Home > Ransomware > .cesar Files Virus (Dharma Ransomware) – Remove and Restore Data

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

This post has been created to explain to you how to remove the new CrySiS/Dharma ransomware variant which was recently detected in the wild, using the .cesar file extension.

A new variant of the Dharma ransomware infection has been detected by malware researchers. This version uses a very similar file extension (.cesar) to the recently detected .cezar extension variant. The virus this time uses the e-mail btc2017@india.com for negotiating payments and it does not have any limits on how many files of your hard drive it will render temporary useless, as long as you pay a ransom in BTC as a form of online extortion. If your PC has been infected by the CrySiS/Dharma ransomware using the .cesar file extension, we strongly suggest you to read the following article thoroughly to learn how to remove this ransomware and try to restore .cesar encrypted files without paying any ransom.

Threat Summary

Name Dharma .cesar Virus
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description Another new variant of Dharma ransomware, very similar to the recently detected one.
Symptoms Encrypts files on your computer with the AES cipher, adding the e-mail btc2017@india.com and .cesar as a file extension.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Dharma .cesar Virus.
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.

.cesar Dharma Virus – Distribution

The Dharma .cesar virus is very similar to the original Dharma ransomware, primarily in how it infects and encrypts files. But let us discuss how the infection with this nasty virus takes place first. Since the .cesar variant may have been a part of the RaaS (ransomware-as-a-service) scheme which is quite frequent nowadays, it may not be spread by the same people who are behind the older Dharma ransowmare version. This is because the service itself sells the virus to people who spread it and take a percentage of the paid ransom from the victims, similar to how an affiliate network works.

This is why, to spread the .cesar virus, the cyber-criminals behind the threat may participate in different types of spam campaigns that aim to infect computers in various ways. For this, they are likely using different types of infection tools, like the following:

  • File joiners.
  • Obfuscators.
  • Droppers.
  • Downloader Trojan Horses.
  • Spamming softwares.
  • Pre-set e-mails from which to spam.
  • Online hosts, serving as distribution sites, like the following.

These tools may be combined in different methods of infection, depending on how much the ones infecting with the .cesar Dharma virus have invested in them. The cheapest and most effective method to infect victims with Dharma ransomware has so far been reported to be conducted via the so-called Necurs spam, which exists since 2016. The Necurs strategy is also very famous for spreading viruses, such as the newer Locky ransomware and several other variants. The strategy is the same – an archived e-mail attachment with either a brief message or no message at all, pretending to be legitimate receipt, invoice or other file that should be opened. The spam e-mails which may be sent to you carrying Dharma ransomware may appear like the following example:

Besides this method, other methods may also spread Dharma, like uploading it’s infection file online, posing as a fake installer of programs, games, fake patch, license activator or other type of software.

.cesar File Virus – Malicious Activity

After you have been infected with Dharma ransomware, the malware may connect to one of it’s many distribution websites, after which may download it’s payload files. Those files may pretend to be legitimate Windows processes, such as the following:

{random alpha-numerical name}
{a name of a program that has spelling mistakes, for example pecman instead of pacman}

The files may be dropped in multiple different Windows folders, among which may be the following:


When the virus has been activated it triggers it’s payload files as different processes in the Task Manager. The malicious files of .cesar Dharma ransomware have functions within them that provide the virus with administrative control over your infected computer. Once this control is assumed Dharma ransomware deletes the shadow volume copies on your computer by triggering the vssadmin command without you noticing it:

→ vssadmin delete shadows /for={volume} /oldest /all /shadow={ID of the Shadow} /quiet

In addition to this, Dharma also creates new registry entries in the registry sub-keys Run and RunOnce of Windows Registry Editor. This is done with the purpose of the virus running automatically when you start your PC. The sub-keys have the following locations:

→ HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\

How Does .cesar Virus Encrypt Files?

The encryption of Dharma .cesar ransomwarenis conducted with the aid of the AES encryption algorithm. It generates a symmetric key after encryption which is then used for the decryption process. The tricky part is that a custom master key is required for the decryption and it is only available to the cyber-criminals and sent to you after you have paid a hefty ransom fee.

For the encryption process, the Dharma ransomware infection scans for the most commonly used file types, which are most of the following:


After Dharma encrypts the files, it naturally adds the .cesar file extension and the files appear in the following format:

→ {Encrypted File’s name}.id-{custom ID}.{e-mail of the crooks}.cesar

After the encryption, Dharma may display a brief ransom note, which may appear like the following:

“To decrypt files, write to my email btc2017@india.com”

Remove Dharma Virus and Restore .cesar Encrypted Files

If you want to remove the Dharma ransomware virus, we suggest that you follow the removal instructions below. They are designed to help you initially isolate the activity of Dharma and then remove it manually. But bear in mind that manual removal may be tricky, because the virus constantly changes and this is why it is recommended to use the power of the anti-malware removal software. It features regularly updated definitions that will help you remove the .cesar Dharma ransomware automatically and safely.

