THREAT REMOVAL

Remove Dharma .zzzzz Files Virus and Restore the Data

dharma-ransomware-readme-txt-file-sensorstechforum-remove-restore-filesYet another variant of the notorious Dharma ransomware has been detected in the wild, this time using the .zzzzz file extension mimicking the notorious Locky ransomware. This ransomware which was recently discovered is claimed by malware researchers to be an updated version of CrySiS ransomware variants with more sophisticated encryption and decryption. Users who have paid the ransom of 3 BTC requested by the Dharma crooks after it encrypts the files report that they are provided software with which they scan their computer and get a unique key only to send it back to the cyber-criminals and then get the decryptor. Even though it is tempting, we highly advise against following any guidelines of the README.txt and .jpg files dropped by Dharma after the infection and instead read the following article to learn how to remove dharma ransomware from your computer and how to try and restore your missing files.

Threat Summary

Name

Dharma .zzzzz

TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionDharma encrypts user files and leaves as contact e-mail addresses to contact the criminals behind it and pay the ransom fee.
SymptomsChanges file extension of encrypted files to .zzzzz and the e-mail address for contact. Changes wallpaper to one with ransom instructions that have the backup ransom e-mail. Adds ransom notes in README.txt and README.jpg files.
Distribution MethodVia an Exploit kit, Dll file attack, malicious JavaScript or a drive-by download of the malware itself in an obfuscated manner.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin our forum to Discuss Dharma .zzzzz.
Data Recovery ToolWindows 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 .zzzzz Ransomware – More Information

Distribution of Dharma

The first stage of getting infected by this virus is to interact with malicious objects. So far, concerning this variant of Dharma ransomware, it’s methods of infecting are similar to the other .wallet and .dharma variants. The virus may utilize a mixture of tools to cause an infection:

  • Obfuscation malware to activate the payload dropper without any security software noticing it.
  • Exploit kits to download the payload of the virus without the user noticing.
  • Spamming software to spread spam messages with malicious attachments.
  • Archivers to archive the malware and hide it from spam filters and malware checks online.
  • Malicious scripts to cause an infection via a malicious web links or .hta, .htm, html, .js, .wsf or other similar files or macros in infected Microsoft Office or Adobe documents.

All of these tools may be used in a variety of combination to get users infected by this ransomware virus. It may come onto your computer via a malicious URL posted on social media websites, like Facebook, Twitter and other web pages, causing redirects to a scripted host. Another scenario is if you receive such a web link directly via a message from a compromised account, like a Skype message for example, saying “Check this out :D”. There is also the potential scenario of becoming infected with the .zzzzz variant of Dharma ransomware via spammed e-mail messages that contain a malicious attachment masked as a .zip .rar or other archived “document”, pretending to be an invoice. Furthermore, you can become infected by Dharma ransomware as a result of clicking on an advertisement caused by a potentially unwanted program (PUP) on your computer. Also, it is less likely but it is possible to become infected by the .zzzzz variant by simply opening a suspicious file downloaded via torrents uploaded by the hackers on a p2p website.

Dharma .zzzzz Version – Post-Infection Analysis

After having infected users with malware, Dharma ransomware is very specific on it’s activity. For starters, it may begin to kill any processes that might interfere with it’s encryption process or file dropping, using different versions of the taskkill command:

→ taskkill /pid 1230 /pid 1241 /pid 1253
taskkill /f /fi “USERNAME eq NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM” /im notepad.exe
taskkill /s srvmain /f /im notepad.exe
taskkill /s srvmain /u maindom\hiropln /p p@ssW23 /fi “IMAGENAME eq note*” /im *
taskkill /s srvmain /u maindom\hiropln /fi “USERNAME ne NT*” /im *
taskkill /f /fi “PID ge 1000” /im *

After having done, this, Dharma .zzzzz ransomware may create different files in the dominant Windows folders. The files may have different functions and have different names, for example:

commonly used file names and folders

After this is done, Dharma .zzzzz variant may begin to scan a wide variety of file types to encrypt, including videos, photos, various documents, audio files, pictures and other types of files. Similar to CrySiS, it may begin to hunt for the following types of files:

