.waifu Files Virus (Dharma Ransomware) – Remove + Restore Files

.waifu Files Virus (Dharma Ransomware) – Remove + Restore Files

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This article has been written to explain more about what is the .waifu variant of Dharma ransomware, how to remove it from your PC and how you can try to restore .waifu, encrypted files.

Yet another variant of the notorious Dharma ransomware virus has been detected, this time using the .waifu file extension, which it adds to the files, encrypted by the virus. The new variant of Dharma is a part of a recent wave of variants of the same virus, which could be a sign of the malware being spread as a RaaS (Ransomware-as-a-service) on the deep web. The new Dharma variant is also the type of virus, which leaves the files with a unique id, plus leaves the e-mail of the crooks to contact them in order to pay a hefty ransom in order to get the encrypted files recovered back to their original working state. If your computer has been affected by the .waifu Dharma ransomware virus, we recommend that you read this article and learn how you can remove this Dharma variant and how you can restore files, encrypted by it on your computer.

Threat Summary

Name.waifu Dharma Virus
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionA variant of Dharma ranosmware. Encrypts files on your computer and then holds them hostage until a ransom is paid.
SymptomsFiles are no longer able to be opened and have the [Darknes@420blaze.it].waifu suffix added to their names.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .waifu Dharma Virus


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .waifu Dharma Virus.
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.

.waifu Dharma Ransomware – Distribution Methods

There have been numerous methods by which you can become a victim of this variant of Dharma ransomware. The main one, that is also used with other versions of the virus has been reported to be malicious e-mails, also known as malspam. These e-mails may pose as legitimate type of files that seem important, for example:

  • Invoices.
  • Receipts.
  • Banking documents.
  • Suspicious activity on your account.
  • Something that is work – related.
  • A CV of a new employee.

The e-mail messages are also very well designed and in most cases they tend to imitate reputable companies, like PayPal, eBay, DHL, Dropbox, LinkedIn and other seemingly important services, for example:

The primary method of infecton with the .waifu variant of Dharma includes carrying a malicious file In those e-mails that may be of the following types:

→ .zip, .js, .rar, .bat, .vbs, .exe, .sfx, .pdf, .docx, .docm

In the events that the malicious files, belonging to this variant of Dharma ransomware have been spread in .pdf or .docx or .docm formats, they are linkey=d documents that seem legitimate but can infect your PC via malicious macros, once you enable the editing of those documents.

Furthermore, in addition to this, the .waifu variant of Dharma ransomware may also have it’s infection file uploaded on the web and pretending to be a legitimate setup, patch, crack, portable version of a program or any other similar software.

.waifu Files Variant of Dharma – Analysis

The .waifu variant is very similar to most Dharma ransomware viruses we have detected so far, except the first one, which was decryptable.

The ransomware uses two main infection files, which were uploaded and tweeted by researchers.

→ SHA-256: 26653834234b4abf4f3c5f90a135ab74e0eb1e089d6be8934a08dbaf03858dde
Size:311.57 KB

Size:92.5 KB

Once the unlikexpc.exe infection file is dropped on the victim’s computer, the .waifu variant of Dharma ransomware is activated and performs malicious actions on the following Windows system files:

→ C:\WINDOWS\system32\winime32.dll
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temp\EB93A6\996E.exe

Furthermore, the malicious file of Dharma ransomware interacts with the following registry keys in Windows Registry Editor:

→ \Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\996E.exe
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\mscoreei.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\ntdll.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\KERNEL32.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\GDI32.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\USER32.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\Secur32.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\RPCRT4.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\ADVAPI32.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\msvcrt.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\WS2HELP.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\WS2_32.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\SHLWAPI.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\PSAPI.DLL
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\winime32.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\mscoree.dll
\REGISTRY\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\mscoree.dll\CheckAppHelp
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\IMM32.DLL
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\USP10.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\LPK.DLL
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\MSVCR100_CLR0400.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\clr.dll
\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\996E.exe\RpcThreadPoolThrottle
\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Rpc
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\ole32.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\mscorlib.ni.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\MSCTF.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\culture.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\nlssorting.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\clrjit.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\VERSION.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\rsaenh.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\System.ni.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\System.Core.ni.dll
\REGISTRY\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AeDebug
\REGISTRY\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\DebugApplications
\REGISTRY\USER\S-1-5-21-1482476501-1645522239-1417001333-500\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\DebugApplications
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\diasymreader.dll
\Registry\Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\xpsp2res.dll

Then, the .waifu variant of Dharma ransomware proceeds to terminate the following Windows process:

→ C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temp\EB93A6\996E.exe

Dharma ransomware also creates several mutexes on the infected Windows machine:

→ CTF.LBES.MutexDefaultS-1-5-21-1482476501-1645522239-1417001333-500

In addition to those activities, the malware may also delete your shadow volume copies and disable Windows Recovery. This is done by running Windows Command Prompt as an administrator and executing the following commands in /quiet mode, so that the whole activity is hidden:

→ sc stop VVS
sc stop wscsvc
sc stop WinDefend
sc stop wuauserv
sc stop BITS
sc stop ERSvc
sc stop WerSvc
cmd.exe /C bcdedit /set {default} recoveryenabled No
cmd.exe /C bcdedit /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe” /C vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet

.waifu Dharma Virus – Encryption Process

Once infected by the .waifu variant of Dharma ransomware, your documents, videos, images, audio files, archives, databases and many other important files, become it’s target. The virus scans for files by checking their file extensions. In this case, the .waifu Dharma variant may look for the following file types to encrypt them:


Once the files are detected, the .waifu variant of Dharma uses the same encryption model as the variant it’s based on, which first used the .cezar file extension.

After the virus encrypt the files on your computer it leaves them in a crippled state and they start to look like the following image shows:

The files are encrypted with the AES cipher, which generates a decryption key that is used effectively only by the cyber-crooks after the victim pays the ransom, which is requested in cryptocurrency tokens, like BitCoin or Monero. Paying the ransom is not among the recommended things to do, since you cannot trust these people to recover your files.

Remove Dharma Ransomware and Restore .waifu Encrypted Files

Before starting any removal process, we strongly advise you to backup your files, even though they can no longer be opened. And not only this, but we also recommend that you learn how to safely store them(https://sensorstechforum.com/safely-store-your-important-files-and-protect-them-from-malware/) in the future, to prevent any damages.

To remove Dharma ransomware, you are welcome to follow the removal instrucitons down below. They are created to help you delete this malware either manually or automatically from your PC. Be advised that if manual removal is not something you feel confident in doing, we strongly recommend that you remove Dharma by using an advanced anti-malware software. Such tool aims to automatically scan your computer for any files, objects and settings that are malicious and then make sure that they are safely removed from your PC.

If you want to restore .waifu, encrypted files, you can try to use the alternative methods in step “4. Try to restore files, encrypted by .waifu Dharma virus”. They are not a 100% guarantee to recover all your files, but their main idea is to help recover as many files as possible.


Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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