I open a strange txt file by accident, which tells me that some files have been encrypted due to the security issue. At the beginning, I don’t take it to heart. However, my files actually can’t be opened after much searching and attempts. What should I do? I am not sure the email address provided in the note is safe. If the email address is wrong, what should I do in order to get my files back? I don’t understand how things got this bad. Would you tell me that the way to deal with the problem? I will be looking forward to your reply.
What is Dharma Ransomware?
Dharma Ransomware is a new variant of Crysis Ransomware (click here know more about the ransomware) .Dharma originally means a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. Dharma also refers to a sage who was worshipped as a god by some lower castes in ancient India. Now “Dharma” is used as the name of the ransomware. However, it is more an evil than a god because it poses a threat on users’ files. Directories on Windows have been the biggest target of the ransomware. Like other ransomware, it also encrypted users’ important files and demand a ransom. However, it won’t change the desktop background.
The signs of important files encrypted by the ransomware
- An encrypted file may be renamed to “.[email address].xtbl”, “. [email address].dharma” or “[email address].wallet”. For example, “filename.jpg” is renamed to “filename. Jpg. email@example.com”, as shown in the figure.
- There is a text file named “README.txt” or “Document.txt.[ firstname.lastname@example.org] zzzzz” among the encrypted files.
- Users will be told a message that their system is not protected, and Dharma’ developers can help them to restore encrypted files. Below is the screenshot of README.txt.
From the contents in the README.txt and subsequent examination, it is no doubt that victims’ files actually have been encrypted. However, is it true that files are encrypted in order to protect your system? Of course it isn’t. It is just a technique used for encouraging victims to contact with developers via an email address provided by the ransomware. If you follow the instructions given in the ransom note and contact with the developers, you will be asked that there is no nothing to do but pay a ransom. However, what it says is not true completely. Victims actually have difficulty in breaking the encryption by themselves because the ransomware uses Asymmetric Algorithm to encrypt files. The algorithm usually uses different keys (public and private key) during encryption and decryption process. Victims need to obtain the private key and encrypt their files. However, the private key can’t be easily gotten because it is often kept in a remote server owned by the developers. The result that victims decide to pay the ransom (about $500-$1000 Bitcoins) is what the developers expect. But it is not sure that victims can get their files back completely after payment. There is a high probability that victims have more serious computer problems while following the guide of the ransomware.
If you decide to pay the ransom, you may encounter some problems. Firstly, you don’t receive any private key or after payment. Secondly, the private key provided with the developers doesn’t work, which means you may be cheated. Or the developers may use wrong operation for an excuse to ask you for more money. But it is still not sure that the next private key is useful. Thirdly, you need to enter bank card or credit card number while paying, which means you may be in danger of personal and financial information leakage. Hence, you are advised not to pay the ransom at once if you meet the ransomware unfortunately.
File types that may be encrypted by the ransomware：
You still use other features of your computer properly expect encrypted files can’t be read or modified normally. However, you shouldn’t ignore the ransomware. If you keep the ransomware in the computer, it will add a file to the targeted directories every time. More files are in the danger of encryption. Therefore, you are advised to remove the ransomware. After removal, you can restore your files by using backups.
How Did You Get Infected with the Ransowmare?
Do you have email address? Have you received strange emails recently? Email is a place that is in the danger of external attack from phishing, spam, spyware. By using delivered spam emails, the developers insert payloads into victims’ computer. When the payload is activated automatically, the ransomware will be released and then conduct malicious activities like file encryption. In addition, the most direct method is using “dropped flash drive” that brings the infection into your system. The third method is to use computer worms, which can replicate themselves and exploit security vulnerabilities on users’ computer to spread ransomware from one system to another system.
Click here to get tips to avoid the ransomware.
Click here to get the removal guide.
Summary about Dharma Ransomware
|Threat Name||Dharma Ransomware|
|Category||Ransomware ; Malware|
|Target||personal computer and office computer|
|Operating System||Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10|
|Relevant Version||Crysis Ransomware|
|Symptoms||①Encrypt your important data②extort computer users and demand ransom ③Decrease computer performance|
|Distribution Methods||Via spam emails, attachments, suspicious links or exploit kits.|
|Solution||Read the detailed guide below or download a removal tool!|
Know about Crysis Ransomware
Crysis also belongs to Ransomware family. The ransomware was detected in February, 2016 firstly. By using spam email and fake software updates, it goes into victims’ computer. The ransomware ask victims for about $400-$1200 ransom. Extensions including .pizda@qq_com, .dyatel@qq_com, _ryp, .nalog@qq_com, .chifrator@qq_com, .gruzin@qq_com, .troyancoder@qq_com, .CrySiS, .locked, .kraken, .darkness, .nochance, .oshit, etc are added to encrypted files. The file name also contains the unique user ID provided by the malware. The desktop wallpaper is also changed in order to send your ransom message. Fortunately, the decryption tool for Crysis Ransomware has been published in November 2016. Therefore, it is unnecessary of victims to pay the expensive ransom.
Are you puzzled by the same problem as the user above?
Are you looking for effective solutions?
Now go to the removal instruction
Dharma Ransomware Removal Instruction
Users are not recommended to remove Dharma manually because it is difficult to detect all malicious files with the naked eye. Even though you have good computer skills, you can’t remove it completely. So it is advised to use auto-fix tools to remove suspicious files and folders created Dharma. After the removal is done, users can follow the instruction to restore these files.
Reboot Your PC in Safe Mode
Dharma Ransomware Removal Instruction
Reboot Your PC in Safe Mode
Windows / Vista / 7/XP
Reboot your computer by clicking on the Start button and selecting Restart button.
