How to remove .java ransomware from your operating system?

Also Known As: .java virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

.java ransomware removal instructions

What is the .java ransomware?

.java is the name of a malicious program, belonging to the Dharma ransomware family. Systems infected with this malware, experience data encryption and receive ransom demands for the decryption. During the encryption process, files are renamed according to this pattern: original filename, unique ID, cyber criminals' email address and ".java" extension (not to be confused with the legitimate ".java" extension of JAVA files). To elaborate on how a file could appear following encryption, then - a file like "1.jpg" would appear as something similar to "[].java", and so on for all of the affected files. Once this process is complete, a ransom note is presented in a pop-up window and "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt".

The text presented in "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt", informs victims that their data has been locked and to restore it - they must establish contact with the cyber criminals via email. The ransom note in the pop-up window provides more information concerning the infection. It clarifies that all of the files have been encrypted. Additionally, the emails users are to sent - must contain the ID assigned to them (which can be found in the pop-up and modified filenames). The size of the demanded payment is not specified, however it is stated that it will have to be paid in Bitcoin cryptocurrency (the message also contains links to websites detailing how to and from where to obtain Bitcoins). Before paying, decryption can be tested by sending the criminals up to five encrypted files. They will be decrypted and sent back; provided, if the total size of the files does not exceed 10 MB (non-archived) and they do not contain valuable information (e.g. databases, backups, large Excel sheets, etc.). The note is concluded with warnings. Victims are alerted that renaming the encrypted files and/or attempting to decrypt them - may result in permanent data loss. In many cases of ransomware infections, without interference of the cyber criminals responsible - decryption is impossible. It might be, if the malware has significant bugs (flaws) and/or is still in development. Whatever the case, it is expressly advised against meeting the ransom demands. Since often, despite paying - users do not receive the promised decryption tools/software. Therefore, they experience financial loss and their data remains encrypted (essentially, worthless). To prevent .java from further encryptions, it must be removed from the operating system. Unfortunately, removal will not restore already compromised files. The only solution is recovering them from a backup, if one was created prior to the infection and was stored in a different location.

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

.java decrypt instructions (pop-up) and WastedLocker are some examples of other malicious programs, classified as ransomware. They operate by encrypting data and demanding payment for the decryption tools/software. There are two key differences between these programs/infections - the cryptographic algorithms they use (symmetric or asymmetric) and the ransom size. These sums tend to range from three to four digits in USD. Digital currencies (e.g. cryptocurrencies, pre-paid vouchers, etc.) are commonly used for the ransoms, due to transactions of them being difficult/impossible to trace. To avoid permanent data loss, it is strongly recommended to keep backups in remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices (ideally, in several separate locations).

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware are primarily distributed through trojans, spam campaigns, illegal activation tools ("cracks"), illegitimate updates and untrustworthy download channels. Trojans are malicious programs with a broad range of functionalities that can include the ability to cause chain infections (i.e. download/installation of additional malware). The term "spam campaign" defines a large scale operation, during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. These letters are usually presented as "official", "important", "priority", "urgent" and similar. The scam emails contain downloads links of malicious files and/or the files are simply attached to the letters. Virulent files can be in various formats (e.g. Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives, executables, JavaScript, etc.); when they are executed, run or otherwise opened - the infection process/chain is triggered. "Cracking" tools can download/install malicious software, instead of activating licensed product. Fake updaters infect systems by abusing flaws of outdated products and/or by installing malware, rather than the promised updates. Untrustworthy download sources, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting (freeware) websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders - can offer malicious programs, disguised as or bundled with ordinary content.

Threat Summary:
Name .java virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .java (files are also appended with a unique ID and cyber criminals' email address)
Ransom Demanding Message Text presented in the pop-up and FILES ENCRYPTED.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact
Detection Names DrWeb (Trojan.Encoder.3953), Emsisoft (Trojan.GenericKD.12679266 (B)), Fortinet (W32/Kryptik.GASG!tr.ransom), CrowdStrike Falcon (Win/malicious_confidence_100% (W)), 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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
▼ Download Malwarebytes
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Suspicious and/or irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially any attachments or links found in them - as that can result in a high-risk infection. It is recommended to only use official and verified download channels. Additionally, all products must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. Illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters are advised against use, due to often being used to proliferate malware. To protect device and user safety, it is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed. Furthermore, this software has to be kept up-to-date, used to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats. If your computer is already infected with .java, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in .java ransomware's 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 -
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 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 10Mb (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 .java's text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):

.java ransomware text file (FILES ENCRYPTED.txt)

Text presented in the file:

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

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

Files encrypted by .java ransomware (.java extension)

.java ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes 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 .java 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 .java 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 .java 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 .java 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 .java, 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 .java 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 .java 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
.java virus QR code
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