Petya+ ransomware virus - How to remove

Petya+ ransomware virus is an inoperative infection. Its creators tried to steal some glory of NotPetya chaos or maybe wished to be associated with creators of the original version. Petya+.exe file has been verified as the payload of this infection which exploits an evasive tactic of sneaking around as an update.

Petya+ – a deadbeat copy

With great plans in their minds, the creators of this crypto-virus have failed to deliver. The payload of Petya+ contains a reference to the authority who has the copyrights. Hewlett-Packard 2017 is mentioned in this section and indicated enterprise is an American multinational information technology company. This company receives great revenues on its own and is not calculated as a possible culprit for the infection. Hackers are probably hiding their trails and attempt to confuse security researchers by pointing fingers to wrong directions.

Petya+ ransomware

A primary screen-locker will declare that the New Technology File System (NTFS) is the type of victim’s system. The message is showed to allegedly inform a user of some critical errors in one or multiple discs. The recovery-process is said to start immediately and any interferences might be fatal for digital information that might be stored in the valuable discs.

What the ransomware aims to conceal with the fake update is the file-encryption process, originally prepared to be done with an AES algorithm. However, the encoding fails to be completed and even if the payload strives to devastate victims by wrecking their files, this option is not available. Clearly, amateur hackers dreamed to repeat the career of the most awful crypto-viruses, but their level of skills was clearly too low.

Petya+ virus

Once this fake-recovery process reaches culmination, the payload will trigger another screen-locked. Now, the ransomware is revealing itself and the image contains a crooked picture of a skull, made out of the letter ‘u’ and the ‘$’ sign. The final lock-screen contains a ransom note which carries many similarities with the Petya variant. The message even contains encouragements to enter specific websites via TOR browser. Then, users are supposed to type in their personal decryption codes. As we reviewed the ransom note, we noticed that the ransom is not included. Therefore, we predict that the hackers had plans to demand sums, individually-estimated for each victim.

No reason to pay the ransom: encryption does not take place

Since this duplication does not initiate a proper file-encryption process, there is no reason to pay the ransom that they might demand. However, we should discuss some techniques that will preserve your executables from damage. One of the options is to select an online backup storage and upload all of the digital data that you are afraid of losing. USB flash drives could also function similarly. However, it is important not to keep it connected to your device at all times. If a real encryption-process would be initiated, the data in flash drive will be corrupted also.

Before any recovery of files that a crypto-virus locks, you are to remove the infection. This step is important as if you are able to successfully get your files back, a ransomware that remains present in an operating system and re-encrypt them. It is possible to remove ransomware manually, but you can also select a more long-term solution. Scan your operating system with anti-malware tools to keep your system running without any obstacles from malware.

Infections such as this could be transmitted via campaigns of malicious email letters. If you find a suspicious message in your inbox, take your time before opening it. Downloading attachments should also be a well-thought-of decision. Please be careful not to fall for hackers’ tricks when they attempt to impersonate representatives of legitimate authorities. Check whether the senders’ email addresses really do belong to the appropriate companies.

How to recover Petya+ ransomware virus encrypted files and remove the virus

Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore

1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt:

for Windows 7 / Vista/ XP
  • Start Shutdown RestartOK.
  • Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
  • Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Windows 7 enter safe mode

for Windows 8 / 10
  • Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart. Windows 8-10 restart to safe mode
  • Choose TroubleshootAdvanced OptionsStartup Settings and click Restart.
  • When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings. Windows 8-10 enter safe mode

2.Restore System files and settings.

  • When Command Prompt mode loads, enter cd restore and press Enter.
  • Then enter rstrui.exe and press Enter again.CMD commands
  • Click “Next” in the windows that appeared. Restore point img1
  • Select one of the Restore Points that are available before Petya+ ransomware virus has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”. Restore point img2
  • To start System restore click “Yes”. Restore point img3

Step 2. Complete removal of Petya+ ransomware virus

After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to Petya+ ransomware virus. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore Petya+ ransomware virus affected files using Shadow Volume Copies

If you do not use System Restore option on your operating system, there is a chance to use shadow copy snapshots. They store copies of your files that point of time when the system restore snapshot was created. Usually Petya+ ransomware virus tries to delete all possible Shadow Volume Copies, so this methods may not work on all computers. However, it may fail to do so. Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There are two ways to retrieve your files via Shadow Volume Copy. You can do it using native Windows Previous Versions or via Shadow Explorer. a) Native Windows Previous Versions Right-click on an encrypted file and select PropertiesPrevious versions tab. Now you will see all available copies of that particular file and the time when it was stored in a Shadow Volume Copy. Choose the version of the file you want to retrieve and click Copy if you want to save it to some directory of your own, or Restore if you want to replace existing, encrypted file. If you want to see the content of file first, just click Open.
Previous version
b) Shadow Explorer It is a program that can be found online for free. You can download either a full or a portable version of Shadow Explorer. Open the program. On the left top corner select the drive where the file you are looking for is a stored. You will see all folders on that drive. To retrieve a whole folder, right-click on it and select “Export”. Then choose where you want it to be stored.
Shadow explorer

Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Petya+ ransomware virus encrypted files

There are several data recovery programs that might recover encrypted files as well. This does not work in all cases but you can try this:
  • We suggest using another PC and connect the infected hard drive as slave. It is still possible to do this on infected PC though.
  • Download a data recovery program.
  • Install and scan for recently deleted files. Data Recovery Pro
Note: In many cases it is impossible to restore data files affected by modern ransomware. Thus I recommend using decent cloud backup software as precaution. We recommend checking out Carbonite, BackBlaze, CrashPlan or Mozy Home.
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