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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:

  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4
  • Step 5

Step 1: 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.

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 .combo Dharma 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 .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.
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 .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.
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 .combo Dharma 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 .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 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.

.combo Dharma Virus-FAQ

What is .combo Dharma Virus Ransomware?

.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 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 .combo Dharma 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 .combo Dharma Virus Infect?

Via several ways..combo Dharma 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 .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 without a decryptor. At this point, the ..combo Dharma 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 ..combo Dharma Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

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

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% 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 .combo Dharma 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 .combo Dharma Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..combo Dharma 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 .combo Dharma 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 .combo Dharma Virus Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this .combo Dharma 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 .combo Dharma 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. 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??


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
I Agree