New version of Dharma ransomware sticks to the following file renaming pattern: filename.id-XXXXXXXX.[[email protected]].wallet. Original filename remains. The scheme shows it is followed by new email address. Actually, the crooks operate a fairly limited number of email accounts. They perhaps would use only one, but the providers block accounts as they receive a flood of complainants from the victims and IT researchers. A request for the removal of [email protected] scam is a top search query.
Meanwhile, the Dharma extortion Trojan keeps using [email protected] so that the email may follow after the native filename. The deadliest version of Drahma in the wild now is the one that adds .wallet as a final extension, hence the enormous demand for the removal of .wallet ransomware.
Some versions of the so called Wallet scamware are also known to cipher the original part of the file name. That makes things worse for the victims as they cannot identify the most critical data.
Needless to say, file renaming annoys badly. That is not the greatest damage caused by the ransomware, though. The most critical impacts of its attack affect the file contents. Dharma encrypts the data proper with the AES-256 cipher. The decryption is not plausible without an appropriate decryption key. That key is a private key, meaning the crooks do not need to enter it to the victim’s PC.
Some flaws in the encryption payload as executed by wallet \ [email protected] ransomware may enable retrieving the decryptor. Relevant cases have already occurred. Unfortunately, the [email protected] edition withstands the white-hat hacking as of now.
Some helpful tips and recovery solutions compatible with the removal of [email protected] encryption follow. Meanwhile, you should not transfer any bitcoins to the crooks as their ransom note suggests. To say the least, any payments do not ensure the release of a proper private key.
Automatic removal of Dharma ransomware
The benefits of using the automatic security suite to get rid of this infection are obvious: it scans the entire system and detects all potential fragments of the virus, so you are a few mouse clicks away from a complete fix.
- Download and install recommended malware security suite
- Select Start Computer Scan feature and wait until the utility comes up with the scan report. Proceed by clicking on the Fix Threats button, which will trigger a thorough removal process to address all the malware issues compromising your computer and your privacy.
Restore files locked by Dharma virus
Dharma virus represents a unique category of malicious software whose attack surface reaches beyond the operating system and its components, which is why removing the virus itself is a part of the fix only. As it has been mentioned, it encrypts one’s personal information, so the next phase of the overall remediation presupposes reinstating the files that will otherwise remain inaccessible.
Launch data recovery software
Similarly to the rest of its fellow-infections, Dharma most likely follows an operational algorithm where it erases the original versions of the victim’s files and actually encrypts their copies. This peculiarity might make your day, because forensics-focused applications like Data Recovery Pro are capable of restoring the information that has been removed. As the virus further evolves, its modus operandi may be altered – in the meanwhile, go ahead and try this.
Take advantage of Volume Shadow Copy Service
This technique is based on using the native backup functionality that’s shipped with Windows operating system. Also referred to as Volume Snapshot Service (VSS), this feature makes regular backups of the user’s files and keeps their most recent versions as long as System Restore is on. Dharma variant that uses [email protected] email hasn’t been found to affect these copies therefore the restoration vector in question is strongly recommended. The two sub-sections below highlight the automatic and manual workflow.
- a) Use Shadow Explorer
Shadow Explorer is an applet that provides an easy way of retrieving previous versions of files and folders. Its pro’s include an intuitive interface where the computer’s entire file hierarchy is displayed within one window. Just pick the hard disk volume, select the object or directory to be restored, right-click on it and choose Export. Follow the app’s prompts to get the job done.
- b) Use file properties
Essentially, what the above-mentioned Shadow Explorer tool does is it automates the process that can otherwise be performed manually via the Properties dialog for individual files. This particular approach is more cumbrous but just as effective as its software-based counterpart, so you can proceed by right-clicking on a specific file, which has been encrypted by Dharma ransomware, and selecting Properties in the context menu. The tab named Previous Versions is the next thing to click – it displays available versions of the file by date of the snapshot creation. Pick the latest copy and complete the retrieval by following the prompts.
Data backups work wonders
Ransomware like Dharma isn’t nearly as almighty and destructive in case you run regular file backups to the cloud or external data media. The virus itself can be completely removed in a matter of minutes, and the distorted information can then be just as easily recovered from the backup. Luckily, this is a growing trend, so ransom Trojans are hopefully going to become less subversive in the near future.
Verify thoroughness of the removal
Having carried out the instructions above, add a finishing touch to the security procedure by running an additional computer scan to check for residual malware activity