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Remove PadCrypt 2.0 Ransomware and Restore the Encrypted Files

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A new version of the recently appeared PadCrypt ransomware, resembling Cryptolocker includes several new features which are seen for the first time when ransomware infections are present. The ransomware is believed to use an encryption algorithm of “Suite.B” encryption standard which is a military grade encryption. However, all users who are affected by the ransomware should remove this malware immediately and seek for alternative methods to restore the data on their device.

NamePadCrypt 2.0
TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionEncrypts the user’s files with a military grade encryption.
SymptomsThe user may witness a read me file to appear on his desktop along with a program and instructions on how to pay 0.8 BTC to decryt his data.
Distribution MethodVia .exe masked as a .pdf file uploaded as an email attachment in spam messages.
Detection ToolDownload Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by PadCrypt 2.0
User Experience Join our forum to discuss PadCrypt 2.0.
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.

PadCrypt-ransom-message-sensorstechforum

PadCrypt 2.0 Ransomware – Distribution

In order to be spread onto user PCs the infectors of this malicious threat use massive spam campaigns spreading an infected PDF file that may be named as follows:

  • {random characters}.pdf.exe

The file may be programmed to download its malicious payload onto the user’s computer. The payload is reported to consist of a package file and an uninstaller, a feature that has not been seen in ransomware infections before. The hosts from which those modules are downloaded are believed to be the following:

  • annaflowersweb(.)com
  • subzone3(.)2fh(.)co
  • cloudnet(.)online

PadCrypt 2.0 Ransowmware In Detail

Unlike any other ransomware infection this one includes new features that additionally try to make the user pay the ransom. According to malware researchers, once it has infected the user, PadCrypt may drop its payload in the following locations:

In the user’s Desktop:

  • IMPORTANT READ ME.txt

In the AppData\PadCrypt folder:

  • File Decrypt Help.html
  • PadCrypt.exe
  • package.exe
  • unistl.exe
  • Wallpaper.bmp

In addition to that, PadCrypt 2.0 begins to create or modify registry entries for the payload of the ransomware:

In the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER:

  • SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run “PadCrypt” = “%AppData%\PadCrypt\PadCrypt.exe”
  • Control Panel\Desktop “Wallpaper” = “%AppData%\PadCrypt\Wallpaper.bmp”
  • Control Panel\Desktop “WallpaperStyle” = 1
  • Control Panel\Desktop “TileWallpaper” = 0

After successfully landing on the user’s PC via the obfuscated payload dropper, the malware begins to encrypt user files. It targets ALL file extensions in the most widely used Windows folders, for example:

  • Desktop
  • Downloads
  • Documents
  • Pictures
  • Users

After doing this, the ransomware may also directly scan the local drives and encrypt any file that is not essential to the successful running of Windows. This means third-party programs and all other files that are detected.

In addition to those, PadCrypt executes a command with administrative privileges via one of its payload modules to delete the shadow volume copies of the infected computer:

→ vssadmin delete shadows /for=z: /all /quiet

The malware also drops a .txt file on the user’s desktop that may be named “IMPORTANT READ ME.txt” and could state the following ransom instructions:

PadCrypt 2.0 Ransom Instructions

“+=============++ PadCrypt Decryption Information ++=============+
Your personal files, documents, and videos on this computer have been encrypted with AES encryption.
In order to decrypt and repair your files, you will need to pay in Bitcoin or Paysafecard prior to your key destruction date.
After that, nobody will ever be able to recover your files, and they are lost forever.
If your anti virus has deleted PadCrypt, you can still recover your files.
Email our support team providing your unique machine ID in the email and we’ll respond within 24 hours.
************************
Subject: PAYMENT
Email: {cybercrook’s address here} @inbox.lv
Machine ID: {random code that uniquely identifies the machine}
************************
We advise you not to delete this file. If you delete it, there’s no hope of ever getting your files back!
However, if it has been 6 months since your computer was encrypted, send us an email and we’ll decrypt your files FREE
Don’t play us however, we know the exact date and time your computer was infected!”

This ransomware also has several extras that we were amazed to discover. First, it has a live chat option where you can directly connect and communicate to the cyber criminals for a better “customer service”. Furthermore, it also features a decryptor based on a CMD prompt. What is more, the ransomware claims to decrypt the user files after 6 months, however, it is important to know that this may be a scare tactic and it is advisable not to rely on it.

Remove PadCrypt 2.0 Ransomware and Restore Your Data

What we found extremely comfortable for this ransomware is that it even has an uninstaller that allows the user to remove the malware. However, we advise not to rely on that and to use and advanced anti-malware software to delete all malicious objects including concealed files that may still be on your computer.

Regarding the file restoration, before attempting any payments (~1 BTC which is a lot), it is advisable to try to use the methods below to restore your files. In case they do not work you may not have another choice but either to wait half a year or to hope that a relevant decryptor that discovers weaknesses in PadCrypt 2.0 comes out. Either way, we advise you not to pay the ransom, because you fund the cyber-criminal organization behind it to invest further in their malicious projects and also they may falsely promise to decrypt your files.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove PadCrypt 2.0

Boot Your PC Into Safe Mode

1. For Windows 7,XP and Vista. 2. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

For Windows XP, Vista, 7 systems:

1. Remove all CDs and DVDs, and then Restart your PC from the “Start” menu.
2. Select one of the two options provided below:

For PCs with a single operating system: Press “F8” repeatedly after the first boot screen shows up during the restart of your computer. In case the Windows logo appears on the screen, you have to repeat the same task again.

donload_now_140

For PCs with multiple operating systems: Тhe arrow keys will help you select the operating system you prefer to start in Safe Mode. Press “F8” just as described for a single operating system.

donload_now_140

3. As the “Advanced Boot Options” screen appears, select the Safe Mode option you want using the arrow keys. As you make your selection, press “Enter“.

