JokeFromMars, also known as MarsJoke ransomware uses AES cipher to encrypt files, adding the .a19 and .ap19 file extension to them. The ransomware virus demands 0.7 or 1.1 BTC (depending on it’s variant) payment to cyber-criminals. The good news is that researchers have developed a decryptor for JokeFromMars ransomware and if you have been infected by this malware, now it is possible to decrypt your files for free. We have designed step-by-step instructions to assist with the successful removal and decryption of MarsJoke ransomware, and it is advisable to follow them and reverse the damage done by it.
MarsJoke Ransomware – Quick Background
When it first came out, news broke out that this virus is not limited as to what type of users the virus will target, meaning that there were targeted attacks or spam campaigns oriented towards government facilities and branches of government institutions, even including Police buildings. This opened up to many possible infection scenarios, including using compromised credentials or fake profiles and e-mails to infect computers within the organization.
After such infection has occurred, the JokeFromMars virus drops several files in key Windows folders. ProofPoint Researchers have detected the virus to drop a malicious executable, named “sysmonitor” in one instance, but the names may vary.
The JokeFromMars virus also modifies heavily the Windows Registry editor. It also begins to encrypt files using a strong AES-256 cipher. The virus is pre-programmed to target the following file types:
→.3gp, .7z, .apk, .avi, .bmp, .cdr, .cer, .chm, conf, .css, .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .djvu, .dbx, .docm, ,doc, .epub, .docx .fb2, .flv, .gif, .gz, .iso .ibooks,.jpeg, .jpg, .key, .mdb .md2, .mdf, .mht, .mobi .mhtm, .mkv, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpg .mpeg, .pict, .pdf, .pps, .pkg, .png, .ppt .pptx, .ppsx, .psd, .rar, .rtf, .scr, .swf, .sav, .tiff, .tif, .tbl, .torrent, .txt, .vsd,.wmv, .xls, .xlsx, .xps, .xml, .ckp, zip, .java, .py, .asm, .c, .cpp, .cs, .js, .php, .dacpac, .rbw, .rb, .mrg, .dcx, .db3, .sql, .sqlite3, .sqlite, .sqlitedb, .psd, .psp, .pdb, .dxf, .dwg, .drw, .casb, .ccp, .cal, .cmx, .cr2.
After encryption MarsJoke drops a ransom note with the following message to victims:
Luckily enough, users now do not have to pay for decryption. Malware researchers Anton Ivanov, Orkhan Mamedov and Fedor Sinitsyn, have broken MarsJoke’s code and have successfully updated Kaspersky’s Rannoh decryptor to decipher files for free. What allowed them to break the code was a mistake the malware writers did when they have put a weak string in the key generator of decryption keys.
We have prepared instructions below to help you successfully decrypt MarsJoke ransomware for free, using Rannoh Decryptor.
MarsJoke Ransomware – Removal and Decryption Instructions
If you want to decrypt your files, it is advisable to first remove the MarsJoke virus in case you still have it on your computer. In order to successfully remove it. We advise you to use these instructions to fully delete it:
- Guide 1: How to Remove MarsJoke from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of MarsJoke from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove MarsJoke from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase MarsJoke from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall MarsJoke from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Delete MarsJoke from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate MarsJoke from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove MarsJoke from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove MarsJoke
Step 2: Uninstall MarsJoke and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by MarsJoke on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by MarsJoke there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of MarsJoke from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall MarsJoke and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove MarsJoke via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove MarsJoke files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as MarsJoke, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove MarsJoke from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase MarsJoke from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall MarsJoke from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Delete MarsJoke from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the MarsJoke will be removed.
Eliminate MarsJoke from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.