JERD Virus 🔐 (.J3RD Files) — How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Jerd virus falls under the Dharma ransomware family. Malware of such sort encrypts all the data on your PC (images, documents, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its own extension to every file, creating the info.txt files in each folder with the encrypted files.
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What is Jerd virus?

☝️ A strictly accurate designation for the Jerd is “a Dharma family ransomware-type malicious agent”.

The renaming will be done according to the following scheme: id-xxxxxx.[contact-email].j3rd. In the course of encryption, a file named, for example, “report.docx” will be turned into “report.docx.id-9ECFA84E.[[email protected]].j3rd”.

In every folder with the encrypted files, a info.txt text file will appear. It is a ransom money note. Therein you can find information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note most probably contains instructions on how to buy the decryption tool from the ransomware developers. You can get this tool after contacting [email protected] through email. That is it.

Jerd outline:
Name Jerd Virus
Ransomware family1 Dharma ransomware
Extension .j3rd
Ransomware note info.txt
Contact [email protected]
Detection MSIL/GenKryptik.GGWL, Doina.48214, Win32:Teerac-BX [Trj]
Symptoms Your files (photos, videos, documents) get a .j3rd extension and you can’t open them.
Fix Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Jerd virus

The info.txt document coming in package with the Jerd ransomware states the following:

write email [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected]

In the picture below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Jerd looks like. Each filename has the “.j3rd” extension added to it.

Jerd Virus - encrypted .j3rd files

An example of encrypted .j3rd files.

How did my machine catch Jerd ransomware?

There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware infiltration.

There are currently three most popular ways for criminals to have the Jerd virus settled in your system. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer-to-peer file transfer.

If you open your mailbox and see emails that look just like notifications from utility services companies, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is unknown to you, be wary of opening those emails. They are very likely to have a malware file attached to them. Thus it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan virus model2. A Trojan is an object that infiltrates into your machine pretending to be something legal. For example, you download an installer of some program you want or an update for some service. But what is unpacked turns out to be a harmful agent that encodes your data. As the update file can have any title and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the resource of the stuff you’re downloading. The best thing is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer file transfer protocols like BitTorrent or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Internet. You can never guess what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy websites. Also, it is a good idea to scan the directory containing the downloaded items with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is complete.

How do I get rid of the Jerd virus?

It is important to note that besides encrypting your files, the Jerd virus will probably install the Azorult Spyware on your computer to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned spyware3 can derive your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Often tamperers would unblock some of your files to prove that they really have the decryption program. As Jerd virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures designers have not yet found a way to reverse its work. However, the decryption instruments are constantly updated, so the solution may soon arrive.

Of course, if the malefactors succeed in encoding someone’s essential files, the hopeless person will most likely comply with their demands. However, paying to racketeers does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your data back. It is still dangerous. After getting the money, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption key to the victim. There were reports about malefactors just vanishing after getting the ransom without even writing back.

The best solution against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud storage or at least on an external disk. Of course, that might be insufficient. The most important thing could be that one you were working upon when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also advisable to scan your drives with the anti-malware utility after the system restoration.

There are other ransomware products, besides Jerd, that work similarly. For instance, Goaq, Qotr, Coaq, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Jerd are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: documents become inaccessible, their extensions changed, ransom notes emerge in each directory containing encrypted files.

Some lucky victims were able to decode the blocked files with the aid of the free tools provided by anti-malware specialists. Sometimes the criminals accidentally send the decoding key to the victims in the ransom note. Such an extraordinary fail allows the user to restore the files. But obviously, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a bandits’ instrument to pull the money out of their victims.

How do I avert ransomware injection?

Jerd ransomware doesn’t have a superpower, so as any similar malware.

You can defend your system from ransomware infiltration in several easy steps:

  • Never open any letters from unknown mailboxes with unknown addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are waiting for (can you win in a money prize draw without participating in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are expecting, check all elements of the questionable letter carefully. A fake email will always have mistakes.
  • Avoid using cracked or untrusted programs. Trojans are often distributed as an element of cracked software, possibly as a “patch” which prevents the license check. Understandably, untrusted programs are very hard to distinguish from reliable ones, as trojans may also have the functionality you need. Try to find information about this software product on the anti-malware message boards, but the best way is not to use such programs at all.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a perfect defense for your PC.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft4

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft5.

Download Removal Tool.

You can download GridinSoft Anti-Malware by clicking the button below:

Run the setup file.

When setup file has finished downloading, double-click on the setup-antimalware-fix.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your computer.

Run Setup.exe

An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Setup

Press “Install” button.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Install

Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Splash-Screen

Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your PC for Jerd infections and other malicious programs. This process can take a 20-30 minutes, so I suggest you periodically check on the status of the scan process.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scanning

Click on “Clean Now”.

When the scan has completed, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the “Clean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

FAQ

🤔 Is it possible to open “.j3rd” files?

Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.j3rd” files you will not be able to access them.

🤔 I really need to decrypt those “.j3rd” files ASAP. How can I do that?

Hopefully, you have made a copy of those important files. In case you haven’t, there is still a chance that you do have a Restore Point from some time ago to roll back the whole system to the moment when it had no virus yet, but already had your files. The rest of the methods require patience.

🤔 You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Jerd virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?

Of course not. Your encrypted files are no threat to your PC.

With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your system off the actual threats. The malware that has infiltrated your computer is probably still functional and running scans from time to time to encrypt any new files you might create on your PC after the attack. As it has been said above, the Jerd malware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide hackers with easy access to your system in the future.

🤔 What should I do if the Jerd ransomware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation key.

If that happened, you need to have a memory stick with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the procedure. The point is that the ransomware runs automatically as the system boots and encodes any new files created or brought into your computer. To suppress this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital applications to run upon system start. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 And what should I do now?

Many of the blocked files might still be within your reach

  • If you exchanged your important files by email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or family members. Just ask them to give those images back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, you can try to do it again.
  • Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud disks might have all those files too.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a portable device, cellphone, external storage, etc.

HINT: You can use data recovery utilities6 to get your lost data back since ransomware arrests the copies of your files, removing the original ones. In the tutorial below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but be advised: you won’t be able to do it before you kill the virus with an anti-malware program.

Also, you can contact the following governmental fraud and scam sites to report this attack:

To report the attack, you can contact local executive boards. For instance, if you live in USA, you can have a talk with FBI Local field office, IC3 or Secret Service.

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Brendan Smith
How to Remove JERD Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: JERD Virus

Description: JERD Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .j3rd extension. So, you can't use them at all.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  3. You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective section of GridinSoft official website.
  4. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  5. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  6. Here’s the list of Top 10 Data Recovery Software Of 2023.

About the author

Brendan Smith

I'm Brendan Smith, a passionate journalist, researcher, and web content developer. With a keen interest in computer technology and security, I specialize in delivering high-quality content that educates and empowers readers in navigating the digital landscape.

With a focus on computer technology and security, I am committed to sharing my knowledge and insights to help individuals and organizations protect themselves in the digital age. My expertise in cybersecurity principles, data privacy, and best practices allows me to provide practical tips and advice that readers can implement to enhance their online security.

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