Carcn Ransomware

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

Carcn ransomware removal instructions

What is Carcn?

Discovered by Jakub Kroustek, Carcn is a ransomware-type malicious program that belongs to the Dharma malware family. Developers spread this infection to prevent victims accessing their computer files unless a ransom is paid. Carcn is designed to encrypt data and make it unusable. It also renames each encrypted file by adding the ".id-1E857D00.[].carcn" extension, which contains the victim ID plus email address of the cyber criminals who developed Carcn. For example, "1.jpg" might be renamed to a filename such as "[].carcn". It also creates two ransom messages - one in a pop-up window and the other in the "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" text file.

The "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" text file can be found in folders that contain encrypted files. It states that all files are locked, and to restore them, victims are required to contact cyber criminals via the (or email address. The ransom message in the pop-up window states that all of the victim's data was encrypted due to a 'security problem' with the computer. To receive instructions on how to decrypt them, victims must send an email to one of the aforementioned addresses. The email must contain the assigned ID. The cost of a decryption tool is unknown, however, the pop-up window states that this depends on how quickly contact is made with these cyber criminals. The payment must be made using a cryptocurrency (Bitcoins). Before paying, victims are permitted to send Carcn developers one file that they will decrypt free of charge. This is common behavior to ransomware developers - they offer free decryption of some files to 'prove' that they have a decryption tool. Additionally, Carcn victims are warned not to rename any encrypted files or to attempt to decrypt them using other tools, since this might cause permanent data loss. Most cyber criminals design ransomware-type programs to be 'uncrackable' and thus cause data encryption that can be decrypted using a specific decryption tool held only by them (the ransomware developers). Unfortunately, there is no free tool capable of decrypting files encrypted by Carcn. The only way to restore files free of charge at the moment is to use a data backup.

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

Carcn decrypt instructions

Most ransomware-type programs have similar operation. Some examples of of other computer infections of this type are Recognizer, George Carlin, and Btix. Generally, their main goal is to encrypt data stored on victims' computers and demand payments via ransom messages, displayed pop-up windows, and so on. There are only two main differences: cryptography algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) used to encrypt data and cost of a decryption tool/key. In most cases, decryption without using the correct tools held by cyber criminals is impossible, unless the ransomware contains bugs/flaws or is still in development. Therefore, maintain regular data backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices. If not, they might be encrypted with other files that are stored on the computer.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Computer infections (including ransomware) are usually proliferated through spam campaigns (emails), Trojans, dubious software download sources, fake software updaters, and software cracking tools. When cyber criminals use spam campaigns, they send emails that contain malicious attachments (or web links that lead to them). These attachments are often executables (.exe files), archives such as ZIP, RAR, Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, and so on. If opened, these files download and install ransomware or other computer infections. Trojans are malicious programs that proliferate other infections. Once a Trojan is installed, it causes chain infections/downloads and installs other malicious programs. Dubious software download sources such as Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, and other tools of this kind), freeware download websites, free file hosting pages and so on, can be used by to present malicious executable (.exe) or other files as harmless. By downloading and opening them, however, users cause computer infections. Fake software updaters infect systems by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or downloading malicious programs rather than updates or fixes. Software 'cracking' tools supposedly activate software or operating systems free of charge, however, many cyber criminals use these tools to proliferate computer infections - they often download and install malware rather than allowing users to bypass paid activations.

Threat Summary:
Name Carcn virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension .id-[victim's_ID].[].carcn (e.g., .id-1E857D00.[].carcn).
Ransom Demanding Message Pop-up window, "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" text file.
Cyber Criminal Contact,
Detection Names (chrome64b.exe)
Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.Ransom.Crysis.E), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of Win32/Filecoder.Crysis.P), Kaspersky (, Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals request payment of 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.

To eliminate Carcn 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?

Avoid opening files that are attached to emails received from unknown/suspicious address, or are irrelevant. These emails should be ignored. Download software using official, websites and using direct links. Third party software downloaders and other such tools (mentioned above) should not be trusted. The same applies to third party (fake) software updaters. Software should be updated using implemented functions or tools provided by official developers only. Do not use third party tools to activate software free of charge - they are illegal and often cause installation of malicious programs. Have reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed, enabled and updated. If your computer is already infected with Carcn, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Carcn ransomware pop-up window:

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

Screenshot of Carcn text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):

Carcn text file

Text presented in the .txt file:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email or

Screenshot of files encrypted by Carcn (".carcn" extension that includes an email address and ID):

Files encrypted by Carcn

Carcn ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Carcn 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 Carcn 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 Carcn 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 Carcn 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 Carcn 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 Carcn 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 Carcn, 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 Carcn 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 Carcn ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Carcn virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Carcn virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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