Emerging Threats

Jigsaw ransomware wants to play a game, but not in a good way

Written by a NortonLifeLock employee


An unusual strain of ransomware has shown up on the scene, and it isn’t playing nicely at all. Dubbed “Jigsaw,” the ransomware was created in early March and made its way to the black market a week later, selling for around $140 USD. So far, it seems that there has been minimal sales of the malware. Luckily, it is not widespread yet.

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Ransomware With a Wicked Twist

This is not your average ransomware. Yes, Jigsaw ransomware will encrypt your files and demand a ransom in order to retrieve your files, however Jigsaw comes with a countown timer. Once the malware is deployed, the Jigsaw clock starts ticking. During the first 24 hours it will start deleting a few files every hour. On the second day, the ransomware will delete hundreds of files, on the third day it will delete thousands- until the ransom is paid. Additionally, if you try to tamper with the ransomware or even restart your computer, it will delete 1000 files a “punishment.”

Newer versions of the Jigsaw ransomware don’t use the image of the iconic character anymore, however it is still referred to as Jigsaw.

While ransomware is one of the more problematic threats on the Internet landscape today, there are many ways you can protect yourself from it. By being proactive in your own cyber defense, you can thwart cybercriminals in three easy steps:

  1. Perform regular backups of your computer. Be sure to unplug the back up drive when not in use.
  2. Use an Internet security software program to prevent the ransomware from being installed on the computer in the first place. Norton Security protects customers from this particular threat and many other ransomware threats.
  3. Ransomware and other malware can sneak in through vulnerabilities in software programs. Be sure to perform all software updates when they become available in order to close up the “holes” in your system.

Finally, do not EVER pay the ransom. There’s no guarantee that you will get your files back, and more than anything you are funding the cybercriminals operations further.

Today’s attacks are multi-pronged. That’s why you need a layered approach to security.

Norton software blocks web-based attacks at the network level, before they ever reach your PC.

Now you can help protect against malware with Norton AntiVirus Basic.

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