Threat Database Ransomware Judge Ransomware

Judge Ransomware

The Judge Ransomware is a file-locking Trojan that can take the user's files hostage by encrypting them, which may not be reversible. The Judge Ransomware endangers media formats like documents, pictures, movies, or music significantly and includes symptoms such as hijacking the user's desktop wallpaper and ransom notes. Effective anti-malware solutions should stop and remove the Judge Ransomware, and users with backups secured can restore their files from the previous versions.

Files Judged Guilty without Trial

Even as most file-locking Trojans owe their existence to freeware resources like the Xorist Ransomware or a premium Ransomware-as-a-Service, individuals in the threat landscape continue finding their way to victims. The Judge Ransomware is a familiar demonstration of how a Trojan can borrow the patterns of well-known threats' attacks for monetizing itself. This self-financing always comes at the expense of users who aren't backing up their files or otherwise defending them.

The Judge Ransomware is a Windows threat that targets the user's pictures, spreadsheets, documents, and other digital media formats of files. Its encryption routine converts each file into a non-opening version, which the Trojan flags with a 'judge' extension in their names. Interestingly, malware experts also spot the Judge Ransomware's contacting a fake FedEx domain, which might tie into any distribution tactics in its campaign. Trojans often notify C&C servers of infections for alerting the threat actor to a successful attack.

The Judge Ransomware also changes the user's desktop wallpaper, drops a TXT text file, and creates a pop-up, all of which provide ransoming information. Although malware experts rate the Judge Ransomware's note as unique to its campaign, many operational details are familiar, such as putting a deadline on ransoms for the unlocking service before the price rises. Currently, the Judge Ransomware has no payments to its Bitcoin wallet.

Kicking the Judge Ransomware Out of the Media Justice System

Users might wish to watch for e-mail-related tactics that could tie into the Judge Ransomware's infection vectors. Commonly, file-locker Trojans will abuse drive-by-download exploits through macros inside fake documents, such as invoices, resumes, news articles or office hardware notifications. Users with up-to-date versions of software like Microsoft's Office are at far less risk of these vulnerabilities, which require prompts such as enabling 'advanced content.'

There isn't a decryption solution for free downloading to unlock the Judge Ransomware's files. These solutions usually are rare among professionally-programmed threats, which require exceptional events like the attacker's releasing the master key database to the public. Another caveat malware experts caution is Trojans' high chances of deleting local, unprotected backups, like the Shadow Volume Copies.

Windows users should save backups to protected cloud servers or removable devices as the best way of restoring any lost work. Effective cyber-security programs also will remove the Judge Ransomware and virtually all similar Trojan automatically.

The Judge Ransomware gives victims a set amount of hours before its ransom price gets worse but begs the question of whether it's good value for the victim. Paying a hacker for data recovery is a risky business for anyone, and users always should have alternatives in hand.


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