.good (Dharma) Ransomware

Also Known As: .good (Dharma) virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

.good ransomware removal instructions

What is .good?

First discovered by malware researcher Jakub Kroustek and belonging to the Dharma ransomware family, .good is high-risk ransomware that stealthily infiltrates computers and encrypts most stored files. This ransomware also appends filenames with the ".good" extension (hence its name) during encryption. For instance, .good renames "sample.jpg" to "sample.jpg.good". Encrypted data immediately becomes unusable. As well as file encryption, .good displays a pop-up window and stores the "RETURN FILES.txt" text file on the desktop.

As with most Dharma variants, .good uses a text file and pop-up window to inform victims of the current situation. The text file contains a short message stating that data is encrypted and that victims must contact criminals to restore it. The pop-up window delivers much more detail. It states that data is encrypted using the RSA-1024 algorithm and that recovery requires a unique decryption key. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. RSA-1024 is asymmetric cryptography which generates two keys (public [encryption] and private [decryption]) for each victim. Decrypting files without the private key is impossible. Criminals hide the keys on a remote servers and blackmail victims for their release - to receive their key and recover data, each victim must a ransom. The cost is not specified - these details are provided via email, however, it is states that the ransom must be paid within seven days after encryption, otherwise the key is overwritten by other victims' keys. The keys are permanently deleted and developers are no longer able to restore encrypted data. Victims are also allowed to attach emails with one selected file (up to 1 MB, non-archived). Criminals will decode the file and return it as a 'guarantee' that they are capable of file decryption. Regardless of the cost, cyber criminals should never be trusted. Research shows that they often ignore victims, once payments are received. Therefore, paying often gives no positive results and users are scammed. Unfortunately, .good is undecryptable ransomware - there are no tools capable of cracking the encryption and restoring data free of charge. The only solution is to restore everything from a backup, if one has been created.

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

.good decrypt instructions

.good shares many similarities with hundreds of other ransomware infections, such as Virus-encoder, india2lock, and Rectot. Most of these infections compromise data (usually by encryption) so that cyber criminals can blackmail victims by offering paid recovery of their files. In most cases, size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm used are the only major differences. Ransomware infections often use RSA, AES, and other similar cryptographies that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally, or similar) or is still in development, manual data recovery is impossible. Infections such as .good are one of the main reasons why you should maintain regular backups. Store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices, since locally stored backups are compromised together with regular data. Bear in mind, however, that servers and storage devices can be damaged, so have multiple backup copies stored in different locations.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Infections such as .good are often distributed using trojans, fake software cracks/updaters, spam email campaigns, and third party software download sources. Trojans cause "chain infections". They stealthily infiltrate computers and download/install additional malware. Cracking tools activate paid software free of charge, however, most of these cracks are fake (criminals use them to proliferate malware), and thus users are much more likely to infect computers than gain access to paid features. The same applies to fake updaters. These tools infect computers by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks, freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, and other unofficial software download sources are used to proliferate malware by presenting it as legitimate software. Therefore, users often end up manually downloading and installing malware. Spam email campaigns are also used in a similar manner. Criminals send hundreds of thousands of deceptive emails consisting of infectious attachments (links/files) and messages encouraging users to open them. To give the impression of legitimacy, criminals often present attachments as invoices, receipts, bills or other important documents. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior.

Threat Summary:
Name .good (Dharma) virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .good (this ransomware also appends filenames with the victim's unique ID and developer's email address).
Ransom Demanding Message Pop-up window, RETURN FILES.txt text file.
Cyber Criminal Contact onecrypt@aol.com
Detection Names (expiorer321.exe) Avast (Win32:RansomX-gen [Ransom]), BitDefender (Trojan.Ransom.Crysis.E), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of Win32/Filecoder.Crysis.P), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Crusis.to), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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.
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)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the Internet, and downloading/installing/updating software. Handle all email attachments with care. Files/links received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. The same applies to attachments that are irrelevant and do not concern you. Download apps from official sources only (via direct download links) and avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since most include rogue apps. Keep installed applications/operating systems up-to-date, however, this should be achieved through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Be aware that software piracy is a cyber crime and the risk of infections is extremely high. Therefore, cracking installed applications should never be considered. We strongly recommend that you have a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running at all times - these tools can detect and eliminate most infections, thereby preventing them from causing any damage. The key to computer safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with .good, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in .good ransomware pop-up window:

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.)
When you make sure of decryption possibility transfer the money to our bitcoin wallet. As soon as we receive the money we will send you:
1. Decryption program.
2. Detailed instruction for decryption.
3. And individual keys for decrypting your files.
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 .good text file ("RETURN FILES.txt"):

.good text file

Text presented within this file:

All your data is encrypted!
for return write to mail:

Screenshot of files encrypted by .good (".good" extension):

Files encrypted by .good

.good ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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Quick menu:

Step 1

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.

Safe Mode with Networking

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.

Windows 8 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.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the .good 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.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

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 .good ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining .good 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 .good 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.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

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 regain control of the files encrypted by .good, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

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 .good 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 Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.

Controll Folder Access

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:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • 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 .good ransomware:

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.

QR Code
.good (Dharma) virus QR code
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