THREAT REMOVAL

.AUF Files Virus (Dharma) – How to Remove It

This blog post is made to explain what is the .AUF variant of Dharma ransomware virus and how you can try to remove it and attempt to recover .AUF encrypted files.

Yet another version, belonging to the CrySis/Dharma ransomware family has been detected. The malware appends the .AUF file extension to the files which are encrypted by it and then asks victims to pay ransom in BitCoin to get the files to work once again. If your computer has been attacked by the .AUF variant of Dharma ransomware, we suggest that you read this article as it will help you to understand more about the virus’s activity, encryption and removal.

Threat Summary

Name.AUF Dharma Virus
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionAims to encrypt the files on the computers that have been infected by it and then add the .AUF file extension to the encoded files to extort victims to pay ransom to get them back.
SymptomsFiles cannot be opened and have the .AUF suffix added to them. The virus drops a ransom note, containing the extortionist message and the e-mail decisivekey@tutanota.com.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .AUF Dharma Virus.
Data Recovery ToolWindows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.

.AUF Dharma Virus – Infection

There are several possible infection strategies that may be used to conduct infection activities with the .AUF variant of Dharma ransomware. These often include the usage of malicious files or web links. The first and most common method is to spread an infection file of this Dharma variant is via malicious e-mails that are directly sent to victims via various different types of spam campaigns. These campaigns carry attachments that may contain:

  • Malicious macro-enabled documents.
  • Files that lead to malicous macro documents.
  • JavaScript files.
  • Executable files.
  • Other types of infection files.

In addition to this, the ransomware virus may also attack you passively by uploading the malicious files over the web. There, they may reside patiently waiting to be downloaded, while posing as:

  • Cracks.
  • Patches.
  • Keygens.
  • License updaters.
  • Portable programs.
  • Setups.

.AUF Dharma Ransomware – Activity

Similar to other Dharma ransomware variants, like the .combo one, the .AUF virus aims to encrypt the files and then get the victims to pay ransom to get them back. Most of the viruses hsare similar code, and they may also be similar in the way they encrypt their files.

When the .AUF variant of Dharma ransomware infects your PC, the malware may run the following actions on your computer:

  • Mutex creation.
  • Windows Registry Editor modifications.
  • Deletion of backups.
  • Creation of scheduled tasks.
  • System recovery disabling.
  • Changing of wallpapers and running of files automatically.
  • Modifying system files.

The .AUF variant of Dharma ransomware first drops the malicious files on the victim PC, where they may have different types of names, for example:

After dropping the malicious files on the computers of victims, the .AUF variant of Dharma ransomware may also attack the Run and RunOnce registry sub-keys of the infected computer. They are sub-keys, located in the Windows Registry Editor and are responsible for running files on Windows start up. In them, Dharma may create value entries with the location of the malicious files it wants to run on Windows start up:

→ HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\

In addition to this, the latest iteration of Dharma ransomware, may also delete the backed up files on your computer by executing the following command as an administrator in Windows Command Prompt:

→ sc stop VVS
sc stop wscsvc
sc stop WinDefend
sc stop wuauserv
sc stop BITS
sc stop ERSvc
sc stop WerSvc
cmd.exe /C bcdedit /set {default} recoveryenabled No
cmd.exe /C bcdedit /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe” /C vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet

Dharma ransomware may also drop it’s ransom note file, which appears like the following:

Dharma .AUF Virus – Encryption Process

Dharma ransomware aims to encrypt the following files on your computer:

