Dotmap ransomware removal instructions
What is Dotmap?
Dotmap is malicious software categorized as ransomware. It encrypts data and forces victims to pay a ransom (purchase a decryption tool/key). Dotmap belongs to Djvu ransomware family and was discovered by Michael Gillespie. This ransomware changes the names of encrypted files by adding the ".dotmap" extension. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.dotmap". Instructions on how to decrypt data can be found in the form of a ransom message within a "_readme.txt" file, which is stored in folders that contain encrypted files.
Victims are informed that they can restore their files, however, they are encouraged to purchase a decryption tool and key. It is stated that all files are encrypted with the strongest encryption and, therefore, it is impossible to decrypt them without using the correct tool/key. In this particular case, the cost of decryption is $980, however, Dotmap's developers offer a 50% discount for victims who contact them within the first 72 hours following encryption. They make it clear that if people wish to decrypt files and regain access to them, they will have to make a payment. To 'prove' that they have the correct tool, these cyber criminals offer free decryption of one file. Victims can send this file to the email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org email address. Another way to contact Dotmap's developers is via Telegram by looking for the @datarestore account. Once contacted, they will send instructions on how to make payment. Typically, they prefer to be paid in a cryptocurrency, however, we do not recommend that you trust or pay any ransomware developers. Most people do not receive decryption tools/keys as promised. Unfortunately, only cyber criminals/ransomware developers can provide victims with these tools. They use cryptography algorithms (symmetric or asymmetric) that cause strong encryptions, and thus most are impossible to decrypt without the help of ransomware developers. The only way to restore files free of charge is usually via a data backup that was created before infection with malicious software. If during encryption there was no Internet connection or the developer's server was not responding, it might be possible decrypt files with an offline decryption tool. More information about this method can be found by clicking this link.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
Dotmap is similar to many other programs of this type such as DDOS, PLUT, and SYSTEM FAILURE. They generally encrypt data and force victims to pay a ransom. Main differences are usually cost of decryption and encryption algorithm that was used to lock the victim's data, however, the main problem is that decryption without using the correct tools/keys is impossible. This might only be possible if the ransomware-type program is not finished and contains bugs/flaws. Therefore, maintain data backups and store them on remote severs (such as Cloud) or an unplugged storage device.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Encrypted Files Extension||.dotmap|
|Ransom Demanding Message||_readme.txt text file|
|Cyber Criminal Contactemail@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, @datarestore (telegram)|
|Symptoms||Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand payment of a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.|
|Additional Information||This malware is designed to show fake Windows Update window, modify Windows "hosts" file (to prevent users from accessing cyber security websites) and inject AZORult trojan into the system.|
|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.|
To eliminate Dotmap virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
Do not open web links or files attached to irrelevant emails that are received from unknown or suspicious addresses. The safest option is to ignore these emails and leave their contents unopened. Furthermore, download software from official, trustworthy sources (websites) and using direct download links. Do not trust the software download channels mentioned above. Use official tools to update installed software: tools or implemented functions that are provided by official developers only. Programs should not be activated using 'cracking' tools. Using these tools is a cyber crime and often causes download/installation of malware. Have reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed and active (enabled). If your computer is already infected with Dotmap, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in Dotmap ransomware text file ("_readme.txt"):
Don't worry my friend, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $490.
Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail "Spam" or "Junk" folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.
To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
Our Telegram account:
Your personal ID:
Screenshot of files encrypted by Dotmap (".dotmap" extension):
Malware researcher Michael Gillespie has developed a decryption tool that might restore your data if it was encrypted using an "offline key". As mentioned, each victim receives a unique decryption key, all of which are stored on remote servers controlled by cyber criminals. These are categorized as "online keys", however, there are cases when the infected machine has no Internet connection or the server is timing out/not responding. If this is the case, Dotmap will use an "offline encryption key", which is hard-coded. Cyber criminals change offline keys periodically to prevent multiple encryptions with the same key. Michael Gillespie continually gathers offline keys and updates the decrypter, however, the chances of successful decryption are still very low, since only a very small proportion of "offline keys" have so far been gathered. You can download the decrypter by clicking this link (note that the download link remains the same, even though the decrypter is being continually updated). Your files will be restored only if the list of gathered keys includes the one that was used to encrypt your data.
Screenshot of STOP/Djvu decrypter by Michael Gillespie:
As with most ransomware from the Djvu family, Dotmap also displays a fake Windows update pop-up during the encryption:
IMPORTANT NOTE! - As well as encrypting data, ransomware-type infections from the Djvu malware family also install a trojan-type virus called AZORult, which is designed to steal various account credentials. Moreover, this malware family is designed to add a number of entries to the Windows hosts file. The entries contain URLs of various websites, most of which are related to malware removal. This is done to prevent users from accessing malware security websites and seeking help. Our website (PCrisk.com) is also on the list. Removing these entries, however, is simple - you can find detailed instructions in this article (note that, although the steps are shown in the Windows 10 environment, the process is virtually identical on all versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system).
Screenshot of websites added to Windows hosts file:
Dotmap ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of Dotmap 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 Dotmap virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Dotmap?
- STEP 1. Dotmap virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Dotmap 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 Dotmap 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 Dotmap 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 Dotmap 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 Dotmap 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 Dotmap 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 Dotmap ransomware: