The CMB Dharma Virus is a new test release belonging to the Dharma ransomware family. It is currently being distributed in a limited sample form. Read our in-depth removal guide to learn how to delete the infections and restore encrypted data.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts sensitive information on your computer system with the .cmb extensions and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will encrypt your files with a strong encryption algorithm.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by CMB Dharma |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss CMB 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.|
CMB Dharma Virus Virus – Distribution Ways
The newest release of the Dharma ransomware has just been encountered by security experts. At the moment of writing this article it appears that the captured samples signal the start of the initial infection campaign. Like previous threats it uses a variety of distribution tactics to increase the number of infected hosts.
One of the most prominent ways is to spread SPAM email messages. They contain elements taken from famous companies or Internet services with the intent of confusing the recipients into interacting with the malicious element. They themselves can be either attached directly or hyperlinked in the body contents.
The use of malicious payloads via the messages is a common way to send out the CMB Dharma Virus infections. There are two main categories which are used the most:
- Application Installers — The hackers can bundle the virus code into setup files of famous software that are typically downloaded by the end users. This includes the likes of creativity suites, system utilities or productivity applications.
- Infected Documents — A similar strategy is used by the hackers to distribute malicious documents of various types: rich text documents, presentations or spreadsheets. Whenever they are opened a prompt will be spawned which asks the victim users to enable the built-in scripts. When this is done the virus infection will begin.
To further spread them the criminals also create fake download portals. They are modeled after well-known sites that are frequently visited by computer users. Various web scripts can be implemented to aid in the infection process — redirects, ads, pop-ups, banners or in-line hyperlinks.
The CMB Dharma Virus can be distributed through browser hijackers — malicious extensions made for the most popular web browsers. They are usually found on the relevant plugin repositories masking as legitimate addons. They often utilize fake developer credentials and user reviews.
CMB Dharma Virus Virus – In-Depth Analysis
As the CMB Dharma Virus Virus is being spread initially via a test release we anticipate that the follow-up campaigns will feature updates to the basic infection engine. The Dharma ransomware engine by itself is modular in nature and allows its operators to configure various components that can be customized according to each particular attack.
If it follows the prescribed common behavior pattern set out by previous releases we anticipate that the attacks will begin by launching a data harvesting module. It will look out for specific strings that can be grouped into two main types:
- Personal Identity Data — This group contains information that can directly expose the victim’s identity. It is made up of strings that reveal the victim’s name, address, phone number, interests, location and any stored account credentials.
- Anonymous Metrics — This data set is usedd to optimize the campaigns by including data about the victim computers. A part of it is a full report of the installed hardware components and the user set regional settings.
The collected information can then be used by another component called stealth protection. It scans the infected host for the presence of any applications that might interfere with the correct Dharma virus execution. As a result it can bypass software such as anti-virus programs, sandbox environments or virtual machine hosts. In certain cases they can be removed altogether.
Following this the CMB Dharma virus can continue further with various system changes. They can include any of the following modifications:
- Windows Registry Changes — This particular strain can model its behavior on previous releases by modifying existing Windows Registry values. If changes are made to existing programs then certain functions may stop working. When strings related to the operating system are modified then overall performance can suffer.
- Inability to Restore Data — Advanced ransomware families like Dharma can delete the Shadow Volume Copies and Backup Data in order to make file recovery more difficult. In these cases the victims will need to resort to a professional-grade restore program. Refer to our instructions for detailed instructions.
- Persistent Installation — Like previous versions of the Dharma ransomware the CMB file virus strain can institute itself as a persistent threat. This is a modification to the operating system boot options wherein the malicious engine will be started every time the computer boots. This action will also disable access to the boot recovery menu.
- Additional Malware Delivery — Such infections can be used to deliver other threats to the compromised hosts.
- Trojan Component — The CMB virus can deploy a dangerous Trojan instance. The classic case is to connect to a malicious C&C server operated by the hackers. It allows them to spy on the victims in real time.
CMB Dharma Virus Virus — Encryption
The encryption engine used by the CMB Dharma virus is launched after all other components have finished execution. This is done in order to remove all possibilities for the encryption engine to be detected or removed by the user or any of the installed software. Like previous versions it makes use of a built-in list of target file type extensions. An example list includes the following user data:
The victim files are renamed following this pattern:
The “id” fields are populated with the Unique User ID (UUID) which is generated during the infection process. The “email” field is overwritten with the email address used in the appropriate ransom note.
The Dharma ransomware family and the CMB virus strain in particular may use either a traditional text-based file or a lockscreen instance. This is dependent on the hacker’s customization.
Manually delete CMB Dharma from Windows and your browser
Note! Substantial notification about the CMB Dharma threat: Manual removal of CMB Dharma requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.