Press F8 key before you see Windows logo and enter the whole system.
The interface in the picture below the means you have entered Advanced Boot Options. Now you need to use the arrow keys to highlight your choice and click Safe Mode.
For Windows 8/10
Select Restart from the Power menu while holding down Shift key.
- Windows 8 Power option menu: Move the mouse to the right side of the screen > Click Settings (gear icon) > click Power button
- Windows 10 Power button is on the Start menu.
And then you will see a blue screen, please select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Windows Startup Settings > click Restart button.
When you see the screen below, select 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking by pressing F5 or 5 key.
Use Auto-fix Tool to Remove Dharma Ransomware
It is difficult to detect and remove the ransomware by only relying on the manual removal method. What show up in the screen clearly are your encrypted files rather than malicious files. To prevent your files from being deleted mistakenly, users are advised to use automatic removal tool to remove computer threats. With updated virus database, anti-malware programs like Spyhunter can scan the system for all types of computer threats including Worms, Trojans, Rootkits, Spyware and PUP, which may damage computer health . Now try to run SpyHunter to remove the pest.
Click on the button below and download SpyHunter.
When you open the SpyHunter-Installer, you may be asked whether you want to run this file. In this case, please click Run button.
Select your language and click OK button.
Click Continue button when Enigma Software Installer pops up.
When the setup is completed, click Exit button.
After installation is completed, run the SpyHunter, go to “Start a New System Scan” tab, and click “Scan Computer Now!”
After the scan is finished, screen shows all detected items in the list (click + to read more descriptions about the infection).
Now, press “Fix Threats” button to remove detected computer threat.
Reboot the computer to take effect if you are asked by the program.
File Restoring Instruction
Option One Use Windows Previous Versions feature
Highlight one encrypted file, right click on it and then select Properties or Restore previous versions.
Press Previous Versions tab, and then select one Restore points when files haven’t been encrypted in the list.
Click Restore button when you are asked whether you want to restore the previous version.
How to find your encrypted file?
Open File Explorer (My Computer icon) , click View and select Change Folder and search option in drop-down menu of Option (for Windows 8/10)
The Folder Options window pops up, you need to opt for Show hidden files and folders if you didn’t choose it before.
Click Apply and OK button to apply the changes.
Type “.Dharma” in the search box and press Enter key.
And then search results related to Dharma Ransomware come out.
Option Two Use System Restore
Before using System Restore, you’d better close other running programs, especially antivirus program.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc key to open Task Manager
Tap Processes tab, select running process and then click End Process button.
Right click the taskbar and select Start Task Manager.
Select one program and click End Task button. (Check up more processes by clicking More details)
Tip: Don’t stop processes related to system by mistaken in case of system crash.
Right click on My Computer icon and then select Properties.
Click on System protection on left side.
Click on System Restore button.
In the Restore system files and settings page, you can choose Recommended restore or Choose a different restore point, and then click Next button.
Choose a restore point when Dharma Ransomware doesn’t enter your computer and then click Next button.
Click Finish button to confirm your restore point. It required you to save any open files and close all programs (see above)
Click Yes button in the pop-up window and wait for completion of System Restore.
If you don’t close the antivirus program, the System Restore will be interrupted, as shown in the figure below. You can try System Restore again and choose a different restore point. If you continue to see this error, you can try an advanced recovery method.
The pop-up window below means that System Restore completes successfully.
Click Close button.
You are advised to do a system scan again to optimize your computer after removal and data recovery.
Like SpyHunter, PCKeeper Antivirus can detect and remove computer threats. Even though you can’t remove malware by using the program, you still ask for online computer experts. Now use PCKeeper Antivirus to scan your computer and delete potential infections that takes opportunities to enter your computer while you are troubled by Dharma Ransomware.
Download PCKeeper Antivirus by clicking the button below.
Open downloaded file and Install PCKeeper Antivirus by clicking Start Install button.
PCKeeper Antivirus PRO is now gathering data installed security programs and configuring the antivirus.
After Gathering Data is complete, click Full Scan or Custom Scan button.
- Full Scan is recommended if you want to check the whole system for viruses.
- Custom Scan is recommended if you want to quickly check specific files or folders.
After the completion of the whole scan, you should remove computer threats by checking the box beside File Name and then Add to Quarantine or click Delete button.
Can’t find Dharma in scan result? Or meet more computer problems? Don’t be worried, PCKeeper Antivirus provides you with one-to-one assistance from computer specialists. With computer experts’ help, any computer problems can be resloved. Now, please click Show Support Bar at the right side and open your online chat!
How Can You Keep Your System From Dharma?
- Don’t read an email from unknown email address, especially without antivirus programs.
- Scan strange external drive or disk before inserting them into your system and mare sure there are malicious files on the drive.
- Don’t access unknown or commercial websites and buy tickets.
- Install antivirus programs and scan your computer regularly.
- Back up your files regularly by using System Restore or mobile device.
Warm Advice: Dharma Ransomware is a new version of CrySiS ransomware. Luckily, users can use Kaspersky’s Decryptor to decrypt locked files encrypted by CrySis. Therefore, there is a reason to believe that Dharma decryptor will be published in future. Today, users only recover files from backup that they have done before. The experience that you are struggling with the ransomware is a lesson that backing up system should become a daily activity. System Restore feature on the computer can help you to deal with various situations including virus attack, files loss, wrong settings and so on. After restoring your files, you are advised to install antivirus programs in order to protect your computer from malware attack.
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The following video offers a complete guide for Dharma Ransomware removal. You’d better watch it in full-screen mode!