.monro Files Virus (Dharma Ransomware) – Remove and Restore Data
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.monro Files Virus (Dharma Ransomware) – Remove and Restore Data

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This article has been created with the main goal of explain what is the latest variant of Dharma ransomware, using the .monro file extension to infect computers, how to remove it and how you can try and restore .monro files encrypted by it.

Dharma ransomware has upped it’s game lately with tons of new variants being released out in the wild. One such variant is the .monro files one that is using the “FILES ENCRYPTED.txt” ransom note and the “Info.hta” ransom page in order to get users to contact the cyber-criminals on their e-mail address “[email protected]”. The virus aims to get users to pay a hefty sum in BitCoins in order to get the cyber-criminals to decrypt the victim’s important files and hence make them usable once more. If your computer has been infected by this variant of Dharma ransomware, we suggest that you read the article underneath thoroughly.

Threat Summary

Name.monro Dharma Virus
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionAims to encrypt the files on your computer and then ask you to pay ransom to get them back.
SymptomsFiles are encrypted and have the .monro extension added. A ransom note, called “FILES ENCRYPTED.txt” is also dropped on the victim PC.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .monro Dharma Virus

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .monro Dharma 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.

.monro Dharma Ransomware – Distribution Methods

For the .monro variant of Dharma ransomware to be widespread, several methods are often employed. The most widespread of those methods is to use a spam e-mail that often contains an e-mail attachment embedded in it. Such e-mails often pretend to be invoices of utmost importance or some types of documents concerning an important matter, for example:

Also, the convincing emails may also be cunningly developed in order to resemble reputable sources, like FedEx, DHL, PayPal and other big companies. In addition to containing convincing messages, the e-mails might also have their attachment toappear like:

  • Order cancellation forms.
  • Receipts of a purchase.
  • Banking statements.
  • Important files.

Another method of having infected a computer with Dharma ransomware’s .monro variant may also be via using fake programs that are uploaded online. This is particularly effective as the hackers often have scripts that make the .exe file appear exactly like the term the victim searches for on google. So, for example if you search for “CCleaner”, a compromised WordPress site may appear with a file, called “CCleaner-setup.exe”, which may in fact be the malicious file of Dharma.

.monro Variant of Dharma Ransomware – Analysis

The .monro files variant of Dharma is one of many versions of the virus as we have covered most of them so far:

The main purpose of the .monro Dharma virus is to encrypt your files and then ask you to pay BitCoins In order to use them again. The virus itself originates from a ransomware which was previously known as the CrySiS virus. While this virus was initially decryptable as Kaspersky researchers have managed to figure out, Dharma’s creators did not make the same mistake and have reportedly employed a much stronger RSA-AES encryption combination.

When an infection with the .monro Dharma ransomware virus commences, the ransomware activates its main payload file, which according to VirusTotal is believed to be the following:

→ SHA-256: cfe361dbf996d6badb73c2873ae2d68beacc11c633b224276ad77f5eb7e87c3c
Name: PassGen.exe
Size: 1.51 MB

The payload file may perform series of malicious activities on the victim’s computer, once this virus has been activated:

  • Create mutexes on the infected PC.
  • Tamper with sub-keys in the Windows Registry editor.
  • Delete the backed up files on the infected machine.
  • Create tasks and schedule them to run automatically on system boot.
  • Disable Windows System Recovery.
  • Change the wallpaper on your PC.
  • Modify the system files and Windows Registries.

Most reports indicate the Dharma .monro ransomware to tamper with the following Windows registry sub-keys, that are responsible for the automatic running of files on system boot:

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

The virus may also use administrator permissions by touching system files in Windows in order to run the following commands that delete the Windows shadow copy files:

→ 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

.monro Files Virus – Encryption Activity

In order to encrypt the files on your computer, the .monro version of Dharma ransomware may employ AES encryption algorithm in combination with a specific encryption mode compatible with it, like RC4, for example The following files may be affected during encryption:

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

After encryption, the virus sets the .monro file extension to the files, encrypted by it, making them to begin appearing like the image below shows:

Since the files are AES encrypted, a unique AES key is generated which can only be unlocked and used in a specific corresponding software held by the cyber-criminals, making them the ones in power to unlock your files. But bear in mind that the Dharma ransomware virus is no joke and you should not trust the same people who corrupted your files and as researchers often recommend – you should remove this virus on sight.

Remove Dharma Ransomware and Restore .monro Encrypted Files

If you want to remove the Dharma ransomware virus from your computer, we would strongly suggest that you follow the removal steps underneath. They are separated in manual and automatic removal instructions and their primary purpose is to get you to delete this virus, based on how much experience and confidence you have with removing malware. If you lack the experience, however, you can do what any cyber-security expert would advise and download and advanced anti-malware program that will take care of the removal process for you. Such software aims to scan your computer or the malicious files of Dharma .monro ransomware and eliminate them permanently.

If you wish to recover files, that are encoded by this ransomware infection, we would suggest that you try out the alternative methods for file recovery underneath this article in step “2. Try to Restore files encrypted by .monro Dharma Virus”. They have been created to help you recover as many files as possible, but bear in mind that they are no 100% solution for the complete file recovery.

Note! Your computer system may be affected by .monro Dharma Virus and other threats.
Scan Your PC with SpyHunter
SpyHunter is a powerful malware removal tool designed to help users with in-depth system security analysis, detection and removal of threats such as .monro Dharma Virus.
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.

To remove .monro Dharma Virus follow these steps:

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .monro Dharma Virus files and objects
2. Find files created by .monro Dharma Virus on your PC

Use SpyHunter to scan for malware and unwanted programs

3. Scan for malware and unwanted programs with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
4. Try to Restore files encrypted by .monro Dharma Virus

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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