Ppam Ransomware

Also Known As: Ppam virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Ppam ransomware removal instructions

What is Ppam?

Discovered by Petrovic, Ppam is a high-risk computer infection classified as ransomware. Most ransomware-type programs are designed to encrypt data (blocking access to it) and display ransom-demand messages. In this case, Ppam creates a ransom message within the "Restore-My-Files.txt" file, placing it in all folders. This ransomware renames all encrypted files by adding the ".ppam" extension. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.ppam". At time of research, Ppam also ran the "font.exe (32-bit)" process in Task Manager.

According to the ransom message in the "Restore-My-Files.txt" text file, all Ppam files were encrypted. To 'unlock' them, users are required to purchase a decryption tool. To achieve this, victims must download and install the Tor browser, which is required to open a link (this can only be opened using Tor). The link leads to a website with instructions on how to purchase a decryption tool. These instructions comprise four parts: "Payment", "After Payment", "Free Decrypt", and "Support". The "Payment" section states that the cost of a decryption tool is $700 and must be paid in Bitcoins. Ppam's victims are urged to purchase the tool within two days, otherwise the cost doubles. The "Payment" part also includes a Bitcoin wallet address that should be used to transfer the required amount in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. It also contains two links: one leads to the "After Payment" section; another to the "Free Decrypt" section. The "After Payment" section is used to enter an email address that cyber criminals use to send a decryption tool. In the "Free Decrypt" section, Ppam's victims can send two files for free decryption. This is done by clicking the "HERE" link or by sending an email using the fileshelp@cock.li address. The "Support" section contains the same email address and another link that can be used to contact cyber criminals if the victims have any additional questions. It is not known which cryptography algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) Ppam ransomware uses to encrypt data. In any case, encrypted files are impossible to decrypt without the involvement of the ransomware developers. Cyber criminals use cryptographies that generate unique decryption keys - any other keys will not help. Furthermore, they store them on remote servers accessible only by them. No cyber criminals can be trusted. They provide no decryption tools or keys, even if their ransom demands are met. Therefore, do not contact them or pay any cryptocurrency ransom. There are no tools capable of decrypting files encrypted by Ppam free of charge and, therefore, we recommend that you use a data backup (if there is one) and restore files from there.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

Ppam decrypt instructions

Ppam is just one of the many ransomware-type infections. There are a number of other similar programs such as Mdk4y, Crypt0r, Tro, and so on. Most of these programs encrypt data and make ransom demands. Common differences are cryptography algorithm used to encrypt data and cost of decryption tool/key, which can only be provided by the ransomware developers. Most encryptions cannot be 'cracked', unless ransomware is not fully developed or contains bugs/flaws. Therefore, maintain regular data backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices (otherwise backups are encrypted with other data stored on the computer).

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is difficult to determine exactly what causes the Ppam infection, however, most ransomware developers proliferate these computer infections using spam email campaigns, untrustworthy software download sources, trojans, and fake software updaters. Spam campaigns are used to proliferate ransomware via emails containing malicious attachments (or links that lead to them). The main purpose is to trick people into downloading and opening these attachments or links by presenting them as legitimate. Attached files are usually Microsoft Office documents, executable files (.exe), archive files (RAR and others), PDF documents, and so on. Untrustworthy software download sources such as peer-to-peer networks (eMule, torrents), freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, third party downloaders (and installers), and other channels of this type are often used to present malicious files as legitimate. Using these tools, cyber criminals often successfully trick people into downloading and installing computer infections. Trojans are malicious programs that proliferate other computer infections. If a trojan is installed, it will cause additional infections. Fake software updaters infect systems by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software or by downloading and installing ransomware (or other infections) rather than the expected updates.

Threat Summary:
NamePpam virus
Threat TypeRansomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
SymptomsCan't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methodsInfected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
DamageAll files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.
Removal

To eliminate Ppam virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Avoid opening attachments or website links that are presented in emails received from unknown or dubious email addresses. If you suspect that a received email is irrelevant, do not open any included attachment or click the presented link (even if it is presented as an email regarding an important matter). Download software using direct links, trustworthy, and official sources. Do not use third party downloaders, installers, unofficial websites, and other tools to download software. These sources are used to proliferate rogue applications capable of causing computer infections or installing other unwanted apps. Update software using tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers only (do not use other updaters). Have a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware suite installed and keep it enabled at all times. These tools can prevent various threats from doing any damage. If your computer is already infected with Ppam, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Ppam ransomware text file ("Restore-My-Files.txt"):

Your files are Encrypted!
For data recovery needs decryptor.
How to buy decryptor:
-----------------------------------------------------
1. Download "Tor Browser" from https://www.torproject.org/ and install it.

2. Open this link In the "Tor Browser"

http://huhighwfn4jihtlz.onion/sdlsnhtjwbhr

Note! This link is available via "Tor Browser" only.
------------------------------------------------------------
Free decryption as guarantee.
Before paying you can send us 2 file for free decryption.
------------------------------------------------------------

alternate address - http://isb5f7dxc6gjpprt.onion/sdlsnhtjwbhr


You unique ID
####
-
####

Screenshot of Ppam website in Tor web browser ("Payment" part):

ppam ransomware website payment part

Text presented in the "Payment" part:

1. Payment:
Buy Decryptor
To buy the decryptor, you must pay the cost of: 0.197 Bitcoin ($ 700)
You have 2 days for payment
time left :
after finishing offer, decryptor cost will be 0.394 Bitcoin
You can buy bitcoin on one of these sites:
blockchain.info
localbitcoins.com
google.com
send 0.197 bicoin on the Bitcoin address: 3MTqnRqyZ9p4tzdCrmwMUoWX3JspXewYXk
after payment click HERE
Free decryption as guarantee.
Before paying you can send us 2 files for free decryption.
click HERE

Screenshot of Ppam website in Tor web browser ("After Payment" part):

ppam ransomware website after payment part

Text presented in the "After Payment" part:

2. After Payment
After Payment
After payment, enter your real e-mail
and we will immediately send decryptor.

Screenshot of Ppam website in Tor web browser ("Free Decrypt" part):

ppam ransomware website free decrypt part

Text presented in the "Free Decrypt" part:

3. Free Decrypt
Free decrypt
Free decryption as guarantee.
Before paying you can send us 2 files for free decryption.
If you are not ready to pay for the decryptor
DO NOT WRITE TICKET!
Create ticket HERE
and add 2 encrypted files
or write email - fileshelp@cock.li 

Screenshot of Ppam website in Tor web browser ("Support" part):

ppam ransomware website support part

Text presented in the Support" part:

4. Support

 

Support
If you have any questions Create ticket HERE
or write email - fileshelp@cock.li 

Screenshot of files encrypted by Ppam (".ppam" extension):

Files encrypted by Ppam

Ppam ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Ppam virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Ppam virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the Ppam virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the Ppam ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Ppam ransomware files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of Ppam are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.

To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by Ppam, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

To protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Ppam ransomware.

Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.

Controll Folder Access

Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.

Other tools known to remove Ppam ransomware: