Remove Ransomware

I wrote this article to help you remove Ransomware. This Ransomware removal guide works for all Windows versions. ransomware is a variant of Dharma ransomware. The developers of the virus were faced with a challenge after the previous build was decrypted. Rather than settle with the sum they had made up to this point, they decided to create another version. This build is based around the same cryptosystems. It uses a combination of AES-256 and RSA algorithms. The target range of the win-locker encompasses documents, graphics, audios, videos, databases, scripts, archives and other formats. The owners of ransomware demand a certain payment in order to provide a decryption key.

This version of Dharma ransomware is spread like the rest. The malignant program travels in spam emails. In some instances, it uses the help of exploit kits. The executable of ransomware would be merged with an attached file. The sender behind the fake message will try to make you believe that the attachment is an important document, like a recommended letter, a bill, a contract, an invoice, a fine, a subpoena or something else. Be advised that accessing the host would unleash the payload into your PC. To check whether a given email is legitimate, proof the available contacts. If the notification has been written on behalf of an existing organization, you can go to its official website for reference.

We are using ransomware as a descriptive term. The alternative name helps distinguish this version of Dharma ransomware from the rest. The nefarious program will introduce itself with its actual name. ransomware appends a suffix to the names of the encrypted files. The sinister program uses the .wallet file extension to mark the locked objects. This will help you tell which files have been encrypted. Since the cyber crooks need people to cooperate, they have taken the initiative to get the message through in the most obvious way. ransomware displays a lock screen which explains what has happened and what the objective of the win-locker is. The insidious program lists the full details in a ransom note titled #_Restoring_files_#.txt. The cyber thieves require victims to contact them in order to receive instructions on the payment process. The ransom amounts to 2 Bitcoins. As per the current exchange rate, this converts to about $3657.34 USD. Most ransomware vendors take measures to protect their identity. Using a cryptocurrency is a way to keep themselves in the shadows. Another measure is to create a special payment website on the Tor network.

The people behind ransomware have taken both measures. We will further elaborate on the protection these methods offer. Cryptocurrencies were devised to provide optimal security for online payments. The platforms where they are traded do not require users to list their personal details. In addition, the transactions are protected from tracking. When transferring a sum through a cryptocurrency, the bank account of the recipient is kept private. The Tor web browser is used to hide the geographic location of the hackers.

Our advice to the victims of ransomware is not to pay the ransom. Keep in mind that you are dealing with cyber criminals. Since the encryption is illegal, the payment is not regulated. If the hackers decide to, they can leave your files locked. Another possibility is to run a second attack in time. Considering the fact that there are several possible solutions to the problem, there is no need to pay. Dharma ransomware has already been decrypted once. This means that the coders were not skilled enough to create an undecipherable code. The current variant may also get decrypted in time.

The immediate solutions are to use the shadow volume copies of the locked files or to change their format. To restore your data with the use of shadow volume copies, you will need a tool. There are several options which are included in the removal guide below. The other recovery method is tricky. You can convert the encrypted files into .VHD format. This stands for virtual drive. Note that before attempting a recovery, you have to uninstall ransomware from your system. Ransomware Removal

Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, Ransomware deletes all shadow copies, stored in your computer. Luckily, the ransomware is not always able to delete the shadow copies. So your first try should be restoring the original files from shadow copies.

  1. Download ShadowExplorer from this link:
  2. Install ShadowExplorer
  3. Open ShadowExplorer and select C: drive on the left panelshadowexplorer
  4. Choose at least a month ago date from the date field
  5. Navigate to the folder with encrypted files
  6. Right-click on the encrypted file
  7. Select “Export” and choose a destination for the original file

Method 2: Restore your encrypted files by using System Restore

  1. Go to Start –> All programs –> Accessories –> System tools –> System restore
  2. Click “Nextsystem restore
  3. Choose a restore point, at least a month ago
  4. Click “Next
  5. Choose Disk C: (should be selected by default)
  6. Click “Next“. Wait for a few minutes and the restore should be done.

Method 3: Restore your files using File Recovery Software
If none of the above method works, you should try to recover encrypted files by using File Recovery Software. Since Ransomware first makes a copy of the original file, then encrypts it and deletes the original one, you can successfully restore the original, using a File Recovery Software. Here are a few free File Recovery Software programs:

  1. Recuva
  2. Puran File Recovery
  3. Disk Drill
  4. Glary Undelete

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