THREAT REMOVAL

.block Files Ransomware – How to Remove + Restore Files

This article has been created to explain what is the purpose of the .block files virus and how to remove this infection from your PC plus how to try and restore files that have been encrypted by it on your computer.

The .block files ransomware is the newest strain associated with the Dharma ransomware family. It is a modular framework that can be customized further by the criminals as the attack is unfolded. As a consequence sensitive user files are impacted and are renamed with the .block extension. Read our in-depth guide in order to restore your computers from the infection.

Threat Summary

Name .block
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description An advanced ransomware strain that aims to cause dangerous system changes and encrypt target user files.
Symptoms One of the main symptoms is the renaming of data with the .block file extension.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss .block.
Data Recovery Tool Windows 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.

.block Files Virus – How Did I Get Infected

We have received information about a dangerous new strain of the Dharma ransomware family known as the .block ransomware. Like many of the similar strains that originate from this malware family it uses multiple distribution channels.

Depending on the target users the hackers can send out email messages that can link to the malware samples. In other cases the .block files virus can be attached to them as executable or archive files. In recent years there have also been many infections using malware software installers. They are usually setup packages taken from their official sources and then modified to include the virus code. In certain cases the victims may be able to disallow installation by unchecking certain options during the setup process.

The creation and distribution of infected documents is another trend that is used more and more among computer hackers, especially those behind advanced strains such as this one. The criminals create documents of various types that may be of any kind: rich text documents, spreadsheets and presentations that use social engineering techniques to make the users run them. Once the files are opened a notification prompt asks them to execute the built-in scripts (macros). If this is done then the .block file virus is automatically retrieved from the Internet and executed on the host.

Other popular infections methods also include software exploits, they usually occur automatically and are managed through hacker frameworks. The penetrations usually occur immediately after a vulnerability has been exposed. All kinds of malware payload delivery mechanisms can also be distributed via hacker-operated sites, ads, redirects and pop-ups.

Browser hijackers are also used as delivery mechanisms. During their infection phase the malware code can be used to institute the .block file virus into the target hosts.

.block Ransomware – More Information and Activity

Once the infections have started the .block file virus starts to execute it’s built-in behavior pattern. Depending on the exact configuration different components can be bundled either before the infection or interactively as the malware engine performs various checks.

At the onset of infection advanced threats usually perform a thorough system scan. Its aim is to create a profile of the compromised machine which includes the hardware components, installed software and user configuration. This data is used to execute the stealth protection mechanism which attempts to bypass or delete any discovered security software. This includes anti-virus programs, firewalls, sandboxes, debugging environments and virtual machines. In some cases if the threat is not able to doso then it will delete itself to avoid detection.

In order to facilitate a deeper infection the malware engine can connect to a hacker-controlled server which is used to send and receive commands from the criminal operators. The list of possible computer abuse includes the following:

  • File Stealing — Prior to the ransomware process the hackers can use the virus to retrieve sensitive files from the compromised computers.
  • Additional Malware Delivery — The criminals can use the C&C (command and control) servers in order to deploy additional threats.
  • Trojan Component — Remote control of the victim hosts can be achieved using a Trojan component. It can be deployed by the hackers either automatically or manually. It would allow them to view the victims desktop in real time. The hackers can also overtake control of the computers at any given time.

As the hackers have the ability to access other applications as well which includes web browsers as they are among the most widely software. The criminals can gain access to data such as: cookies, bookmarks, history, passwords, form data and account credentials.

The .block file virus can also be programmed to achieve a persistent state of execution. It would allow the malware to prevent manual user removal attempts by actively monitoring the victim’s actions. Such actions are usually followed by system changes that can impact both the Windows registry and the operating system configuration files themselves. As a result the users can experience performance issues, applications failure or find that certain Windows services will stop working.

As it the .block file virus uses a modular framework its behavior patterns can shift thus creating an entirely new signature. In certain situations the hackers may opt to delete the available Shadow volume copies. This makes file recovery difficult without the use of a professional-grade data recovery solution. Refer to our in-depth instructions below.

.block Ransomware – Encryption

The ransomware process is executed as soon as all other components are complete. The relevant engine starts to encrypt target user data based on a built-in list of target file type extensions.

During the initial configuration the virus may also access the Windows mount manager thus gaining access to removable storage devices and network shares. The malware will begin to scan the most frequently used files:

  • Microsoft Office documents.
  • Adobe .PDF documents.
  • Virtual drive images.
  • Photos and other image files.
  • Music and other audio data.
  • Videos.
  • System image files.
  • Files related to often used software.

A strong cipher is used to process the victim files. As a result a pattern is used consisting of the hacker’s email address followed by a dot and then the block extension. The ransomware note itself is crafted in a file called FILES ENCRYPTED: Bloc de notas.txt which reads the following:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email decrypt.guarantee@aol.com

.block file virus image

How to Remove .block Ransomware and Restore Your Files

In order to remove ransowmare viruses like .block, it is important to isolate them from being operational. To do this, we recommend to follow the removal instructions down below. They are separated in automatic and manual removal instructions. If you lack the experience in malware removal, reccomendations are to remove .block ransowmare automatically preferrably by downloading an advanced anti-malware software. Such will ensure that your computer is free from all malware without you having to reinstall your Windows and will protect your computer against infections like .block in the future too.

If you want to restore files that have been encrypted by the .block ransomware infections, we strongly advise that you focus on trying out our alternative ransomware recovery methods in step “2.Restore files encrypted by .block Virus” below. These methods are not 100% guarantee that you will be able to restore all files encrypted by this virus, but they may help you recover at least some of the encoded data.

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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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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 .block from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .block

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 .block 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 .block 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 .block 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 .block 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 .block.

Ransomware infections and .block 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 .block from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall .block 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 .block:

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 .block. 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 .block. 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 .block 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 .block. 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 .block:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .block.

Ransomware infections and .block 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.


.block FAQ

What is .block ransomware and how does it work?

.block 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 .block ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..block 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 .block 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 ..block files?

You can't. At this point the ..block 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 ..block files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by .block 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 "..block" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore ..block 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 .block 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 .block ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..block files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .block 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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