If your computer has been hit by the Petya virus, you may think your data is permanently gone.  And, that’s what the criminals who locked you out of your computer want you to think.  The classic red and white scull and crossbones is the signature greeting of the virus on an infected system.  They then demand a ransom to be paid within 7 days using bitcoin (approx $450 worth of it) or they say they will permanently delete your decryption key.

This is mostly true, they do give a limited time to pay the ransom or they will delete the key.  Fortunately though there may be other options rather than paying the criminals.

How the Petya Ransomware Virus Works

The virus is spread by pretending to be a job application in a Dropbox folder and is being sent out to HR departments.  However I suspect that they’ll begin to spin the varieties of ways they dupe people into installing the virus.  Once it’s installed it appears as if it crashes the computer, then goes to a chkdisk looking screen.  This however isn’t actually running chkdisk, what it’s doing is encrypting the MBR (Master Boot Record partition table) and the $MFT (Master File Table).

Good News About The Petya Virus

The good news is, the virus doesn’t actually encrypt all the user data.  Just the systems that your OS (Windows) uses to understand how and where files are stored.  Without the partition table and file tables not only can’t you boot into Windows, but you can’t even access the files by connecting the hard drive to another computer.

Also, the encryption used on the MBR and MFT has now been beaten and the drive can be restored and you can get the key for free.  The process does require a bit of technical skill.  Certain sectors of the hard drive must be extracted, converted to back 64 encoding, then uploaded to a site which will try every possible key until the correct one is found.  It’s entirely free, however the key generating is free of charge.  Later on, we’ll provide a page that’ll help you to handle it.

Need Professional Recovery After Petya Ransomware?

 

If you’ve been hit by this virus and would prefer a professional to handle it, just contact us.  For our base logical rate (currently $300) we will repair the HDD file system and partition table and have you back in business fast.

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