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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.

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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> 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)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.