If you want to restore files that have been encrypted by this ransowmare, we advise you to try our alternative tools in step “2. Restore files encrypted by Dharma .cesar Virus” below. They are not 100% guarantee you will get your files back but with their aid, you may recover most of them.

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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Step 1: Scan for Dharma .cesar 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.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 2

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

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 3

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.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 4

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

Ransomware Automatic Removal - Video Guide

Step 2: Uninstall Dharma .cesar Virus and related malware 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.
delete ransomware from windows step 1

2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.
delete ransomware from windows step 2

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"
delete ransomware from windows step 3Follow the instructions above and you will successfully delete most unwanted and malicious programs.

Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Dharma .cesar 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 Dharma .cesar Virus there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
delete ransomware virus registries step 1

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

3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
delete ransomware virus registries step 3 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.

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: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Dharma .cesar Virus


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.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 1

2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 2

3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
remove ransomware in safe mode step 3
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.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 4

5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 5

Step 5: Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Dharma .cesar Virus.

Method 1: Use STOP Decrypter by Emsisoft.

Not all variants of this ransomware can be decrypted for free, but we have added the decryptor used by researchers that is often updated with the variants which become eventually decrypted. You can try and decrypt your files using the instructions below, but if they do not work, then unfortunately your variant of the ransomware virus is not decryptable.

Follow the instructions below to use the Emsisoft decrypter and decrypt your files for free. You can download the Emsisoft decryption tool linked here and then follow the steps provided below:

1 Right-click on the decrypter and click on Run as Administrator as shown below:

stop ransomware decryptor step 1

2. Agree with the license terms:

stop ransomware decryptor step 2

3. Click on "Add Folder" and then add the folders where you want files decrypted as shown underneath:

stop ransomware decryptor step 3

4. Click on "Decrypt" and wait for your files to be decoded.

stop ransomware decryptor step 4

Note: Credit for the decryptor goes to Emsisoft researchers who have made the breakthrough with this virus.

Method 2: Use data recovery software

Ransomware infections and Dharma .cesar 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 recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

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

Dharma .cesar Virus-FAQ

What is Dharma .cesar Virus Ransomware?

Dharma .cesar 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 algorithms 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.

What Does Dharma .cesar Virus Ransomware Do?

Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.

Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.

How Does Dharma .cesar Virus Infect?

Via several ways.Dharma .cesar Virus Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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.

Another way you may become a victim of Dharma .cesar 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 .Dharma .cesar Virus files?

You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .Dharma .cesar Virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key for the particular algorithm.

What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?

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

Can I Restore ".Dharma .cesar Virus" Files?

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

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

How To Get Rid of Dharma .cesar Virus Virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.

It will scan for and locate Dharma .cesar Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Dharma .cesar Virus files.

Can I Report Ransomware to Authorities?

In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.

Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:

Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:

Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei

United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre

United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police

France - Ministère de l'Intérieur

Italy - Polizia Di Stato

Spain - Policía Nacional

Netherlands - Politie

Poland - Policja

Portugal - Polícia Judiciária

Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)

India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell

Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center

Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.

Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?

Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.

Can Dharma .cesar Virus Ransomware Steal Your Data?

Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.

In many cases, the malware authors or attackers will threaten to delete the data or publish it online unless the ransom is paid.

Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?

Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.

Should I Pay Ransomware?

No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.

What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?

If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.

Can a Ransomware Attack Be Detected?

Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.

It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.

Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?

Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.

About the Dharma .cesar Virus Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Dharma .cesar Virus how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.

How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?

Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.

Furthermore, the research behind the Dharma .cesar Virus ransomware threat is backed with VirusTotal and the NoMoreRansom project.

To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.

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.

  1. Jesse K

    I was infected with this, and have the virus file and a few encrypted files available if you need samples. Has any progress been made with a decryption tool?

  2. thebitguru

    A friend’s server was also infected and can share samples for reference. Hopefully, someone can find a solution soon.

  3. Jorge Oliveira Silva

    Some Real solution ?

  4. Stephen

    What are you using to capture samples with? I’ve run 3 different AV tools looking for a sample that can be analyzed and none of them seem to be able to find the malware even though I have encrypted files with the .cesar extension.


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