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Remove Purge Ransomware and Restore .purge Encrypted Files

purge-ransowmware-main-sensorstechforumA ransomware virus going by the name Purge has started infecting computers, adding the .purge file extension after it encrypts them with a strong AES-256 encryption algorithm. The ransomware virus has also been reported to use CBC (Cipher Block Chaining) mode which makes it extremely dangerous because it may break the encrypted files if the user tries to tamper with them in various ways. What is worse is that Purge ransomware gives users only one week to make the ransom payoff, and it uses Bitmessage to contact the cyber-criminals. All users who have become unfortunate victims of Purge Ransomware are advised to read this article to learn more about how to remove Purge ransomware virus and try other methods to restore the .purge AES-256 encoded files.

Threat Summary

Name

Purge Ransomware

Type Ransomware
Short Description Purge ransomware encrypts users’ files with a strong AES-256 encryption algorithm and after that drops a “How to restore files.hta” file with ransom instructions.
Symptoms Files with removed icons that cannot be opened with any software and have the .purge file extension.
Distribution Method Via an Exploit kit, JavaScript attack or Trojan.Downloader.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Purge Ransomware

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User Experience Join our forum to Discuss Purge Ransomware.

Purge Ransomware – Distribution

To be widespread and infect the maximum amount of users, Purge Ransomware can “Exist” in different forms. The most widespread method of infecting users is via spam and phishing e-mails that resemble legitimate services and products. One example is this fake linked in an e-mail that may fool users into clicking the “add-me” button which may redirect to a malicious URL which may cause a drive-by download to the user PC.

Another method is if the e-mail pretends to send out an important attachment under convincing e-mail topics, such as:

  • “Your PayPal Receipt.”
  • “Your Bank Account Has been Suspended.”
  • “Your Invoice.”
  • “Purchase Successful. Delivery Confirmation Notice.”

The e-mails may contain attachments that may pretend to be Microsoft Office documents, pictures, Adobe Reader files. The files, however, may be obfuscated and disguised executables as well as .js files and upon opening them users may get the payload of Purge ransomware.

Purge Ransomware – More Information

As soon as Purge ransomware’s payload carrying executable is started on your computer, it may drop it’s malicious files. They are usually be located in the following targeted Windows folders:

  • %SystemDrive%
  • %Temp%
  • %AppData%
  • %Roaming%
  • %User’s Profile%
  • %System32%

The files may contain randomly generated alpha-numerical names or names that resemble legitimate Windows processes, like csmss.exe or svchost.exe, for example.

After this has been done, Purge ransomware may “attack” the Windows Registry Editor, modifying the Run and RunOnce keys, by adding values that make the malicious executables run when you start Windows. The keys’ location is the following:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

After this has been done, the ransomware may initiate the file encoding process. Purge ransomware may look for a wide variety of types of files to encrypt. These can be:

  • Videos.
  • Photos and other image files.
  • Audio files.
  • Different types of Microsoft Office and other documents.
  • Adobe Reader documents.
  • File types belonging to often used programs, like Photoshop, Virtual Box, and others.

The encrypted files have the .purge file extension added after encryption:

purge-encrypted-file-sensorstechforum

To encrypt the files, Purge ransomware pretends to use an RSA cipher, but in reality, it uses an extremely strong AES-256 algorithm, direct decryption for which may take many years to crack, unless the malware has holes in its code and gives it away or the user pays the ransom.

And this is not where the Purge ransomware nightmare ends. The virus also uses a mechanism, known as CBC-mode (cipher block chaining mode). It contains technology called Initialization Vector (IV) in combination with a mechanism that chains the different portions of the files in blocks. These blocks are separated but in the same time interconnected as well. As soon as the user tries to perform a decryption or modify the files in any way, they become corrupted permanently beyond decryption. And what is worse, is that you have no way of known whether or not it has already happened if you tampered with the files.

After the encryption of the files, like other notorious ransomware viruses, Purge ransomware adds its ransom note in a “How to restore files.hta” file. It has the following threatening message to get it’s victims to pay the ransom:

→ “YOUR FILES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED!
You personal ID {PID}
Your files have been encrypted with a powerfull strain of a virus called ransomware.
Your files are encrypted using RSA encryption, the same standard used by the military and banks. It is currently impossible to decrypt files encrypted with rsa encryption.
Lucky for you, we can help. We are willing to sell you a decryptor UNIQUELY made for your computer (meaning someone else’s decryptor will not work for you). Once you pay a small fee, we will instantly send you the software/info neccessary to decrypt all your files, quickly and easily.
To get in touch with us email us at powerbase@tutanota.com.In your email write your personal ID (its located at the up of the page, it is a string of random characters). Once we receive your personal ID, we will send you payment instructions.
As proof we can decrypt you files, we may decrypt one small file for the test.
If you dont get answer from powerbase@tutanota.com in 10 hours
Register here: http://bitmsg.me (online sending message service Bitmessage)
Write to address BM-2cUrKsazEKiamN9cZ17xQq9c5JpRpokca5 with you email and personal ID
When you payment will bee confirmed, You will get decrypter of files on you computer.
After you run decrypter software, all you files will be decrypted and restored.
IMPORTANT!
Do not try restore files without our help; this is useless and you may lose data permanently
Decrypters of others clients are unique and work only on PC with they personal ID.
We can not keep your decryption keys forever, meaning after one week after you have been infected, if you have not paid, we will not be able to decrypt your files. Email us as soon as you see this message; we know exactly when everyone has been encrypted and the longer you wait, the higher the payment gets.”

Not only do the cyber-criminals behind this nasty virus threaten to destroy the decryption keys sent to their servers after the encryption is complete, but they also claim the price will go up the more time passes.

Purge Ranosmware – Conclusion, Removal and File Restoration Alternatives

As a bottom line, Purge ransomware has been created for one and the only purpose, to generate profit at your important files’ expense. Malware writers strongly advise users NOT to pay any ransom money for several obvious reasons:

  • You support the cyber-criminals’ organization.
  • Paying may not get access to their files back.

To remove Purge ransomware, users are advised to follow the instructions after this article. They are methodologically arranged to make sure the virus is gone for good. For maximum effectiveness, experts also advise having a reliable anti-malware program that will make sure your computer stays protected from ransomware viruses in the future as well.

We do not advise trying to directly decrypt files encoded by Purge ransomware, because of the CBC mechanism. Instead, you may want to try the alternative methods that “go around” direct decryption in step “3. Restore file encrypted by Purge Ransomware” below.

Manually delete Purge Ransomware from your computer

Note! Substantial notification about the Purge Ransomware threat: Manual removal of Purge Ransomware requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Purge Ransomware files and objects
2. Find malicious files created by Purge Ransomware on your PC
3. Fix registry entries created by Purge Ransomware on your PC

Automatically remove Purge Ransomware by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

1. Remove Purge Ransomware with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
2. Back up your data to secure it against infections and file encryption by Purge Ransomware in the future
3. Restore files encrypted by Purge Ransomware
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Vencislav Krustev

A network administrator and malware researcher at SensorsTechForum with passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cyber security. Strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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