Anti-Malware Research

MBR-Encrypting Ransomware Petya Gets Bitdefender Vaccine

The Petya ransomware that has been encrypting the NTFS Master File Table has recently been analyzed by the Bitdefender research team and found to sport similarities with other ransomware families, such as Chimera and Rokku.

This information could point to the same group of cybercriminals, except this time they’ve used advanced low level programming skills to develop the Petya strand. However, because the encryption process was flawed, our security researchers were able reverse engineer it and come up with a vaccine that makes decryption a lot easier in case of infection. Particularly, users will be presented with the decryption key, allowing immediate decryption.

An in-depth analysis of the Petya ransomware can be found in our “Petya Ransomware Goes Low Level” whitepaper (here), and here are some of its key findings:

  • Potentially same developers as the ones behind Chimera and Rokku ransomware families;
  • Works faster – Petya doesn’t encrypt files; it encrypts the NTFS Master File Table (MFT);
  • Features its own bootloader and Kernel – few ransomware families have that;
  • Reverse engineered by Bitdefender to offer a free tool that assists in  decryption of NFTS MFT (third-party tools have become available, but they’re more difficult to use).

Those who wish to avoid infection by this strand of ransomware can Download the Bitdefender Petya Ransomware Vaccine!

About the author



Liviu Arsene is the proud owner of the secret to the fountain of never-ending energy. That's what's been helping him work his everything off as a passionate tech news editor for the past couple of years. He is the youngest and most restless member of the Bitdefender writer team and he covers mobile malware and security topics with fervor and a twist. His passions revolve around gadgets and technology, and he's always ready to write about what's hot and trendy out there in geek universe.


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