Remove ransomware (Removal Guide) - Bonus: Decryption Steps virus Removal Guide

What is ransomware? is a crypto-malware closely related to Arrow ransomware ransomware renders personal files unreadable is classified as a crypto-ransomware virus.[1] It stems from a relatively old and infamous family of ransomware, dubbed as Dharma. It shares the same behavioral traits and design with Arrow ransomware, so experts consider it to be a direct variation of Arrow ransomware. The activity of this infection has been spotted at the end of March 2018 when victims reported their files locked by file extension.

Type Ransomware
Danger level High. Locks personal files and can damage them permanently
Family Dharma ransomware, Arrow ransomware
File extensions, but can sometimes replace with .arrow, or
Symptoms The most popular file types inaccessible, ransom note generated on the desktop, antivirus blocked, random crashes
Decryptable Not confirmed yet
Removal Install ReimageIntego security tool and set it run a deep system scan. Manual removal not possible

Ransomware researchers claim that the virus exploits AES-256[2] cipher to render the most popular file types unreadable. An example of a file encrypted by virus looks like

Before getting the chance to start data corruption, this ransomware virus has to hijack the system (compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit systems). Usually, it finds its way into the system via malspam campaigns, but the payload can also be spread via drive-by-download attacks and exploit kits.

Once installed, it launches Command Prompt with Administrative privileges, so the victim can see a black window popping up on the screen for a couple of seconds. Ransomware runs multiple scrips, one of which commands to remove Windows Volume Shadow Copies. Besides, it installs multiple files in %APPDATA%, C:\Windows\System32, C:\Windows\System64, C:\Windows\System Files.

Unauthorized system's changes are followed by data encryption. ransomware uses a complicated AES cipher, which appends the file extension to the following file formats:

.gpx, .kml, .kmz, .asp, .aspx, .cer, .cfm, .csr, .css, .htm, .html, .js, .jsp, .php, .rss, .xhtml, .doc, .docx, .log, .msg, .odt, .pages, .rtf, .tex, .txt, .wpd, .wps, .csv, .dat, .ged, .key, .keychain, .pps, .ppt, .pptx, .ini, .prf, .hqx, .mim, .uue, .7z, .cbr, .deb, .gz, .pkg, .rar, .rpm, .sitx, .tar.gz, .zip, .zipx, .bin, .cue, .dmg, .iso, .mdf, .toast, .vcd, .sdf, .tar, .tax2014, .tax2015, .vcf, .xml, .aif, .iff, .m3u, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .mpa, .wav, .wma, .3g2, .3gp (the list is not definite).

The virus can alter the extension and, instead of the mentioned, append one of the following:


The victim is expected to notice locked files in the first place. However, a ransom note is yet another clear symptom of an attack. The note is typically disclosed in the form of a text file on the desktop or each folder that contains encoded data.
The ransom note demands a victim to pay the ransom in Bitcoin crypto coins and initiate a transaction via Bitcoin wallet via Tor browser. Before that, he or she has to email the developers via or to get personalized instruction. virus is a version of Arrow ransomware is a malicious cyber infection that can compromise files and demand for a ransom. Please do not pay for its decryptor because you will only lose your money

If your PC has already been attacked by this crypto-extortionist, we are sorry for you. However, we alwong with partners from[3] do not recommend you to pay the ransom. Instead of that, initiate an in-depth system's scan with ReimageIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner to remove malware with the whole pack of malicious files. removal is the only smart move that you can take in this kind of situation. Paying the ransom does not give a guarantee that cybercriminals will unlock your files. They can either vanish entirely after receiving your payment or sent you a fake decryptor that is not capable of decrypting a single file.

Therefore, to protect yourself from losing money, remove as soon as possible and decrypt data using one of the alternative data decryption methods listed at the end of this post.

NOTE: you can try to launch Dharma Decryptor right after removal. This ransomware is an offspring of Dharma so that the decryptor might work. However, note that this ransomware more than ten different versions, some of which give up for deciphering and the others don't.

Crypto-malware spreads in many tricky ways: beware of a few

Ransomware is a type of infection that can damage most if not all personal files on the targeted PC. It is capable of doing so due to complex cryptography methods employed, and multiple system's changes initiated.
However, complex performance would be a zero threat if cybersecurity experts would find a wall to stop ransomware dissemination. Currently, crooks manage to foist thousands of ransomware payloads worldwide via the following mediums:

  • Malicious email attachments;
  • Illegal websites;
  • Fake software updates;
  • Infected advertising platforms;
  • Exploit kits.

One of the precautionary measures that have to be taken to protect the system from ransomware attack is a right choice of anti-malware. Read license terms and analyze what features the tool has to ensure as strong protection as possible. Real-time protection is a must.

Besides, avoid visiting adult content, gambling, and other potentially dangerous domains. Besides, restrain from clicking on ads and links provided on web domains that you are not familiar with.

Learn how to get rid of ransomware virus

Do not try to remove manually. Not because you can lose the encrypted data permanently, but because you will not succeed no matter how you try. It's practically impossible to initiate removal since it scatters malicious files all around the system.

To get rid of this cyber infection, you will be able to decrypt files using alternative methods. As we have pointed out, is a version of Arrow and Dharma, so try a free Dharma decryptor in the first place. You can find a download link down below.

do it now!
Reimage Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Ransomware viruses are often programmed to block anti-virus. To bypass the wall, boot the system into Safe Mode with Networking:

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove using System Restore

If the previous method did not work and you cannot run a security tool anyway, try these steps:

  • 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 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 ReimageIntego and make sure that removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

None of the methods listed below give hundred percent guarantee of getting the files unlocked. However, each of them helped to retrieve millions of entries encrypted by various ransomware type infections. 

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

Data Recovery Pro

As soon as you get rid of virus, you can try to recover your data. One of the solutions is to install Data Recovery Pro – a professional tool for data recovery after accidental file deletion or system's crash, and launch it. 

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try previous Windows Versions

Those who are regularly setting a System Restore Point, should take advantage of the previous Windows versions. You may be able to recover separate files by following this guide:

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

Check for Volume Shadow Copies

There's only one way to check whether ransomware deletes Volume Shadow Copies. Install ShadowExplorer and launch it to start the scan:

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

Try a free Dharma decrytor:

Download a free Dharma decryptor here and launch the tool to check if it's capable of cracking the code of the ransomware variant. 

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.


Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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