CryptoJacky ransomware / virus (Decryption Methods Included) - Virus Removal Guide

CryptoJacky virus Removal Guide

What is CryptoJacky ransomware virus?

What is already known about CryptoJacky ransomware virus?

Recently, malware researchers spotted a brand new file-encrypting virus called CryptoJacky ransomware. It’s a Spanish ransomware[1] that falsely informs victims that their files have been encrypted due to particular illegal actions online. The developers of the ransomware follow the same scheme. They ask to pay the ransom in order to get back their files. It seems that CryptoJacky virus spreads and executes on the targeted computer from the cryptoJacky-setup.exe file. The specific distribution technique is unknown; though, this obfuscated file is probably being sent via malicious email campaigns. Once inside the system, it starts data encryption running an aescrypt.exe file. It seems that the virus uses AES encryption algorithm which is widely used by other file-encrypting viruses as well. This strong encoding system barely gives any chances for computer users to restore their files without a specific decryption key. This key is held in the private hackers’ servers, and they suggest to reveal it if victims pay the ransom. After data encryption, CryptoJacky malware leaves three files on the desktop which explain data decryption steps. For instance, in the “ransom payment” file, victims get instructions how to transfer the ransom. Cyber criminals demand 250 EUR in bitcoins for the decryption key. Once the transaction is made, victims are supposed to contact cyber criminals via email ransom_ph@mail2noble.com. Then, they need to wait for the decryption key, open “ransom of files” file and enter it.

Nevertheless, instructions provided by the developers of CryptoJacky ransomware is quite simple and easy to follow; we do not recommend following them quickly. We understand that losing personal documents is a disaster; however, paying the ransom might not end up as you are expecting. What is more, this particular ransomware hasn’t launched active distribution campaign yet, so you should make data backups and store them in the external devices. Backups are crucial nowadays when ransomware attacks are frequent and keep growing[2]. In the case of the attack, you will be able to focus on CryptoJacky removal without thinking how to restore your files. Bear in mind that paying the ransom does not guarantee that you will receive a necessary password to unlock the files. Cyber criminals might gladly take your money and use them for further cyber crimes. Thus, you might be left with money and data loss. It’s better to remove CryptoJacky from the computer as soon as it shows up than relying on hackers’ words. For virus removal, we recommend ReimageIntego.

The image of CryptoJacky ransomware virusCryptoJacky ransomware virus demands 250 EUR in Bitcoins for data decryption key.

Is it possible to avoid ransomware?

CryptoJacky virus distribution methods are still unknown because the virus hasn’t been started spreading actively yet. However, the majority of hackers rely on the same distribution techniques, such as malicious email campaigns[3], malvertising[4], and bogus software downloads or updates. Thus, you should be careful with emails and do not rush opening their attachments. Even safely-looking Word or PDF files called as invoice or statement might include malware executable. Bear in mind that crooks might make phishing emails look like legitimate, so always double-check the information before opening email attachments. In order to avoid file-encrypting viruses, you should be careful with ads and avoid clicking them in general. Malware-laden ads might be delivered even on legitimate websites. What is more, always install programs from the reliable sources. Bear in mind that Torrents[5], files sharing programs or ads are insecure sources for downloads.

What should I do if I got infected with CryptoJacky ransomware virus?

We hope that you won’t encounter this brand new crypto-malware. However, if it manages to get inside the system, you should be prepared and know what to do next. Obviously, you need to remove CryptoJacky from the computer. The only safe way to delete ransomware is to use professional malware removal tools, for instance, ReimageIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. Of course, you can choose any other your preferred program and run a full system scan with it. Though, we want to warn that sometimes ransomware viruses block access to the security tools and prevent from installing them. If it happens to you too, reboot your PC to the Safe Mode as shown in the instructions below. Then, the virus will be disabled, and you will be able to perform the automatic CryptoJacky removal. Moreover, don’t forget that before scanning the system you need to update your chosen malware removal tool.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of CryptoJacky virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Often ransomware viruses prevent users from installing or accessing malware removal tools. In order to remove CryptoJacky ransomware virus, you have to reboot your PC to the Safe Mode, and try to install or run a full system scan again.

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
    Settings
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
    Reboot
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
    Startup

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Downloads
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove CryptoJacky using System Restore

Follow these steps below in order to install or run antivirus or anti-malware program. This method allows disabling the virus and performing automatic removal.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of CryptoJacky. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with ReimageIntego and make sure that CryptoJacky removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove CryptoJacky from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

If your files are encrypted by CryptoJacky, you can use several methods to restore them:

Try Data Recovery Pro to restore files encrypted by CryptoJacky ransomware virus

If you do not data backups, Data Recovery Pro might be the only option to restore at least some of the files. This tool is capable of recovering damaged, corrupted and encrypted files.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by CryptoJacky ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try Windows Previous Versions feature to restore files encrypted by CryptoJacky ransomware

If System Restore function has been enabled on your PC before CryptoJacky attack, follow the steps below to recover the most important files. If not, this method is not suitable for you.

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

Try ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by CryptoJacky virus

If CryptoJacky malware leaves or fails to delete Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files, you can use ShadowExplorer to recover them.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

CryptoJacky decryptor

We are sorry, decryption tool for CryptoJacky ransomware virus hasn’t been released yet.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from CryptoJacky and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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