Home > Ransomware > .combo Files Virus (Dharma Ransomware) – Remove + Restore Files

.combo Files Virus (Dharma Ransomware) – Remove + Restore Files

This article has been made with the clear purpose to help explain more about Dharma Ransomware virus’s latest version and help you remove this ransomware infection from your computer and try to restore files, encrypted with the .combo file extension added to them.

Reports from all over the world have started to sum up about infections with a new and dangerous ransomware virus – Dharma Ransomware (.combo variant). Like other versions of Dharma ransomware this virus uses advanced encryption modes to encode the files on your computer and make them no longer to be able to be opened, converting them into the following format – Filename.id{ID-here}.[combo@tutanota.de].combo. This dangerous variant of Dharma ransomware has one clear goal and that is to extort victims to pay a hefty ransom fee. This operation is done by leaving behind a ransom note type of file that contains the ransom instructions and aims to induce fear that the victim must pay the ransom “fee” or the files will likely be lost forever. If your computer has been infected with the .combo variant of Dharma ransomware, you need to understand that the situation is serious. Keep reading this article to learn in-depth and removal information about Dharma ransomware’s latest variant and understand alternative ways on how you can try and recover .combo files without having to pay ransom.

Threat Summary

Name .combo Dharma Virus
Type File Encryption Ransomware
Short Description A new iteration of the Dharma/CrySiS ransomware viruses. Utilizes sophisticated encryption mode on data of infected machines in order to extort victims to pay in BitCoin for their encrypted files.
Symptoms Encrypts documents, images, videos and other important files and adds the .combo file suffix plus a unique ID and the e-mail to pay the ransom.
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 .combo Dharma 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.

.combo Dharma Ransomware – Update December 2018

It seems that infections by the .combo variant of Dharma ransomware have slowly started to decrease. This is likely as a result of new variants coming out with new extensions, but with little distribution. Not only this, but what appears to be a decryption method which works effectively has been discovered by Twitter user Maroon Ibrahim, who tweeted the following:

Even though we cannot say for sure if the .combo variant is indeed decryptable, we advise you to be careful when contacting unknown entities and sending them your personal files. Always wait for a decryption software to be released and if so, we will upload a link to the download of such tool on our blog, so keep following this page for more updates.

.combo Dharma Ransomware – Second Update December 2018

THe .combo Dharma ransomware has come out in a new variant, using a different e-mail, but the same .combo file extension, az researcher GrujaRS has tweeted:

.combo Dharma Ransomware – Information Database:

.combo Dharma Virus - How Does It Infect

.combo Dharma Virus – How Does It Infect

A lot of methods of infection have been used when it comes to Dharma ransomware viruses and the latest .combo files variant is no different than that. The ransomware virus aims to deceive users that it is a legitimate type of program or a document that is either sent to them via e-mail or uploaded online. If this variant of Dharma ransomware is sent via malicious e-mail spam, the crooks may make it as if the e-mails are coming from big companies from the likes of FedEx, DHL, PayPal and others. Besides containing convincing messages, the e-mails also have the attachment posing as a seemingly important document, such as:

  • Order cancellation files which you may or may not have cancelled.
  • An invoice for a purchase.
  • Receipt of a purchase.
  • Banking statement document.
  • Other important files.

The e-mail messages sent in relation with Dharma ransomware’s .combo version can also be made as if they originate from different employees of companies or even someone you may know, for example:

The .combo Dharma ransomware strain has been found to use a sophisticated email-based infection pattern. A captured strain that acts against Russian-speaking targets shows that the payload carriers are distributed in messages disguised as accounting data. The body contents reads that the sender is forwarding a spreadsheet or database with sensitive data. The file may be attached directly to the message or linked in the body contents.

The criminals will deliver an archived file. Once it is opened by the victim users they wil find several files among which a second archive files. If it is opened and extracted a script will be executed leading to the ransomware deployment. Its interesting to note that there may be different templates and ready-made scenarios localized in the most popular languages.

If the files that are spreading the .combo variant of Dharma ransomware are uploaded online, they may usually reside on malicious websites, or legitimate torrent sites that may be compromised in a way. Such files often pretend to be game patches, software cracks, activators, loaders, key generators, fixes, portable versions of programs, portable games and many other programs you may be looking to download.

Dharma .combo Virus Variant - Activity

Dharma .combo Virus Variant – Activity

Dharma ransomware is the type of virus which was active for quite some time now. The ransomware, which first began infecting victims back in March, last year with it’s variant that adds the .dharma file extension and was initially decryptable. But soon after, other versions of Dharma started flowing in, each of which with new updates and without a working way to decrypt the files:

When it comes to the current variant of Dharma ransomware, using the .combo extension, it has quickly come to light, that this nasty piece of code is a part of the .cezar family of Dharma (see above), which naturally means that they share the similar code and likely the same encryption modes.

When this Dharma ransomware variant infects your computer, the malware effectively starts to perform a set of malicious activities, the main idea of which is to give the virus permissions to run as an administrator on your computer. The activities that may be performed by the .combo files virus are likely to be the following:

  • Creating mutexes.
  • Creating value entries in the Windows Registry Editor.
  • Erasing backups.
  • Create scheduled tasks.
  • Disabling system recovery.
  • Changing the wallpaper on your computer.
  • Modifying system files and registries.

