THREAT REMOVAL

New Dharma Ransomware – Remove and Restore .wallet Files

dharma-ransomware-main-dharma-parody-sensorstechforum-funny If you have been infected by the Dharma virus, this article aims to help you remove it and try to restore the .wallet files for free.

Dharma ransomware which was latter established to be a variant of the CrySiS ransomware family has come up with yet another .wallet file extension. The Dharma virus encrypts the files on the computer which it infects by likely using the AES (Advanced Encryption Algorithm) after which holds the encrypted files hostage. It also leaves behind a ransom note in a .txt and .jpg files that demands from the victim to pay a hefty “fee” to get the files back. In case you have become victim of the Dharma ransomware virus, we suggest that you read this article to learn how to remove Dharma and try to restore your files.

UPDATE MAY 2017! Dharma ransomware using the .wallet file extension is now fortunately decryptable. You can download the decrypter and follow the instructions on the related article below:

Related: Decrypt .wallet Encrypted Files for Free (Dharma Update 2017)

Threat Summary

Name

Dharma

TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionDharma encrypts user files and leaves as contact e-mail addresses to contact the criminals behind it and pay the ransom fee.
SymptomsChanges file extension of encrypted files to .wallet. Changes wallpaper to one with ransom instructions that have the backup ransom e-mail – amagnus@india.com
Distribution MethodVia an Exploit kit, Dll file attack, malicious JavaScript or a drive-by download of the malware itself in an obfuscated manner.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin our forum to Discuss Dharma.
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.

Update May 2017 – New Data Recovery Method

Update May 2017. Our research indicates that this .wallet file virus continues to infect users in May 2017. In addition, there is a new ransomware infection, which uses the .wallet file extension. This new .Wallet infection encrypts the files by using the AES and RSA encryption algorithm. The ransom note is named #_Restoring_files_#.txt.

It has been brought to our attention that victims of the latest Dharma .wallet ransomware infection variants have managed to restore a very high percentage (over 90%) of their files using a very unique method – converting files into virtual drives and then using partition recovery option on data recovery programs. This method takes advantage of the converting the files into a .VHD file type which is a virtual drive. Since there are new data recovery programs specifically designed to recover partitions, one approach is to restore files encyrpted by Dharma ransomware is to convert the encrypted files into .VHD files and then try to recover them using partition recovery software. Since the algorithm that encrypts files actually alters only a small portion of the file, you have a much higher chance of recovering the files if you change them into .VHD type.

The methods have been reported to not be a full guarantee to recover all the files, but if you haven’t reinstalled your operating system yet, we advise you to follow them. But first, make sure to remove Dharma’s malicious files from the instructions at the bottom of these article. Here are the instructions:

.Wallet Recovery Instructions 2017

Step 1: Make sure to make copies of the .wallet encrypted files on another drive or PC:

Step 2: After creating the copies, download a tool that converts files in .VHD format. One good tool is Microsoft’s VHD conversion software. You can download it, by clicking on the button below:


Download

VHDTOOL


Step 3: Now, make sure to rename a file that you want to recover in the .VHD file extension. For example, if the file is test.wallet, it should be test.vhd

Step 4: Now you need to run the VHDTOOL you previously downloaded from Windows Command Prompt. To do this, run Windows Command Prompt as an administrator by typing “cmd” in Windows Search and right-clicking after which choosing “Run as administrator”.

Then type the following commands exactly as it they are:

→ cd {The location of the file, for example C:\Users\Lenovo\Desktop}
vhdtool.exe /convert “{the location of your file and the name goes here}

The final result should look like the following image:

Step 5: After you convert the drive into VHD, make sure to mount it on your computer. To do this:

Right-click on My Computer or This PC and then click on “Manage”

Then right-click on Disk Management after which click on Attach VHD

Then click on the Browse button in order to locate and open the .vhd file

After this, to initialize the disk, right-click on it and click New Simple Volume. After this click on Next and set it up:

At the end, the volume should appear like the following:

Step 6: Download and recover the .VHD image using data recovery software. The data recovery software you should download has to support the option “Partition Recovery”. Here is a comprehensive list of multiple data recovery programs that are able to recover partitions:

Another scenario with which we have reports of over 90% of recovered files includes the usage of a program for Virtual Drive Recovery, since .VHD is essentially a virtual drive. Such programs are created with the sole purpose of recovering .VHD files. One of those programs is called BitRecover Virtual Drive Recovery Wizard.

