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Jaff ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware
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The fearsome Jaff ransomware virus is now decryptable

The image of Jaff ransomware

Jaff ransomware is a crypto-malware that is distributed via Necurs botnet.[1] The virus targets at least 423 file types and encrypts them with sophisticated ciphers. During this process, the virus adds either .jaff, .wlu or .sVn file extension after the original file extension. The virus then saves ReadMe.bmp file and sets it as desktop wallpaper, and drops a ransom note. To determine which version of the ransomware infected your PC, look at the provided list of file extensions and ransom note names used by the virus.

  • The initial version of ransomware version adds .jaff file extension and drops ReadMe.txt, ReadMe.bmp and ReadMe.html;
  • The second version of Jaff Decryption System appends .wlu file extensions and creates README_TO_DECRYPTl.txt, README_TO_DECRYPTl.bmp and README_TO_DECRYPT.html
  • The third version of the ransomware marks files with .sVn extensions and leaves !!!!README_FOR_SAVE FILES.txt and !!!SAVE YOUR FILES.bmp or !!!!!SAVE YOUR FILES!!!!.txt and !!!SAVE YOUR FILES!.bmp.

Obfuscated malicious payload arrives as an email that includes PDF attachment. Once people open this file, it loads an embedded MS Word document (.docm) that asks to enable macros in order to see the content. If a person follows the instruction, malware is dropped and activated on the system. On the affected device, the ransomware starts data encryption procedure and aims at 423 different types of files. It uses a combination of RSA and AES encryption algorithms and appends a particular extension to each of the targeted files.

Following data encryption, it drops ransom notes filled with information about the ransomware attack. The image file (BMP) is set as affected computer’s wallpaper that informs about Jaff Decryptor System. The other two files include ransom-demanding message where victims are asked to transfer 2 Bitcoins for data recovery. However, purchasing decryptor from cyber criminals may end up with money loss as well.

After ransomware attack, you should focus on virus removal. While malware resides on the system, your computer, as well as privacy, is at risk. Therefore you must remove Jaff ransomware with the help of reputable malware removal program such as Reimage. Only then you should look up for data recovery solutions.

IMPORTANT. Victims infected with three initial Jaff versions – .wlu, .jaff and .sVn file extension viruses can now decrypt files for FREE, thanks to Kaspersky Team. To decrypt files, download the decryption tool using the link provided down in data recovery instructions and let it restore all your files for free.

Jaff ransomware resembles Locky and Dridex viruses because it uses the same Necurs malspam[2] as the main distribution strategy. However, the structure of the malware indicates that it is not related to these cyber infections, although the payment page is almost identical to Locky's. Cyber criminals just adapted few features of successful ransomware projects.

As we already mentioned, the infected email has an attached PDF file that opens a DOCM file. Once victims click the “Enable Content” button, they activate the malicious script placed in that file and it downloads various files that are necessary to execute and run Jaff malware. When a file-encrypting virus is executed, it connects to its Command & Control server and informs about a newly attacked device. The C2 server responds with the word “Created” and malware starts data encryption procedure. It only stays away from system files and other important data that is necessary for running the computer.

Jaff is also designed to delete Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files by executing vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet command in order to make data recovery nearly impossible without a particular decryption key. Malware drops ransom notes to each folder that has affected files, where criminals explain how to obtain a decryption key.

Ransom-demanding message also includes a unique victim’s ID and provide a link to the payment website, which can be accessed only using TOR browser. It includes information how to buy Bitcoins and how to transfer them to the provided address in order to obtain the decryption key. Once Jaff ransomware has been spotted, it asked to pay 1.82 BTS; however, newest versions demand to transfer 2 BTC.[3]

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that cyber criminals will give you access to Jaff Decryptor. They are interested in getting your money only. Thus, you should not risk in losing $3000 and having business with shady people. However, if you have backups, you can call yourself lucky because it’s the only way to restore your files at the moment. Otherwise, chances to get back your files are low, but this situation should not motivate you to pay the ransom.

Instead of risking to lose few thousands of dollars, you should focus on Jaff removal. When your computer is virus-free, you can try alternative recovery methods and restore at least some of your files or wait until official decryptor is released.

Image of new Jaff variant

Detailed analysis of Jaff ransomware distribution methods


Jaff virus uses Necurs botnet to spread malicious spam emails with infected PDF document. As we already mentioned, this technique has been used in the distribution of Locky. The phishing email has a subject line has one of these words that are followed by the random numbers, for instance, Copy_0504747, PDF_57583, Scan_15467085, Your Invoice # 87871 or File_2227958. Such letters contain a PDF attachment named “nm.pdf” and might provide numerous reasons why users have to open it.

For instance, one spam campaign simply asks to print two copies of the file.[4] If a user is tricked into opening it, the PDF file asks to open an embedded DOCM file. Depending on what version of PDF reader is installed on the attacked device, the file might open a DOCM file automatically, or it might ask a user to open it.

Once the Word file is opened, it delivers a message that this document is protected and user needs to click “Enable Content” button. The button hides a malicious macro command which is designed to contact a malicious domain to download ransomware-related files to execute Jaff Decryption System. Thus, if you do not expect to receive any document or file, you should not open any suspicious email attachment. Before opening attached files, you need to make sure that you know the sender and can trust him or her.[5] Otherwise, delete such email immediately.

The explained technique was used to push .jaff and .wlu ransomware variants. However, since June 13, 2017, the ransomware developers slightly altered the distribution technique and started pushing the malspam containing the .sVn file extension virus. This time the malicious actors use such and similar subject lines for the malicious messages: Invoice PIS1314074, Invoice PIS8938690.

