Free Way To Remove The Petya Ransomware From Your PC

Source: Bleeping Computers

A deadly variation of a ransomware that took cryptic crime to new levels, happens to be blemished by a sole security specialist. The ransomware we are talking about is called Petya. The malware was discovered only this month and, due to its coding, has already obtained ‘the respect’ of many hackers. It terrorizes its victims by making their PC useless, encoding all the data available on that machine.

This ransomware is known for targeting IT departments of massive enterprises, by hiding itself in Dropbox links and spreading itself via email. In order to retrieve your locked data, like any other victim, you have to pay. But a Twitter user, who goes by the alias Leostone, tweeted that he had cracked the code of the ransomware over the weekend and, as a good citizen of the IT community, he even stated the method on how to do it. The method he used to hack his ransomware password: brute-force.

Image Source: Trend Micro Labs – A screenshot showing the decryption instructions as well as the payment methods.

Furthermore, Leostone then published the entire script on GitHub, together with a complimentary online application that allows victims to generate a key within seconds. This key can then be used to recover the code that the ransomware used to lock your documents. In order to utilize Leostone’s decoding program, you are required to connect the Petya controlled drive to a different PC and draw out particular files from it. Lawrence Adams, a researcher and writer at the Bleeping Computerexplains how to eliminate Petya and entirely free your PC.

Sadly, in this cat and mouse game, it is a constant cycle. A hacker will create/improve a ransomware, while another will devise a way to bypass it. So, naturally, the programmers who created this ransomware will obviously try to improve Petya and bring back an enhanced and more powerful version. However, at the moment, this recent development indicates that the ransomware isn’t unbeatable; like any other program, it has bugs and can be altered, just like Leostone did.

Image Source: Trend Micro Labs – A screen shot of the special browser showing the deep web, web site of the Petya web page.

Dan Goodin, a security editor at Ars Technica, stated that the simplicity of finding the code is an additional indication of the oft-repeated belief that crypto is challenging – both for the good guys and the bad ones. However, what Dan Goodin did not mention is the fact that ‘the process’ can be peculiarly confusing when obtaining and saving a code on a machine that is reachable by the enemy.

Paul Evans, chief executive officer at Redstor, a backup firm based in the United Kingdom, argues that although we live in an age where technology and its vulnerabilities are blooming, we should not be scared of them. If a company keeps regular updates and backs up its data now and then, the ransomware will not be effective.

He further added that whether the backup servers are maintained within the office space or not, it needs to become a day-to-day exercise to evaluate your data security option(s) for stability and logicality. If a company maintains its backup servers, it will guarantee that when the time arises, you will get the right data for your use, and you will be aware that your information recovery will be stronger.

In essence, by following the practices mentioned in the above paragraph, you will be overriding any ransomware or viruses that are trying to lock or damage your online life.

If you want to study the ransomware in more detail, then please visit Trend Labs.