PadCrypt: Hijacker with A Conscience
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There are villains who commit crimes without remorse and there are some that take a totally different approach. Most crypto viruses or Ransomware aim at hijacking and infecting their victim’s computers and extorting money. They are not only a threat to computer security but is also a major hindrance to the internet of things. But regardless of how dangerous they are, we must not forget that they have been designed by humans who might also have a conscience. The best example of such a self-conscious and somewhat ethical crypto virus is PadCrypt. It effectively does what most Ransomware is designed to do, i.e. encrypt your data in exchange for a ransom. But how it differs is by offering various ways to decrypt the data.
How it Infects?
Like most other viruses of its kind, PadCrypt usually hides inside .zip files, which appear as PDF attachments in spam emails. Once on your computer, it encrypts your everyday files such as videos, music and photographs using AES encryption. All the file extensions are changed to ‘. padcrypt’ and a text file containing a ransom note is generated.
While the ransom note generated by padcrypt is almost similar to most other Ransomware, it feels more relaxed. It urges the victim to make a payment of .8 bitcoin or make an equivalent payment through paysafecard or ukash.
Although the specified time is 96 hours before the key is deleted from their servers, they will decrypt the data for free once it has been locked for 6 months. This is quite unusual for any Ransomware making PadCrypt quite a unique crypto virus.
They also offer an uninstaller to remove the virus from your system after your files are encrypted. This won’t actually decrypt your files, but will completely uninstall PadCrypt files from your computer.
PadCrypt takes customer/victim services to new heights with their live chat support feature. If the ransom note doesn’t make things, clear enough to understand you can simply ask all the possible questions on the live chatbox.
Is It Still a Threat?
Despite of all the ethics and chivalry, PadCrypt is still a malware that will result in your data being held by a criminal. Hence, it is essential that you consider it as a legitimate threat to your data security and privacy. The best way to deal with such threats is by having a secure backup in place. You could also use Ransomware Protector or similar backup tools that will store all your files on a secure cloud server. Even if your data is hijacked, you can always format your hard drive and restore your data from the cloud.