Which Techniques Dharma Virus Uses to Spread and Infect

In order to cause a successful infection, the Dharma’s .wallet variant may utilize a mixture of tools to obfuscate the malware, such as:

  • Program obfuscators.
  • Exploit kit.
  • File Joiners.
  • Infection URLs.
  • Malicious JavaScripts.
  • A Database of distribution sites.
  • Spamming services or spam bots.

The combination of those tools may spread Dharma ransomware in different places over the web, such as:

  • Social media websites.
  • Spam messages on e-mails.
  • Messages on messaging services and communication programs(Skype, for example).
  • Fake files uploaded on torrent websites as fake game key generators or cracks and patch-fixes.

The activation of either a malicious URL or a file leads to the devastating infection with Dharma ransomware, which makes the virus perform malicious script injection in legitimate Windows processes or services, such as sysdm.cpl or svchost.exe.

Dharma Ransomware – What Happens After Infection

After being infected by Dharma ransomware, the virus begins to perform several different tasks. For starters, it may initially create multiple objects in the Windows Registry editor. Those objects may make the ransomware virus run automatically on Windows startup and furthermore execute it’s files which it has created every time Windows boots up. Amongst the affected Windows registry entries may be the Run and RunOnce registry keys.

And when it comes to the files it creates, Dharma ransomware may create multiple files in the %Temp% and %AppData% folders. But it also may drop it’s ransom note files, which researchers claim to be named as the following:

  • Readme.txt
  • Readme.jpg

Furthermore, Dharma ransomware may modify the registry key for the Desktop of the computer to change the wallpaper of the affected machine to Dharma’s ransom note.

Although not confirmed, the ransom note of the virus may be similar to the other version of Dharma:

“//hallo, our dear friend!
//looks like you have some troubles with your security.
//all your files are now encrypted.
//using third-party recovering software will corrupt your data.
//you have only one way to get them back safely – using our decryption tool.
//to get original decryption tool contact us with email. In subject like write your ID, which you can find in name of every crypted file, also attach to email 3 crypted files.
lavandos@dr.com
//it is in your interest to respond as soon as pissible to ensure the restoration of your files, because we won’t keep your decryption keys at our servers more than 72 hours in interest of our security.
//P.S. only in case you don’t receive a response from the first email address within 24 hours, please use this alternative email address.
amagnus@india.com”

In addition to this, this variant of Dharma also takes a similar approach to CrySiS XTBL when it comes to the structure of the files after encryption. They again contain the e-mail address requested for contact but they also have the unique for Dharma .wallet extension. Files encrypted by Dharma may look like the following:

amangusindia-com-encrypted-files-dharma-ransowmare-sensorstechforum

After Dharma has already encrypted the files, they can no longer be opened. Their code is altered using a unique encryption algorithm.

Dharma Ransomware – Conclusion, Removal and File Restoration

Ransomware like Dharma has once proven that it can be fixed and patched to become more difficult to decrypt and for this to happen the cyber-criminals most likely have invested a lot. It is believed that the same people who are behind the notorious Shade .XTBL ransomware have managed to make a profit by simply releasing too many variants for malware researchers to track. This resulted in a lot of people paying the ransom instead of decrypting their files for free. One theory is that these money were used to create the modified version of Shade – Dharma which is currently non-decryptable.

Despite all, it is strongly advisable that you avoid paying the ransom at all costs. Malware researchers are constantly monitoring Dharma and we will update this article with free decryption instructions, just like we did with it’s previous version. In the meantime we advise you to perform the following if infected by Dharma:

1. Backup the encrypted files and create several copies of them.
2. Remove Dharma, preferably by following the instructions below.
3. Focus on trying to restore the files using alternative methods, like the ones we have suggested below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by Dharma”.

Avatar

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 Dharma from Windows.


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

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 Dharma 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 Dharma 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 Dharma 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 Dharma 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 Dharma.

