Petna ransomware / virus (Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

Petna virus Removal Guide

What is Petna ransomware virus?

Petna ransomware hides several secrets within

The screenshot of Petna ransom note

Petna virus is the alternative name of a recent malware outbreak also called as Petya/Notpetya/Expetr/PetrWrap. IT experts will remember June 27 as the day a global cyber chaos. Unfortunately, it is the second case in a two months row. Multiple corporations all around the world reported having been struck with Petya malware.

Right after the emergence, online media got flooded with reports that the latest version of the notorious threat assaulted the virtual community.

Thus, the malware was labeled as NotPetya. However, after a closer look, specialists came up with the idea that it IS actually Petya, but its source code is overwritten.[1]

The latest version of so-called Pertya.a/Petna behaves similarly to previous versions, instead of simply breaking into a system and encrypting personal files, the malware modifies boot settings enabling to run malware instead of Windows OS.

With the assistance of its unique operating system, the threat encodes valuable documents as well. However, it does not have a tendency to append any file extension. Likewise, these features enable the virus to wreak global chaos.

Recent findings reveal that there is no point in paying the money, as one of the perpetrator's email domain has been shut down, which means that you will not get your files back even if you pay the ransom.[2] Thus, make a rush to remove Petna ransomware. FortectIntego or Malwarebytes might be of assistance in this task.

The virus turns out to be something else than ransomware

Right when some of the users thought that sufficient protection would be ensured to evade the same scenario after WannaCry attack, Petna manifested its power on the entire cyber world. The attack reverberated in numerous countries, including constant target Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the US, Australia, Russia, France[3], Spain and many more others.

Unfortunately, the world has not learned its lesson as the malware fed on the same on same system vulnerabilities as WannaCry – EternalBlue and weak SMB protocols.

However, the recent analysis by Comae Technologies and Kaspersky Lab report disclosed an astonishing fact – the malware is not actually crypto-virus!

It may seem that the malware is actually a disk wiper, but experts note that the malware does not delete files, but in fact, does not assign specific ID to a particular victimized computer meaning that it is nearly impossible to recover the files without acquiring the decryption key.

Anton Ivanov, Kaspersky Lab researcher, suggests that the original motive behind they virus was not profit making but rather mere destruction[4]. Interestingly, that this current version, Petna malware, seems to have been programmed by a different author than the original version. In any case, there is no point in transmitting the files but rather perform Petna removal. The image alternative Petna trojan namesPetna virus is not technically a data wiper, but it makes decryption impossible. It does not employ Command and Control server to retrieve the decryption key.

Petna spreads via corrupted update system?

The malware seems to have assaulted the same way as WannaCry – through system vulnerabilities. However, further analysis linked that the main source of infection was the Ukrainian accounting software developer M.E Doc. Perpetrators hacked into it and corrupted update network.

Thus, any company which used this software and installed the updated got infected as well.[5] The company denied such allegations even though the researchers claim to have log files as proofs.

Looking from a technical perspective, the malware function via smbpeyta_kernel.bin, perfc.dat, and similar system files. At the moment, the most viable Petna hijack prevention is to update your operating system with cyber security tools.

Eliminating the malware

Since it is futile paying the ransom and expect data retrieval, make Petna removal your top priority. Naturally, ordinary uninstall and removal methods might not work out from the first attempt. Since the malware modified your boot systems, you will not be able to simply access anti-virus tools. Thus, you may benefit from below indicated instructions.

Note that the malware will load before Windows OS, you will have to tap F8 or F2 right after the initial Windows sign appears to enter Advanced Boot settings. There, you should be able to choose Safe Mode or System Restore to remove Petna virus.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of Petna virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove Petna using System Restore

In the case of Penta hack, launching System Restore might be troublesome. However, try to enter the settings before the malware loads.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Petna. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with FortectIntego and make sure that Petna removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Petna from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

If your files are encrypted by Petna, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro option

Though it is designed to restore lost or damaged files, in this case, Petna virus highly complicates data retrieval and the usage of third-party decrypters.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by Petna ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Will ShadowExplorer decrypt files?

It comes in handy when dealing with the ransomware which does not delete shadow volume copies. When it comes to Petna, which wrecks boot process, this method might be bothersome. However, at the moment there is no universal Petna Decrypter released yet, so this method might be your last resort.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Petna and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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