THREAT REMOVAL

GoldenEye Ransomware – Restore Files (July 2017)

This article aims to help you restore encrypted files from your hard drive if it has been infected by Petya GoldenEye Ransomware (other variant is known as Petya Eternal, ExPetr, PetrWrap, NotPetya).

The new ransomware outbreak of GoldenEye ransomware has been reported to target primarily Ukraine, but the malware quickly spread all over the world. This virus aims to encrypt all of the files on a hard drive and the MBR of the drive itself, making it virtually impossible for you to restore your files even if you pay the ransom. Researchers at Kaspersky have detected that the encryption routine of the new Petya/NotPetya virus is designed so that even if a payment is made, the ones behind the virus cannot decrypt your hard drive, even if they wanted to. So if your computer has been infected by this latest GoldenEye variant, you should also not pay the ransom and read this article to learn how to try and get your data back.

Threat Summary

NameGoldenEye Ransomware
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionSeparate variant of Petya/NotPetya ransomware. Encrypts the MFT (Master File Table) and the files on the infected computer, demanding $300 ransom payoff.
SymptomsA reddish lock-screen on boot, demanding $300.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss GoldenEye Ransomware.
Data Recovery ToolWindows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.

The Infection Method of GoldenEye Ransomware

The primary method by which this nasty infection was detected to spread is very sophisticated and very effective. For starters, the cyber-criminals behind the GoldenEye Petya Ransomware have taken advantage of the earlier detected leak of exploits by TheShadowBrokers hacking group, which released multiple exploits for Windows operating systems. One of those, named ETERNALBLUE may have also been used for the GoldenEye Petya virus. However, the actual method of infection is even more interesting – similar to Petya/NotPetya, the virus may get into enterprise computers via an update, quite contrary to what WannaCry ransomware did. Instead of update, the victims receive a malicious executable which is obfuscated to avoid detection by antivirus software. From there, the virus force restarts the computer and begins it’s malicious activity.

Other methods by which GoldenEye ransomware can infect your computer include spam e-mails which aim to get you to click on suspicious e-mail attachments.

GoldenEye Ransomware – Malicious Activity

The first thing done by GoldenEye ransomware is to cause a system restart by ending vital system processes on the infected computer. Then, the virus modifies specific firmware settings on the infected computer to allow it to run on boot. As soon as the victim PC is restarted, the virus begins to pretend that it is actually fixing the file system on your system drive. But if you see the screen below you should immediately switch off your computer and take out the drive to salvage the damage that is done by GoldenEye Petya on your computer.

The virus also encrypts the files on the compromised computers, adding completely random file extensions. The malware then sets the GoldenEye ransom lock screen which prompts to press a key:

If you see this image, this means that the MFT (Master File Table) is encrypted via the Salsa20 mode. The blinking skull is the same as the first Petya, but has a yellow-golden color. If you “PRESS ANY KEY!” GoldenEye leads you to the ransom note of the virus which prompts you to open a Tor-based web page:

The web page has the communism logo along with the name of the virus. It also has a step-by-step instructions on how to pay in BitCoin in order to get the files recovered. The GoldenEye ransomware has a chat, where you can communicate with the cyber-criminals.

When we sum it up, GoldenEye is basically an updated variant of the combined Petya and Mischa ransomware viruses. The cyber-criminals have updated it’s encryption algorithm and have even added captcha identification. For the moment security experts strongly advise victims not to pay any ransom to both Petya GoldenEye and Petna ransomware viruses primarily because they are believed to be developed as cyber-weapons and aim to render the entire drive of the infected computer unusable.

How to Restore Drives Encrypted by GoldenEye Petya

In the even that your computer has become a victim of this virus, at this point there is no direct solution either for GoldenEye Petya or NotPetya ransomware viruses. This is why we have designed a theoretical approach which is in no way guarantee that you will be able to recover your data, but will surely help out a lot in restoring at least some of your files. But first, you need to prepare:

Preparation Phase:

To try decrypting drives by GoldenEye ransomware, you will need the tools to work with first:

  • A screwdriver, corresponding to your desktop/laptop.
  • A secure computer that is scanned for malware and cleaned and has a proper ransomware protection.
  • SATA to USB cable – you can find it very cheap (around $2) in every tech store.
  • A secured laptop or desktop PC.

To secure a PC you will need to:

1. Backup all your files in it via a cloud backup software or other methods.

2. Download a relevant malware-protection program to scan the PC.

3. Download a decent data recovery program. Any program will do for you, as long as it supports lost partition recovery.

After having secured the computer, it is recommended to follow the instructions on the video we have made for the new Petya ransomware variants, including GoldenEye:

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove GoldenEye Ransomware from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove GoldenEye Ransomware

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall GoldenEye Ransomware and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by GoldenEye Ransomware on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are 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

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by GoldenEye Ransomware there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for GoldenEye Ransomware with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


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Get rid of GoldenEye Ransomware from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall GoldenEye Ransomware and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to GoldenEye Ransomware:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to GoldenEye Ransomware. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to GoldenEye Ransomware. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove GoldenEye Ransomware via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as GoldenEye Ransomware. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove GoldenEye Ransomware from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase GoldenEye Ransomware from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall GoldenEye Ransomware from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove GoldenEye Ransomware from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the GoldenEye Ransomware will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate GoldenEye Ransomware from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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