DBGer Ransomware

Also Known As: DBGer virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

DBGer ransomware removal instructions

What is DBGer?

Developed using EternalBlue and Mimikatz, DBGer is a ransomware-type virus discovered by MalwareHunterTeam. Immediately after infiltration, DBGer encrypts most stored files and renames them using the "[[dbger@protonmail.com]][original_filename].dbger" pattern. For example, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "[dbger@protonmail.com]sample.jpg.dbger". Compromised data immediately becomes unusable. Following successful encryption, DBGer generates a text file ("_How_to_decrypt_files.txt") and opens it automatically. This ransomware was firstly discovered by MalwareHunterTeam.

As usual, the new text file contains a message informing victims of the encryption. To restore data, victims are encouraged to pay a ransom. Note that an identical message is delivered in three languages: English, Korean, and Chinese. Therefore, it is safe to assume that developers are from Asia or target users who live in this region. There is no additional information provided and, therefore, it is currently unknown which cryptography (symmetric or asymmetric) DBGer uses. In any case, decryption requires a unique key. Developers store all keys on a remote server. To receive them, victims are encouraged to pay a ransom of 1 Bitcoin (currently equivalent to ~$6500). It is also stated that ransoms must be paid within three days after encryption, otherwise restoring compromised data is no longer possible. Note that, as compared to other ransomware-type viruses, this cost is extremely high (ransoms typically fluctuate between $500 and $1500). Furthermore, cyber criminals can never be trusted. Research shows that these people often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying typically gives no positive result and users are scammed. We strongly advise you to ignore all requests to contact these people or submit any payments. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking DBGer encryption and restoring data free of charge. Therefore, there is only one solution: to restore everything from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

DBGer decrypt instructions

DBGer is virtually identical to Gw3w, Excuses, Donut, Insta, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. All are developed by different cyber criminals. Despite this, their behavior is identical - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. In fact, these viruses typically have just two major differences: 1) type of used cryptography, and; 2) cost of decryption. Unfortunately, most employ algorithms such as RSA, AES, and others that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, file decryption manually without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is virtually impossible. The only possible scenarios are ransomware not being fully developed or having certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally or similar). This malware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, it is very important to store them on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or unplugged storage device (external hard drive, Flash drive or similar), otherwise backups are encrypted together with regular files.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

In most cases, ransomware-type viruses are distributed using spam emails (infectious attachments), third party software download sources (freeware download/free file hosting sites, etc.), peer-to-peer (P2P) networks (torrents, eMule, and other), fake software update tools, and trojans. Malicious attachments typically come in the format of JavaScript files or MS Office documents. Once opened, these files stealthily download and install malware. Unofficial download sources and P2P networks proliferate malware by presenting it as legitimate software. Users are often tricked into downloading and installing viruses. Fake updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. Trojans can be classed as the simplest of all, since most open "backdoors" for other viruses to infiltrate.

Threat Summary:
Name DBGer virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension This ransomware renames compromised files by using "[[dbger@protonmail.com]][original_filename].dbger" pattern (e.g., "sample.jpg" -> "[dbger@protonmail.com]sample.jpg.dbger")
Ransom Demanding Message _How_to_decrypt_files.txt text file
Cyber Criminal Contact dbger@protonmail.com
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Heur.Zard.5), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.NST), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Can't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
Damage All files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Be aware that poor knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Carefully analyze each received email attachment. If the file seems irrelevant or has been received from a suspicious/unrecognizable email address, do not open it and delete the email immediately. Furthermore, we strongly advise you to download your software from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue programs, and thus these tools should never be used. The same rule applies to software updating. Keep installed applications updated, however, this should be achieved through implemented update functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Make sure you have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running.

Text presented in DBGer ransomware text file :

Some files have been encrypted
Please send ( 1 ) bitcoins to my wallet address
If you paid, send the machine code to my email
I will give you key
If there is no payment within three days,
we will no longer support decryption
If you exceed the payment time, your data will be open to the public download
We support decrypting the test file.
send three small than 3 MB files to the email address

部分文件已经被加密
发送 ( 1 ) 个比特币到我的钱包
付款之后, 把你的硬件ID发送到我的邮件
我们将回复给你解密钥匙
如果在三天内没有支付
我们将不再支持解密
如果您超过付款时间 您的数据将会公开下载
我们支持解密测试文件
发送三个小于 3 MB的文件到邮件

일부 파일이 암호화되었습니다
내 지갑 주소로 ( 1 ) 비트 동전을 보내주세요
이미 지불 한 경우 ,하드웨어 를 내 이메일로 보내주십시오
내가 너에게 비밀 번호를 줄 것이다
3 일 이내에 지불이 완료되지 않으면
더 이상 암호 해독을 지원하지 않습니다
지불 시간을 초과하면 데이터는 일반인에게 공개됩니다
테스트 파일의 암호 해독을 지원합니다
이메일 주소에 3MB 미만의 파일 세 개를 보냅니다



BTC Wallet :3EbN7FP8f8x9FPQQoJKXvyoHJgSkKmAHPY
Email:dbger@protonmail.com
Your HardWareID: EL889RQ0IFPK0CM5NOGV80WXSO7X13VJXQTK43HS8KYC7OCIUHRU7Y32VVWOHJUM

Screenshot of files encrypted by DBGer ("[[dbger@protonmail.com]][original_filename].dbger" filename pattern):

Files encrypted by DBGer

DBGer ransomware removal:

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Quick menu:

Isolating the infected device:

Some ransomware-type infections are designed to encrypt files within external storage devices, infect them, and even spread throughout the entire local network. For this reason, it is very important to isolate the infected device (computer) as soon as possible.