The emails contain a ZIP file entitled as invoicepis8938690.zip, invoicepis9587975.zip, or similarly. This ZIP attachment contains another ZIP attachment called HF4YIDIIL.zip, B9UHRNO5.zip or similarly. Extracting the second folder places a Windows Script File on the system called identically as the previous ZIP folder – B9UHRNO5.wsf, HF4YIDIIL.wsf and similarly. Launching the .wsf file activates a script that connects to a malicious domain and downloads the malicious payload.

Jaff ransomware might also be distributed via social networks and file-sharing sites. Thus, you might receive a link from a friend (or unfamiliar person) that suggests watching a video or picture. Before clicking on such links, you should always make sure that it’s safe to open. For instance, you can ask your friend whether he or she sent it or not. What is more, malware might also be promoted as a useful program on various P2P networks. If you need to install a particular program, you should avoid using unknown download sites. Always choose official developers’ or publishers’ websites in order to prevent installation of malicious programs.

Update May 2017: New design and .wlu file extensions used

The second wave of Jaff virus has hit the web, and this time the malware seems to have undergone some adjustments. First of all, the latest virus version looks completely different from the original. The criminals have labeled this new virus “Jaff Decryptor” instead of the original “Jaff decryptor system” and made changes to the overall design of the ransom note and ransom payment site.

The malware now looks much more professional that it appeared in the beginning. Besides, the changes were not carried out only on the visual level. The virus has undergone modifications in its source code as well: the new .WLU extension has been added to the list of unusual file endings that this virus appends to indicate encrypted files.

What hasn’t changed, though, is the method of ransomware distribution. It still spreads around through malicious spam campaigns and tries to trick users into downloading it on their computers as a supposed invoice file. The subjects of these files will feature titles such as Copy of Invoice 99483713 or Invoice(58-0710). Please note that the numbers may change which each individual attack. So, be careful and don’t download any files received from unfamiliar senders or generally untrusted sources.

Update June 2017: New Jaff variant uses .sVn extension

“New month, new extension” seems to be the motto of the Jaff ransomware developers. The researchers have found a new variant of the ransomware that appends encrypted files with .sVn extensions. The discovery has been made by Derek Knight, a security researchers who has been investigating spoofed spam emails supposedly received from copy machines in the companies of its potential victims.

These emails arrive under subject names such Message from KM_C224e. Inside them comes an attached file called SKM_C224e54955163156.zip which carries a malicious executable. When activated the executable would download the virus on the computer and start encrypting files, marking the already affected documents with .sVn extensions. New extensions in ransomware typically indicate a new virus version. In this case, this is justified by the renamed ransom note and image which replaces the desktop background after the ransomware infection. Now these files are called !!!!README_FOR_SAVE FILES.txt and !!!SAVE YOUR FILES.bmp. Unfortunately, this Jaff virus version is not decryptable either. However, recovery methods below are always there for your to try out.

Update June 15, 2017: Jaff ransomware decryptor is available

The infamous ransomware that seemed to be undefeatable at first appeared to be not as sophisticated as it seemed at first. Of course, it did take a lot of time and patience for Kaspersky experts to analyze the samples of the ransomware and go step-by-step to create an all-in-one decryptor for Jaff ransomware family.

The new tool was released on June 14, 2017, and it is capable of restoring .wlu, .jaff, .sVn file extension files back to their original condition. Remember that before using this tool, you must get rid of the ransomware and all of its components. Use a powerful malware remover to eliminate the ransomware before using the Jaff decryptor.

Remove Jaff ransomware completely before running the decryption tool

The only safe way to remove Jaff from the device is to run a full system scan with reputable malware removal program. We want to discourage you from trying to delete ransomware manually because it might have injected legitimate system processes and modified Windows Registry. Thus, you can easily cause more damage by unintentionally stopping important processes or deleting crucial entries. Do not hesitate and install Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or other malware removal program.

If you cannot do that, restart your computer to the Safe Mode with networking as shown in the instructions below. Then you should be able to install security program and perform automatic Jaff removal. Once the computer is virus-free, you can restore your files from backups or try alternative recovery solutions.

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Manual Jaff virus Removal Guide:

Remove Jaff using Safe Mode with Networking

Jaff ransomware might prevent from installing security program and running the system scan. Thus, you may need to reboot your device to the Safe Mode with Networking first.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    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 Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    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 Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove Jaff

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Jaff removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove Jaff using System Restore

If Jaff Decryption System prevents you from running automatic removal, follow the steps below and try to run security tool again.

  • 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 Jaff. 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 Reimage and make sure that Jaff removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

One of the safest and most effective ways to recover all your files is using data backups. However, if you do not have them, please try our suggested methods below. Hopefully, you will be able to restore at least some of the files.

You can also recover your files using an official decryption tool released by Kaspersky.

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

Data Recovery Pro might help to restore encrypted files

This professional software has been created to restore corrupted, damaged, deleted and some of the encrypted files. Data Recovery has helped thousands of victims of ransomware. Thus, it might help you too.

Windows Previous Versions feature might help to restore files encrypted by Jaff ransomware virus

In order to use this recovery option, System Restore functions must have been activated before ransomware attack. Otherwise, it won't help you. Windows Previous Versions feature allows traveling back in computer's time, and copying previously saved versions of the encrypted files.

  • 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”.

Use Jaff Decryptor

Kaspersky Labs have updated their RakhniDecryptor, a tool capable of decrypting various types of ransomware. Download RakhniDecryptor and make sure you have the 1.21.2.1. version (or higher).

  • Click Start scan and select a particular folder to find files locked by the ransowmare.
  • The decryptor will ask you to select a ransom note. Once you select it, hit Open button and then wait until the decryptor decrypts files. Be patient – this might take a while.
  • Repeat with all folders that contain important encrypted files.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Jaff and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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