.com ransomware removal instructions
What is .com?
.com is another variant of a high-risk ransomware called Dharma. As with most of Dharma's variants, .com was also discovered by malware security researcher Jakub Kroustek. After successful infiltration, .com encrypts most of stored files and appends filenames with ".com" extension, alongside with victim's unique ID and developers' email address. E.g., encrypted "sample.jpg" will be renamed to something like "sample.jpg.id-1E857D00.[email@example.com].com" and so on so forth. Once data is encrypted, .com opens a pop-up window and creates a text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt") dropping it on victim's desktop.
The created text file provides a short message informing victims about the encryption and encouraging users to contact the developers. Meanwhile, pop-up window provides a bit more details. It is noted that encrypted data can only be restored with the help of unique key and decryption tool. Unfortunately, this is true. It is currently unknown whether .com uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. Nevertheless, each victim gets a unique decryption key. Restoring data without this key is impossible. For this reason, cyber criminals hide them in a remote servers with an intention of blackmailing victims - in order to receive one's key each victim has to pay a ransom. The price isn't specified, because it supposedly depends on how fast victim contacts cyber criminals. One way or another, all details are provided via email. In most cases cyber criminals ask for $500-1500 in Bitcoins or another cryptocurrency. However, no matter how low or high the price is, it should never be paid. Research results show that cyber criminals often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. This means that victims usually submit payments and get nothing in return. For this reason, all encouragements to contact these persons and especially submit payments should be ignored. There currently are no tools capable of cracking .com encryption and restoring data for free. The only thing victims can do is 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 .com. Yatron, Plomb, Dy8wud - these are only few examples from a long list. Although the developers are different, these ransomware-type viruses also compromise data (usually, by encrypting) and make ransom demands. There typically are only two major differences: size of ransom and type of cryptography used. The problem is that most of these infections employ cryptographies that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus isn't fully developed and/or has certain bugs/flaws (i.e., the key is stored locally, it is hard-coded, or something like that), decrypting data manually is impossible. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups. However, be sure to store them in remote servers or unplugged storage devices. Locally stored backups will probably be encrypted together with regular data.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
It is currently unknown how exactly do developers proliferate .com. In most cases, however, ransomware-type infections are distributed using trojans, fake software updaters/cracks, unofficial software download sources, and email spam campaigns. Trojans are essentially malicious applications that stealthily infiltrate computers and continually inject additional malware. Fake software update tools are designed to infect computers by either exploiting outdated software's bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware instead of the promised updates. Cracking tools are meant to bypass paid software activation. Yet these tools are also used to proliferate malware. Therefore, rather than gaining access to paid features users often end up infecting their computers. Developers employ unofficial software download sources (free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, torrents, eMule, etc.) to present malicious executables as legitimate software. This tricks users into downloading and installing malware manually, by themselves. Last but not least are email spam campaigns. These are used to proliferate malicious attachments that, once opened, download/install viruses.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
To prevent ransomware infectious users must be very cautious when browsing the Internet, as well as during download/installation/update processes. It is very important to think twice before opening email attachments. Files/links that are irrelevant and those received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. Download apps only from official sources, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are likely to include rogue apps, which is why such tools shouldn't be used. Always be sure to keep installed applications and operating system up-to-date. To achieve this, however, use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. You should never attempt to crack installed applications because of two reasons: the risk of computer infections is extremely high and software piracy is considered a cyber crime. On top of all that, always have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running - these tools are capable of detecting and eliminating most of viruses before they harm the system. The key to computer safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with .com, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in .com ransomware's 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 .com's 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 or email@example.com
Screenshot of files encrypted by .com (".com" extension):
.com ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of .com 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 .com virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is .com?
- STEP 1. .com virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. .com 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 .com 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 .com 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 .com 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 .com 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 .com ransomware.
Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default this feature automatically protects files stored in 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�s more information on how to get this update and add 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 .com ransomware: