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PetrWrap ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware

PetrWrap ransomware exploits Petya’s code and leaves its creators empty-handed

PetrWrap virus

PetrWrap virus is a modified variant of Petya ransomware which works independently from the parent program. The experts also refer to PetrWrap as an “unauthorized” follow-up of this virus because it is based on Petya’s source code but does not belong to its official Ransomware-as-a-Service [1] campaign. This means that instead of sharing the collected profit with the original virus creators, these hackers keep it all to themselves. They achieved that by replacing the original Petya’s ECDH algorithm [2] with another one, which allowed them to generate private and public keys outside the RaaS system.

The virus analysts typically refer to such exploitation tactic as “wrapping”; hence, you can see the stem of the word “wrap” in the virus title. Undoubtedly, Janus Cybercrime Solutions [3], who proclaim themselves as the main administrators of the Petya RaaS should be quite annoyed by all that. But there is virtually nothing they can do to stop this process.

Neither do the PetrWrap victims.

Once the virus infects computers, the contained files undergo a sophisticated encryption process which is almost impossible to roll back. Of course, the victims may succumb to the extortionists' demands and purchase the special decryption key. Nevertheless, that does not guarantee the criminals will surrender the data that easily.

The criminals are unpredictable and may simply vanish without issuing any decryption software whatsoever. That’s why it is best to keep away from any interaction with the criminals and remove PetrWrap from your computer immediately. Though the ransomware is a complex virus, you can still fix your PC with the help of sophisticated antivirus programs such as Reimage or similar.

For quite some time PetrWrap's distribution was very moderate and many may have even forgotten about the threat completely. But the creators of this threat are not planning on letting their names be forgotten.

PetrWrap virus has just hit the spotlight again after a new string of ransomware, presumably related to this or other Petya virus version started ravaging through Europe, US and other continents of the world. 

Questions about PetrWrap ransomware virus

So far, 2000 PCs have been confirmed to be infected with this virus but the numbers are expected to grow exponentially. 

PetrWrap ransomware looks like a mosaic compiled from details collected from other different viruses. So, its is not only Petya that PetrWrap creators exploit. When it comes to software distribution, the virus works more like Samas ransomware — the criminals brute force their way into the victims' computers via vulnerable RDP networks [4] and then deploy the virus on the system.

PsExec tool [5] is used for this purpose. Nevertheless, it is also possible that the infiltration may be carried out in some other ways. We will elaborate more on those later. As for now, let us get back to discussing the functionalities of PetrWrap. Looking at its exterior, the hybrid ransomware does not look like it belongs to any virus family. In its ransom note, the hackers have dropped Petya’s red skull and display the ransom text white on black.

It is interesting that the virus will “sleep” for 1.5 hours before it starts the encryption and displays the mentioned note. After it is activated, it will rewrite computer's Master Boot Record to be able to run at startup. The virus does not seem to append any extensions to the encrypted files, but it sure will render their contents unreadable. So, you will also face the challenge of recovering your files after the PetrWrap removal. Check out the end of the article for experts suggestions.

Principles of ransomware attack

We have already mentioned that PetrWrap mainly brute forces its way to the computers and it is done for a reason. This virus is not a widespread infection like Osiris or Cerber but focuses on attacks targeted towards certain organizations or companies.

That’s why the hackers must remain flexible and adjust their infiltration strategies to particular situations. Nevertheless, the good old email spoofing technique may as well be exploited to infect corporate computers.

The malicious parties may try to send out emails carrying PetrWrap to the company employees and this way enter the networks. That’s why it is crucial to learn how to recognize the potentially malicious emails and avoid them.

PetrWrap removal: the safest way to do it

If you came to this part of the article, you must be determined to remove PetrWrap virus from your computer as soon as possible. So, without further ado, let us introduce the best ways to do it. Remember, PetrWrap removal will only be successful if you obtain a reliable antivirus utility and scan your hard drive with it.

You may also use the antivirus software you already own, just make sure it is legal and updated version of the program. Do not forget — ransomware will fight back and may try to prevent its removal by blocking your antivirus. You will find a workaround of this problem below.

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To remove PetrWrap virus, follow these steps:

Remove PetrWrap using Safe Mode with Networking

There are a few methods that might add to an easier virus elimination. Below we provide instructions to one of them. Just do not forget that you must scan your computer with an antivirus with an antivirus before you can carry out any file recovery steps.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    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 Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    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 Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove PetrWrap

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete PetrWrap removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove PetrWrap using System Restore

You may also decontaminate the virus following another method. It is provided below. Just like the Method 1, Method 2 requires a thorough system scan with an antivirus afterwards.

  • 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 PetrWrap. 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 Reimage and make sure that PetrWrap removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Files encrypted by PetrWrap can be retrieved with Data Recovery Pro

Though there is never a 100% guarantee of success, you may try to recover your data using Data Recovery Pro. Find instructions of this method below:

  • 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 PetrWrap ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Roll back your files with the help of Windows Previous Versions feature:

Below you will find instructions that will show you how to use Windows Previous Versions feature and how to recover your files properly. 

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

How can you use ShadowExplorer to recover your files?

ShadowExplorer is a useful, though limited feature. It will not work if the virus deletes Volume Shadow Copies of the files. In case these files are safe, guidelines below will help set up the program and achieve the best results.

  • 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.

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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