THREAT REMOVAL

Remove Petya Ransomware – Mission Impossible (Update – Virus Decryption Found!)

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Update! A researcher from Heise Security, Fabian Scherschel gave an analysis report of the ransomware, in German. In there it is written that the first phase encryption used by Petya is a simple set value XOR of the Master Boot Record (MBR). If the user acts while on this phase, data can be recovered by booting from another drive with an untouched MBR, by backing up the contents on it. UEFI systems that are infected by Petya ransomware may have only the boot information damaged, which will make the drive unbootable, but its data will remain unencrypted.

Decrypt Files Encrypted by Petya Ransomware

Update 2! Another researcher with a twitter handle @leo_and_stone has discovered a way to get the decryption password for files encrypted by the Petya ransomware. If you managed to recover your MBR and can load your operating system, but your files are still encrypted, you can open a binary file made for your specific operating system and decrypt everything. You can find the binary files in his twitter post. We have also created a theoretical approach – instructions which you can follow on this web link.

A new ransomware named Petya plagued the Internet. German users of the Windows OS report most attacks. The peculiar thing about this ransomware is that instead of encrypting files with specific extensions, it encrypts the Master Boot Record (MBR) of drives. MBR contains information that loads the Operating Systems on a computer. Without it, no OS can load.

petya-ransomware-skull-art-acsii-master-boot-record-dropbox

The above picture shows the ransom message that loads instead of an operating system. Victims have only a few hours to pay the ransom. The ransomware claims to use a military encryption algorithm. The first attack was reported on March 24th by users on the www.heise.de website. The origin of the ransomware is unknown, although the name Petya is a common one given in Slavic countries.

How Does Petya Ransomware Distribute?

Petya ransomware is distributed through e-mails. These emails are written with correct and proper grammar. Many companies are targeted, and the content of the email for them is presented as from an applicant for a job position. At the end of the email, a link to DropBox is provided to a CV or related document with claims that the file is too big for the email. There are other ransomware distributing via DropBox and their names are Chimera and PacMan.

Reportedly, DropBox links are the main source for the distribution of the payload for the Petya ransomware. That doesn’t exclude social networks and file sharing services, directing users to those links or putting another clever message with a link at its end.

Technical Specifications about Petya Ransomware

After the payload file has been downloaded from a link, it will ask for elevation of privilege from the user. That file has a shield icon, so users expect the Windows User Account Control to be triggered. Unsurprisingly, they open it and give it permission, as they don’t suspect that this is a Trojan horse containing the payload for the Petya ransomware.

Next, after some time, a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is triggered to force the Windows OS into a restart and remember the changes made by the ransomware. The Master Boot Record (MBR) of every hard drive, SSD and USB flash storage device is encrypted. Also, the ransomware claims to use RSA 4096 bit algorithm and AES 256 bit ciphers for the encryption process. The MBR is a special boot sector of storage devices containing loading information about any installed OS. Thus, by all of that being encrypted, no operating system can load.

Instead, the computer loads an image art of a skull generated on ASCII. No matter if the user restarts the system or tries to repair the Master Boot Record, the only thing that loads is that skull art. After the art, instructions are loaded on the screen about how the user should use the Tor network to pay the ransom. The asked price is 0.9 BitCoins.

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The ransom message reads:

You became victim of the PETYA RANSOMWARE!

The harddisks of your computer have been encrypted with an military grade encryption algorithm. There is no way to restore your data without a special key. You can purchase this key on the darknet page shown in step 2.

To purchase your key and restore your data, please follow these three easy steps:

1. Download the Tor Browser at “https://www.torproject.org”. If you need help, please google for “access onion page”.
2. Visit one of the following pages with the Tor Browser:

https://petya37h5tbhyvki.onion/N19fvE
https://petya5koahtsf7sv.onion/N19fvE

3. Enter your personal decryption code there:

[Random code]

If you already purchased your key, please enter it below.

Key: _

You should know that contacting the ransomware creators wanting to pay the ransom is NOT advised. Nobody can guarantee that you will have your data and drives unlocked and restored. Paying ransomware makers is like supporting their criminal act and might endorse them to make an even more nasty malware.

Prevent Petya Ransomware from Infecting You

Petya ransomware simply shuts you down. No known ways to repair the Master Boot Record as of now. Without having an OS to load, you cannot install any program that could help with its removal. Sit tight and wait for new information. You can also write in our forum’s thread about this ransomware and leave comments with questions and information or suggest ideas about a possible solution.

For those who had the luck not to be hit with this ransomware yet – you should install an anti-malware program to prevent it. The damage can be irreparable – even if you have a backup, your disk drive may remain locked.

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Spy Hunter scanner will only detect the threat. If you want the threat to be automatically removed, you need to purchase the full version of the anti-malware tool.Find Out More About SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool / How to Uninstall SpyHunter

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Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.

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.

How to recognize trustworthy sources:

  • Always check "About Us" web page.
  • Profile of the content creator.
  • Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
  • Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.


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We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove Petya Ransomware from Windows.


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

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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 Petya 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 Petya 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 Petya 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 Petya 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.

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Petya Ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Petya Ransomware aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of Petya Ransomware from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Petya 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 Petya 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 Petya 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 Petya 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 Petya 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 Petya 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.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Petya Ransomware:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Petya Ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Petya Ransomware aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Petya Ransomware FAQ

What is Petya Ransomware ransomware and how does it work?

Petya Ransomware 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 algorithm how 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.

How does Petya Ransomware ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Petya Ransomware Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, 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.

After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.

Another way, you may become a victim of Petya Ransomware 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 .Petya Ransomware files?

You can't. At this point the .Petya Ransomware files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Petya Ransomware files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Petya Ransomware ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.

How Do I restore ".Petya Ransomware" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Petya Ransomware files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How do I get rid of Petya Ransomware ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate Petya Ransomware ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Petya Ransomware files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Petya Ransomware ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.

What to Do If nothing works?

There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:

  • Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
  • Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
  • Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted it can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way to get back some of your files is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
  • You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.

More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.

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