The Javalocker is a ransomware strain that primarily infects Windows devices and locks all personal files. After successfully encrypting the files, it will ask for a $300 ransom in the form of bitcoins. Some of the file types that are targeted for encryption by the malware include PDFs, MS Office documents, videos, and databases.
What Can the Javalocker Ransomware Do?
Once inside your computer, the Javalocker ransomware will search for predetermined file types and encrypt them by appending each file with a ‘.javalocker’ file name. In other words, if the name of the original file was mydocument.jpg, it will be turned to mydocument.jpg.javalocker.
The type of encryption that the malware uses is asymmetric encryption, meaning that you will need a special key to decrypt every file that has been locked by the malware. It is for this reason that cybercriminals ask for a ransom amount before agreeing to offer a decryption key.
How to Remove Javalocker Ransomware
When it comes to removing the Javalocker ransomware from an infected device, there is both good and bad news. The good news is that with a powerful anti-malware solution such as Outbyte Anti-Malware, it is pretty easy to get rid of the virus. The bad news is that there is no way to recover your files after an infection. You will have to contend with the fact they may be gone forever, unless you are willing to pay the ransom amount which is something that you should not do for two reasons. One, it encourages the criminals behind the malware to create ever more powerful versions of the virus. Secondly, there is no guarantee that once you pay the ransomware, your files will be unlocked. You might end losing the $300, plus your files- a double tragedy.
As for the anti-malware solution, you will have to run your device on Safe Mode with Networking. If you are using a Windows 10 device, the following are the steps to take:
- Press and hold the Shift At the same time, go to Power > Restart.
- When Windows restarts, you will be asked to select an option, choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options.
- Among the Advanced options, choose Startup Settings.
- Press the Restart button.
- Once your computer powers again, use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode with Networking. Alternatively, press the F5 key.
You can use Safe Mode with Networking to download utility tools such as an anti-malware software or to visit a blog like this one that will help remove the Javalocker ransomware.
After using the anti-malware tool, it is still required to clean the disks on your computer or at least use a Windows recovery tool. While cleaning the disks on your computer will remove all files and folders, it is also a great way to get rid of any junk files that may be playing host to malware entities.
Here is how you clean your disks on a Windows 10 computer:
- Into the Windows search box, type ‘disk cleanup’.
- Select the Disk Cleanup utility tool.
- Select the disk or drive that you want to clean up.
- Under the Files to delete, tick all the file types.
- Press OK.
An easier and more effective way to clean your computer is by using a PC repair tool. It will not only clean your computer, but it will also remove any junk files and repair any broken, corrupt or missing registry entries.
If you opt to manually remove the files that power the malware by either using the Task Manager, or the Control Panel, you should be looking for following files:
Windows Recovery Options
If you have never used a Windows recovery option, following a problematic issue with your computer, there is no better time to perform a Windows recovery than after a malware attack, the likes of which we are discussing. Depending on the recovery option that you choose, it will undo any changes to your computer’s configuration, settings, and apps. It can even remove programs in the process.
System Restore is a popular Windows recovery option because it is less dramatic. While it can lead to a loss of settings and apps, few of these are affected depending on the restore point that is selected. To activate a restore point on a Windows 10 device, follow the steps described earlier. (leading to Safe Mode with Networking). But instead of choosing Startup Settings, select System Restore.
Reset this PC
The Reset this PC option does just what its name suggests. It will return your computer to its default state and is one of the more dramatic Windows recovery options. The good thing about this option is that it allows you to start your computer on a clean slate. And considering that the Javalocker ransomware malware has already ravaged your files, there is nothing to lose, really.
If you are using a Windows device, the following are the steps to take:
- Press the Windows + I key to open the Settings app.
- Under Update & Recovery, choose Recovery.
- You should now see a list of recovery options, select Reset this PC.
- Click Get Started.
- When prompted to either Keep my files or Remove everything, choose Remove Everything.
- You will then be asked whether you want to Remove files and clean the drive or Just remove my files. Select Remove files and clean the drive. Note that this option will take a little longer to complete.
- Follow the on-screen directions to complete the process.
Now that you have reset your computer, deleted all files and folders, and followed this with cleaning the drives, there is no possibility that a malware entity still has residency on your device.
How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks
The last step in this ransomware removal and protection guide is to make sure that the virus never finds its way into your device again. This is likely the hardest part because malware entities rely on several vectors to infiltrate vulnerable computers. Here are a few tips that can make your device safe from future infections:
- Update your device to patch vulnerabilities in software.
- Scan your computer regularly with a powerful anti-malware solution.
- Back up your files so that even if you are attacked, you will always have your files with you.
- Verify the authenticity of email attachments before downloading or clicking on them.
- Avoid pirated software as they are a source of contamination.
- If you share an office or computing resources with others, agree on a common cybersecurity strategy.