.fire Files Virus (Dharma) – How to Remove It

.fire Files Virus (Dharma) – How to Remove It

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This article explains what issues occur in case of infection with .fire files virus and provides a detailed guide on how to remove malicious files and how to potentially recover files encrypted by this ransomware.

A ransomware dubbed .fire has been detected in the wild. This threat infects some major system settings in order to encrypt valuable data stored on a compromised device. As identified by security researchers it belongs to the infamous Dharma ransomware family. In case of infection with .fire ransomware you won’t be able to access data stored by files renamed with an extension of the same name. In addition you could see a ransom message to appear on your screen.

Threat Summary

Name.fire Files Virus
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionA variant of Dharma ransomware that encrypts valuable data and restricts the access to it.
SymptomsImportant files are corrupted and renamed with a sequence of extensions that ends with the extension .fire. Ransom message urges you to contact hackers for files restoration instructions.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .fire Files Virus


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .fire 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.

.fire Files Virus – Distribution

Email spam campaigns that are distributing malicious code are likely to be the main infection vector used by .fire files virus’s authors. It is well-known fact that we all receive many emails in our inboxes on a daily basis. Among all the spam we see lots of important details there. For instance, there we get our invoices, banking documents, work files, and other data that we usually open as soon as we receive it. Unfortunately, this behavior pattern is the key to successful ransomware attack campaigns.

Along with all the urgent data we see in our email correspondence we could also receive the activation code of devastating malware threats. However, it is not always easy to recognize when the content of a recently received email endangers the security of your device and your data. Often hackers pose as representatives of legitimate institutions or consumer services and present a spoofed email address. By doing so they hope to trick us into following their instructions presented as a text message and eventually trigger their malicious code on our devices.

Where the ransomware usually resides is in an attached file or on an infected web page link to which is shown in the email. A good prevention tip we could give you is to check the security status of all suspicious and potentially harmful elements presented in your emails. One way to do this is by using the help of free online scanners like VirusTotal and ZipeZip.

.fire Files Virus – Overview

The so-called .fire files virus is named after an extension of the same name that is appended to all files encrypted by this threat. Security researchers who had conducted analyses of its samples reported that it belongs to Dharma ransomware family. This family is notorious for its thousands of victims worldwide.

In case that your system has been infected by .fire files virus you should consider its complete removal as soon as possible. Here are some of the reasons why it is advisable to do so. Once loaded on your device this threat alters some major system settings and passes through several infection stages.

During the initial infection stage, .fire Dharma ransomware establishes its malicious files and objects on the system. For the purpose it could either write some files directly on the system or download them from its command and control server. There are several system folders that are commonly used by ransomware threats like .fire for the storage of malicious files and objects and they are:

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

When these files are established successfully on the system, the ransomware starts to execute them in a predefined order. Their functionalities allow it to evade detection and at the same time become part of all essential files that load on each system start. How it achieves the second is by accessing the Registry Editor. The Registry Editor is a hierarchical database with lots of registry keys in it. These registry keys manage almost all system processes and store derails about all specific settings set by the user.

By setting specific malicious values under the registry sub-key Run as well as under RunOnce, .fire files virus becomes able to load its infection files each time you start the compromised operating system. So for its complete removal you should definitely check your registries for malicious entries and clean all harmful values.

.fire Files Virus – Encryption Process

What happens after .fire ransomware is ready with all malicious system modifications is data encryption process. For it the ransomware launches its built-in encryption module. This mechanism enables it to transform parts of the original code of target files which in turn enables it to extort a ransom payment from you.

Unfortunately, all files that contain sensitive data could be on the target data list of .fire files virus. Eventually, you may find all of the following types of files, encrypted by the ransomware:

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

Following encryption, corrupted files appear as broken. In addition they have different names. After their original names you could see a string of extensions that ends with the extension .fire.

Soon after the encryption process ends, the threat is likely to drop a file with a ransom message in it. This message has the purpose to force you to contact hackers for further details on how to restore .fire files. It presents the following contact email address – suppfirecrypt@qq.com.

Even though that hackers claim their selves to be the only ones who possess a decryption solution, we recommend you to avoid contacting them as this could result in another breach of your trust.

Instead be advised to check our suggestions for tested alternative data recovery solutions as they could also help you in attempting to restore .fire files without hiding the risk of further abuses.

Remove .fire Files Virus and Restore Data

The so-called .fire files virus is a threat with highly complex code that plagues not only your files but your whole system. So you need to clean and secure your infected system properly before you could use it regularly again. Below you could find a step-by-step removal guide that may be helpful in attempting to remove this .fire Dharma ransomware. Choose the manual removal approach if you have previous experience with malware files. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual steps select the automatic section from the guide. Automatic steps enable you to check the infected system for ransomware files and remove them with a few mouse clicks.

In order to keep your system safe from ransomware and other types of malware in future, you should install and maintain a reliable anti-malware program. Additional security layer that could prevent the occurrence of ransomware attacks is

anti-ransomware tool.

Make sure to read carefully all details mentioned in the step “Restore files” if you want to understand how to fix encrypted files without paying the ransom. Beware that before data recovery process you should back up all encrypted files to an external drive as this will prevent their irreversible loss.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has completed a bachelor degree in Marketing from the University of National and World Economy. She has been with the STF team for four years, researching malware and reporting on the latest infections.

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