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Petya Ransomware

Posted: March 25, 2016

Threat Metric

Threat Level: 10/10
Infected PCs: 405
First Seen: March 25, 2016
Last Seen: August 17, 2022
OS(es) Affected: Windows

The Petya Ransomware is a Trojan that encrypts files on your hard drive and interferes with the baseline functionality of your PC's operating system. After blocking your PC from rebooting, the Petya Ransomware loads a ransom message demanding payment through TOR for the supposed purpose of buying a decryption service that would reverse the infection's damage. While malware experts do note that the Petya Ransomware is more invasive than most of the similar threats, all previously upheld standards in PC security should suffice for identifying, blocking or removing the Petya Ransomware from any computer.

The Ransom that Wraps Around Your Entire OS

Threat authors see few benefits from doing more than the bare minimum work required to create functional, threatening software. This 'shortest path to profit' strategy is particularly blatant with file encrypting Trojans, which target only a small quantity of the overall content, based on its format, for creating hostage scenarios. Sometimes, however, more enterprising con artists bother creating threats with greater scope than the normal, such as the Petya Ransomware. This Windows-based Trojan doesn't lock individual files; instead, the Petya Ransomware locks the entire operating system.

The Petya Ransomware installs itself through DropBox cloud hosting links, which disguise the Petya Ransomware's executable file with the icon of an archiving application. Victims at targeted companies may acquire these links through fake e-mail employee applications. Upon its installation, the Petya Ransomware may encrypt a large range of different files on your hard drive, as well as on any USB-connected devices. Unlike most file encryptors examined by malware researchers, the Petya Ransomware doesn't neglect information that's essential to the Windows OS.

The Petya Ransomware also makes specific modifications to the MBR (Master Boot Record), forcing the PC to create a 'blue screen' error and reboot into the Trojan's ransom message. This message includes a highly-identifiable ASCII skull logo, as well as all of the standard ransom instructions that direct any victims to use TOR for making decryption payments.

Rescuing Your PC from a Larger than Usual Ransom

The Petya Ransomware's attacks do come with a small comfort to its potential victims. Since the Petya Ransomware modifies integral Windows components in its payload, it lacks any observable compatibility with non-Windows machines. Secondly, the length of time the Petya Ransomware requires to encrypt such a large number of files, as well as perform its other operations, may give a victim more time to identify the infection and take appropriate countermeasures. PC users should be alert to unusual performance issues or User Account Control (UAC) prompts, especially after accessing any new DropBox files that match the description in this article.

For now, the Petya Ransomware's campaigns appear to be targeting specific organizations in German-language regions, including for-profit companies. There are no known means of restoring a hard drive affected by the Petya Ransomware's attacks, and previous victims have reported of damages extending past the expected MBR changes. The simple act of scanning a cloud file before opening it remains one of the easiest ways to stop the Petya Ransomware from being installed. Malware experts also continue underlining the viability of multiple backups.

The Petya Ransomware is one of the few file encryptors to take actions so severe that it impedes all user operations on an infected PC completely. However, most file encryptors give birth to numerous copycats, and it remains to be seen whether or not the Petya Ransomware just is the start of a new trend in Trojan design.

Technical Details

File System Modifications

Tutorials: If you wish to learn how to remove malware components manually, you can read the tutorials on how to find malware, kill unwanted processes, remove malicious DLLs and delete other harmful files. Always be sure to back up your PC before making any changes.

The following files were created in the system:

%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users\<username>\Downloads\Nueva carpeta\MalwareDatabase-master\ransomwares\Endermanch@Petya.A.exe File name: Endermanch@Petya.A.exe
Size: 230.91 KB (230912 bytes)
MD5: af2379cc4d607a45ac44d62135fb7015
Detection count: 178
File type: Executable File
Mime Type: unknown/exe
Path: %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users\<username>\Downloads\Nueva carpeta\MalwareDatabase-master\ransomwares\Endermanch@Petya.A.exe
Group: Malware file
Last Updated: August 27, 2023
dir\Order-20062017.doc File name: Order-20062017.doc
Size: 6.21 KB (6215 bytes)
MD5: 415fe69bf32634ca98fa07633f4118e1
Detection count: 31
Mime Type: unknown/doc
Path: dir
Group: Malware file
Last Updated: June 29, 2017
8baa0535ff2f2f3b0f2c0b45b537b4f8 File name: 8baa0535ff2f2f3b0f2c0b45b537b4f8
Size: 68.09 KB (68096 bytes)
MD5: 8baa0535ff2f2f3b0f2c0b45b537b4f8
Detection count: 24
Group: Malware file

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