ransomware / virus (Virus Removal Instructions) - Free Instructions virus Removal Guide

What is ransomware virus?

Aims of virus virus is the most recent Dharma ransomware variation, also known as undecryptable CrySiS remake. Recently IT specialists have released a decryption tool for the original version of Dharma threat[1]. This virus is programmed to scan system folders and distort files found in them. To implement this, ransomware applies a strong AES + RSA encryption method[2] that securely locks files on victim’s computer. During this process, the virus adds either one or another file extension to encrypted files:


The worst part is that .dharma or .wallet files cannot be opened without a special decryption key that is created after data encryption and sent to criminals Command & Control servers. There is no way to get this decryption key without criminals’ intervention, but these scammers are not willing to provide it for free. That is why the virus changes desktop wallpaper with an image that informs the victim to contact criminals via (in some cases – for information on how to obtain the decryption key. There are no doubts what cyber criminals want victims to do. Just like the vast majority of ransomware viruses and also all CrySiS variants[3], they enjoin victims to buy Bitcoins via sites like LocalBitcoin or CoinCafe and transfer them to a provided Bitcoin wallet address. Later on, criminals order victims to send them another email containing transaction details. The number of transaction is supposed to be a proof of ransom-payment, and then criminals are supposed to provide the virus decryptor. However, the situation can go the wrong way, and you can lose your money just like you lost your files[4]. It doesn’t matter what these scammers promise you – you cannot do anything against them, and so if they decide to ignore you, it means you will never get your files back. Paying the ransom is so not worth the risk, so we do not recommend doing it. Besides, keep in mind that you can restore files using data backup, so just remove virus using anti-malware tools like FortectIntego and plug in the backup[5] drive into the computer then.

Image of message from ransomwareDo not consider paying the ransom, but instead delete virus right away.

How did this CrySiS variant plague your system?

Crysis ransomware is mainly distributed via malicious spam campaigns. You should beware of email letters coming from unknown people, and never open their attachments or basically any links included in the message. Sometimes it is hard to recognize such phishing messages because they are professionally designed to look convincing. Frauds tend to pretend that they are writing from well-known companies like Amazon, eBay, PayPal, or some healthcare organization. These scammers even pretend to be delivering medical test results, stating that the victim has been diagnosed with cancer. Of course, criminals can get shocked and rush to open fake medical reports added to such letters. You know what happens next – email attachment is not real document because it is a malicious file that contains ransomware. Opening such file leads to disastrous consequences, so do not rely on unknown senders and do not explore links and email attachments they send to you!

Delete file extension virus

If your files have been locked with this malicious virus, there is nothing much you can do. Files can be fully restored from a backup, and if you do not have it, we have to disappoint you by saying that it is impossible to restore them in any other way. Therefore, you should remove virus ASAP and take preventive measures to make sure that you never end up in such unenviable situation in the future. These removal guidelines will guide you through the malware removal process.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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

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

  • 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 FortectIntego 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.

If you found file extensions on all of your files and if the picture on your desktop says you must write to to decrypt your files, it means that your computer has been critically affected. We advise you to remove the virus as quickly as you can, then look if you have a backup. If you don’t, these tips can help you to recover your files, too.

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

Run Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro comes in handy when it comes to restoration of corrupted/deleted files. You should try this tool on files encrypted by this ransomware virus.

  • 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.

Windows Previous Versions

If you or your relatives have toggled System Restore mode on, you can restore individual files using Windows Previous Copies. It is an advantageous feature that can help you restore files one-by-one, but not all at once. To restore more files,  you will need to devote more time.

  • 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”.

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 FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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