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Master decryption key for Petya ransomware found to be ineffective against NotPetya

Petya's decryption key is now available but tough luck for those affected by NotPetya. (Source: MalwareBytes Blog)
Petya's decryption key is now available but tough luck for those affected by NotPetya. (Source: MalwareBytes Blog)
The decryption key for the Petya ransomware seems to be ineffective for use in systems infected by NotPetya, leaving those infected by the nefarious program still in the lurch.
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The original Petya ransomware inflicted damage on quite a number of PCs and posed a huge security concern. The developer behind the original Petya ransomware, Janus Cybercrime Solutions, has now made available the decryption key required to decrypt the files that the ransomware encrypted. Though late in arrival, the decryption key, the link to which was made available on Twitter by the developer, has been found to be effective only against the three variants of Petya that exist. Security researchers tried to use the key against the much more destructive NotPetya but met with little success.

Petya, originally was not intended to take the entire PC for hostage, save a few files. NotPetya, however, is much more destructive in its approach and locks down the whole PC as it first attacks the Master Boot Record (MBR) that Windows uses for booting up and then starts encrypting all files on the drive. NotPetya exploited the EternalBlue loophole that was also used by the earlier WannaCry ransomware. Microsoft had patched EternalBlue much prior to the NotPetya outbreak.

With the Petya attack happening sometime in 2016, most victims either coughed up money for decryption, or have gone ahead and formatted their storage. Victims of NotPetya had a glimmer of hope that the Petya decryption key would work for them as well but, unfortunately, the Petya key does not seem to affect NotPetya infected PCs in any way. Even the Bitcoin account to which NotPetya demanded the ransom to be sent has stopped working. With enterprises and end-users actively patching their PCs, NotPetya was stopped in its tracks, but PCs that are already infected have no known cure in sight. It is therefore advised that users follow safe practices online and keep their systems up-to-date with the latest security updates.

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1395 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 07 > Master decryption key for Petya ransomware found to be ineffective against NotPetya
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2017-07-12 (Update: 2017-07-12)