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.
|Short Description||Separate variant of Petya/NotPetya ransomware. Encrypts the MFT (Master File Table) and the files on the infected computer, demanding $300 ransom payoff.|
|Symptoms||A reddish lock-screen on boot, demanding $300.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss GoldenEye Ransomware.|
|Data Recovery Tool||Windows 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:
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:
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:
- Guide 1: How to Remove GoldenEye Ransomware from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of GoldenEye Ransomware on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove GoldenEye Ransomware in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase GoldenEye Ransomware from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall GoldenEye Ransomware from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove GoldenEye Ransomware from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate GoldenEye Ransomware from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable GoldenEye Ransomware Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove GoldenEye Ransomware from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove GoldenEye Ransomware
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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by GoldenEye Ransomware on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
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:
Get rid of GoldenEye Ransomware from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall GoldenEye Ransomware and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- 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:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove GoldenEye Ransomware files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as GoldenEye Ransomware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
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.
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.
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.
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".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the GoldenEye Ransomware will be removed.
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.
Remove Push Notifications caused by GoldenEye Ransomware from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".