Step 1: Disconnect from the internet.

The easiest way to disconnect a computer from the internet is to unplug the Ethernet cable from the motherboard, however, some devices are connected via a wireless network and for some users (especially those who are not particularly tech-savvy), disconnecting cables may seem troublesome. Therefore, you can also disconnect the system manually via Control Panel:

Navigate to the "Control Panel", click the search bar in the upper-right corner of the screen, enter "Network and Sharing Center" and select search result: Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 1)

Click the "Change adapter settings" option in the upper-left corner of the window: Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 2)

Right-click on each connection point and select "Disable". Once disabled, the system will no longer be connected to the internet. To re-enable the connection points, simply right-click again and select "Enable". Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 3)

Step 2: Unplug all storage devices.

As mentioned above, ransomware might encrypt data and infiltrate all storage devices that are connected to the computer. For this reason, all external storage devices (flash drives, portable hard drives, etc.) should be disconnected immediately, however, we strongly advise you to eject each device before disconnecting to prevent data corruption:

Navigate to "My Computer", right-click on each connected device and select "Eject": Ejecting external storage devices

Step 3: Log-out of cloud storage accounts.

Some ransomware-type might be able to hijack software that handles data stored within "the Cloud". Therefore, the data could be corrupted/encrypted. For this reason, you should log-out of all cloud storage accounts within browsers and other related software. You should also consider temporarily uninstalling the cloud-management software until the infection is completely removed.

Identify the ransomware infection:

To properly handle an infection, one must first identify it. Some ransomware infections use ransom-demand messages as an introduction (see the WALDO ransomware text file below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 1)

This, however, is rare. In most cases, ransomware infections deliver more direct messages simply stating that data is encrypted and that victims must pay some sort of ransom. Note that ransomware-type infections typically generate messages with different file names (for example, "_readme.txt", "READ-ME.txt", "DECRYPTION_INSTRUCTIONS.txt", "DECRYPT_FILES.html", etc.). Therefore, using the name of a ransom message may seem like a good way to identify the infection. The problem is that most of these names are generic and some infections use the same names, even though the delivered messages are different and the infections themselves are unrelated. Therefore, using the message filename alone can be ineffective and even lead to permanent data loss (for example, by attempting to decrypt data using tools designed for different ransomware infections, users are likely to end up permanently damaging files and decryption will no longer be possible even with the correct tool).

Another way to identify a ransomware infection is to check the file extension, which is appended to each encrypted file. Ransomware infections are often named by the extensions they append (see files encrypted by Qewe ransomware below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 2)

This method is only effective, however, when the appended extension is unique - many ransomware infections append a generic extension (for example, ".encrypted", ".enc", ".crypted", ".locked", etc.). In these cases, identifying ransomware by its appended extension becomes impossible.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to identify a ransomware infection is to use the ID Ransomware website. This service supports most existing ransomware infections. Victims simply upload a ransom message and/or one encrypted file (we advise you to upload both if possible).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 3)

The ransomware will be identified within seconds and you will be provided with various details, such as the name of the malware family to which the infection belongs, whether it is decryptable, and so on.

Example 1 (Qewe [Stop/Djvu] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 4)

Example 2 (.iso [Phobos] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 5)

If your data happens to be encrypted by a ransomware that is not supported by ID Ransomware, you can always try searching the internet by using certain keywords (for example, ransom message title, file extension, provided contact emails, cryptowallet addresses, etc.).

Search for ransomware decryption tools:

Encryption algorithms used by most ransomware-type infections are extremely sophisticated and, if the encryption is performed properly, only the developer is capable of restoring data. This is because decryption requires a specific key, which is generated during the encryption. Restoring data without the key is impossible. In most cases, cyber criminals store keys on a remote server, rather than using the infected machine as a host. Dharma (CrySis), Phobos, and other families of high-end ransomware infections are virtually flawless, and thus restoring data encrypted without the developers' involvement is simply impossible. Despite this, there are dozens of ransomware-type infections that are poorly developed and contain a number of flaws (for example, the use of identical encryption/decryption keys for each victim, keys stored locally, etc.). Therefore, always check for available decryption tools for any ransomware that infiltrates your computer.

Finding the correct decryption tool on the internet can be very frustrating. For this reason, we recommend that you use the No More Ransom Project and this is where identifying the ransomware infection is useful. The No More Ransom Project website contains a "Decryption Tools" section with a search bar. Enter the name of the identified ransomware, and all available decryptors (if there are any) will be listed.

