THREAT REMOVAL

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

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 “icrypt@cock.li”. 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 malware

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Malware Removal Tool

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.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and 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 .monro Dharma Virus from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .monro Dharma Virus

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 .monro Dharma Virus 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 .monro Dharma Virus 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 .monro Dharma Virus 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 .monro Dharma Virus 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 .monro Dharma Virus.

Ransomware infections and .monro Dharma Virus 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 .monro Dharma Virus from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall .monro Dharma Virus 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 .monro Dharma Virus:

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 .monro Dharma Virus. 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 .monro Dharma Virus. 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 .monro Dharma Virus 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 .monro Dharma Virus. 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 .monro Dharma Virus:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .monro Dharma Virus.

Ransomware infections and .monro Dharma Virus 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.


.monro Dharma Virus FAQ

What is .monro Dharma Virus ransomware and how does it work?

.monro Dharma 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 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 .monro Dharma Virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..monro Dharma Virus 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 .monro Dharma 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 ..monro Dharma Virus files?

You can't. At this point the ..monro Dharma Virus 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 ..monro Dharma Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by .monro Dharma Virus 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 "..monro Dharma Virus" files (Other Methods)?

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .monro Dharma Virus 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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