JokeFromMars Ransomware - How to remove

JokeFromMars virus is a representative of the most terrible viruses, that are ransomwares. It is a prototypical example of the breed. JokeFromMars ransomware uses the asymmetric encryption algorithm as its main weapon. This type of encryption distorts the data files in a way they cannot be read nor opened. The most valuable data you stored on your computer is turned into a pile of junk. Your access to the information you need is restricted. This is what ransomware viruses are developed for. Soon you are going to be blackmailed for money to regain access to your data. Before knuckling under to these hackers, read the article and find better ways to deal with the misfortune which has befallen on you.

About JokeFromMars Ransomware

JokeFromMars ransomware benefits from the AES encryption. The text, audio and video files, images and other file types are encrypted with the asymmetric encryption algorithm. And the victim can no longer freely use his (her) own documents. In fact, he/ she practically loses them. Whether JokeFromMars crypto virus appends any extension to the encrypted files or not, is still not clear. But it does replace your desktop wallpaper with its ransom note for sure:


As you can see, there is also a pop-up window placed on it, as if it wouldn’t be enough to undertake the screen alone. The ransom message does also appear as a text file, named ReadMeFilesDecrypt!!!.txt, in every folder, which has undergone the attack. The note states that 96 hours or 4 days is the deadline for paying the ransom, which is 1.1 BTC (bitcoins) equaling to 668.63 USD at this particular point in time. The specific BTC address is 3NTf83A3cfPPU3anWioSTYdgRSi2YMhcsx, to which the ransom payment is supposed to be transferred. The cyber crooks behind JokeFromMars cryptomalware provides links to Tor sites, where the payment is supposed to be carried out. They do also provide service of the encryption of 5 random files free of charge. However, we advise you not to get inveigled into communicating with these cyber criminals. Even if they do actually have the working decryptor, there is no guarantees that you will receive it, even after having paid them.

How does Your Computer Get Infected with JokeFromMars Ransomware?

JokeFromMars crypto-malware harnesses spam e-mails to make you yourself download and execute it on your device. Of course, you are not aware about that. You think that you are opening some important e-mail sent by a legitimate institution, such as The State Tax Inspectorate, for instance, informing about, let’s say, your debt or anything similar. But if you rewound the tape, you should face the fact that you opened a spam e-mail, which alone should have warned you that there is something suspicious about the notice. Whenever you receive such spam e-mails, it is better to delete them without even opening or, for God’s sake, following the links or clicking on the attachments added.

JokeFromMars file-encrypting virus can also spread in the manner, which is rather uncontrollable. This refers to visiting various questionable domains, such as porno sites, free gaming or gambling online platforms, etc. or even clicking on infected advertisements. In the latter case, even God will not help you, but an elaborate antivirus, such as Spyhunter, could.

How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by JokeFromMars Ransomware?

While there is no decryption tool by cyber security researchers offered to decrypt JokeFromMars ransomware, you should rely upon your backup. This encompass the feature of the system’s restore, namely, the Shadow Volume Copies and the external backup, including all the removable devices, which can be used for data storage, of course, if they were not affixed at the time of JokeFromMars’s invasion or following it. There is also an option for professional data recovery by application of Recuva, R-Studio, PhotoRec, Kaspersky Lab, etc. software.

Spyhunter or Malwarebytes professional malware removal software is, indeed, to be applied before the execution of data restoration. Copy the infected drive (you will need to have infected files to extort the key from the upcoming decrypter) and run one of the scanners suggested. We recommend initiating automatic removal, since the manual one with a single mistake can fail. However, there is the tutorial for the manual removal of JokeFromMars malware to be found at the end of the paragraph. In case you have any questions or experience any difficulties, let us know and we will try our best to help you.

Update of the 5th of December, 2016. MarsJoke virus has been detected to be spammed by Waledac malware, alternatively named as Kelihos spam botnet.

How to recover JokeFromMars Ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus

Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore

1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt:

for Windows 7 / Vista/ XP
  • Start Shutdown RestartOK.
  • Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
  • Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Windows 7 enter safe mode

for Windows 8 / 10
  • Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart. Windows 8-10 restart to safe mode
  • Choose TroubleshootAdvanced OptionsStartup Settings and click Restart.
  • When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings. Windows 8-10 enter safe mode

2.Restore System files and settings.

  • When Command Prompt mode loads, enter cd restore and press Enter.
  • Then enter rstrui.exe and press Enter again.CMD commands
  • Click “Next” in the windows that appeared. Restore point img1
  • Select one of the Restore Points that are available before MarsJoke Ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”. Restore point img2
  • To start System restore click “Yes”. Restore point img3

Step 2. Complete removal of JokeFromMars Ransomware

After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to MarsJoke Ransomware. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore JokeFromMars Ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies

If you do not use System Restore option on your operating system, there is a chance to use shadow copy snapshots. They store copies of your files that point of time when the system restore snapshot was created. Usually MarsJoke Ransomware tries to delete all possible Shadow Volume Copies, so this methods may not work on all computers. However, it may fail to do so. Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There are two ways to retrieve your files via Shadow Volume Copy. You can do it using native Windows Previous Versions or via Shadow Explorer. a) Native Windows Previous Versions Right-click on an encrypted file and select PropertiesPrevious versions tab. Now you will see all available copies of that particular file and the time when it was stored in a Shadow Volume Copy. Choose the version of the file you want to retrieve and click Copy if you want to save it to some directory of your own, or Restore if you want to replace existing, encrypted file. If you want to see the content of file first, just click Open.
Previous version
b) Shadow Explorer It is a program that can be found online for free. You can download either a full or a portable version of Shadow Explorer. Open the program. On the left top corner select the drive where the file you are looking for is a stored. You will see all folders on that drive. To retrieve a whole folder, right-click on it and select “Export”. Then choose where you want it to be stored.
Shadow explorer

Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover JokeFromMars Ransomware encrypted files

There are several data recovery programs that might recover encrypted files as well. This does not work in all cases but you can try this:
  • We suggest using another PC and connect the infected hard drive as slave. It is still possible to do this on infected PC though.
  • Download a data recovery program.
  • Install and scan for recently deleted files. Data Recovery Pro
Note: In many cases it is impossible to restore data files affected by modern ransomware. Thus I recommend using decent cloud backup software as precaution. We recommend checking out Carbonite, BackBlaze, CrashPlan or Mozy Home.
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