Dharma-Btc ransomware removal instructions
What is Dharma-Btc?
Discovered by malware security researcher, Jakub Kroustek, Dharma-Btc is a new variant of a high-risk ransomware called Dharma. Once infiltrated, Dharma-Btc immediately encrypts most stored data and appends the ".id-[victim's_ID].[email@example.com].btc" extension to each encrypted file. For instance, "sample.jpg" is renamed to a filename such as "sample.jpg.id-1E857D00.[firstname.lastname@example.org].btc" or ".[email@example.com].btc". Encrypted data immediately becomes unusable. As well as encryption, Dharma-Btc also opens a pop-up window and generate a text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"), placing a copy in every existing folder.
The pop-up window and text file contain messages informing victims of the encryption and encouraging them to contact Dharma-Btc's developers if they are willing to pay a ransom in exchange for decryption. No information regarding the encryption is provided. Therefore, it is currently unknown whether Dharma-Btc uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. In any case, decryption requires a unique key generated individually for each victim. Cyber criminals store all keys on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals and victims are encouraged to pay for their release. The cost is not specified - this information is supposedly provided via email. Criminals typically demand $500-1500 in Bitcoins, Monero, or another cryptocurrency. Note that these people cannot be trusted. No matter what the cost, do not pay. Research shows that criminals often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying is likely to deliver no positive results and you will probably be scammed. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking Dharma-Btc encryption and restoring data free of charge. The only solution is to restore everything from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
There are hundreds of ransomware-type viruses that share similarities with Dharma-Btc. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) GANDCRAB V5.0, Qinynore, Rektware, Xorist, and Scarab-Hitler. Research shows that, although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, their behavior is virtually identical - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. Ransomware-type viruses usually have just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of algorithm used to encrypt data. Unfortunately, many ransomware-type viruses employ algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws, restoring data manually without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. Viruses such as Dharma-Btc are one of the main reasons why you should maintain regular data backups, however, store them on a remote server, unplugged storage device, or similar (otherwise malware encrypts backups with regular data).
How did ransomware infect my computer?
It is currently unknown how Dharma-Btc is distributed, however, criminals typically proliferate ransomware using five methods/tools: 1) spam email campaigns; 2) trojans; 3) peer-to-peer [P2P] networks; 4) third party software download sources, and; 5) fake software update tools. Spam campaigns deliver malicious attachments that, once opened, download and install malware. Trojans simply cause so-called "chain infections" (one virus distributes another). P2P networks (torrents, eMule, and so on) and other unofficial download sources (free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, etc.) present malware as legitimate software. In this way, users are tricked into downloading and installing malware. Fake updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing viruses rather than promised updates. Essentially, lack of knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
Caution is the key to computer safety. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Carefully analyze each email attachment. If you receive unexpected/irrelevant files or the sender seems suspicious, do not open them. You are also advised to avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since developers monetize them by promoting ("bundling") rogue apps. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links. The same rule applies to software updates. Keep installed programs up-to-date. To achieve this, use implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount - these tools can detect and eliminate malware before it does any damage. If your computer is already infected with Dharma-Btc, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in Dharma-Btc ransomware pop-up window:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese e-mails:email@example.com
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it 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 victim of a scam
Screenshot of Dharma-Btc text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):
Text presented within this file:
all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email firstname.lastname@example.org
Screenshot of files encrypted by Dharma-Btc (".id-[victim's_ID].[email@example.com].btc" extension):
Dharma-Btc ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of Dharma-Btc virus:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Dharma-Btc virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Dharma-Btc?
- STEP 1. Dharma-Btc virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Dharma-Btc ransomware removal using System Restore.
Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.
Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the Dharma-Btc virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.
If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.
Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":
1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.
2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window, click "Next".
5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the Dharma-Btc ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).
6. In the opened window, click "Yes".
7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Dharma-Btc ransomware files.
To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of Dharma-Btc are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.
To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.
If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.
To protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Dharma-Btc ransomware.
Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.
Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.
HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.
Other tools known to remove Dharma-Btc ransomware: