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Love$ Virus (Dharma Ransomware) Removal Guide

In this article, you will find more information about Love$ virus as well as a step-by-step guide on how to remove malicious files from the infected system and how to potentially recover encrypted .love$ files.

FILES-ENCRYPTED-txt-im-online-aol-com-love$-ransomware

Love$ Virus

When you see the extension .love$ at the end of all your valuable files, your computer displays a strange ransom message and you cannot use renamed files, then your computer is infected with ransomware based on the code of Dharma. Like a typical data locker ransomware, Love$ virus sneaks into computer systems with the goal to encrypt personal files and force its victims to pay a ransom fee for the recovery of their .love$ files.

Security researchers advise against ransom payment. Keep up with our removal guide and find reliable methods to remove malicious files.

Threat Summary

Name Love$ ransomware
File Extension .love$
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description A data locker ransomware designed to corrupt computer operating systems, encrypt valuable personal fles and extort a ransom fee.
Symptoms All important files are locked and renamed with a string of extensions that ends with the extension .love$
Ransom message popups on screen to request a ransom payment.
Ransom Notes Info.hta, FILES ENCRYPTED.txt
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Corrupted Websites
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Love$ ransomware.
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.

Love$ Ransomware – Distribution and Impact

A strain of Dharma ransomware that uses the suffix .love$ for files it encrypts has been detected in the wild. The infection files that trigger an attack with the so-called Love$ virus file are likely to be lurking across the web disguised as fake software installers, spam emails with malicious components, phishing websites, malicious advertisements, scam pop-ups, etc.

Malspam is likely to be the most preferred one as it enables hackers to spread the threat on a large scale. This spread technique is realized via email spam messages that attempt to deliver malicious code on targeted PCs. The emails that are part of these campaigns usually attempt to trick you to load a corrupted web page in the web browser or open a file attachment with embedded malicious code on your PC system. The senders of these emails are often stated to be representatives of well-known services and institutions. The email addresses are often spoofed as well.

During the attack, Love$ virus implements a large number of malicious changes that seriously disrupt the security of the infected system. For the Love$ Dharma ransomware attack to begin, an executable file should be started on the system. Then the ransomware becomes able to misuse system functionalities by executing additional malicious files.

It can create files that access the Registry Editor to add malicious values there. As a result, the ransomware becomes able to automatically load malicious files every time you start the operating system. So don’t forget to clean your registries when removing the threat from your infected PC.

Afterward, the threat becomes able to scan the system for target files and encodes them with strong cipher algorithms like AES and RSA. Finally, the ransomware drops a ransom message to extort a ransom payment.

The moment Love$ virus’s activation file is started on the computer system, it triggers a long sequence of malicious operations that first enable the threat to evade detection and then help it to corrupt the whole system.

Then Love$ virus scans system drivers for commonly used types of files as they are likely to store valuable personal information. Afterward, the ransomware encrypts these files with strong cipher algorithms like AES and RSA. That’s why it leaves encrypted files completely inaccessible. In addition, it marks the files with several extensions. The last two extensions are the hackers’ associated email im.online@aol.com and another is the .love$

Following data corruption, the Love$ ransomware drops a ransom message to force you to transfer a ransom fee for a files recovery tool. Unfortunately, you may not be able to view the information stored by the following files of yours:

  • Audio files;
  • Video files;
  • Document files;
  • Image files;
  • Backup files
  • Banking credentials, etc.

Below you can see the content of the ransom message that appears when the infection process ends:

YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED
Don’t worry,you can return all your files!
If you want to restore them, follow this link:email im.online@aol.com YOUR ID 1E857D00
If you have not been answered via the link within 12 hours, write to us by e-mail:onlineim@hitler.rocks
Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

We know that you need to restore encrypted files but we recommend that you refrain from transferring money to cybercriminals. Otherwise, you risk losing both your valuable files and money. For the sake of your security, it is advisable to scan your infected computer for any present malicious files and consider the help of alternative data recovery methods to restore .love$ files.

Remove Love$ Ransomware Virus

The so-called Love$ virus – a Dharma ransomware strain, is a threat with highly complex code that causes damage to both essential system settings and valuable data. Hence, the only way to use your infected computer in a secure manner again is to remove all malicious files and objects created by the ransomware. For the purpose, you can follow our step-by-step removal guide.

In the event that you want to attempt to restore Love$ files with the help of alternative data recovery methods, do check step five – Try to Restore files encrypted by Love$ ransomware. We remind you to back up all encrypted files to an external drive before the recovery process.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Highly motivated writer with 5+ years of experience writing for ransomware, malware, adware, PUPs, and other cybersecurity-related issues. As a writer, I strive to create content that is based on thorough technical research. I find joy in the process of creating articles that are easy to understand, informative, and useful. Follow me on Twitter (@IRGergana) for the latest in the field of computer, mobile, and online 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.


OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
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 Love$ ransomware from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Love$ 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 Love$ 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 Love$ 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 Love$ 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 Love$ 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 Love$ ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Love$ 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:

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 Love$ ransomware from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Love$ 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 Love$ 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 Love$ 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 Love$ 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 Love$ 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 Love$ 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.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Love$ ransomware:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Love$ ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Love$ 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:

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.


Love$ ransomware FAQ

What is Love$ ransomware ransomware and how does it work?

Love$ ransomware 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 Love$ ransomware ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Love$ ransomware 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 Love$ ransomware 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 .Love$ ransomware files?

You can't. At this point the .Love$ ransomware 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 .Love$ ransomware files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Love$ ransomware 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 ".Love$ ransomware" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Love$ ransomware 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 Love$ ransomware 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 Love$ ransomware ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Love$ ransomware files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Love$ ransomware 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.

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