Jigsaw crypto-ransomware deletes more files the longer you delay paying

Malware researchers have released a tool that can decrypt files affected by the new threat

Understanding how to buy bitcoins and pay ransomware authors for decryption keys is hard enough, yet some cybercriminals now expect their victims to do it in under an hour if they want all of their files back.

A new ransomware program dubbed Jigsaw encrypts users' files and then begins to progressively delete them until the victim pays the equivalent of US$150 in Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

The ransomware deletes one file after the first hour has passed and then increases the number of files it deletes in every 60-minutes cycle. If no payment has been made within 72 hours, all remaining files will be deleted.

"Try anything funny and the computer has several safety measures to delete your files," the program's creators warn in their ransom message that's accompanied by a picture of the Jigsaw killer's mask from the horror film series Saw.

That's not an idle threat. According to computer experts from tech support forum BleepingComputer.com, the ransomware program deletes 1,000 files every time the computer or its own process is restarted.

jigsaw ransom note BleepingComputer.com

The ransom note displayed by the Jigsaw ransomware program.

"This is the first time that we have seen these types of threats actually being carried out by a ransomware infection," said BleepingComputer.com founder Lawrence Abrams in a blog post.

The good news, for now, it that malware experts have devised a method to decrypt files affected by Jigsaw without paying the ransom.

The first thing that users affected by this ransomware program should do is to open the Windows Task Manager and terminate all processes named firefox.exe or drpbx.exe that were created by the ransomware, Abrams said. Then they should launch the Windows MSConfig utility and disable the startup entry that points to %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Frfx\firefox.exe.

This will stop the file deletion process and will prevent the malware from restarting when the system boots up.

They can then download the Jigsaw Decrypter utility hosted by BleepingComputer.com and decrypt their files. When that's done it's highly recommended that users download an up-to-date anti-malware program and perform a full scan of their computer to completely remove the ransomware.

In November, another ransomware program dubbed Chimera threatened to leak users' files on the Internet. However, no evidence has been found that the program actually had the capability to do this.

By comparison, Jigsaw does deliver on its threats and marks a worrisome evolution of ransomware threats. While security experts managed to find a method to decrypt files this time, there's no guarantee that they'll be able to do the same for future versions. Ransomware creators are typically quick to fix their errors.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?