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Remove Jigsaw Ransomware and Restore .paytounlock Files

This article will help you to remove the Jigsaw ransomware completely. Follow the ransomware removal instructions given at the bottom of the article.

A new variant of the Jigsaw ransomware cryptovirus has emerged recently. The ransom note and screen that it shows are almost completely identical to the original. The virus has a list with 126 file extensions for encryption. All of the locked files will get the extension .paytounlock appended to them.

Update! A free decrypter has been released for files encoded by Jigsaw Ransomware. To see how you can restore your files, visit the article with decryption instructions.

Threat Summary

Name Jigsaw
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The ransomware will encrypt your files and display a screen with the ransom note, which is themed around the movie “SAW”.
Symptoms The ransomware will encrypt files by placing the .paytounlock extension to all of them.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Jigsaw

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Jigsaw.

Jigsaw Ransomware – Infection Spread

Jigsaw ransomware could infect computers using different methods for spreading that infection. Spam e-mails could be spreading its payload dropper. Those types of emails will try to convince you that something important is attached as a file to that e-mail. In actuality, the attachment will look like a legitimate document or one that is archived, but it is a file containing a malicious script. If you open that file, it will launch the payload for the ransomware. You can preview the analysis of one such file on the Payload Security service:

Jigsaw ransomware might be using other methods for spreading, like putting the payload file dropper via social media and file-sharing sites. Freeware applications which roam the Internet could be presented as useful but also could hide the malicious files of this virus. Refrain from opening files after you download them, especially if they come from unverified sources, such as links and e-mails. First, you should scan these files with a security tool, and also make sure to check their sizes and signatures for anything that seems unusual. You should read the ransomware preventing tips topic in the forum.

Jigsaw Ransomware – Detailed Description

The Jigsaw ransomware ransomware virus is back with this new variant. Once more it is themed around the Jigsaw character from the movie series “SAW” as its original variant.

When the Jigsaw virus is initialized, it will modify an existing entry in the Windows Registry or create a new one to achieve persistence. That registry entry makes the malware to automatically execute with each boot of the Windows operating system. Afterward, your files will get encrypted, and receive the same extension.

Next, a window will pop-up on your screen that shows the Jigsaw character and text being typed out with green letters. That text is the ransom message with information and instructions for payment.

The text of the ransom note reads:

I want to play a game with you. Let me explain the rules:
Your personal files are being deleted. Your photos, videos, documents, etc…
But, don’t worry! It will only happen if you don’t comply.
However I’ve already encrypted your personal files, so you cannot access them.
Every hour I select some of them to delete permanently,
therefore I won’t be able to access them, either.
Are you familiar with the concept of exponential growth? Let me help you out.
It starts out slowly then increases rapidly.
During the first 24 hour you will only lose a few files,
the second day a few hundred, the third day a few thousand, and so on.
If you turn off your computer or try to close me, when I start next time
you will get 1000 files deleted as a punishment.
Yes you will want me to start next time, since I am the only one that
is capable to decrypt your personal data for you.

Now, let’s start and enjoy our little game together!

1 file will be deleted.
Please, send at least $100 worth of Bitcoin here:
[Address redacted]

The Jigsaw ransomware scares you that it will delete files from your PC every hour until you pay and there is nothing else that you can do to prevent that. But you should NOT under any circumstances pay the ransom as the note is lying to you – the virus is decryptable. Supporting cybercriminals is a bad idea as that will only motivate them to do more criminal acts.

A decrypter tool is already available thanks to the malware researcher Michael Gillespie. You can find it in the bottom and top of the article.

The list with 126 file extensions that will become encrypted is split in two inside the code of the ransomware. The full list is the following:

→.3dm, .3g2, .3gp, .7zip, .aaf, .accdb, .aep, .aepx, .aet, .ai, .aif, .as, .as.txt, .as3, .asf, .asp, .asx, .avi, .bmp, .c, .class, .cpp, .cs, .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .dwg, .dxf, .dxf.c, .efx, .eps, .fla, .flv, .gif, .h, .idml, .iff, .indb, .indd, .indl, .indt, .inx, .jar, .java, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .m3u, .m3u8, .m4u, .max, .mdb, .mid, .mkv, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpa, .mpeg, .mpg, .msg, .pdb, .pdf, .php, .plb, .pmd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .ppj, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prel, .prproj, .ps, .psd, .py, .ra, .rar, .raw, .rb, .rtf, .sdf, .ses, .sldm, .sldx, .sql, .svg, .swf, .tif, .txt, .vcf, .vob, .wav, .wma, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .xla, .xlam, .xll, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .xqx, .zip

The list with the file extensions for encryptions seems to be updated with a couple of new ones, but still around the number of 120. The encrypted files will have the .paytounlock extension appended to them, after their file name.

The Jigsaw ransomware is very likely to erase all Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows operating system, although you shouldn’t worry about that since a free decrypter is available.

Remove Jigsaw Ransomware and Restore .paytounlock Files

If your computer got infected with the Jigsaw ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.

Manually delete Jigsaw from your computer

Note! Substantial notification about the Jigsaw threat: Manual removal of Jigsaw requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Jigsaw files and objects
2.Find malicious files created by Jigsaw on your PC

Automatically remove Jigsaw by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

1. Remove Jigsaw with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool and back up your data
2. Restore files encrypted by Jigsaw
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Berta Bilbao

Berta is the Editor-in-Chief of SensorsTechForum. She is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space.

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