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Remove CMB Dharma Virus — Restore .cmb Files

CMB Dharma Virus Virus image ransomware note  .cmb extension

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.

Threat Summary

Name CMB Dharma
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
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 malware


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:

  • Archives
  • Documents
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Backups

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.

Remove CMB Dharma Ransomware Virus and Restore .cmb Files

If your computer got infected with the CMB Dharma ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Step 1: Scan for CMB 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.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 2

3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 3

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.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 4

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Ransomware Automatic Removal - Video Guide

Step 2: Uninstall CMB Dharma and related malware 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.
delete ransomware from windows step 1

2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.
delete ransomware from windows step 2

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"
delete ransomware from windows step 3Follow the instructions above and you will successfully delete most unwanted and malicious programs.

Step 3: Clean any registries, created by CMB 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 CMB Dharma there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
delete ransomware virus registries step 1

2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.
delete ransomware virus registries step 2

3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
delete ransomware virus registries step 3 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.

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


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.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 1

2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 2

3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
remove ransomware in safe mode step 3
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.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 4

5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 5

Step 5: Try to Restore Files Encrypted by CMB Dharma.

Method 1: Use STOP Decrypter by Emsisoft.

Not all variants of this ransomware can be decrypted for free, but we have added the decryptor used by researchers that is often updated with the variants which become eventually decrypted. You can try and decrypt your files using the instructions below, but if they do not work, then unfortunately your variant of the ransomware virus is not decryptable.

Follow the instructions below to use the Emsisoft decrypter and decrypt your files for free. You can download the Emsisoft decryption tool linked here and then follow the steps provided below:

1 Right-click on the decrypter and click on Run as Administrator as shown below:

stop ransomware decryptor step 1

2. Agree with the license terms:

stop ransomware decryptor step 2

3. Click on "Add Folder" and then add the folders where you want files decrypted as shown underneath:

stop ransomware decryptor step 3

4. Click on "Decrypt" and wait for your files to be decoded.

stop ransomware decryptor step 4

Note: Credit for the decryptor goes to Emsisoft researchers who have made the breakthrough with this virus.

Method 2: Use data recovery software

Ransomware infections and CMB 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 recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on the top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.

CMB Dharma-FAQ

What is CMB Dharma Ransomware?

CMB 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 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.

What Does CMB Dharma Ransomware Do?

Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.

Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.

How Does CMB Dharma Infect?

Via several ways.CMB Dharma 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.

Another way you may become a victim of CMB 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 .CMB Dharma files?

You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .CMB Dharma files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key 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 .CMB Dharma files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

Can I Restore ".CMB Dharma" Files?

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

Can I 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 CMB Dharma 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.

In many cases, the malware authors or attackers will threaten to delete the data or publish it online unless the ransom is paid.

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.

Can a 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 CMB Dharma Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this CMB Dharma 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.

Furthermore, the research behind the CMB Dharma ransomware threat is backed with VirusTotal and the NoMoreRansom project.

To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.

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.

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