This article provides information about a version of PGPSnippet data locker ransomware released in active attack campaigns. The threat encrypts important files and demands a ransom payment. By reaching the end of the article, you will know how to remove it and how to restore encrypted files.
PGPSnippet is known to be a ransomware that encrypts files stored on infected hosts and demands a ransom payment for decryption solution. It appends the specific extension .firstname.lastname@example.org to the names of all encrypted files. All .email@example.com files remain unusable until their code is returned to its original state. Following encryption, the ransomware displays a ransom note that extorts a ransom payment from victims.
|A data locker ransomware that utilizes strond cihper algorithm to encrypt files on stored on the infected computer. Then it demands a ransom for decryption solution.
|Important files are locked and renamed with .firstname.lastname@example.org extension. They remain unusable until a ransom is paid.
|Spam Emails, Email Attachments
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|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.
PGPSnippet Ransomware – Distribution
ThePGPSnippet ransomware infects computer systems with the help of its payload. It may have landed on your computer after you visited a compromised web page. Such pages are usually set to drop the ransomware payload directly on the devices of all visitors. Their URLs can be spread via various advertising campaigns, posted on social media channels or send in email spam messages.
Email spam messages are also commonly used by cyber criminals who attempt to trick you into infecting your device with their ransomware code. The malicious payload could have sneaked into the system by being embedded in file attachments like archives, documents, images, text files, PDFs and other. Beware and practice caution before you download and open files from recently received emails even when they seem legitimate. Hackers often pose as representatives of well-known companies, services, websites and even governmental institutions.
So next time when you need to open a dubious file on your PC be advised to consider the use of a free online extractor as it will reveal whether the uploaded file contains malicious elements or not.
PGPSnippet Ransomware – Infection Analysis
PGPSnippet is known to be a ransomware that encrypts files stored on infected hosts and demands a ransom payment for decryption solution. For the purpose, it needs to plague the system and remain undetected until the end of the attack.
Infection process begins once its payload file is running on the system. At first, it is likely to create additional malicious files or drop needed ones from its command and control server. These files help the ransomware to take over legitimate processes and use their functionalities in order to plague essential system settings and remain undetected by active security measures.
PGPSnippet has the ability to self-delete its own files after the completion of the attack. It is likely that only a few malicious files will remain on the system so they can trigger the ransomware on each system start. This feature enables the threat to infect all newly created files that match the target files set in a built-in list.
The automatic execution of malicious files is possible by exploiting the functionalities of specific registry keys stored in the Registry Editor. Usually, Run and RunOnce sub-keys are among the affected by ransomware threats. This could be explained by the fact that these two keys store information about all essential programs that should start on each system load. So by adding its malicious values under these keys PGPSnippet (.email@example.com) ransomware ensures its persistent presence on the system.
At the last infection stage PGPSnippet crypto virus drops a file that contains ransom message crafted by hackers. The message is stored in a file named !!!README_DECRYPT!!!.txt and all what it reads is:
All your documents and other files ENCRYPTED !!!
TO RESTORE YOUR FILES YOU MUST TO PAY: 1 by Bitcoin to this address: 11zc6pm11fQiWXDAG7urFTeBUu9UGe***
You can open an wallet here:
Send the file on the way “WIN + R >> %APPDATA%” file name hosts.txt to our e-mail after paymentat this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will confirm payment and send to you decrypt key + instruction
Remember: you have a 72 hours and if you not paid, that price will up
ATTENTION : all your attempts to decrypt your PC without our software and key can lead to irreversible destruction
of your files !
Beware that the ransom payment does not guarantee the decryption of .email@example.com files as hackers may not have a working decryption solution. Furthermore, they may skip sending any decryption key even when the transaction is made.
The good news for all of you whose important files are corrupted by this new iteration of PGPSnippet ransomware is that its code has been cracked by the security researcher Michael Gillespie.
PGPSnippet Ransomware – Encryption Process
The latest version of PGPSnippet ransomware is associated with the specific .firstname.lastname@example.org extension. This threat is primarily designed to scan the system for predefined types of files in order to enccrypt them and restrict the access to the infromation they store. So in case of infection it is likely that the following files will remain encrypted until an efficient recovery solution reverts them back to the original state:
- Audio files
- Video files
- Document files
- Image files
- Text files
- Backup files
- Banking credentials, etc
After encryption, all these have the extension .email@example.com appended at the end of their names.
Following encryption, PGPSnippet crypto virus can erase all Shadow Volume Copies created by the Windows operating system. This happens after the command below is entered in the Command Prompt tool:
→vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet
As a result one of the possible ways for data restore is eliminated. Happily, there are other available methods that may help you to restore some files back to their normal state. Keep reading to find some of them.
Remove PGPSnippet Ransomware and Restore .firstname.lastname@example.org Files
The removal of PGPSnippet ransomware demands a bit of technical experience and ability to recognize traits of malware files. And there is no doubt that you should remove this nasty threat from the infected PC as soon as you detect it. Otherwise, it may send its infection payload to all devices connected to the same network. Below you could find how to remove all malicious files and objects associated with the ransomware step by step. Beware that ransomware has highly complex code that could plague not only your files but your whole system. So as recommended by security researchers you need to utilize an advanced anti-malware tool for its complete removal. Such tool will keep your system protected against severe threats like PGPSnippet and other kinds of malware that endanger your online security.
After you remove the ransomware make sure to check the “Restore Files” step listed in the guide below to find alternative ways for .email@example.com files recovery. But before you take any further actions, don’t forget to back up all encrypted files to an external drive in order to prevent their irreversible loss.
What is PGPSnippet Ransomware?
PGPSnippet is a ransomware infection - the malicious software that enters your computer silently and blocks either access to the computer itself or encrypt your files.
Many ransomware viruses use sophisticated encryption algorithms to make your files inaccessible. The goal of ransomware infections is to demand that you pay a ransom payment to get access to your files back.
What Does PGPSnippet Ransomware Do?
Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
How Does PGPSnippet Infect?
Via several ways.PGPSnippet Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, containing virus attachment. This attachment is usually masked as an important document, like an invoice, bank document or even a plane ticket and it looks very convincing to users.
Another way you may become a victim of PGPSnippet is if you download a fake installer, crack or patch from a low reputation website or if you click on a virus link. Many users report getting a ransomware infection by downloading torrents.
How to Open .PGPSnippet files?
You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .PGPSnippet files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .PGPSnippet files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".PGPSnippet" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .PGPSnippet files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of PGPSnippet Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate PGPSnippet ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .PGPSnippet files.
Can I Report Ransomware to Authorities?
In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.
Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:
Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can PGPSnippet Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Can a Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the PGPSnippet Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this PGPSnippet how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.
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