Poret Ransomware

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

Poret ransomware removal instructions

What is Poret?

Belonging to the Djvu ransomware family, Poret is a high-risk file-encryption virus discovered by Michael Gillespie. Poret infiltrates the system and encrypts most stored data, thereby rendering it unusable. Additionally, Poret appends filenames with the ".poret" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.poret"). As well as encrypting data, Poret stores the "_readme.txt" file in every folder containing encrypted files.

The new text file contains a ransom-demand message stating that data is encrypted and that victims must purchase a decryption key, which is necessary to restore data. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. Poret encrypts data using an algorithm that generates a unique decryption key for each victim. All keys are stored on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals. Therefore, to receive the key and decrypt data, each victim must pay a ransom of $980. To receive payment/decryption instructions, victims must contact criminals via an email address provided or telegram. The message also states that victims will receive a 50% discount (the cost will drop to $490) if they make contact  within 72 hours of encryption. Additionally, victims are able to attach one selected file (which cannot contain any "valuable information"). The file is then restored and returned as a 'guarantee' that decryption is possible and that these people can be trusted. Regardless of the cost, do not pay. Research shows that cyber criminals often ignore victims once payments are submitted. Thus, paying is very likely to deliver no positive result and you will simply be scammed. We strongly advise you to ignore all requests to submit payments or contact these people. Poret encrypts data using an "offline key" whenever the server is not responding or the infected machine has no Internet connection. Therefore, try restoring data using a decrypter developed by Michael Gillespie (more information below). The only other possible solution is to restore everything from a backup, if one has been created.

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

Poret decrypt instructions

All ransomware infections are very similar. Other examples include Luboversova148, SECURE, and Dodger. Most of these infections compromise data (typically, by encryption) so that developers can blackmail victims by offering paid recovery. Unfortunately, ransomware infections often employ cryptographies such as AES, RSA, and similar that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, if the virus is fully developed and has no bugs/flaws, restoring data manually (without developers' involvement) is impossible. Ransomware is one of the main reasons why you should maintain regular backups, however, store them on unplugged storage devices or remote servers, since locally stored backups are compromised together with regular data. Bear in mind that servers/storage devices can always be damaged and, therefore, you are advised to have multiple backup copies stored in different locations.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

The way developers proliferate ransomware is currently unknown, however, infections of this type are often distributed using trojans, fake software cracks/updaters, spam email campaigns, and unofficial software download sources. Trojans are malicious applications designed to stealthily infiltrate computers to injecting additional malware. Software cracks activate paid software free of charge, however, many of these tools are fake and criminals use them to proliferate malware. Therefore, users are much more likely to install malware rather than gaining access to paid features. The same applies to fake updaters. These tools infect computers by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software or simply downloading/installing malware rather than updates. Spam campaigns are used to send deceptive emails which contain malicious attachments and messages that encourage recipients to open them. These attachments are often presented as receipts, invoices, bills or other important documents in attempts to give the impression of legitimacy and increase the chance of tricking recipients into opening them. Freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, and other third party download sources are also used to present malicious executables as legitimate software. In this way, users are tricked into manually downloading and installing malware. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge of these threats and careless behavior.

Threat Summary:
Name Poret virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Detection Names Avira (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Jaik.36875), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.GTRU), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Scar.sebw), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Encrypted Files Extension .poret
Ransom Demanding Message _readme.txt text file
Ransom Amount $980/$490
Cyber Criminal Contact stoneland@firemail.cc, gorentos@bitmessage.ch, @datarestore (telegram)
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand payment of a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Additional Information This malware is designed to show fake Windows Update window, modify Windows "hosts" file (to prevent users from accessing cyber security websites) and inject AZORult trojan into the system.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
Damage All 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

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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Handle all email attachments with care. If the received file/link is irrelevant and/or the sender seems suspicious, do not open anything. Furthermore, download software from official sources only (via direct download links) and avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since these tools often include rogue apps. The same applies to software updates. Keep installed applications updated, but use official updaters or implemented functions. Software piracy is a cyber crime and attempts to crack software can lead to system infections. Finally, have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running - these tools detect and eliminate malware before the system is harmed. The key to computer safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with Poret, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Poret ransomware text file ("_readme.txt"):

ATTENTION!

Don't worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
hxxps://we.tl/t-7AKxZTQTdy
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $490.
Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail "Spam" or "Junk" folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.


To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
gorentos@bitmessage.ch

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
stoneland@firemail.cc

Our Telegram account:
@datarestore

Your personal ID:
-

Screenshot of files encrypted by Poret ("" extension):

Files encrypted by Poret

Malware researcher Michael Gillespie has developed a decryption tool that might restore your data if it was encrypted using an "offline key". As mentioned, each victim gets a unique decryption key, all of which are stored in remote servers controlled by cyber criminals. These are categorized as "online keys", however, there are cases whereby the infected machine has no Internet connection or the server is timing out/not responding. If this is the case, Poret will use an "offline encryption key", which is hard-coded. Cyber criminals change offline keys periodically to prevent multiple encryptions with the same key. Michael Gillespie continually gathers offline keys and updates the decrypter, however, the chances of successful decryption are still very low, since only a very small proportion of "offline keys" have so far been gathered. You can download the decrypter by clicking this link (note that the download link remains identical, even though the decrypter is being continually updated). Your files will be restored only if the list of gathered keys includes the one that was used to encrypt your data.

Screenshot of STOP/Djvu decrypter by Michael Gillespie:

STOP/Djvu ransomware decrypter by Michael Gillespie

As with most of ransomware from Djvu family, Poret also displays a fake Windows update pop-up during the encryption:

Djvu ransomware family fake update

IMPORTANT NOTE! - As well as encrypting data, ransomware-type infections from Djvu malware family also install a trojan-type virus called AZORult, which is designed to steal various account credentials. Moreover, this malware family is designed to add a number of entries to the Windows hosts file. The entries contain URLs of various websites, most of which are related to malware removal. This is done to prevent users accessing malware security websites and seeking help. Our website (PCrisk.com) is also on the list. Removing these entries, however, is simple - you can find detailed instructions in this article (note that, although the steps are shown in the Windows 10 environment, the process is virtually identical on all versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system).

Screenshot of websites added to Windows hosts file:

Tro Ransomware adding websites to Windows Hosts file

Poret ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: 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 malware. 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 Poret 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 Poret 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 Poret 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 Poret 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 Poret, 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 Poret 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 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 Poret ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Poret virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Poret virus on your mobile device.
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