JosepCrypt Virus – Remove and Restore .josep Files

JosepCrypt Virus – Remove and Restore .josep Files

JosepCrypt virus image ransomware note .josep extension

JosepCrypt virus is a newly discovered test version of a new threat. The security analysis reveals that it does not contain snippets from any of the famous malware families. It is possible that future versions of it are going to feature updated code that add newer functions. Read our complete JosepCrypt virus removal guide to learn more about it.

Threat Summary

TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts sensitive information on your computer system with the .josep extensions and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
SymptomsThe ransomware will encrypt your files with a strong encryption algorithm.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by JosepCrypt


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss JosepCrypt.
Data Recovery ToolWindows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.

JosepCrypt Virus – Distribution Ways

The JosepCrypt virus is a new malicious threat that is being distributed using a variety of methods. The associated attack campaign is very small and as such it is proposed that this is merely a test release that is being delivered. Is is expected that in future releases the JosepCrypt virus campaigns are going to be much more extensive.

A primary method for spreading samples of it is the coordination of email SPAM messages. They usually use some kind of a social engineering contents that attempts to manipulate the targets into interacting with the virus files. Usually they are either attached directly or hyperlinked in the body contents. In addition they are one of the main mechanisms for distribution of viral payloads. Two of the most popular cases are the following:

  • Infected Documents — The JosepCrypt virus can be embedded in files of different types: text documents, spreadsheets or presentations. A notification prompt appears which asks the targets to enable the built-in macros (virus code).
  • Software Installers — In a similar way the criminals can use the same mechanism with application installers. The criminals often choose popular applications: creativity suites, productivity, system utilities and even computer games.

Another technique used by hackers is the use of browser hijackers. They are malicious web browser plugins that are usually spread on the relevant extension repositories. The hackers typically use fake credentials, user reviews and post elaborate descriptions in order to fool as many users as possible. Once they are installed on the victim computers default settings are changed (homepage, search engine and the new tabs page) in order to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled site. Such threats are usually made compatible with the most popular web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Microsoft Edge and Opera.

The hackers behind the JosepCrypt virus can also utilize various web scripts in order to spread it further. Examples include pop-ups, banners, redirects and in-line links. Using affiliate and advertising networks the virus can even reach legitimate sites. This method type can even include malicious and fake download portals as well as file sharing networks like BitTorrent.

JosepCrypt Virus – In-Depth Analysis

The initial code analysis shows that the discovered strains do not feature any code taken from the famous ransomware families. As such the security experts suppose that the virus has been created by their creator(s). At the moment the identity of the hacker or criminal collective behind it is unknown.

The released strains are described as test versions as they contain only a basic ransomware module. It is expected that future versions will feature additional options. In this JosepCrypt virus removal guide we will showcase how an attack may be executed in case interim versions are released.

An example attack can begin with an information gathering that can extract various sensitive information from the victim computers. The collected data can be used for campaign optimization which allows the hackers to create a more effective distribution campaign. The hijacked information consists of values taken from certain operating system configuration options and a full profile of the installed hardware components.

In addition the same engine can be used to harvest sensitive data about the victims themselves. This private information can be used to directly expose a person’s identity: their name, address, telephone number, location, interests, password and account credentials.

The collected information can be used by a stealth protection engine which can guard the virus instance from security products or services. Examples include anti-virus products, virtual machine hosts or sandbox environments. Their real-time engines can be bypassed or entirely removed depending on the exact configuration. Advanced versions of the ransomware can be programmed into deleting themselves if they are unable to bypass this step.

What follows are various system changes that primarily deal with the Windows Registry. Such steps are primarily made in order to affect the user-installed applications or the operating system itself. This can cause certain applications to stop working properly or certain services to work abnormally. In addition if the operating system is impacted overall performance can be degraded. Some actions can be attributed to a persistent threat installation of the virus. This means that it will launch itself automatically once the computer boots. Its interesting to note that it can be also disable the recovery boot menu.

Future JosepCrypt virus instances can also cause damage to the victim computers by deleting the identified Shadow Volume Copies of sensitive data. In this case effective data recovery can only be achieved by using a professional solution.

Some of the famous ransomware families feature a network connection module that can perform a real-time link with a hacker-controlled server. It is used to spy on the victim users, as well as overtake control of their machines. Such methods are used to deploy additional threats as well.

JosepCrypt Virus – Encryption Process

Once all components have executed correctly the ransomware module is run. The associated JosepCrypt virus uses a strong cipher in order to affect a predefined list of target data. An example list can include the following:

  • Documents
  • Backups
  • Archives
  • Databases
  • Music
  • Videos
  • Images

When this step is complete the affected files are renamed with the .josep extension. The captured strains show a ransom note crafted in a file called RECOVERY.txt which reads the following:

A l l y o u r f i l e s a r e e n c r y p t e d . I f y o u w a n t t o r e c o v e r t h e y , w r i t e m e t o j o s e p n i v e r i t o @ a o l . c o m Y o u h a v e a 5 d a y s Y O U R K E Y : *****

Remove JosepCrypt Virus and Restore .josep Files

If your computer system got infected with the JosepCrypt 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.


Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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