Among the activities of Dharma .combo ransomware is to drop it’s payload on your computer. The virus may drop various files with different names in the commonly targeted Windows directories below:

After creating it’s malicious files, the .combo variant of Dharma ransomware may strike where it hurts the most and attack the Run and RunOnce registry sub-keys of your Windows Registry Editor in order to set malicious entries that get it’s virus file that is responsible for encoding your important data to run automatically when you log in Windows. the Run and RunOnce sub-keys have the following locations in the Registry Editor:

→ HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\

Once these registry sub-keys are modified, the virus may then run a malicious script file (.bat). This file is used in order for the .combo variant of Dharma ransomware to delete the backed up shadow copies of your important documents and then disable Windows Recovery so that you cannot use it to get the files back via Windows Backup:

→ 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 .combo Ransomware - Encryption Activity

Dharma .combo Ransomware – Encryption Activity

Similar to other versions of Dharma ransomware, this variant also uses AES encryption algorithm to encode your files. AES is also known as Advanced Encryption Standard and is using asymmetric key generation techniques after encrypting files. The algorithm is par of the Suite.B category of ciphers that are also used by the NSA to encrypt sensitive information and hence keep prying eyes away from it.

The encryption activity starts with the .combovariant of Dharma ransomware to begin to check for various file types to encrypt and among those file types are the ones that are likely to be important. In other words these are the most commonly used file types by users, such as:


Update November 2018: Throughout the monitoring of the ransomware files and the ongoing attacks security experts have discovered several variants of the .combo files virus. One of the later ones demonstrated a slightly different list of target file type extensions:

.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.

But the .combo variant of Dharma has a smart way of encrypting files. It does not just encrypt any file on your PC as this will damage Windows. The virus skips encrypting files in the system folders of Windows, so that you can still use your PC to pay the ransom:

  • %Local%
  • %Temp%
  • %Windows%
  • %System%
  • %Program Files%
  • %System32%

To encrypt the files on your computer, Dharma ransomware creates copies of the files and then deletes the original versions of them. This way, the virus has created encrypted siblings of your files and there is no way to reverse the process by using different ways to hack the files (for example, taking one original file to fill up the code and devise a decryption method). After the encryption is complete, the files start to appear like the following:

The AES cipher then generates a decryption key which can be used effectively only by the cyber-criminals after victims pay them, which is not advisable in this case. One reason why paying is not an option is because there is no guarantee you will get your files back and another is that by paying you support those crooks to keep developing Dharma and setting computers “on fire”.

Remove Dharma Ransomware and Restore .combo Encrypted Files

To remove this variant of Dharma ransomware, you should follow the removal instructions in this article underneath. They are divided in manual removal instructions and automatic removal method as well. If you lack the experience in performing a manual removal, be advised that the best course of action according to experts in this case is to use an advanced anti-malware software and delete Dharma .combo ransomware automatically. Such software will scan your PC automatically and then make sure that this variant of Dharma is permanently gone plus use it’s real-time shields to ensure that your PC stays safe against any malware infections in the future as well.

If you want to restore files, encrypted by the .combo variant of Dharma ransomware virus, be advised that direct decryption is not available at the moment but we are monitoring the situation and will update with decryption instructions as we have done with .dharma file extension variant of this virus. Until then, you are welcome to try our suggested alternative methods for restoring as many files as possible in step “2. Restore files, encrypted by .combo Dharma Virus” underneath. They may not work with a 100% success rate, but some of them may be able to restore little or more of your encoded files.

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.


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 .combo Dharma Virus from Windows.

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

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 .combo 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 .combo 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 .combo 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.

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 .combo 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.


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


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.


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

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

Ransomware infections and .combo 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 .combo Dharma Virus from Mac OS X.

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

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 .combo 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 .combo 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 .combo 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 .combo 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 .combo 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

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

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


SpyHunter for Mac

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

Ransomware infections and .combo 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.

.combo Dharma Virus FAQ

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

.combo 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 .combo Dharma Virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..combo 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 .combo 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 ..combo Dharma Virus files?

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .combo 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.

How to 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:

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

  1. charaabi slah

    je suis victime d’un Rasomware, et j’aimerais savoir si vous pouvez m’aider.

    les fichiers ont été cryptés avec ce nom “.id-CC3751DE.[mccredieschlembach@aol.com].combo”

    J’apprécierais votre aide

  2. Anil Kumar

    Please resolve my “id-80C6DA34.[help@x-mail.pro].combo”

  3. D.J.Bobo

    I have only crypted files on my computer. Some attacker found password one my PC user and throught standard RDP ran some exe files from their computer (LAPTOP with Win10 and TSCLIENT). Grrr.
    No infection in PC, all files for infection has been deleted.
    Some files was backuped outside, but some not.
    Users and their passwords usually using on freemail and company account it’s very big problem.

  4. Alex

    Hola, aun no hay descifrador para el rasomware .combo??


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