Searching for ransomware decryption tools in nomoreransom.org website

Restore files with data recovery tools:

Depending on the situation (quality of ransomware infection, type of encryption algorithm used, etc.), restoring data with certain third-party tools might be possible. Therefore, we advise you to use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro. This tool supports over a thousand data types (graphics, video, audio, documents, etc.) and it is very intuitive (little knowledge is necessary to recover data).

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EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro

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Step 1: Perform a scan.

Hover your mouse over the partition you wish to scan and select "Scan". You can also select a specific folder, or click shortcut icons to scan the Desktop or Recycle Bin: Scanning the storage drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard PRO (step 1)

Wait for EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro to complete the scan. The scanning duration depends on the volume of files (both in quantity and size) that you are scanning (for example, several hundreds gigabytes could take over an hour to scan). Therefore, be patient during the scanning process. We also advise against modifying or deleting existing files, since this might interfere with the scan. If you add additional data (for example, downloading files/content) while scanning, this will prolong the process: Scanning the storage drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard PRO (step 2)

Step 2: Recover data.

Once the process is complete, select the folders/files you wish to restore and simply click "Recover". Note that some free space on your storage drive is necessary to restore data. Note also that the trial version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is only capable of scanning drives and listing recoverable files - to restore them, you must purchase a license: Recovering data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro

Step 3: Save the scan session (optional).

We recommend that you save the scanning session once you have completed recovery, in case you decide to recover additional files later. Simply click the "Save Scan Session" icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and choose the location for the file to be saved. This will save a lot of time, since you will not need to re-scan the storage drive the next time you wish to restore something. Bear in mind, however, that data removed after the scanning session has finished will not be listed: Saving scan session in EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro

Create data backups:

Proper file management and creating backups is essential for data security. Therefore, always be very careful and think ahead.

Partition management: We recommend that you store your data in multiple partitions and avoid storing important files within the partition that contains the entire operating system. If you fall into a situation whereby you cannot boot the system and are forced to format the disk on which the operating system is installed (in most cases, this is where malware infections hide), you will lose all data stored within that drive. This is the advantage of having multiple partitions: if you have the entire storage device assigned to a single partition, you will be forced to delete everything, however, creating multiple partitions and allocating the data properly allows you to prevent such problems. You can easily format a single partition without affecting the others - therefore, one will be cleaned and the others will remain untouched, and your data will be saved. Managing partitions is quite simple and you can find all necessary information on Microsoft's documentation web page.

Data backups: The most reliable backup method is to use an external storage device and keep it unplugged. Copy your data to an external hard drive, flash (thumb) drive, SSD, HDD, or any other storage device, unplug it and store it in a dry place away from sun and extreme temperatures. This method is, however, quite inefficient, since data backups and updates need to be made regularly. You can also use a cloud service or remote server. Here, an internet connection is required and there is always the chance of a security breach. Therefore, you should consider using an application to create data backups locally.

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EaseUS Todo Backup

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We recommend using the EaseUS Todo Backup application. The "Home" edition of EaseUS Todo Backup is usually more than adequate for regular users, however, the "Business" edition is more suitable for companies and large computer networks. The EaseUS Todo Backup application provides extensive data protection features. You can easily create backups, and encrypt and compress them for enhanced protection and storage saving purposes. It also allows you to set backup schedules, create bootable devices, and restore the system if a crash occurs. You can easily choose where to store the created backup: locally; uploaded to an external drive; FTP; cloud storage, or elsewhere. In summary, EaseUS Todo Backup is an all-in-one tool, which provides all features required to properly backup your data.

Creating a data backup:

The backup process is virtually identical regardless of the item (file, partition, entire system) you wish to backup. Taking the File Backup feature as an example:

Step 1: Choose which item to backup.

Click on the "Menu" icon in the upper-left corner of the screen to reveal the menu and select "File Backup": Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 1)

Select the files you want to backup. You can also enter a name and description of the backup that will be created: Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 2)

Step 2: Change the default settings.

The EaseUS Todo Backup application provides a variety of additional options that can be added/modified while creating the backup. For example, you can encrypt data (add a password), select the compression rate (how much the backup should be compressed), performance (how many system resources should be allocated), add an email notification (you receive an email once the process is complete) and so on.

To open the options window, click the "Backup options" button in the lower-left corner of the screen: Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 3)

Select the settings you want to change and click "Save". You can also reset your changes by clicking "Reset to initial settings": Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 4)

Step 3: Select the backup destination.

As mentioned above, EaseUS Todo Backup allows you to choose where backups are saved - locally or externally.

Click the "Browse..." button and select the location you want the backup to be saved: Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 5)

Step 4: Safety measures and process completion.

Depending on the location you have chosen, there are a number of measures you should or should not take. If you are uploading to an internet-connected location (for example, Cloud storage, FTP, etc.), be sure to maintain your internet connection, otherwise you will have to start again. The same applies to external storage devices - do not unplug them until the process is complete.

The progress bar displays estimated time remaining until completion. Large backups (hundreds of gigabytes) can take hours to create (depending on storage device speed, internet connection, etc.). Therefore, the application also allows you to optionally choose what the system should do (shut down, sleep or hibernate) once the process has finished: Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 6)

The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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DBGer virus QR code
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