DolphinTear ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware
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DolphinTear virus does not demand a ransom but cripples victim’s files for fun

DolphinTear virus is a ransomware[1] based on a HiddenTear virus, and its purpose is to encrypt victim’s files so that the attackers could demand ransom in exchange for a decryption key. The new HiddenTear spin-off uses .dolphin file extension to mark the files and names its ransom note as LIES_MICH.txt (in English translates to READ_ME.txt). The virus is currently in development and not distributed on a global scale. The ransom note contains a line that seems to be written by a twelve-year-old, and says: “Datei wurde verschlüsselt mit I-AM-A-DOLPHIN,” which translates to “files were encrypted with I-AM-A-DOLPHIN.” Ever since HiddenTear’s source code[2] emerged in public, various script kiddies or wannabe cybercriminals were attempting to use it to create their own customized ransomware samples. It is clear that Dolphin Tear ransomware is yet another creation by an inexperienced programmer, which was not even meant to extort money from the victim. However, the virus can be improved anytime. For this reason, we suggest you to protect your computer in advance. Besides, if you have been hit by this ransomware, remove DolphinTear with Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus software and use data recovery methods provided below.

Ransom note by DolphinTear

Although DolphinTear doesn’t seem like the most disastrous piece of malware available, it can be distributed in a bundle with more severe viruses such as Trojans. In most cases, in-development ransomware samples almost never evolve into something critically dangerous; however, that doesn’t mean that you should not be afraid of such viruses. Remember – they can permanently damage your system, and if you are a person who doesn’t have a data backup, you can forget your files. For this reason, we suggest you apply multiple layers of protection, including anti-malware software, data backup, and avoidance of suspicious emails and websites. In case your files are already crippled, implement DolphinTear removal and use data recovery instructions provided at the end of this article.

Distribution of in-development ransomware

In-development ransomware is hardly ever distributed or used to attack victims. In some cases, it gets distributed to a limited amount of email accounts in the form of a malicious email attachment. However, malware analysts mostly spot such malware samples uploaded to online file and URL scanners such as VirusTotal or HybridAnalysis. If these viruses ever get polished, their developers typically employ traditional ransomware distribution techniques, including malicious spam, Trojans, deceptive websites, illegal software, exploit kits or malware-laden ads. You can protect your computer using tips we provided earlier. We also suggest you to stay away from sites that you know nothing about or if you feel that you cannot evaluate their reputation. It is also a good idea not to randomly click on annoying ads when browsing through gambling or adult content sites. Finally, we do not recommend you to download software cracks as they are often filled with malicious files.

DolphinTear elimination steps

You do not need to hesitate whether it is worth to remove DolphinTear virus or not. You do not need this virus on your computer, and its removal is essential if you plan to continue using your PC. Before you take any actions, remember that the right order of recovery goes likes this – DolphinTear removal first, data decryption – second. If you try to decrypt your files before removing the virus, you can irreversibly corrupt your files. Therefore, we suggest you follow the guidelines we present below and delete the ransomware firstly.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall DolphinTear ransomware virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual DolphinTear virus Removal Guide:

Remove DolphinTear using Safe Mode with Networking

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Removing ransomware is a time-consuming task, however, we suggest you do not try to rush the processs. Please carefully follow given instructions to remove the virus properly.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove DolphinTear

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete DolphinTear removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove DolphinTear using System Restore

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of DolphinTear. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that DolphinTear removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove DolphinTear from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

If your files are encrypted by DolphinTear, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro help

Data Recovery Pro might become your data savior if used properly:

Use available data decryption tools

It might be possible to recover your files using one of the tools provided in NoMoreRansom project’s website here. You can upload the ransom note to check if the decrypter is available. Otherwise, we suggest using HiddenTear’s decrypter.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from DolphinTear and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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