THREAT REMOVAL

.boost Files Virus (Dharma Ransomware) – Remove and Restore Data

remove .boost files virus dharma ransomware sensorstechforum guide

This is an article that provides specific details on .boost files virus as well as a detailed guide with removal steps and alternative data recovery approaches.

Owners of the notorious Dharma ransomware have released yet another version of their threat in active attack campaigns. This time the ransomware is set to append the extension .boost to all files it encodes. The purpose of data corruption remains the same – ransom payment. In case of infection with this Dharma .boost variant, you won’t be able to access the information stored by important files until you apply an efficient data recovery solution. Our advice is to avoid following the instructions from the ransom note as their completion does not guarantee the recovery of your encrypted data.

Threat Summary

Name.boost Files Virus
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionA version of the CrySyS/Dharma ransomware family that is designed to encrypt valuable files stored on infected computers and then extort a ransom from victims.
SymptomsImportant files are encrypted and renamed with the extension .boost. A ransom note appears on PC screen to present ransom payment instructions.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .boost Files 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.

.boost Files Virus – Distribution

There are several ways which may be used for the distribution of this version of Dharma ransomware. One of those methods is known to be malwspam. It provides hackers the chance to spread corrupted files of common file types in massive email campaigns. The emails are usually disguised as legitimate ones. However, their purpose is to trick you into opening corrupted files with embed malicious code on your device and this way trigger the ransomware payload. A variety of common file types such as documents, PDFs, images could be transformed into carriers of ransomware code.

These files are often presented as the following:

  • Invoices coming from reputable sites, like PayPal, eBay, etc.
  • Documents from what appears to be the victim’s bank.
  • An online order confirmation note.
  • Receipt for a purchase.
  • Others.

The malware authors may be also using compromised sites to spread this .boost Dharma ransomware infection. This method enables them to upload the ransomware configuration file to a compromised web page and set its automatic execution after a registered visit of this page.

.boost Files Virus – Overview

An infection with .boost files virus begins when its payload is started on the system. Upon successful execution it enables the ransomware to plague large number of system components and reach the main stage which is data encryption.

In the beginning of the infection process it could drop or create additional malicious files that will support the completion of the attack. Some of these files may be located in the following system folders:

  • %Roaming%
  • %Windows%
  • %AppData%
  • %Local%
  • %Temp%

Among the malicious activities performed by .boost files virus are modifications of registry keys. By creating certain registry values in the Run and RunOnce Windows registry sub-keys it could set up its files to run automatically on each system boot.
These changes could be noticed when you enter the following registry sub-keys locations:

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

These sub-keys are used when the virus wants to load its ransom note on the screen. The note is dropped during the infection process. The note could be copied several times so that it could appear on your desktop as well as in folders with corrupted files.

.boost Files Virus – Encryption Process

Alike some of the previous versions (.combo, .arrow, .bkp, etc.) Dharma .boost crypto virus needs to utilize its built-in encryption module for the completion of its main purpose. It could be configured to transform target files with the help of one or two cipher algorithms one of which is the AES. Following encryption, valuable files become inaccessible due to essential changes of their code. Unfortunately, all of your important files could be affected by the ransomware including your:

  • Audio files.
  • Videos.
  • Image files.
  • Databases.
  • Archives.

A visible trait of all corrupted files is the distinctive extension .boost that appears at the end of their names. In addition, all .boost files will have other two extensions appended to their names. As discovered by security researchers Dharma .boost ransomware uses the following rename pattern for files it encrypts:

  • Original file name – original file extension – victim ID – hackers’ contact email – boost

For example, you could see how a file that was originally named project1.docx will appear like shown in the image below:

docx-file-encrypted-by-dharma-.boost-ransomware-virus-sensorstechforum-removal-guide

During the encryption process, the ransomware generates unique decryption key that supposedly could recover the original code of corrupted files. In order that hackers could extort a ransom from their victims, their threat is configured to transfer the key to their server immediately after the encryption stage. However, there is no guarantee that the generated key could restore data as only a single bug in the code could break it.

Remove .boost Files Virus and Restore Data

Below you could find how a step-by-step removal guide that may be helpful in attempting to remove this .boost files virus. The manual removal approach demands practice in recognizing traits of malware files. Beware that ransomware is a threat with highly complex code that plagues not only your files but your whole system. So it should be secured properly before it could be used regularly again.

For alternative data recovery methods make sure to read thoroughly the information under “Restore Files” step form our guide. Beware that before recovery process you should back up all encrypted files to an external drive in order to prevent their irreversible loss.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She has been with the STF team for five years, researching malware, reporting on the latest computer infections, and following digital marketing trends.

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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 .boost Files Virus from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .boost Files 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 .boost Files 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 .boost Files 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 .boost Files 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 .boost Files 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 .boost Files Virus.

Ransomware infections and .boost Files 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 .boost Files Virus from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall .boost Files 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 .boost Files 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 .boost Files 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 .boost Files 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 .boost Files 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 .boost Files 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 .boost Files Virus:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and .boost Files 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.


.boost Files Virus FAQ

What is .boost Files Virus ransomware and how does it work?

.boost Files 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 .boost Files Virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..boost Files 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 .boost Files 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 ..boost Files Virus files?

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

One way to restore files, encrypted by .boost Files 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 "..boost Files 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 ..boost Files 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 .boost Files 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 .boost Files Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..boost Files Virus files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .boost Files 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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