How to remove JavaRatty ransomware from the operating system

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

JavaRatty ransomware removal instructions

What is JavaRatty?

JavaRatty (also known as JavaCrypt) is malicious software classified as ransomware. Most ransomware-type programs encrypt data, however, JavaRatty damages files rather than encrypting them. When this malware damages files, they are appended with the ".encrypted" extension. Therefore, "1.jpg" might appear as "1.jpg.encrypted", and so on for all compromised files. After this process is complete, a text file ("HOWTODECRYPT.txt") is stored in each affected folder. This file contains the ransom message.

The message in the text file informs victims that their data has been encrypted. In fact, the files are damaged and the size of each is compressed to sixteen bytes. The message goes on to further state that, if users wish to retrieve their data, they are to contact the cyber criminals behind JavaRatty (via the email address provided). The payment for decryption tools/software (ransom) is stated to be the equivalent of $200 USD in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. If users are unfamiliar with Bitcoins and do not know how to purchase them, the message instructs them to use a search engine to learn. The developers of JavaRatty might decrypt one file (containing no important information) free of charge - this, as 'proof' that recovery is possible. Users are warned not to modify/rename "HOWTODECRYPT.txt" or affected files, otherwise they will experience permanent data loss. In most cases of ransomware infections, recovering data with third party software is impossible, unless the malware is still in development and/or has key flaws/bugs. Regardless, you are strongly advised against contacting and/or meeting the demands of cyber criminals. Despite paying, victims often receive none of the promised decryption tools/software. Therefore, their files remain encrypted and useless. To prevent JavaRatty from causing further damage, remove it from the system. Unfortunately, removal will not restore damaged data. The only viable solution is to restore files from a backup, if one was created prior to the infection and stored separately.

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

JavaRatty decrypt instructions

In general, ransomware is designed to encrypt files and demand ransoms for decryption. These infections are not identical. Key differences include cryptographic algorithm used (symmetric or asymmetric) and ransom size. HetsROGERDeathRansom, and BigBossRoss are some examples of malicious software falling under this classification. To protect files against data damage and encryption/infections, keep backups on remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices. Ideally, multiple backups should be stored in different locations.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware mainly proliferates through spam campaigns, trojans, untrustworthy download sources, illegal activation tools ("cracks") and fake updaters. Spam campaigns are used to send thousands of emails with infectious files attached to them (or containing links leading to dangerous content). These deceptive messages are usually disguised as "official", "important", "urgent" or other priority mail. The attachments can be in various formats (e.g. archive and executable files, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.). When these files are run, executed or otherwise opened, the infection process begins (i.e., they start downloading/installing malware). Trojans are malicious programs capable of causing chain infections. P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), unofficial and free file-hosting websites, third party downloaders and similar sources are classed as untrustworthy and, therefore, far more likely to offer malicious content (disguised as regular software and/or bundled with it). Rather than activating licensed products, illegal activation ("cracking") tools can infect the system. Fake updaters exploit weaknesses of outdated programs and/or simply install malware, rather than the promised updates.

Threat Summary:
Name JavaRatty virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension .encrypted
Ransom Demanding Message HOWTODECRYPT.txt
Ransom Amount 200 USD
Cyber Criminal Contact
Detection Names Avast (Java:Malware-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.41980374), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Java/Ratty.A), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Java.Generic), 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 demand 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.

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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections

You are strongly advised not to open suspicious or irrelevant emails, especially those received from unknown senders (addresses). Any attachments (or links) found in dubious mail must not be opened, as they are the origin of a potential infection. Use only official and verified download channels, as opposed to various sharing networks and other third party downloaders. Software should be activated and updated using tools/functions provided by genuine developers. Illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters carry a significant risk of malware installation. Have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. This should be used for regular system scans and the removal of detected threats/issues. If your computer is already infected with JavaRatty, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in JavaRatty ransomware text file ("HOWTODECRYPT.txt"):

Your files have been encrypted.
If you wish to decrypt, email
Decryptor price is $200 USD paid in btc and is not negotiable.
If you do not know how to buy btc, use a search engine to find exchanges.
We may decrypt one non important file for free to prove that your data is recoverable.

Screenshot of files encrypted by JavaRatty (".encrypted" extension):

Files encrypted by JavaRatty

JavaRatty ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: 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 malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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 JavaRatty 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 JavaRatty 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 JavaRatty 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 JavaRatty 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 JavaRatty, 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 JavaRatty 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, and 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 JavaRatty 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
JavaRatty 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 JavaRatty virus on your mobile device.
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