4. Log on to your computer using your administrator account

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While your computer is in Safe Mode, the words “Safe Mode” will appear in all four corners of your screen.

Step 1: Open the Start Menu

donload_now_140

Step 2: Whilst holding down Shift button, click on Power and then click on Restart.
Step 3: After reboot, the aftermentioned menu will appear. From there you should choose Troubleshoot.

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Step 4: You will see the Troubleshoot menu. From this menu you can choose Advanced Options.

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Step 5: After the Advanced Options menu appears, click on Startup Settings.

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Step 6: Click on Restart.
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Step 7: A menu will appear upon reboot. You should choose Safe Mode by pressing its corresponding number and the machine will restart.

2. Remove PadCrypt 2.0 with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

Remove PadCrypt 2.0 with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove PadCrypt 2.0.2. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PadCrypt 2.0.
Step 1:Click on the “Download” button to proceed to SpyHunter’s download page.

donload_now_140
It is highly 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.

Step 2: Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser.
Step 3: After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to automatically update.

pets-by-myway-ads-virus

Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button.
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Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any PadCrypt 2.0 files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently.
pets-by-myway-ads-virus
Step3: Once the intrusions on your PC have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart it.

3. Back up your data to secure it against infections and file encryption by PadCrypt 2.0 in the future

Back up your data to secure it against attacks in the future

IMPORTANT! Before reading the Windows backup instructions, we highly recommend to back up your data automatically with cloud backup and insure it against any type of data loss on your device, even the most severe. We recommend reading more about and downloading SOS Online Backup .

To back up your files via Windows and prevent any future intrusions, follow these instructions:

1. For Windows 7 and earlier 1. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 1. Enabling the Windows Defense Feature (Previous Versions)

1-Click on Windows Start Menu
backup-1
2-Type Backup And Restore
3-Open it and click on Set Up Backup
w7-backup3
4-A window will appear asking you where to set up backup. You should have a flash drive or an external hard drive. Mark it by clicking on it with your mouse then click on Next.
backup-3
5-On the next window, the system will ask you what do you want to backup. Choose the ‘Let Me Choose’ option and then click on Next.
backup-4
6-Click on ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the next window in order to protect your files from possible attacks by PadCrypt 2.0.
backup-5

1-Press Windows button + R
filehistory-1
2-In the window type ‘filehistory’ and press Enter
filehistory-2
3-A File History window will appear. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’
filehistory-3
4-The configuration menu for File History will appear. Click on ‘Turn On’. After its on, click on Select Drive in order to select the backup drive. It is recommended to choose an external HDD, SSD or a USB stick whose memory capacity is corresponding to the size of the files you want to backup.
filehistory-4
5-Select the drive then click on ‘Ok’ in order to set up file backup and protect yourself from PadCrypt 2.0.

1- Press Windows button + R keys.
sysdm
2- A run windows should appear. In it type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and then click on Run.
windows-defense2
3- A System Properties windows should appear. In it choose System Protection.
windows-defense3
5- Click on Turn on system protection and select the size on the hard disk you want to utilize for system protection.
6- Click on Ok and you should see an indication in Protection settings that the protection from PadCrypt 2.0 is on.
windows-defense1
Restoring a file via Windows Defense feature:
1-Right-click on the encrypted file, then choose Properties.
file-restore1
2-Click on the Previous Versions tab and then mark the last version of the file.
file-restore2
3-Click on Apply and Ok and the file encrypted by PadCrypt 2.0 should be restored.

4. Restore files encrypted by PadCrypt 2.0

Restore Files Encrypted by PadCrypt 2.0

Since PadCrypt 2.0 deletes Shadow Copies in Windows, security engineers strongly advise users NOT to pay the ransom money and attempt restoring the files using other methods. Here are several suggestions:

Kaspersky have provided a decryptors for files encrypted with the this and other encryption algorithms:

Kaspersky Decryptors

A decent method of restoring your files is by trying to bring back your files via data recovery software. Here are some examples of data recovery programs:

There is also the technical option to use a network sniffer:

Another way to decrypt the files is by using a Network Sniffer to get the encryption key, while files are encrypted on your system. A Network Sniffer is a program and/or device monitoring data traveling over a network, such as its internet traffic and internet packets. If you have a sniffer set before the attack happened you might get information about the decryption key.

Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Remove PadCrypt 2.0 Using Other Alternative Tools

STOPZilla Anti Malware
1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove PadCrypt 2.0.
Step 1: Download STOPZilla by clicking here.
Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards.
pets-by-myway-ads-virus
Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
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Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
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Step 6: Review and click on the ‘Install’ button.
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Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button.

2. Scan your PC with STOPZilla Anti Malware to remove all PadCrypt 2.0 associated files completely.
Step 1: Launch STOPZilla if you haven’t launched it after install.
Step 2: Wait for the software to automatically scan and then click on the ‘Repair Now’ button. If it does not scan automatically, click on the ‘Scan Now’ button.
pets-by-myway-ads-virus
Step 3: After the removal of all threats and associated objects, you should Restart your PC.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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