→ .ebd, .jbc, .pst, .ost, .tib, .tbk, .bak, .bac, .abk, .as4, .asd, .ashbak, .backup, .bck, .bdb, .bk1, .bkc, .bkf,
.bkp, .boe, .bpa, .bpd, .bup, .cmb, .fbf, .fbw, .fh, .ful, .gho, .ipd, .nb7, .nba, .nbd, .nbf, .nbi, .nbu, .nco,
.oeb, .old, .qic, .sn1, .sn2, .sna, .spi, .stg, .uci, .win, .xbk, .iso, .htm, .html, .mht, .p7, .p7c, .pem, .sgn,
.sec, .cer, .csr, .djvu, .der, .stl, .crt, .p7b, .pfx, .fb, .fb2, .tif, .tiff, .pdf, .doc, .docx, .docm, .rtf,
.xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .ppt, .pptx, .ppsx, .txt, .cdr, .jpe, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .bmp, .jiff, .jpf, .ply, .pov, .raw,
.cf, .cfn, .tbn, .xcf, .xof, .key, .eml, .tbb, .dwf, .egg, .fc2, .fcz, .fg, .fp3, .pab, .oab, .psd, .psb, .pcx,
.dwg, .dws, .dxe, .zip, .zipx, .7z, .rar, .rev, .afp, .bfa, .bpk, .bsk, .enc, .rzk, .rzx, .sef, .shy, .snk, .accdb,
.ldf, .accdc, .adp, .dbc, .dbx, .dbf, .dbt, .dxl, .edb, .eql, .mdb, .mxl, .mdf, .sql, .sqlite, .sqlite3, .sqlitedb,
.kdb, .kdbx, .1cd, .dt, .erf, .lgp, .md, .epf, .efb, .eis, .efn, .emd, .emr, .end, .eog, .erb, .ebn, .ebb, .prefab,
.jif, .wor, .csv, .msg, .msf, .kwm, .pwm, .ai, .eps, .abd, .repx, .oxps, .dot.

The encryption is conducted with the aid of AES encryption algorithm, also known as Advanced Encryption Standard. After the encryption has finished, the files are left with the .AUF file extension and they can no longer be opened:

Remove Dharma Ransomware and Restore .AUF Encrypted Files

If you want to remove this Dharma ransomware variant, we would suggest that you follow the removal instructions that are underneath this article. They have been created with the main purpose of helping you remove as many virus files as possible. If manual removal does not seem to have any effect, however, we would advise you to do what most cyber-security experts would and run a scan on your PC, using an advanced anti-malware software. Such program aims to not only automatically detect and delete all malicious files and objects, but will also protect your machine against future infections as well.

If your goal is to recover files, encrypted by Dharma ransomware, we will have you know that you can try using the methods we have liste in the “Try to restore” step below. They may not be a complete guarantee to be able to recover all the files, but with their aid you might be able to restore at least some data.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.

As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.

How to recognize trustworthy sources:

  • Always check "About Us" web page.
  • Profile of the content creator.
  • Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
  • Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.


OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove .AUF Dharma Virus from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .AUF Dharma Virus

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall .AUF Dharma Virus and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by .AUF Dharma Virus on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by .AUF Dharma Virus there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for .AUF Dharma Virus with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .AUF Dharma Virus.

Ransomware infections and .AUF Dharma Virus aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of .AUF Dharma Virus from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall .AUF Dharma Virus and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to .AUF Dharma Virus:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to .AUF Dharma Virus. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to .AUF Dharma Virus. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove .AUF Dharma Virus via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as .AUF Dharma Virus. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for .AUF Dharma Virus:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .AUF Dharma Virus.

Ransomware infections and .AUF Dharma Virus aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


.AUF Dharma Virus FAQ

What is .AUF Dharma Virus ransomware and how does it work?

.AUF Dharma Virus is a ransomware infection - the malicious software that enters your computer silently and blocks either access to the computer itself or encrypt your files.

Many ransomware viruses use sophisticated encryption algorithm how to make your files inaccessible. The goal of ransomware infections is to demand that you pay a ransom payment to get access to your files back.

How does .AUF Dharma Virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..AUF Dharma Virus Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, containing virus attachment.

This attachment is usually masked as an important document, like an invoice, bank document or even a plane ticket and it looks very convincing to users.

After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.

Another way, you may become a victim of .AUF Dharma Virus is if you download a fake installer, crack or patch from a low reputation website or if you click on a virus link. Many users report getting a ransomware infection by downloading torrents.

How to open ..AUF Dharma Virus files?

You can't. At this point the ..AUF Dharma Virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your ..AUF Dharma Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by .AUF Dharma Virus ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.

How Do I restore "..AUF Dharma Virus" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore ..AUF Dharma Virus files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How do I get rid of .AUF Dharma Virus ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate .AUF Dharma Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..AUF Dharma Virus files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .AUF Dharma Virus ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.

What to Do If nothing works?

There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:

  • Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
  • Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
  • Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted it can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way to get back some of your files is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
  • You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.

More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.

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