jCandy Ransomware

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

jCandy ransomware removal instructions

What is jCandy?

Discovered by malware security researcher, JAMESWT, jCandy is a ransomware-type virus designed to stealthily infiltrate the system and encrypt most stored data. During encryption, jCandy appends filenames with the ".Locked-jCandy" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.Locked-jCandy"). From this point, files become unusable. Immediately after encryption, jCandy opens a pop-up windows and places a text file ("JCANDY_INSTRUCTIONS.txt") on the desktop.

The pop-up and text file contain similar messages informing victims of the encryption and demanding a ransom payment. Although it is currently unknown whether jCandy uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography, we can confirm that decryption requires a unique key. Cyber criminals store this key on a remote server and demand a ransom payment to receive it. The cost of the key is $200 in Bitcoins. It is also stated that payment must be submitted within 48 hours after decryption, otherwise the files are permanently deleted. Despite this, cyber criminals cannot be trusted. Research shows that these people are likely to ignore victims, once the ransoms are paid. Even if the victim decides to support these people by paying the ransom, there is no guarantee that the files will be restored. Victims will probably be scammed. Therefore, we strongly advise you to ignore cyber criminals and never attempt to contact them or pay any ransoms. Unfortunately, there are currently no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by jCandy and you can only restore your files/system from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

jCandy decrypt instructions

There are dozens of ransomware-type viruses virtually identical to jCandy. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) Jhash, SIGMA, Xorist, Onion3Cry, and Jigsaw. Bear in mind that, although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, they have identical behavior - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. Research shows that there are just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, most ransomware employs algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the malware is not fully developed or has certain flaws (for example, the key is hard-coded, stored locally, etc.), it is impossible to restore files manually, without developers' help. For these reasons, jCandy and other ransomware-type viruses present a strong case for maintaining regular data backups. Bear in mind also that backup files must be stored on a remote server (such as Cloud) or an external/unplugged hard drive, otherwise they will also be encrypted.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

To proliferate ransomware-type viruses, criminals usually employ fake software updaters, spam emails, unofficial software distribution sources, and trojans. Fake update tools exploit outdated software bugs/flaws to infect the system. In some cases, these tools simply fake the update process whilst installing the malware. Spam emails often contain JavaScript files, MS Office documents or other malicious attachments designed to download/install malware. Third party software download sources (peer-to-peer networks, free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, and so on) proliferate malware by presenting it as legitimate software (users are tricked into downloading and installing malware). Trojans are the simplest ones - they merely open "backdoors" allowing viruses to infiltrate the system. Ultimately, the main reasons for computer infections are careless behavior and lack of knowledge.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To prevent ransomware infections, be very cautious when browsing the Internet. Never open any attachments received from suspicious email addresses - these emails should be deleted without reading. In addition, download your software from official sources only and, preferably, using a direct download link (third party downloaders/installers often include dubious apps). Keep installed applications up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite, however, as mentioned above, criminals proliferate ransomware via fake updaters. Therefore, we strongly advise you to use an implemented "Update" feature or a tool provided by the official developer. The key to computer safety is caution.

Message presented within jCandy ransomware pop-up window:

We have encrypted ALL your important files!
We have NOT deleted ANY files. Your files have been LOCKED!
If you would like access to your files your will need to purchase $200 USB worth of BITCOIN
and have sent to this bitcoin address below.
After the payment is received your will be decrypted and this program will delete itself.
You have 48 hours to send the payment and have your files unlocked.
If you fail to do so, your files will be DELETED.
~ Kind regards, jCandy
SEND PAYMENT TO: 12pFSG5hxcbdV33JmcSnEnFXr1woFYTeew

Screenshot of jCandy text file:

jCandy text file

Message presented within this file:

jCandy Created by ~ PYNCH ~ jCandy encrypted your files. Please send $200 USD worth of bitcoin
to the address provided 12pFSG5hxcbdV33JmcSnEnFXr1woFYTeew Your files will then be unlocked.

Screenshot of files encrypted by jCandy (".Locked-jCandy" extension):

Files encrypted by jCandy

jCandy ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of jCandy 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 jCandy 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 jCandy 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 jCandy 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 jCandy 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 jCandy 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 jCandy, 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 encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as jCandy ransomware.

Note that the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.

Controll Folder Access

Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.

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 jCandy ransomware: