Yesterday afternoon I had a (dis)pleasure of informing you about Petya, a new and dangerous virus. In summary, Petya is ransomware. Ransomware is a virus that blocks access to your device and only unlocks it after you pay a given sum of money to the hackers who created it, like a ransom. The virus is mostly after company networks, but there are cases of private computers being hacked as well.
Sounds scary, does it not? One day you are coming back home and powering up your PC, only to find out you cannot access it because some jerk of a hacker said so. Thankfully, a way of protecting your computer against the Petya menace has already been found and written about in many articles online. One of those articles has been provided by CTVNews. The article provides a more detailed look into the virus, including its possible origin, but most importantly it offers a way of defense against the bugger. All you need to do is to enter your PC’s Windows direction (usually it’s C:\Windows) and create there a blank file called ”pferc” (minus the quotation marks). Reportedly, Petya creates files called pferc when it infects the device, but virus doesn’t know what to do when finding such file already existing.
Naturally, it is possible that Petya will be ”updated” and able to circumvent this quite simple defense. For now though, doing this will allow us at least a moment of reprieve.