OFF Virus (Dharma Ransomware)
What is the OFF virus? Why is it on my PC? This is the next cryptovirus that hackers use to earn money from. The threat has been identified as a strain of the nasty Dharma ransomware.
The most vicious impact it causes is the encryption of valuable personal files. Since it locks files with a very strong cipher algorithm, it leaves them completely unworkable. Encrypted files can be recognized by the changes in their names. They appear with three extensions – an ID number, an email address associated with the cybercriminals who organize the attacks, and one identical to the threat name .OFF.
By preventing victims from using their important files, the ransomware becomes able to harass them for a ransom payment. To force victims to contact cyber criminals, the OFF virus creates two ransom messages and places them on locations visible enough like the desktop.
Get rid of all malicious files installed by OFF ransomware and try to restore .OFF files with the help of alternative data recovery tools.
OFF Virus Summary
|File Extensions||.id-[alphannumeric combination].[email@example.com].OFF|
|Ransom Notes||A pop-up window, FILES ENCRYPTED.txt|
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files stored on computer drives and demands a ransom for ther recovery.|
|Symptoms||Your files are encrypted by OFF ransomware. They appear with the .OFF extension in their names. Two different ransom messages try to force you to contact hackers to transfer them money for a decryption tool.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Torrent Files|
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.OFF Virus Files
The OFF virus which has been identified as a strain of Dharma/CrySiS ransomware is developed to corrupt computer systems and then encode personal files stored on them.
Infection files that trigger OFF ransomware on PCs might be spread via several misleading techniques. Previous strains including Eye virus, Coms virus and Pause virus are supposed to be delivered by freeware installers, spam emails, and torrent files. The OFF virus might also appear as a link shared on social media, forums, and file-sharing services.
Primarily, the OFF virus is created to use a built-in cipher module and encrypt personal files with a strong algorithm. That module transforms the code of target files (images, documents, archives, video files, etc.) in a way that victims cannot open or use them, afterward. Corrupted files receive three specific extensions as part of their names. Before, the virus can reach the encryption stage, it needs to disrupt system security.
So, once the OFF virus runs on a computer system, it passes through several attack stages, all of which help it to reach a data encryption phase. Every stage of the attack corrupts important system settings with some of them enabling it to persistently establish its files on the system. As long as there are ransomware files running on the infected system, all malicious changes will still impact the regular usage of the computer.
For the decryption of .OFF files, hackers blackmail victims to pay a ransom. Supposedly, a successful ransom payment will convince hackers to send the decryption tool for corrupted files. Though, it is always risky with cybercriminals. They can decide to never send back an answer or send a broken decryption tool. So, it is highly inadvisable to not follow their instructions.
The last can be found in two different files – a pop-up window and a text file named FILES ENCRYPTED.txt. Here is the message presented by the second ransom note:
all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
Write email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
You should NOT under any circumstances pay any ransom sum. If your computer was infected by OFF ransomware and your files are locked, read on through to find out how you could secure the infected device and how to potentially restore your files back to normal.
How to Remove OFF Virus
The OFF virus infection can be removed with the help of the removal steps beneath this post. They have been developed with the key purpose to aid you to remove this virus step-by-step from your computer. For maximum effectiveness, it’s recommended to get rid of OFF virus infection by using advanced malware elimination software. It will definitely guarantee that you have the ability to remove the virus files and other malicious objects automatically by scanning for them and erasing them.
What is OFF Virus Ransomware?
OFF 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 algorithms 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.
Can OFF Virus Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like OFF Virus?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does OFF Virus Infect?
Via several ways.OFF Virus Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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 OFF 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 .OFF Virus files?
You can't. At this point, the .OFF Virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .OFF Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".OFF Virus" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .OFF Virus files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of OFF Virus Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate OFF Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .OFF Virus files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like OFF Virus ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
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 can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way 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.
How to Report Ransomware to Authorities?
In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.
Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:
Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can OFF Virus Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the OFF Virus Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this OFF Virus how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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