Learn how to act in case of the JohnyCryptor ransomware attack and get around the cipher to restore .email@example.com (.firstname.lastname@example.org) files.
The ransomware family known as Troldesh, or Shade, is amongst the most prolific ones to date in terms of the different spinoffs circulating on the open Internet. The sample that appends a victim’s files with a string containing “JohnyCryptor” in it has been trending on security boards for months on end. It turns one’s regular data files into dummy entries that cannot be opened or edited because of a military grade cipher.
This sub-strain concatenates the original filename with a unique ID assigned to the victim, and one of the following extensions: JohnyCryptor@aol.com.xtbl or JohnyCryptor@hackermail.com.xtbl. The latter variant is newer, having begun to propagate in early August this year. If an infected user’s personal photo was named, say, b-day.jpg – it ultimately morphs into something like b-day.jpg.id-2F351B00.JohnyCryptor@hackermail.com.xtbl. No graphics processor or other tools are able to open this picture. The same also applies to documents, databases, videos, PDF files and many more types of information located on the PC.
The JohnyCryptor virus replaces the desktop background with a BMP image that holds data decryption steps. In particular, it says, “Attention! Your computer has been encrypted by cryptographically strong algorithm. All your files are now encrypted. You have only one way to get them back safely – using original decryption tool.” The same information is available in the Notepad edition of the ransom note named ‘How to decrypt your files.txt’ or ‘Decryption Instructions.txt’. For the victim to download the decryptor, they are told to send an email to JohnyCryptor@hackermail.com, JohnyCryptor@india.com, or JohnyCryptor@aol.com. The threat actors will then provide a roadmap regarding recovery in response, indicating the size of the ransom and the destination Bitcoin wallet. The amount of money, by the way, is unthinkably large: within the first 20 hours it may reach 8 BTC, going up to 12 BTC if it’s sent within 48 hours, and reaching 16 BTC if the latter deadline expires. Consequently, the criminals may ask for $4,800 as the lowest ransom amount. That’s several times more than the majority of ransomware programs demand.
JohnyCryptor also offers test decryption of one file under 5 MB. The victim must archive it with WinRAR and use the SendSpace service to send it to the extortionists. As opposed to other crypto menaces, though, this one will charge the user an additional 1.5 Bitcoin for this test recovery. All in all, this is probably the most voracious specimen as far as its authors’ appetites go. Another bad news is that the cryptosystem implementation is foolproof, so there is no effective way to decrypt the data for free thus far. Under the circumstances, the value of alternative restoration methods is hard to overestimate.
Automated removal of JohnyCryptor virus
Owing to an up-to-date database of malware signatures and intelligent behavioral detection, the recommended software can quickly locate the infection, eradicate it and remediate all harmful changes. So go ahead and do the following:
1. Download and install the antimalware tool. Open the solution and have it check your PC for PUPs and other types of malicious software by clicking the Start Computer Scan button
2. Rest assured the scan report will list all items that may harm your operating system. Select the detected entries and click Fix Threats to get the troubleshooting completed.
Ways of non-ransom recovery of .JohnyCryptor@hackermail.com.xtbl files
Cracking the crypto used by this ransom trojan is more of a science fiction thing rather than an attainable prospect for the masses. This is why the troubleshooting in predicaments of this sort is a matter of two approaches: one is to pay the ransom, which isn’t an option for many victims; and the other is to apply instruments that take advantage of the ransomware’s possible weaknesses. If the latter is your pick, the advice below is a must-try.
Backups can make your day
Not only are you a lucky person in case you’ve been backing up your most important files, but you’re also a wise and prudent user. This isn’t necessarily a resource-heavy activity these days – in fact, some providers of online services are allocating a sufficient size of cloud storage space for free so that every customer can easily upload their critical data without paying a penny. Having removed JohnyCryptor ransomware, therefore, all you have to do is download your stuff from the remote server or transfer it all from an external piece of hardware if that’s the case.
Restore previous versions of encrypted files
A positive upshot of using this technique depends on whether or not the ransomware has erased the Volume Shadow Copies of the files on your PC. This is a Windows feature that automatically makes and keeps the backups of data elements on the hard drive as long as System Restore is enabled. The cryptoware in question is programmed to switch off the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), but it has reportedly failed to in some cases. Checking one’s options regarding this workaround is doable in two ways: through the Properties menu of each file or by means of the remarkable open-source tool called Shadow Explorer. We recommend the software-based way because it’s automated, hence faster and easier. Just install the app and use its intuitive controls to get previous versions of the encrypted objects reinstated.
Data recovery toolkit to the rescue
Some strains of ransomware are known to delete the original files after the encryption routine has been completed. As hostile as this activity appears, it can play into your hands. There are applications designed to revive the information that was obliterated because of malfunctioning hardware or due to accidental removal. The tool called Data Recovery Pro by ParetoLogic features this type of capability therefore it can be applied in ransom attack scenarios to at least get the most important files back. So download and install the program, run a scan and let it do its job.
Revise your security status
Post-factum assessment of the accuracy component in malware removal scenarios is a great habit that prevents the comeback of harmful code or replication of its unattended fractions. Make sure you are good to go by running an additional safety checkup.
- Petya ransomware removal and system recovery (upd. June 27)
- Sorebrect ransomware – fileless malware exploits PsExec utility
- Remove MOLE02 ransomware virus and decrypt .mole02 files (upd. June 15)
- Erebus ransomware infects Linux web servers in South Korea
- Decrypt .master ransomware files – BTCWare virus variant