The .brrr Dharma virus samples are a recent campaign delivering a new iteration of this ransomware family. According to the security analysis they use the same behavior pattern the previous versions. Our article provides an overview of the virus operations and it also may be helpful in attempting to remove the virus.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts sensitive information on your computer system with the .brrr extension 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 Dharma virus |
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Dharma virus.|
|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.|
Dharma Virus – Distribution Ways
A new Dharma virus sample has been detected bearing the .brrr extension which signals that a new customization of the already existing samples has been made. It is possible that the new iteration is controlled by a criminal collective sending out Dharma ransomware family samples in the past or an entirely different group or individual hacker. We suspect that the ongoing campaign will make use of the already existing distribution tactics.
The criminals can coordinate the delivery of phishing email messages. They are created in order to manipulate the users into thinking that they have received a notification message from an Internet service that they use. The phishing messages can be disguised as password reset reminders, software updates, additional information requests and etc. In all cases they will coerce the victims into opening an attached file or clicking on a link placed in the body contents.
The .brrr Dharma virus executable file can be embedded in infected payload carriers. A popular example is the inclusion of scripts that can lead to the Dharma ransomware infection in documents. They can be of any of the popular types such as the following: rich text documents, presentations, databases and spreadsheets. Once they are opened by the victim users a notification prompt will be spawned requesting them to enable the built-in scripts. This will trigger the infection. The other popular carrier is the inclusion of the malware code in application installers. The hackers typically take the relevant setup files of popular end user software which are modified with the Dharma virus data: creativity suites, productivity solutions and system utilities.
All of these files can also be spread through fake download sites which are created in a similar manner by the criminals. They resemble real-world vendor download pages and Internet portals by using similar sounding domain names and security certificates.
File-sharing networks are another possible source of infections. Software like BitTorrent are often used to spread illegal files, including applications, documents and various files. It is very convenient to offer the dangerous installers and infected documents through the trackers.
The criminals may also deliver the threat via web browser extensions that are made by the criminals. They are uploaded to the various plugin repositories by making use of user reviews and developer credentials. The descriptions promise the addition of new features or enhancing already existing ones. Whenever they are installed by the users the default configuration would be to redirect the users to a specific hacker-controlled site. This is achieved by modifying the web browser settings: home page, search engine and new tabs page. Following this the virus will be deployed and started.
Dharma ransomware files may also be deployed by previous virus infections or made payloads via automated network vulnerability testing. This is the reason why users need to always have quality security software installed.
Dharma Virus – In-Depth Analysis
The Dharma ransomware follows the standard infection procedure which will trigger a procedure based on the default behavior of the virus family. This means that one of the actions would be to call a data harvesting module to scan for sensitive user data. One of the main groups is to hijack information that can be used to expose the victim users identity, the collected data can be used for various crimes such as identity theft and financial abuse. The collected strings can include data such as their name, address, phone number, location and any account credentials. In addition the engine can also hijack campaign metrics that are used by the hackers to optimize the global delivery. It is usually made up of a report of the installed hardware components, user settings and operating system environment conditions.
WARNING! Dharma virus threats are known for generating an unique user ID for each victim. It will make use of the harvested information and apply an individual ID to each computer.
This information can then be processed by another component called stealth protection — it scans the infected hosts for the presence of security software that can interfere with the proper virus infection. The list includes any anti-virus programs, sandbox environments or virtual machine hosts. Their real-time engines can be bypassed or the services altogether can be removed.
These two steps allow the .brrr Dharma virus to take complete control of the infected systems. The main malicious engine can overtake administrative privileges and launch its own processes (several ones at once) and hook up to system services and user-installed applications as well.
One of the first malicious actions at this point are to cause various Windows Registry modifications. When they impact the operating system at large then the users will experience a drop of system performance. Modifications to strings belonging to individual applications will lead to the inability to start certain functions. Unexpected behavior can also be sighted — issues when launching the software, hang-ups and etc.
The criminals may also program the Dharma virus samples to obtain a persistent state of execution. This means that the main engine will be started once the computer is powered on and will bypass many security checks and startup operations that are commonly started. In the majority of cases this also includes the reconfiguration of the system resulting in the inability to enter into the boot recovery menu. This effectively will render many manual restore instructions non-working. Additional steps that make it harder to restore data includes the deletion of Shadow Volume Information and System Restore Points. A deep infection can create numerous files in system directories, mask the malicious data as legitimate Windows files or popular software packages. As a result system administrators may find it difficult to identify all malware components.
To make matters worse the Dharma virus may start a Trojan module, the usual strategy is to set up an encrypted connection to a hacker-controlled server. It is used by the hackers to spy on the victims, take over control of the infected machines and deploy other threats.
Dharma Virus — Encryption
Like previous Dharma ransomware strains the built-in engine will be started once all previous components have finished execution. Dharma virus samples employ a powerful cipher that is used against a predefined set of file types. An example list may target the following data:
The victims files will be renamed according to the following formula “.[email contact address].brrr”. The associated ransomware note will be created in two files called FILES ENCRYPTED.txt and Info.hta.
The associated ransomware note will also be produced in a lockscreen instance — it will block the ability to interact with the infected computer until the malicious threat is completely removed.
The generic ransomware note will read the following message:
All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Write this ID in the title of your message In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to these e-mails: email@example.com You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The puce depends on how fast you rate to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that vAl decrypt all your ties.
I Free decryption as guarantee Before paying you can send us up to 1 fie for free decryption. The total size of lies must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and lies should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
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Attention! • Do not rename encrypted files. • Do not try to decrypt your data usng thrd party software, t may cause permanent data loss. • Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victims of a scam.
The current attack campaign seems to be operated by a criminal collective using the firstname.lastname@example.org email.
Remove Dharma virus and Restore Encrypted Files
If your computer system got infected with the Dharma 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.