The so-called .HACK files virus is yet another version of the infamous Dharma ransomware family. Its main goal is to encrypt target files stored on the devices it compromises. By doing this, the ransomware becomes able to blackmail its victims into paying a ransom fee in a specified digital currency. In the event that your PC has been infected by Dharma .HACK files virus, your valuable files will be locked and renamed with the extension .HACK. As a consequence, you will be presented with a ransom message that forces you to contact hackers.
In this article, you will find more information about .HACK files virus as well as a step-by-step guide on how to remove malicious files from the infected system and how to potentially recover files encrypted by this ransomware.
|Short Description||A data locker ransomware designed to damage computer systems and encrypt valuable personal fles.|
|Symptoms||Important files are locked and renamed with a string of a few extensions the last of which is .HACK|
Ransom message insists on payment for a files decryption tool.
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by .HACK |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss .HACK.|
|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.|
.HACK Files Virus (Dharma Ransomware) – Distribution and Impact
As identified by security researchers, .HACK files virus is an iteration of the infamousDharma ransomware. Ransomware infections like Dharma .HACK are mainly spread via e-mail spam messages. These messages have several common traits like file attachments, URL addresses, typos, and counterfeit email addresses. Their primary goal is to trick you into running the ransomware on your device without noticing its presence. Interaction with any poorly secured websites with a low reputation could also lead to the unnoticed activation of .HACK files virus on the computer.
Soon after, the payload file of .HACK ransomware is started on your device, it triggers the infection process. For the completion of the attack, the threat needs to establish a bunch of additional malicious files. Many of these files could usually be found in the %AppData% system directory. However, beware that the manual detection of malicious files associated with Dharma .HACK could be a hard task even for experienced computer users.
After passing through several attack stages, .HACK files virus reaches the main one which is data encryption. During this stage, it activates a built-in encryption module that scans the system for target files and transforms their code by applying sophisticated cipher algorithm. Due to the complexity of applied changes, encrypted files remain inaccessible until their code is reverted back to its original state. Unfortunately, you may not be able to view the information stored by the following files of yours:
- Audio files
- Video files
- Document files
- Image files
- Backup files
- Banking credentials, etc
One way to recognize an encrypted file is by the appearance of the extension .HACK in its name. Additionally, you could see the email address firstname.lastname@example.org as an extension. This email address is associated with cyber criminals who stand behind .HACK files virus attacks. It could be also noticed in the ransom message that appears at the end of the infection process.
We know that you need to restore .HACK files but what we should recommend you is to refrain from transferring your money to cybercriminals. Otherwise, you risk losing both your valuable files and money.
For the sake of your security, it is advisable to clean your computer from present malicious files and consider the help of alternative data recovery methods.
Remove .HACK Files Virus and Attempt to Restore Data
The so-called .HACK files virus is a threat with highly complex code that heavily damages both essential system settings and valuable data. So the only way to use your infected system securely again is to remove all malicious files and objects created by the ransomware. For the purpose, you could follow our step-by-step removal guide.
In the event that you want to attempt to restore .HACK files with the help of alternative data recovery methods, do check step four – Try to Restore files encrypted by .HACK Files Virus. We remind you to back up all encrypted files to an external drive before the recovery process.