GoldenEye has often been referred to as the king of ransomware, because it is considered as probably the worst ransomware ever created.
GoldenEye is a variant of the notorious Petya ransomware that also takes advantage of the same EternalBlue exploit to spread from one device to another. It encrypts the entire hard disk drive and denies you access to your computer.
How does it work?
GoldenEye encrypts certain files on your computer as well as the hard drive itself.
GoldenEye variant goes one step further than Petya ransomware because it has two layers of encryption. One of them individually encrypts target files on the computer, and the other one encrypts NTFS structures, preventing victim PCs from being booted up and retreiving stored information or samples.
GoldenEye is distributed using a spam email message. It takes place after a victim opens an infected email and enables macro settings.
If you get infected you will see the following image of a skull on a yellow background. Under the skull, there is a short text that says: ”Press any key!”
If you press any key, the text with instructions on how to pay the ransom and retrieve your data will appear on your screen:
What is so special about GoldenEye?
The latest version of this ransomware was detected to be the German version. While Petya was designed to encrypt the data, GoldenEye was specifically designed to destroy them.
The user is unable to access the Windows operating system until the ransom is paid via the TOR Browser. The TOR page requires a CAPTCHA to access, the user is then presented with a page in which the personal identifier must be entered.
After the encryption process has been completed, the ransomware has a specialized routine that forcefully crashes the computer to trigger a reboot that renders the computer unustable until you pay the ransom of $300.
It has had its biggest impact on companies in Ukraine.
Will I get my data back if I pay the ransom?
There is a possibility of paying the ransom to the hackers. But does not mean you will get your data back, because GoldenEye was specifically created to destroy all data.
How to prevent GoldenEye ransomware from infecting my PC?
To prevent Petya, GoldenEye or any other type of malware from infecting your PC, it is crucial to have an antivirus software installed on your PC as a basic protection together with an antimalware protection that will serve as an additional layer of protection. Also, you need to have backup for your personal documents.
Unfortunately, once your PC has been infected and your data encrypted, you cannot recover them. Antivirus and antimalware software can only remove the infection from your PC or they can block it/prevent it from infecting your PC if you were wise enough to have them installed on time. However, they cannot recover your encrypted files. Therefore, it is highly important to protect your files on time.
If you are using Zemana AntiMalware premium version (which comes with 15-days free trial), it will protect you by blocking the Cryptolocker ransomware on time. This way, it will prevent it from infecting your PC.
However, if you decide to continue using the Trial and do not wish to purchase the Premium subscription at the end of the trial, your Zemana AntiMalware program will disable premium features. All other (basic) features will remain unchanged. This means that you will no longer be protected from Petya, but you will still be able to scan your PC with Zemana AntiMalware, which will detect Petya and block it.
Therefore, the best prevention against Petya virus is installing the right protection solution even before you get infected.
Zemana AntiMalware as a GoldenEye removal tool
According to MRG Effitas, Zemana AntiMalware has proved to be the best anti-ransomware software on the market and the most efficient in blocking Petya and Petya variants on your PC:
If you are looking for a solution that will help you in removing GoldenEye, it is important to note that Zemana AntiMalware is compatible with any antivirus software that you might have on your PC and will run alongside it without any conflicts.
Below you can find a guide on how to detect and remove this ransomware with Zemana AntiMalware.
STEP 1: Download Zemana AntiMalware here.
STEP 2: Once download, install the software on your PC. You can do this by double-clicking on ZAM program icon on your desktop or in your download files.
STEP 3: Press the ”Scan” button.
STEP 4: When the scan is complete, click “Next”.
STEP 5: Restart your computer if you are prompted to do so.
Interested in Petya ransomware? Learn more here.