[Victim ID].johnycryptor@hackermail.com.xtbl

Here is a screenshot of the updated wallpaper:

JohnyCryptor ransomware updated wallpaper

Updated ransomware demand message:

Attention! Your computer has been encrypted by cryptographically strong algorithm. All your files are now encrypted. You have only one way to get them back safely - using original decryption tool. Using another tools (back-ups, recovery soft and others) could corrupt your files, in case of using third-party software we don’t give guarantees that full recovery is possible, so use it on your own risk.

To get original decryptor contact us with email. In subject line write your ID, which you can find in name of every files, also attach to email 3 crypted files. (files have to be less that 2MB). JohnyCryptor@hackermail.com It is in your interest to respond as soon as possible to ensure the restoration of your files, because we won’t keep your decryption keys at our servers more than one week in interest of our security. P.S. only in case you don’t receive a response from the first email address within 24 hours, please use this alternative email address. JohnyCryptor@india.com

JohnyCryptor ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of JohnyCryptor virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of JohnyCryptor virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

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 JohnyCryptor 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 JohnyCryptor 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 JohnyCryptor 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 JohnyCryptor 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 JohnyCryptor, 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 encrypting ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as JohnyCryptor ransomware.)

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 JohnyCryptor ransomware: