.Onion Dharma Ransom Virus – Remove and Get Files Back

The Dharma virus has been spotted in a third variant, this time using the .onion file extension, completely unrelated to the previous .dharma and .wallet ones. The new Dharma ransomware also communicates via the e-mail [felix_dies@aol.com] through which it sends a decryptor after the ransom has been paid. In case you are a victim of the new Dharma ransomware using the .onion file extension, we advise you to read this article and learn how to remove the virus files and try to decode .onion encrypted objects.

.Onion Ransom Virus – What Does It Do

Being a variant of the CrySiS ransomware family, which exists in hundreds of variants, many of which are decryptable, Dharma .onion ransomware has been reported to drop one or more executable files in the %AppData% Windows directory.

After doing so, the virus may modify the Windows registry entries, more specifically the Shell sub-key with the following location:

  • HKLM/Software/Microsoft/WindowsNT/CurrentVersion/Winlogon/Shell

Deretter, the virus may also modify the Run registry key to run the executable file(med) in the %AppData% directory. The key is with the following path:

  • HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run/

This may result in the virus file booting alongside the Windows start-up process.

The Dharma ransomware also drops a ransom note file with a ransom message and places it somewhere easy to locate. Deretter, Dharma ransomware virus may attack files with the following file types to encrypt them:

After Dharma encrypts the files, the virus leaves the files no longer able to be opened and appends the file extension .id-{victimID}.[felix_dies@aol.com].onion to each encrypted file.

After the encryption process of Dharma ransomware has completed, the virus may also delete the VSS (shadow copies) on the infected computer in order to prevent victims from restoring their files via these backups.

Dharma .onion Ransomware – How Did I Get Infected

The infection process of Dharma ransomware is conducted primarily via spammed e-mails that have deceptive messages embedded within them. Such messages may pretend to be sent from services such as PayPal, USPS, FedEx and others. They may contain attachments that pretend to be invoices and other fake type of files. Other social engineering techniques include:

  • Fake buttons and pictures as if the e-mails are sent from a social media site, like LinkedIn.
  • Fraudulent PayPal links.
  • Links to GoogleDrive and fake e-mails that look the same as if they are sent from Google.

Other infection tools may also include the usage of torrent websites and other third-party sites to upload fake updates, fake installers as well as other fraudulent executables.

Remove Dharma .onion Ransomware and Get Encrypted Files Back

For the removal of the .onion variant of Dharma ransomware, recommendations are to focus on following the removal instructions below and boot your computer in Safe Mode. In case manual removal in the instructions below do not work for you, security professionals recommend downloading a powerful anti-malware tool that will quickly remove Dharma .onion ransomware and protect your computer in the future as well. If you want to restore files encrypted by Dharma, we have offered several suggestions below that may be able to assist with this issue.

Booting in Safe Mode

For Windows:
1) Hold Windows Key and R
2) A run Window will appear, in it type “msconfig” and hit Enter
3) After the Window appears go to the Boot tab and select Safe Boot

Cut out Dharma .onion in Task Manager

1) Press CTRL+ESC+SHIFT at the same time.
2) Locate the “Processes” Kategorien.
3) Locate the malicious process of Dharma .onion, and end it’s task by right-clicking on it and clicking on “End Process”

Eliminate Dharma .onion‘s Malicious Registries

For most Windows variants:
1) Hold Windows Button and R.
2) In the “Run” box type “Regedit” and hit “Enter”.
3) Hold CTRL+F keys and type Dharma .onion or the file name of the malicious executable of the virus which is usually located in %AppData%, %Temp%, %Local%, %Roaming% or %SystemDrive%.
4) After having located malicious registry objects, some of which are usually in the Run and RunOnce subkeys delete them ermanently and restart your computer. Here is how to find and delete keys for different versions.
For Windows 7: Open the Start Menu and in the search type and type regedit –> Open it. –> Hold CTRL + F buttons –> Type Dharma .onion Virus in the search field.
Win 8/10 users: Start Button –> Choose Run –> type regedit –> Hit Enter -> Press CTRL + F buttons. Type Dharma .onion in the search field.

Automatic Removal of Dharma .onion

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Recover files encrypted by the Dharma .onion Ransomware.

Method 1: Using Shadow Explorer. In case you have enabled File history on your Windows Machine one thing you can do is to use Shadow Explorer to get your files back. Unfortunately some ransomware viruses may delete those shadow volume copies with an administrative command to prevent you from doing just that.

Method 2: If you try to decrypt your files using third-party decryption tools. There are many antivirus providers who have decrypted multiple ransomware viruses the last couple of years and posted decryptors for them. Chances are if your ransomware virus uses the same encryption code used by a decryptable virus, you may get the files back. Men, this is also not a guarantee, so you might want to try this method with copies of the original encrypted files, because if a third-party program tampers with their encrypted structure, they may be damaged permanently. Here are the vendors to look for:

  • Kaspersky.
  • Emsisoft.
  • TrendMicro.

Method 3: Using Data Recovery tools. This method is suggested by multiple experts in the field. It can be used to scan your hard drive’s sectors and hence scramble the encrypted files anew as if they were deleted. Most ransomware viruses usually delete a file and create an encrypted copy to prevent such programs for restoring the files, but not all are this sophisticated. So you may have a chance of restoring some of your files with this method. Here are several data recovery programs which you can try and restore at least some of your files: