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Remove Dharma Virus — Restore .brrr Files

LIGMA image ransomware note .brrr  extension

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.

Threat Summary

Name Dharma virus
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
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 malware


Malware Removal Tool

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:

  • Archives
  • Backups
  • Databases
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Music

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 paydecryption@go.com Write this ID in the title of your message In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to these e-mails: paydecryption@gg.corn 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.)
How to obtain Bitcoins The easiest way to buy bitcoins s LocaBitcoins site. You have to register, click Buy bitcoins, and select the seller by payment method and puce. hitos://locabitcoins.com/buy bitcoins. Also you can find other places to buy Btcoins and beginners guide here: ******
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 paydecryption@qq.com 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.

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 Dharma virus 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 Dharma virus 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 Dharma virus 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 Dharma virus 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 Dharma virus


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 Dharma virus.

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 Dharma virus 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.

Dharma virus-FAQ

What is Dharma virus Ransomware?

Dharma 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.

What Does Dharma virus 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 Dharma virus Infect?

Via several ways.Dharma 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.

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

You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .Dharma virus 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 .Dharma virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

Can I Restore ".Dharma virus" Files?

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

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 Dharma virus Research

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

Furthermore, the research behind the Dharma virus 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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