Protect operating systems from Domn ransomware attacks

Also Known As: Domn virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

Domn ransomware removal instructions

What is Domn?

Discovered by Michael Gillespie, Domn is a malicious program and part of the Djvu ransomware family. Like most programs of this type, Domn is designed to prevent victims from accessing their data by encrypting files with strong encryption algorithms. To regain access to their files, victims are encouraged to purchase a decryption tool and key. Domn adds the ".domn" extension to the filenames of encrypted files. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.domn". It also creates a ransom message within the "_readme.txt" file.

To recover their files (documents, database, photos, etc.), victims must supposedly contact cyber criminals by sending an email to gorentos@bitmessage.ch or gerentoshelp@firemail.cc. They must provide the appointed personal ID and are permitted to attach one encrypted file. The cost of a decryption tool and key depends on how quickly victims contact Domn developers. The standard cost is $980, however, if contacted within 72 hours, cyber criminals supposedly sell keys/tools for $490. To 'prove' that they have valid tools to decode files, cyber criminals offer to decrypt the attached file free of charge. In any case, it is made clear that it is impossible to decrypt files without tools held only by Domn developers. Unfortunately, this is accurate. Most ransomware-type programs encrypt files using strong encryption algorithms that are impossible to 'crack' using any other tools. Despite this, do not trust any cyber criminals or ransomware developers. Paying the ransom could result in financial loss without any positive outcome. It is unlikely that they will send any tools or keys, even after payment. In most cases, the only and free way to recover files is to restore them from an existing backup.

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

Domn decrypt instructions

Other examples of ransomware-type programs include RSA, Kvag, and IS. Most are used to extort money from people by encrypting their files and forcing them to pay a ransom. Common differences are size of ransom and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that is used to encrypt data. In any case, it is impossible to decrypt encrypted files without tools that only cyber criminals can provide, unless the ransomware is not fully developed, has bugs, flaws, etc. Therefore, have data backed up and store it on an unplugged/disconnected storage device or remote server.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Typically, malware is distributed through spam campaigns/emails, dubious file or software download sources, Trojans, fake software updating or activation tools. Cyber criminals often send emails with malicious files attached to them. The main aim is to trick recipients into opening the attached file (or a file downloaded through a provided link). If opened, the files install ransomware or other malware. Some examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are Microsoft Office, PDF documents, JavaScript files, archives such as ZIP, RAR and executable files (.exe). Various untrustworthy software or file download channels such as unofficial or freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer networks (eMule, torrent clients), and other such tools can be used to proliferate malicious software. Cyber criminals upload malicious files and disguise them as legitimate. People who use these download sources risk downloading a malicious file that, if opened, will infect the computer with high-risk malicious software. Trojans are malicious programs that often cause chain infections. In summary, if a computer is already infected with a Trojan, there is a high probability that it will install additional malware, including ransomware. Fake/unofficial software update tools usually infect systems by downloading and installing malware rather than updating or fixing installed programs, or they exploit bugs/flaws of outdated software installed on the system. Unofficial activation ('cracking') tools are used by people who seek to avoid payment for activation of licensed software, however, they often cause installation of malicious software.

Threat Summary:
Name Domn virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension .domn
Ransom Demanding Message _readme.txt
Ransom Amount $980/$490
Cyber Criminal Contact gorentos@bitmessage.ch, gerentoshelp@firemail.cc
Detection Names Avast (Win32:CoinminerX-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.41769910), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.GWLF), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Miner.xiua), 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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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections

Avoid using third party software downloaders/installers or other dubious sources to download files or programs. Download them using official and trustworthy websites, and direct download links. Update installed software or operating systems through implemented functions or tools provided by official software developers. Avoid opening attachments or web links presented in irrelevant emails that are sent from unknown/suspicious addresses. Do not activate software or operating systems using software 'cracking' tools - this is illegal and often leads to installation of malicious programs. Have reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed and scan the system with it regularly. Keep this software up-to-date. If your computer is already infected with Domn, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Domn ransomware text file ("_readme.txt"):

ATTENTION!

Don't worry, 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:
https://we.tl/t-NrkxzoMm4o
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:
gorentos@bitmessage.ch

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
gerentoshelp@firemail.cc

Your personal ID:

-

Screenshot of files encrypted by Domn (".domn" extension):

Files encrypted by Domn

Domn 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 Domn 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 Domn 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 Domn 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 Domn 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 Domn, 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 Domn 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.

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 Domn 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
Domn 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 Domn virus on your mobile device.
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