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GpCode-like Ransomware Is Back

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted November 29, 15:33  GMT
Tags: Ransomware, Gpcode

We have received several reports from people around the world asking for help with infections very similar to the GpCode trojan that we detected in 2008.

GpCode was initially detected in 2004 and it reappeared almost every year until 2008. Since then, the author has been silent. A few copycats created some imitations of GpCode that were mostly hot air and not real threats because they weren’t using strong cryptographic algorithms.

As we explained before, this type of malware is very dangerous because the chances of getting your data back are very low. It is almost the same as permanent removal of the data from your hard drive. Back in 2006 and 2008, we managed to offer a few ways of recovering and even decrypting your data with our decryption tools.

Now, GpCode is back and it is stronger than before. Unlike the previous variants, it doesn't delete files after encryption. Instead it overwrites data in the files, which makes it impossible to use data-recovery software such as PhotoRec, which we suggested during the last attack.

Preliminary analysis showed that RSA-1024 and AES-256 are used as crypto-algorithms. The malware encrypts only part of the file, starting from the first byte.

The malware detection was added today as Trojan-Ransom.Win32.GpCode.ax. Kaspersky Lab experts are working on an in-depth analysis of the recent Trojan and will update you on every discovery that may assist with data recovery.

If you think you are infected, we recommend that you do not change anything on your system as it may prevent potential data recovery if we find a solution. It is safe to shutdown the computer or restart it despite claims by the malware writer that files are deleted after N days - we haven't seen any evidence of time-based file deleting mechanism. But nevertheless, it is better to stay away from any changes that could be made to the file system which, for example, may be caused by computer restart.

People who are not should be aware of the problem and should recognize GpCode from the first second when the warnings appears on your screen. Pushing Reset/Power button on your desktop may save a significant amount of your valuable data! Please remember this and tell your friends that if you see a sudden popup of notepad with text like this:

Don't hesitate and turn off your PC, pull out the power cable if this is fastest!

Another sign of infection is immediate change of the Desktop background to something like this:

Gpcode desktop message 1

We will keep posting more information and screenshots as we continue our investigation.


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2011 Mar 27, 10:19

How to rid ransomware GpCode

It is a lot of hot air and easily deleted. Take the following steps:
1. Right click on monitor screen. Click on properties.
2. Select desktop.
3. A new item displaying message appears under 'select background'
4.Click 'Browse'. Right click on all items appearing on the screen and select 'delete'



2011 Mar 28, 22:22

Re: How to rid ransomware GpCode

Was your computer infected with win32.ax? or other ransom?


Julie Dennis

2011 Mar 30, 16:27

Re: Re: How to rid ransomware GpCode

For me, it's this one:



2011 Mar 30, 19:46

Re: Re: Re: How to rid ransomware GpCode

Yeah,me too... But jrchan's method seems so easy and effective. Have you tried it? Is there anything different in your Monitor - Properties - Desktop screen options? ... haven't tried it because I don't want to restart my computer...


Julie Dennis

2011 Mar 31, 01:37

Re: Re: Re: Re: How to rid ransomware GpCode

I don't see anything different in monitor properties or desktop options. It sounded to me like jrchan was saying to delete every folder in the system.



2011 Mar 31, 20:59

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How to rid ransomware GpCode

For me it sounds weird... I am not worried about removing the virus but I would like to recover my files...

Edited by Karla, 2011 Mar 31, 22:17


Julie Dennis

2011 Apr 01, 17:29

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How to rid ransomware GpCode

Your files are gone. Just take it as a lesson learned, and move on. Harsh but also reality.

I recommend using a good backup service from now on as well as a good virus program. Get them both in place asap so you won't have to go through this again.


Julie Dennis

2011 Mar 27, 20:04

More help?

I'm using Windows 7. I right-clicked, went to Personalize and am looking at the Desktop Background options. Is that where I should be?

When I click Browse, it just brings up my folder list. More help please?



2011 Mar 28, 20:47


My computer is infected since Friday... Is anyone trying to find out how to recover files? I am using a second computer know but my information is very important. I have been tempted to pay!!! But I know it is wrong... Is this thing about the desktop true?


Mister X

2011 Mar 28, 22:50

Re: Infected!

If you have no backups you are really SOL
You can trying paying, I personally think they won't send the decoder


Mister X

2011 Mar 28, 22:38


We also got hit with this 3-25-2011
This is a new variant of the virus.

I found and took a sample of the virus and submitted it to over 10 different vendors, so expect a signature very soon.

Thank god for backups.

Good breakdown of an old variant here


Here is a current scan as of 3-28-2011


Real link below, if used edit the spaces out if copied and pasted

http://www.virustotal.com/file-scan/report.html?id=832863ece8c7eced9395b8929b1557 297feab33f8912210e8ff870ed849b aab2-1301335072

So yeah if you don't have any backups of your data you are SOL.

Boo yaa Virus, he will craft it again im sure.

Edited by Mister X, 2011 Mar 28, 23:29


Biswa Pratim Sinha

2011 Mar 31, 08:10

ur pc is attacked with the same nasty trojan

Try norton internet security 2011 or norton 360 version 5.0. see how virus removes from the computer swiftly and securely by the power of norton



2011 Mar 31, 20:59

Re: ur pc is attacked with the same nasty trojan

Did norton recovered your files?


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