What is PewDiePie ransomware? And how does it implement its attack?
PewDiePie ransomware is a crypto-virus created to extort money from its victims. This crypto-malware was discovered mid-December and doesn’t seem to encrypt files in a targeted machine. Once its malicious payload is dropped in the system, PewDiePie ransomware will implement a series of modifications. It starts by connecting the computer to a remote Command and Control or C&C server controlled by the attackers. From this remote server, PewDiePie ransomware will download its other malicious components and puts them to several system folders which allow it to launch and repress system processes.
Following infiltration and some system modifications, it employs a data harvesting module to gather sensitive data from the system. It also employs a stealth protection module which allows it to evade security and antivirus programs installed in the system that might interrupt its attack. It then scans the entire computer in search for files with the following extensions:
.3gp, .7z, .apk, .avi, .bmp, .cdr, .cer, .chm, .conf, .css, .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .djvu, .dbx, .docm, ,doc, .epub, .docx .fb2, .flv, .gif, .gz, .iso .ibooks,.jpeg, .jpg, .key, .mdb .md2, .mdf, .mht, .mobi .mhtm, .mkv, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpg .mpeg, .pict, .pdf, .pps, .pkg, .png, .ppt .pptx, .ppsx, .psd, .rar, .rtf, .scr, .swf, .sav, .tiff, .tif, .tbl, .torrent, .txt, .vsd, .wmv, .xls, .xlsx, .xps, .xml, .ckp, .zip, .java, .py, .asm, .c, .cpp, .cs, .js, .php, .dacpac, .rbw, .rb, .mrg, .dcx, .db3, .sql, .sqlite3, .sqlite, .sqlitedb, .psd, .psp, .pdb, .dxf, .dwg, .drw, .casb, .ccp, .cal, .cmx, .cr2
After finding the targeted files, it supposedly encrypts them. But according to security experts, it doesn’t seem to encrypt its targeted files and only pretends to do so to trick users into paying the ransom. To make it more believable, PewDiePie ransomware opens a window screen which contains the following ransom note:
“You Have Been Fucked By PewDiePie RansomWare.
You have 2 days to help PewDiePie win the battle against
TSeries by subscribing.
The only thing you have to do is to follow the link given
[YouTube link] [Timer]”
How is the malicious payload of PewDiePie ransomware disseminated online?
The malicious payload of PewDiePie ransowmare may be disseminated using malicious spam email campaign. In such cases, cyber criminals attach an infected file containing malicious scripts used to install PewDiePie ransomware in the system.
Kill PewDiePie ransomware from your computer by following the removal instructions laid out below.
Step 1: Tap the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys at the same time to open a menu and then expand the Shut down options which is right next to the power button.
Step 2: After that, tap and hold the Shift key and then click on Restart.
Step 3: And in the Troubleshoot menu that opens, click on the Advanced options and then go to the Startup settings.
Step 4: Click on Restart and tap F4 to select Safe Mode or tap F5 to select Safe Mode with Networking.
Step 5: After your PC has successfully rebooted, tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
Step 6: Go to the Processes tab and look for the process named “Windows update.exe” as well as any other suspicious-looking processes that could be related to PewDiePie ransomware and then end their processes.
Step 7: Exit the Task Manager and open the Programs and Features section under Control Panel by pressing the Windows key + R, then type in appwiz.cpl and then click OK or press Enter.
Step 8: Look for any suspicious-looking programs that could be related to PewDiePie ransomware and then uninstall it.
Step 9: Close Control Panel and tap Win + E keys to open File Explorer.
Step 10: Now navigate to the following locations and look for the malicious components created by PewDiePie ransomware like svchost.exe and [random].exe and then make sure to delete them all.
- %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\
Step 11: Close the File Explorer.
Before you proceed to the next steps below, make sure that you are tech savvy enough to the point where you know exactly how to use and navigate your computer’s Registry. Keep in mind that any changes you make will highly impact your computer. To save you the trouble and time, you can just use [product-name] this system tool is proven to be safe and excellent enough that hackers won’t be able to hack into it. But if you can manage Windows Registry well, then by all means go on to the next steps.
Step 12: Tap Win + R to open Run and then type in regedit in the field and tap enter to pull up Windows Registry.
Step 13: Navigate to the listed paths below and look for the registry keys and sub-keys created by PewDiePie ransomware.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 14: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by PewDiePier ransomware.
Step 15: Close the Registry Editor and empty your Recycle Bin.
Try to recover your encrypted files using the Shadow Volume copies
Restoring your encrypted files using Windows’ Previous Versions feature will only be effective if PewDiePie ransomware hasn’t deleted the shadow copies of your files. But still, this is one of the best and free methods there is, so it’s definitely worth a shot.
To restore the encrypted file, right-click on it and select Properties, a new window will pop-up, then proceed to Previous Versions. It will load the file’s previous version before it was modified. After it loads, select any of the previous versions displayed on the list like the one in the illustration below. And then click the Restore button.
To ensure the removal of PewDiePie ransomware from your system including the malicious components it has created on your system, follow the advanced steps below.
Perform a full system scan using [product-code]. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot it.
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the Safe Mode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now” button.