The .kharma virus is a new Dharma ransomware sample that is currently set against target end users on a global scale. There is no information available about the hacking group behind it. It is believed to be a new iteration of the famous ransomware family. This is one of the reasons why we believe that the hackers are experienced.
Once the .kharma virus has started it will execute its built-in sequence of dangerous commands. Depending on local conditions or the specific hacker instructions various actions will take place. The file encryption will begin after them — the encrypting component will use a built-in list of target file type extensions. In the end the victim files will be renamed with the .kharma extension.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files on your computer machine and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly restore them.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will blackmail the victims to pay them a decryption fee. Sensitive user data may be encrypted by the ransomware code.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss .kharma 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.|
.kharma Virus – Spread and Impact
The Dharma ransomware family has grown with a new sample which is identified as the .kharma virus. Information about it was poted onlne in a Twitter report by the virus researcher Raby. Together with information posted in the security community we have confirmed that the attacks are ongoing and set against users worldwide.
At the moment there is no information about the hacking group an their exact targets, as such we assume that the most popular strategies are to be used by the criminals when it comes to distribution. Ransomware samples are easily delivered to the target users by means of social engineering. This is done by operating scam sites or sending out bulk email messages that impersonate companies or services. By falling victim to them the virus will be installed. The scam pages can be hosted on similar sounding domain names that includes security certificates that may be self-signed.
The virus code can be placed in malware files such as malware documents across all popular formats and also dangerous setup installers of widely used software. These files can be spread on file-sharing networks like BitTorrent and also on social networks where using fake or hacked accounts links to the data can be posted.
Other distribution techniques can be used as well. Based on the activity and code analysis we can state that the .kharma virus is similar in activity to previous Dharma versions.
.kharma Virus – What Does It Do?
The Dharma ransomware viruses continue to develop as is the case with the .kharma sample. The security researchers have given us a sample code to study giving us information about its current state. What we know is that the virus files can take the form of executables that will immediately start the built-in actions.
At the moment the modules which are run include the setting up of a file removal component. This is set to locate, identify and delete Shadow Volume Copies. This means that file recovery will be made very difficult unless a professional-grade recovery solution is used. The next step in the process is the manipulation of the Task Manager in order to extract detailed information about the running processes. The data is saved in a format that can be easily read by the hackers. The information can be automatically sent to them during execution or after that.
The captured samples include an execution of a final component before the encryption is started. This part can be customized to include a lot of different functionality:
- Information Gathering — The engine can be used to seek for sensitive information that can reveal the identity of the victims or machine information. All of this can be used for other crimes such as identity theft and financial abuse.
- Additional Malware Installations — The .kharma virus can be used to install other threats such as Trojans and miners.
- Boot Options — The malware engine can be used to modify the configuration files and settings of the system which will automatically start the ransomware engine as soon as the computer is booted. In some cases this method will also disable access to the recovery boot options.
- Windows Registry Changes — Some of the advanced samples have been found to edit existing values in the Windows Registry or create new ones. This can lead to problems such as performance issues, data loss and unexpected errors.
We remind our readers that infections with the Dharma ransomware can cause not only computer damage, but also sabotage as was the case with the hacked garage of the Canadian Domain Authority.
.kharma Virus – The Encryption Phase
When all components have finished running the actual ransomware will be run. As strong cipher will be used to process user data and make it inaccessible. Commonly this is done against the most popular files which may include any of the following:
- Multimedia Files
- System Configuration Files
The ongoing attack campaign which we are actively tracking creates a ransom note in a file called RETURN FILES.txt. It will blackmail the victims by sating that they need to pay the hackers a fee in order to restore access to their data. The victim data will be renamed with the .kharma extension and preceded by the hacker’s email contact address in brackets. In this case there are two registered accounts used in the campaign which we have analyzed — email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dharma ransomware versions are also known for displaying the ransom note in a pop-up window which is also known as a lockscreen. This is very effective as it can block the users from interacting with the computers in the ordinary way.
Remove .kharma Virus
If your computer system got infected with the .kharma Files ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.
What is .kharma Virus Ransomware?
.kharma 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.
Can .kharma Virus Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like .kharma Virus?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does .kharma Virus Infect?
Via several ways..kharma 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.
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 .kharma 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 ..kharma Virus files?
You can't. At this point, the ..kharma Virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey 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 ..kharma Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore "..kharma Virus" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore ..kharma 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 .kharma 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 .kharma Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..kharma Virus files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like .kharma Virus ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
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 can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way 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:
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 .kharma 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.
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.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can 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 .kharma Virus Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this .kharma 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.
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.
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- Always check "About Us" web page.
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