.frend Files Virus (Dharma) - How to Remove It
THREAT REMOVAL

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

This article has been created with the main idea to explain what is the .frend files version of Dharma ransomware and show you how you can remove it from your computer and how you can try and restore files, encrypted by it.

Yet another variant of Dharma ransomware virus has been detected to this time use the .frend file extension which it adds to the files that have been encrypted by it. The ransomware aims to scramble the files on the computers which are attacked by it. The ransomware also drops a ransom note file containing Dharma’s extortionist message, which aims to notify victims to pay ransom in order to get the encrypted files recovered back to normal. If your computer has been infected by the .frend variant of Dharma ransomware, we would recommend that you read this article thoroughly.

Threat Summary

Name.frend Dharma Ransomware
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionTEXTTT
SymptomsTEXTTT
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .frend Dharma Ransomware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .frend Dharma Ransomware.
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.

Dharma .frend Ransomware – Distribution Methods

According to the latest information that is concerning Dharma ransomware, the virus aims to convince victims that the files redistributed by it are legitimate, but instead it uses cunning tactics to be replicated.

One tactic is to send the virus via massive spam campaigns, which target users of all types. The e-mails spread often contain the infection file as a malicious attachment:

In addition to e-mails, the ransomware may also be spread as a result of being uploaded on various different types of websites, where the virus file causing the infection itself may pretend to be a legitimate file, like:

  • Setup.
  • Crack.
  • Patch.
  • Key generator.
  • Portable executable for a problem.

Whatever the distribution scenario of Dharma ransomware may be, the virus may be replicated on a massive scale and could be the production of someone who may have coded it completely or purchased it’s source code in the deep web.

Dharma .frend Ransomware – More Information

As soon as Dharma ransomware has conducted the infection on the compromised machine by it, the virus may begin to drop it’s virus files on the compromised computers of victims. The main infection file of Dharma .frend ransomware hs the followiing information added to it:

→ SHA-256: 3235e03928b204a9586cbdf7956c83108e102d6a1538ef58c1c3812420c8908a
File name: shafao.exe
File size: 92.5 KB

Dharma ransomware may then activate it’s payload and as soon as this is done, the following activities may be performed on the victim machine:

  • Tamper with sub-keys.
  • Create mutexes.
  • Delete backups and shadow copies.
  • Disable Windows Recovery.
  • Create tasks and schedule them.
  • Obtain information from the infected machine and send it to the C&C servers of the cyber-criminals.
  • Check if it’s running on an actual OS or a Virtual Environment.

To delete the shadow copies on the comrpomised machine, Dharma ransomware may run the following commands as an administrator:

→ 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

Furthermore, the virus may also create registry values in the following Windows registry sub-keys:

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

Last but not least, the virus sets it’s ransom note file to begin running automatically on the victim computers:

Dharma .frend – Encryption Process

In order to encrypt the files on the computer that has been infected by this virus, it may immediately start encrypting files that are pre-set in it’s code. Dharma .frend ransomware may encrypt files of the following file types:

→ “PNG .PSD .PSPIMAGE .TGA .THM .TIF .TIFF .YUV .AI .EPS .PS .SVG .INDD .PCT .PDF .XLR .XLS .XLSX .ACCDB .DB .DBF .MDB .PDB .SQL .APK .APP .BAT .CGI .COM .EXE .GADGET .JAR .PIF .WSF .DEM .GAM .NES .ROM .SAV CAD Files .DWG .DXF GIS Files .GPX .KML .KMZ .ASP .ASPX .CER .CFM .CSR .CSS .HTM .HTML .JS .JSP .PHP .RSS .XHTML. DOC .DOCX .LOG .MSG .ODT .PAGES .RTF .TEX .TXT .WPD .WPS .CSV .DAT .GED .KEY .KEYCHAIN .PPS .PPT .PPTX ..INI .PRF Encoded Files .HQX .MIM .UUE .7Z .CBR .DEB .GZ .PKG .RAR .RPM .SITX .TAR.GZ .ZIP .ZIPX .BIN .CUE .DMG .ISO .MDF .TOAST .VCD SDF .TAR .TAX2014 .TAX2015 .VCF .XML Audio Files .AIF .IFF .M3U .M4A .MID .MP3 .MPA .WAV .WMA Video Files .3G2 .3GP .ASF .AVI .FLV .M4V .MOV .MP4 .MPG .RM .SRT .SWF .VOB .WMV 3D .3DM .3DS .MAX .OBJ R.BMP .DDS .GIF .JPG ..CRX .PLUGIN .FNT .FON .OTF .TTF .CAB .CPL .CUR .DESKTHEMEPACK .DLL .DMP .DRV .ICNS .ICO .LNK .SYS .CFG”

The .frend variant of Dharma ransomware is also clever enough to skip encrypting Windows and system files as well as files, belonging to drivers.

After files are encrypted, Dharma ransomware adds the .frend file extension to the victims’ computers, along which there is an e-mail for contact and a unique ID:

Remove Dharma Ransomware and Try Restoring .frend Files

Since Dharma ransomware is an advanced threat and it is very unpredictable, it is stronlgy reccomended that you do a backup before you try to remove the virus, since you risk damaging your files if you tamper with them.

To remove Dharma ransomware, we would advise you to follow the removal instructions that are underneath this article. They have been created to help you delete the virus files either by manually looking for them or automatically(recommended) by scanning your computer with an advanced anti-malware software.

Furthermore, if you want to try and restore files that have been encrypted by Dharma ransomware, we would suggest that you try and use the alternative file recovery methods underneath. They may not be able to restore all of your files, but with their aid, you might be able to recover at least some of your data.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove .frend Dharma Ransomware from Windows.


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

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 .frend Dharma Ransomware 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 .frend Dharma Ransomware 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 .frend Dharma Ransomware 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 .frend Dharma Ransomware 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 .frend Dharma Ransomware.

Ransomware infections and .frend Dharma Ransomware 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:

If the above link does not work for you and your region, try the other two links below, that lead to the same product:

and

2. On the download page, click on the "Download" button:

3. Click on "Save File" button:

4. Accept all agreements and click "Next":

5. After all the "Next" steps, click on "Install" and then wait for the installation to complete:

6. Run the software. Click on the location to scan for missing or deleted files and click on "Scan":

7. Wait for the scan to complete, it may take some time. Be advised that this scan is not 100% guaranteed to recover all files, but it does have some chance to get your data back:


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of .frend Dharma Ransomware from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall .frend Dharma Ransomware 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 .frend Dharma Ransomware:

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 .frend Dharma Ransomware. 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 .frend Dharma Ransomware. 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 .frend Dharma Ransomware 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 .frend Dharma Ransomware. 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.


Step 2: Scan for and remove .frend Dharma Ransomware files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as .frend Dharma Ransomware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .frend Dharma Ransomware on your Mac.

Ransomware for Mac .frend Dharma Ransomware aims to encode all your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decode, unless you pay money. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files, but only in some cases. 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 Mac app by clicking on the link underneath:

2 Comments

  1. AvatarDavide

    I got infection by Dharma-Frend.
    Fortunately i have the backups and i restore my PC.

    I found one of files infected not completely encrypted. I think it’s a bug of the virus.

    The file is a “.sql” from Mysql Dump of 18Mb.

    I hope that helping someone to decrypt.

    Reply
    1. Milena DimitrovaMilena Dimitrova

      Thank you for the provided information, we’ll look into it! And it’s great that you had backups!

      Reply

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