Spanning back to the early 1990s and making a brief reappearance in early 2016, a variant of Petya (also called Petrwrap) Ransomware has resurfaced once again, this time referred to as Petya A or NonPetya. As far as what is already known about the recent attack which hit companies, public health care and governments organizations, as well as airports in the U.S., Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, Italy, Poland and the UK, the newer and more robust version was inspired by the recent WannaCry Ransomware attack in May. With this particular Ransomware, criminals do not encrypt all files on your computer, but rather attack a part of the operating system called the Master File Table (MFT), which then overwrites the MBR (Master Boot Record). Much like the WannaCry Ransomware attack, the virus requires the victim to pay a digital ransom through Bitcoin in order to regain control.
The MFT is critical for the system to know where to find files on the computer. It holds the same effect as if each file had been locked separately. Why is this significant? It is a lot faster to attack the MFT than to encrypt each file separately – making this a seamless and fast-moving attack.
According to researchers at the computer security company, Symantec, the new attack is using the same hacking tool (Eternal Blue) that was initially created by the National Security Agency (NSA) to combat the WannaCry Ransomware. The tool was leaked last April by a group known as the Shadow Brokers.
According to a researcher at Armor, the Petya attacks are projected to be much more damaging than WannaCry. There is no obvious killswitch with this virus, which has proven to be difficult in mitigating the effects. Because this version of Petya carries significantly upgraded features, it is expected to infect the latest and even patched Windows PCs, including version 10, whereas WannaCry focused primarily on older systems.
Even with the best precautions and policies in place, it is possible to fall victim to an attack. In the event that your data is held hostage by Ransomware, here is some advice to keep in mind:
To date, engineers at Circuit Blue have identified over 188 variations of Ransomware that infect user devices and there are more variations created every day, plus others that may not have been reported already. The team of engineers in Circuit Blue -The Data Management Experts is working around the clock to identify and find a solution for each type of Ransomware. There is hope for those who are infected with Ransomware.
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