→ .odc, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt, .docm, .docx, .doc, .odb, .mp4, sql, .7z, .m4a, .rar, .wma, .gdb, .tax, .pkpass, .bc6, .bc7, .avi, .wmv, .csv, .d3dbsp, .zip, .sie, .sum, .ibank, .t13, .t12, .qdf, .bkp, .qic, .bkf, .sidn, .sidd, .mddata, .itl, .itdb, .icxs, .hvpl, .hplg, .hkdb, .mdbackup, .syncdb, .gho, .cas, .svg, .map, .wmo, .itm, .sb, .fos, .mov, .vdf, .ztmp, .sis, .sid, .ncf, .menu, .layout, .dmp, .blob, .esm, .vcf, .vtf, .dazip, .fpk, .mlx, .kf, .iwd, .vpk, .tor, .psk, .rim, .w3x, .fsh, .ntl, .arch00, .lvl, .snx, .cfr, .ff, .vpp_pc, .lrf, .m2, .mcmeta, .vfs0, .mpqge, .kdb, .db0, .dba, .rofl, .hkx, .bar, .upk, .das, .iwi, .litemod, .asset, .forge, .ltx, .bsa, .apk, .re4, .sav, .lbf, .slm, .bik, .epk, .rgss3a, .pak, .big, wallet, .wotreplay, .xxx, .desc, .py, .m3u, .flv, .js, .css, .rb, .png, .jpeg, .txt, .p7c, .p7b, .p12, .pfx, .pem, .crt, .cer, .der, .x3f, .srw, .pef, .ptx, .r3d, .rw2, .rwl, .raw, .raf, .orf, .nrw, .mrwref, .mef, .erf, .kdc, .dcr, .cr2, .crw, .bay, .sr2, .srf, .arw, .3fr, .dng, .jpe, .jpg, .cdr, .indd, .ai, .eps, .pdf, .pdd, .psd, .dbf, .mdf, .wb2, .rtf, .wpd, .dxg, .xf, .dwg, .pst, .accdb, .mdb, .pptm, .pptx, .ppt, .xlk, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xls, .wps

After encryption, the files appear in proximity to the following:

bitcoin-ransowmare-dharma-zzzzz-file-extension-malware-file-encryption

In addition to this, the ransomware is also reported render the files completely non-openable after encoding and to leave behind a ransom note asking to contact an e-mail. The note is contained in a README.txt or README.jpg file and may be the following:

“ATTENTION!
At the moment, your system is not protected.
We can fix it and restore files.
To restore the system write to this address:
bitcoin143@india.com”

When the e-mail associated with Dharma .zzzzz ransomware is contacted, the cyber-criminals request amount somewhere between 2 and 3 BTC depending on the importance of the files. In some instances they were also willing to bring down the price down to 1 BTC. After the victim pays the ransom, he is provided with a scanning software:

dharma-zzzz-virus-ransomware-decryptor-sensorstechforum

This scanning software aims to scan for and discover what seems to be a public key and appears like the following:

decryption-key-dharma-ransowmare-sensorstechforumSource:BleepingComputer Forums

This key is then inputted into the decryption software after which it discovers a decryption key which is used again with the “help” of the cyber-crooks and the software to decrypt the encoded files.

dharma-decrypter-sensorstechforum-ransowmare-3-enter-key

Remove Dharma .zzzzz Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files

Even though it seems tempting, malware researchers and cyber-security experts strongly advise the victims of Dharma’s .zzzzz ransomware variant to focus on removing the ransomware virus and using alternative methods like the ones in the instructions in step “2. Restore files encrypted by Dharma .zzzzz”. Paying the ransom will only cause support the cyber-criminals’ malicious activity and let them develop and further spread this ransomware to infect other people.

But, before trying the alternative decryption instructions, we strongly urge you to perform the actions below:

1. Backup the encrypted files and create several copies of them.
2. Remove Dharma, preferably by following the instructions below.
3. Focus on trying to restore the files using alternative methods, like the ones we have suggested below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by Dharma”.

Avatar

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.

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.


OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove Dharma .zzzzz from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Dharma .zzzzz

OFFER

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


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
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.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Dharma .zzzzz and related software 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.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


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"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


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

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


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


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

IMPORTANT!
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: Scan for Dharma .zzzzz 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.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


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

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


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.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

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

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Dharma .zzzzz.

Ransomware infections and Dharma .zzzzz 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 reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

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


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of Dharma .zzzzz from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Dharma .zzzzz and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Dharma .zzzzz:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Dharma .zzzzz. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Dharma .zzzzz. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove Dharma .zzzzz via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Dharma .zzzzz. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Dharma .zzzzz:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Dharma .zzzzz.

Ransomware infections and Dharma .zzzzz 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 reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

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


Dharma .zzzzz FAQ

What is Dharma .zzzzz ransomware and how does it work?

Dharma .zzzzz 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 algorithm how 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.

How does Dharma .zzzzz ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Dharma .zzzzz Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, 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 Dharma .zzzzz 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 .zzzzz files?

You can't. At this point the .Dharma .zzzzz files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Dharma .zzzzz files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Dharma .zzzzz ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.

How Do I restore ".Dharma .zzzzz" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Dharma .zzzzz files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How do I get rid of Dharma .zzzzz ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate Dharma .zzzzz ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Dharma .zzzzz files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Dharma .zzzzz ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.

What to Do If nothing works?

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 it can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way to get back some of your files 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.

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