New version of Philadelphia ransomware, which was part of the Stampado variants has been released, again using the same .locked file extension. The difference in this version is that it demands .3 BTC from affected victims and features a new ransom message that is also a program with instructions for payment and decryption. The first variant of the virus was first discovered in September when it was put for sale as a service online. Luckily immediately after it’s release, researchers at EmsiSoft have cracked the virus, creating a free decryptor. It is yet to be seen whether or not decryption will be available for this ransomware variant as well. Until then we highly recommend to read this article and remove the Philadelphia virus completely and learn alternative methods on how to restore your files.
|Short Description||The malware encrypts users files using a strong encryption algorithm, making direct decryption possible only via a unique decryption key available to the cyber-criminals.|
|Symptoms||Philadelphia Ransomware leaves a ransom note and may delete random files from your computer based on the Russian roulette principle if the terms in the note are not met. Changed file names and the various file extensions may be used.|
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|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss Philadelphia 2 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.|
How Is the New Philadelphia Distributed
In order to be widespread, the second instance of Philadelphia ransomware may use a malicious file embedded in a malicious pdf document or a Microsoft Word file. The message in the file may be a fake letter from the government or a fake Invoice or any other type of written document or important file as the case with 1st variant of Philadelphia:
After the user opens the file, an exploit kit or a trojan may cause the infection. After this infection, the malware may remotely connect to the malicious servers of the cyber-criminals only to download the payload of Philadelphia onto the computer.
New Philadelphia Ransomware – More Information
As soon as the new variant of Philadelphia has infected a computer, it may immediately drop it’s files under different names in one of the commonly targeted Windows folders by malware where it can act in a privileged and obfuscated mode:
After the files are dropped on the user PC, the Philadelphia virus may begin to modify it’s settings. To begin with, the virus may target the Windows Update registry key to run a successful encryption via the update process:
After having done this, the Philadelphia malware may also immediately begin to encrypt files. Similar to the first version of Philadelphia, this one may target some or all and more of the following file extensions:
For encryption, Philadelphia may employ a cipher that generates a decryption key which is sent to the cyber-criminals’ server. The server may be located somewhere in South America, since the previous version of Philadelphia targeted primarily Brazillian users.
Files that were encrypted by the Philadelphia virus may or may not have their names changed and may appear as the following:
The affected users are convinced that their only way out is if they follow the ransom instructions of Philadelphia ransomware:
→“All your documents (databases, texts, images, videos, musics, source code, etc.) have been encrypted.
What can I do?
To decrypt your files you will need to buy the secret key from us.
You can use LocalBitcoins.com to buy bitcoins, or any other preferred method.
If for any reason you need to contact us write email to [email protected]”
Judging by the e-mail address used in this ransomware, it may target users in Europe. But bear in mind that since Stampado variants like Philadelphia have been released for sale in the deep web, it may target anyone on any place in the world and it is very difficult to pinpoint the exact area of impact.
Remove Philadelphia 2 Ransowmare and Restore Encrypted Files
To fully erase this variant of Philadelphia ransomware, advices are to focus on the instructions for ransomware removal which we have prepared for you below. In case you are having difficulty in manually locating the files that are associated with the new Philadelphia ransomware, experts always refer to anti-malware software as the best tool for effectively removing all files and registry values created by ransomware viruses.
To attempt and restore your files, we advise you to try the free decryptor for the first variant of Philadelphia and let us know in the comment section below whether or not it works for you. Below you will find instructions on how to use it:
Manually delete Philadelphia from your computer
Note! Substantial notification about the Philadelphia threat: Manual removal of Philadelphia 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.