JCry Ransomware

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

JCry ransomware removal instructions

What is JCry?

JCry is high-risk ransomware that stealthily infiltrates computers and encrypts stored data. Research shows that developers tried to proliferate JCry by exploiting a certain web plug-in implemented on various Israeli websites. Due to faulty source code, however, they failed. JCry encrypts data and appends filenames with the ".jcry" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.jcry"). Once data is encrypted, JCry opens a pop-up window and generates an HTML file ("JCRY_Note.HTML"), placing a copy in each existing folder.

As with most ransomware-type infections, JCry's HTML file delivers a message informing victims of the encryption and making ransom demands. It is stated that victims must send the equivalent of $500 in Bitcoins to receive a decryption key and successfully recover data. No additional information regarding the encryption is provided. Therefore, it is currently unknown whether JCry uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. Nevertheless, it is certain that each victim will receive a unique decryption key, without which, restoring data is impossible. Cyber criminals hide all decryption keys on a remote server and blackmail victims for their release. Note that cyber criminals cannot be trusted. You should never attempt to contact these people, and certainly do not send them any money. Research shows that ransomware developers often ignore victims once ransoms are paid. Therefore, victims pay and receive nothing in return. Never believe any of their statements and ignore requests to contact these people or pay ransoms. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking JCry encryption and restoring data free of charge. Therefore, the only solution is to restore everything from a backup, if one has been created.

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

JCry decrypt instructions

The internet is full of ransomware-type viruses similar to JCry including Promok, Frendi, and ARTEMY - these are just some examples from many. Note that, although the developers are different, all of these viruses have identical behavior - they encrypt data and make ransom demands. In most cases, infections such as JCry have just two major differences: 1) cost of recovery, and; 2) type of cryptography used. Unfortunately, ransomware-type viruses usually employ algorithms such as RSA, AES, and others that generate unique decryption. Therefore, unless the virus is still in development or has certain bugs/flaws, restoring data manually without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, store them on unplugged storage devices or remote servers. Backups stored locally will probably be encrypted together with regular data.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

As mentioned above, JCry is promoted via compromised websites. Developers modified the DNS record of a popular web access plug-in from the nagich.com website. These cyber criminals mainly target Israeli websites. Once a website that uses the compromised plug-in is visited, users are redirected to a page that performs certain actions. Firstly, the site checks whether the visitor is using the Windows Operating System. The idea behind the script is to feed Windows users with fake pop-up messages claiming that their Adobe Flash Player is out-of-date and encouraging them to update it, however, the script contains a small, yet fatal flaw. One of the "if" statements which decides what actions to perform contains an error. Therefore, even if the visitor is using Windows OS, he/she is treated as a non-Windows user and, thus, the fake Adobe Flash Player pop-up never occurs. Bear in mind, however, that this error is fixable. If the problem is resolved, cyber criminals are very likely to continue to use this method. Ransomware-type infections are often distributed using spam email campaigns, third party software download sources, cracks, and trojans. Spam campaigns are used to send malicious attachments (usually presented as important documents) to hundreds of thousands of recipients. The emails also contain deceptive messages encouraging users to open attached links/files, however, this results in various system infections. Freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks (such as torrents, eMule, etc.) are used to proliferate malware by presenting it as legitimate software. Users are tricked into manually downloading and installing malware. The idea behind cracking tools is to bypass paid software activation without paying, however, most are used to proliferate infections. In this way, many users often download and install malware, rather than gaining access to paid features. Finally, trojans are malicious applications that stealthily infiltrate computers and continually inject additional malware.

Threat Summary:
Name JCry virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension ".jcry"
Ransom Demanding Message pop-up window, "JCRY_Note.HTML" file
Ransom Amount $500
Cyber Criminal Contact Tor website
Detection Names (flashplayer_install.exe)
Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.31751954), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Filecoder.NUU), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Can't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
Damage All files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.
Removal

To eliminate JCry virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To prevent these computer infections, be very cautious when downloading, installing, and updating software, and browsing the internet. Be sure to download apps from official sources only, via direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus these tools should never be used. The same applies to software updates. It is important to keep installed applications and operating systems up-to-date, however, this should be achieved only through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Never use software cracking tools, since software piracy is considered a cyber crime and the risk of infection is extremely high. You are also advised to think twice before opening email attachments. If the sender seems suspicious/unrecognizable, or if the received link/file is irrelevant, do not open anything. Have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running. These tools can detect and remove malware before the system is harmed. If your computer is already infected with JCry, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in JCry ransomware HTML file ("JCRY_Note.html"):

All Your Important Files have been Encrypted
1- Send 500$ worth of Bitcoin to this Address : 1FKWhzAeNhsZ2JQuWjWsEeryR6TqLkKFUt
2- Download Tor Browser and Open the following Link : Recovery Link
3- Enter the Address used in Payement
4- We'll check your Payement and upload your Decryption Key
5- Open the same link again (after a while) and enter your Unique ID to get your Decryption Key
Your Unique Key :
-

The appearance of JCry ransomware pop-up:

JCry pop-up

Text presented in this pop-up:

[#] Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine [#]

                  If you are reading this, all your important files have been encrypted,
                       read JCRY_NOTE.html in your Desktop for more information.

[X] Enter Your Decryption Key :

Screenshot of files encrypted by JCry (".jcry" extension):

Files encrypted by JCry

JCry ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of JCry 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 JCry 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 JCry 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 JCry 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 JCry 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 JCry 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 JCry, 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 JCry ransomware.

Note that 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 JCry ransomware: