Removal of Dcom ransomware

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

Dcom ransomware removal instructions

What is Dcom?

First discovered by malware researcher Petrovic, Dcom is a new ransomware-type infection that belongs to the GlobeImposter family. After successful infiltration, Dcom encrypts most stored data, thereby making it unusable. During the procedure, Dcom appends each filename with the ".dcom" extension (hence its name). For example, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.dcom". Additionally, Dcom generates the "how_to_back_files.txt" text file and places it on the desktop.

The new text file delivers a short message stating that data is encrypted and that victims must purchase a decryptor to restore it. No additional information is provided and, thus, it is currently unknown which cryptography (symmetric or asymmetric) Dcom uses. In any case, each victim gets a unique key, which is generated individually. These are stored on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals. Each victim must pay a ransom to retrieve their key (or rather, a decryption tool with the key embedded within) to restore data. The cost is not specified (criminals only give a contact email address), however, victims are able to attach one selected file, which will then be restored and returned as a 'guarantee' that data can be decrypted and that these people can be trusted. Be aware, however, that ransomware developers often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying usually gives no positive result and users are scammed. You should never attempt to contact these people and certainly do not submit any payments. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking Dcom encryption and restoring data free of charge. Restoring everything from a backup is the only solution.

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

Dcom decrypt instructions

Dcom is virtually identical to NusarPopoticLotep and dozens of other ransomware-type infections. Be aware that most ransomware encrypts data so that developers can make ransom demands. Encryptions are typically performed using AES, RSA, and other similar cryptographies that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws, restoring data without the involvement of developers is impossible. We strongly recommend that you maintain regular backup copies and store them on remote servers/unplugged storage devices (locally stored backups are compromised together with regular data). You are also advised to have multiple backup copies stored in different locations, since there is always a possibility that servers and storage devices can be damaged.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is currently unconfirmed exactly how developers proliferate Dcom, however, these infections are often distributed trojans, fake software cracks/updaters, unofficial software download sources, and spam email campaigns. Trojans are essentially infections - applications that stealthily infiltrate computers to inject them with additional malware. Fake 'cracking' tools infect systems rather than providing users with access to paid features. Fake updaters 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 third party download sources are used to present malicious executables as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into manual download/installation of malware. Cyber criminals also employ spam campaigns to send thousands of emails that contain deceptive messages - these emails encourage recipients to open the attachments, which contain malicious links and files. The attachments are often presented as important documents (e.g., bills, receipts, invoices, etc.) in attempts to give the impression of legitimacy and increase the chance of tricking recipients.

Threat Summary:
Name Dcom virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .dcom
Ransom Demanding Message how_to_back_files.txt text file
Cyber Criminal Contact decrypttos@cock.li, decrypttos@protonmail.com
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Heur.PonyStealer.Lm0@gyTdnlai), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Injector.EFYI), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.VBKryjetor.byfg), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Rogue Process Name LAKHANI (the process name may vary)
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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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Study each email attachment received. If the file/link is irrelevant or the sender seems suspicious/unrecognizable, do not open anything. Furthermore, download programs from official sources only, preferably using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers should not be used, since most include rogue applications. Keep installed applications/operating systems up-to-date, however, use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Bear in mind that cracking installed applications is illegal (software piracy is a cyber crime) and there is a high probability that such attempts will lead to system infections. Therefore, never try to crack installed programs. Finally, have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running - these tools detect and eliminate malware before the system is harmed. If your computer is already infected with Dcom, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Dcom ransomware text file ("how_to_back_files.txt"):

All your files are Encrypted!
For data recovery needs decryptor.
How to buy decryptor:

------------------------
Contact us on this email below.

decrypttos@cock.li

If No answer in 24hr email this

decrypttos@protonmail.com

------------------------
Free decryption as guarantee.
Before paying you can send us 1 file for free decryption.
------------------------

DO NOT CHANGE DATA BELOW
-

Screenshot of Dcom process ("LAKHANI") in Windows Task Manager:

Dcom process in Windows Task Manager

Screenshot of files encrypted by Dcom (".dcom" extension):

Files encrypted by Dcom

Dcom 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

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 Dcom 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 Dcom 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 Dcom 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 Dcom 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 Dcom, 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 Dcom 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 Dcom 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
Dcom virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Dcom virus on your mobile device.
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