New Dharma Ransomware – Remove and Restore .wallet Files - How to, Technology and PC Security Forum |

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



Type Ransomware
Short Description Dharma encrypts user files and leaves as contact e-mail addresses to contact the criminals behind it and pay the ransom fee.
Symptoms Changes file extension of encrypted files to .wallet. Changes wallpaper to one with ransom instructions that have the backup ransom e-mail –
Distribution Method Via 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 Dharma


Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join our forum to Discuss Dharma.
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.

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:



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.
//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.”

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:


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”.


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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  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

    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. – run wireshark automatically on startup – usage of wireshark

    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 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.

  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.

    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

    1. AvatarBerta

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

      1. Avatarpierpaolo0204

        Ok thanks Berta for your reply

  3. AvatarPablo Lopez

    any decrypt ?

    1. AvatarAbdelraheem Aldaby

      ramsonware dharma

  4. AvatarAbdelraheem Aldaby

    Hi there
    I have pdf files encrypted and the extension fo the files became 46FAC392.[].wallet how can i fix this


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