Ransomware infections and Dharma 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 Dharma from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Dharma 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 Dharma:

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 Dharma. 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 Dharma. 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 Dharma 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 Dharma. 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 Dharma:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and Dharma 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.


Dharma FAQ

What is Dharma ransomware and how does it work?

Dharma 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 Dharma ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Dharma 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 Dharma 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 .Dharma files?

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

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Dharma 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.

9 Comments

  1. AvatarKTSA12

    We have a client that was recently hit by the DHARMA strain. (accounts server) The issue that we have is how it managed to get through a very tight security platform.

    We locked Accounts down and removed Administrator privileges. In addition the “Host” that was infected does not have a mail account. We also have a multi vectored security platform that is linked to the cloud (17 best of breed AV’S that scan mail / web and endpoint protection). Which fortunately stopped it half way through the encryption. (But is is still 300Gb that needed to be restored)

    Recently we opened up RDP for a 3rd party vendor to run updates on their platform. They then got hit…
    (The 3rd party company run’s updates for 100s corporate clients – and are adamant that it is not from their side as other sites would be affected).

    My query is – how does this infection then get in? The server (2012 R2) was recently formatted and reloaded – all patches up to date, is behind a firewall, is not internet or mail facing and we have a proven solid security platform)

    RDP? Brute force attack… some kind of BOT?

    No other unit has the payload on the network.

    Is very odd… any input will be appreciated… Thanks

    Reply
    1. AvatarVencislav Krustev

      You could theoretically use a network sniffer to intercept any POST communication related to Dharma, but for this you have to know the remote server it connects to and for this you have to have the malicious payload of the virus which should contain the IP or host of the C2 server in it. Then you may add it as a fiter in Wireshark and reinfect a test PC or if you have an infected computer, make Wireshark run on startup and intercept any traffic or communication packets. Below we have a theoretical tutorial on how to run wireshark on startup and how to try and detect information in packets, so feel free to help yourself. Bear in mind that you have to be infected with the thing to try this and it is only theoretical, meaning that it may or may not work, because the virus may send the information via encrypted packages or encrypt the decryption key on your computer and send it afterwards.

      https://ask.wireshark.org/questions/26932/capture-packets-on-startup-automatically – run wireshark automatically on startup

      http://sensorstechforum.com/use-wireshark-decrypt-ransomware-files/ – usage of wireshark

      Reply
    2. AvatarTony Dod

      I have just seen a site where I have identified RDP as the means of entry for two separate attacks. In both cases generic test accounts with an easily guessable password (hint, the user accounts are test accounts in a school). I would check, and double check that your RDP access is only allowed to specific real users, and not across the board to any domain admins and test accounts, Make sure these accounts have good passwords. Plus, ideally, do not publish RDP on it’s default port of 3389. At least change this to a different port, or better still put in a web gateway to access it.

      Take a look at a page like https://security.berkeley.edu/resources/best-practices-how-articles/securing-remote-desktop-rdp-system-administrators for more info on securing RDP.

      My next step is going to be installing App Locker on the RDP boxes to ensure that no malware can run.

      NB. If you look at the owner of the files you can find out what account was infected and caused the file encryption.

      Reply
  2. Avatarpierpaolo0204

    few days ago I was infected by the virus of the ransom “ramsonware dharma” with the extension wallet at the end, and email dell’haker at the beginning.

    fly_goods@aol.com.wallet

    this ramsonware encrypt all my pc file.

    He came out the tool to decrypt the files?

    I formatted the PC and restored with copies but some important files have not succeeded because encrypted.

    can someone help me. thank you so much. good day

    Reply
    1. AvatarBerta

      There is still no decryptor tool available and decryption may not be possible.

      Reply
      1. Avatarpierpaolo0204

        Ok thanks Berta for your reply

        Reply
  3. AvatarPablo Lopez

    any decrypt ?

    Reply
    1. AvatarAbdelraheem Aldaby

      ramsonware dharma

      Reply
  4. AvatarAbdelraheem Aldaby

    Hi there
    I have pdf files encrypted and the extension fo the files became 46FAC392.[mk.scorpion@aol.com].wallet how can i fix this
    thanks

    Reply

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