Ppam ransomware - How to remove

Ppam ransomware is a type of malware that uses obfuscation, scareware techniques together with cryptography to compromise Windows operating systems, make the majority of files inaccessible and demand a ransom from victims if they want to decrypt their data. Crypto viruses are one of the most notorious and hard to solve, because even if you manage to get rid of the malware, files will still stay locked, and the only ones that know how to decipher everything are the threat actors.

Few days ago, a malware researcher known on Twitter as https://twitter.com/petrovic082/status/1084727910618021888 reported about Ppam virus, roaming around the World Wide Web, hoping to make some money from unlucky victims. If your files are already impossible to open, they are marked with .ppam extension, and there is some strange Notepad text file on the desktop, you most likely are one of these unfortunate users as well. We don’t know whether your system got infected because you don’t have a reputable antivirus, or Ppam ransomware managed to find new ways to get around it, we are certain that now you worry and need help to get rid of this unpleasant virus immediately.

In this article, you will find all the crucial information about Ppam ransomware, how does it work and options to clear the infection and possibly restore .ppam encrypted files. Therefore, if you are interested, keep reading.  

What is Ppam ransomware

Rumors about the crypto miners pushing out ransomware have not been fully true, because obviously more and more ransom-demanding threats are released into the cyberspace. Ppam is the latest cryptovirus, that acts through extortion, locking virtual personal data of victims and promising the decrypting key in exchange for money. The amount Ppam ransomware desires is definitely not an amount that you’d regularly carry in your wallet (0.197 Bitcoin or $700), however, it is slightly lower than an average which is around a $1000. Maybe that is why the threat mainly targets wealthy English speaking countries.

ppam ransomware ransom notes

Ppam ransomware technically works just like any virus of the same kind, e.g. Crypt0rAhihiBoomVulston and etc., however, one of the malware researchers claimed that this could be a new variant of Globeimposter 2.0 virus. This leads to believe that even if the used ciphers for encryption are unknown, most likely it can be the same RSA symmetric algorithm.

Once the Ppam virus sneaks into the system, takes care of the most important folders to bypass the antivirus and ensure the persistence, then it begins looking for files by their extension that is suitable to encrypt. That data usually is pictures, videos, documents, and others, except for system files, so that the victim could still use the computer to follow the further instructions and pay. After that Ppam ransomware appends a string ‘.ppam’ at the end of affected data names (‘importantfile.pdf’ then becomes ‘importantfile.pdf.ppam’) and drops a ‘Restore-My-Files.txt‘ ransom note on the desktop to explain the situation for the user:

Your files are Encrypted!
For data recovery needs decryptor.
How to buy decryptor:
1. Download “Tor Browser” from https://www.torproject.org/ and install it.

2. Open this link In the “Tor Browser”


Note! This link is available via “Tor Browser” only.
Free decryption as guarantee.
Before paying you can send us 2 file for free decryption.

alternate address – http://isb5f7dxc6gjpprt.onion/sdlsnhtjwbhr

You unique ID

This ransom note does not give much information apart from the Tor browser link, that victims must check to find out what Ppam virus developers actually want. We found that crooks are demanding $700 (0.197 BTC) in two days, and if not, after that the price increases more than a double to 0.394 BTC ($1422,74). They also offer to decrypt 2 locked files for free to prove that they are not lying, however, trusting hackers is never a good idea, cause they can end up taking your money and still not giving the unlocking tool. That is why instead of doing everything the Ppam ransomware dictates, follow our guidelines and remove this virus before more files get infected. 

How Ppam ransomware spreads

Most ransomware, Ppam virus included, distribute via malicious email attachments. This is a popular and fairly easy method for crooks to disseminate their creations compared to some other, e.g. P2P networks, drive-by-downloads, Trojans, web injections and etc., which require more sophisticated technical knowledge, moreover funds. All that cryptovirus developers need is lots of victim emails, which can be bought from the Darknet or collected using some landing page scam and etc. Once crooks have enough emails to distribute Ppam ransomware, they send out hundreds, if not thousands or millions (like Locky) Socially engineered emails.

These messages are very misleading and typically are short but intriguing/scary and urge to open the added .docx, .pdf file. If you take a Closer look and analyze the sender it always has some shady domain name, yet these emails happen to be so convincing that users just forget to check such thing, just like the excessive amount of grammar mistakes in the text. Ppam ransomware stuffed messages can pretend to be government, healthcare facility or other official employees, attorneys, customers of your business and much more. Since the main email doesn’t contain clear data, targeted victims willingly open the attachments and after enabling Macros to see the content initiate virus installation. And you can guess what happens afterward.

How to remove Ppam virus

Ppam ransomware is not a problem for those who have fresh backups, otherwise, it is a pretty worrisome infection. Backups (you’ll find the whole guide below how to recover your Windows from them) should be your number one solution in this case, but it is understandable if not many have them. If that is the case, the removal and restore part may take a while and cannot promise the absolute success. Before getting any files back, you need to get rid of Ppam virus, or else it might double lock your data without a chance to get it back.

The best way to remove Ppam virus is to do it with Spyhunter, Malwarebytes or Malwarebytes malware elimination programs. They are sophisticated anti-spyware products which will assist you in this case of infection. Actually, no matter what software you pick (according toVirustotal.com the detectability of Ppam cryptovirus is pretty high) as long as it isn’t some rogue antivirus.

Automatic Malware removal tools

Download Spyhunter for Malware detection

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How to recover Ppam ransomware locked files

As you know, deleting Ppam virus or any other ransomware does not automatically decrypt the files that are affected. For that, you need a special tool to decipher your data. One way to get it is to pay the hackers and hope that they will send it to you (Which we dont recommend at all), and another one is to check one of the largest anti-ransomware online project Nomoreransom.org and see if they are offering it there. Unfortunately, at the moment of writing, cybersecurity specialists haven’t yet released an official decryptor. But don’t rush into emptying your wallet for these crooks.

It seems that Ppam ransomware has the ability to delete Shadow Copies, yet there are many cases and chances that the virus was not installed properly and potentially is not functioning fully as it should, therefore trying such recovery is also an option. Also, there are a Few data recovery programs, which you can find below the manual removal instructions. If none of that works, simply keep the files stored somewhere in your PC and keep checking when the official decryptor will come out.

How to recover Ppam ransomware 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 Ppam ransomware 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 Ppam ransomware

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 Ppam ransomware. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore Ppam ransomware 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 Ppam ransomware 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 Ppam ransomware 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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