Remove Harma Ransomware and Decrypt .harma Files

Harma ransomware is relentlessly affecting computer files, particularly those that are vital to users like documents, presentations, spreadsheets, photos, images, videos, drawings, and similar ordinary data. The moment that Harma ransomware encrypts the target files, the process will refuse user’s access to it and opening the file using the associated software unworkable. Due to the complex encryption method, which scrambles the file header, it is impossible to access the file without a Harma decryption tool. For this reason, the ransomware makers take the opportunity to demand steep ransom money as compensation for the recovery software.

How Harma Ransomware infects the computer?

There are several methods on how computer users may acquire the virus payload carrier, but in most infection cases, it was observed to be well deployed through phishing emails. With vast amount of email address currently in the possession of attackers, they are going to mass-mail a copy of Harma ransomware as an attachment to spam email. Attackers can easily persuade the recipients to open the file using appealing message content.

One more version of deployment tactic that widely propagate copies of Harma ransomware is via malicious software installers. The virus is integrated into downloadable free programs like freeware, shareware, cracked applications, and bogus software update. The moment that computer user runs the setup file, Harma ransomware is executed in the same manner.
Trojan Dropper is a preliminary infection on the computer that leverages to Harma ransomware contamination. It establishes a connection to remote server in order to download the much hazardous file-coder virus.

Harma Ransomware File Encryption

After computer user executes or run the virus, it begins to initiate the attack by launching communication to command-and-control server to further download malicious files. The, Harma ransomware obtains a public key that it applies when encrypting the target files. Aside from locking the data with high-level cryptography, this virus adds set of strings as the file format. As a result, the file letter.doc will transform into letter.doc.id-12345678[qb777@tutanota.com].harma.

Image of Harma ransom note

The final thing that Harma ransomware will do is generate a ransom note to inform victims about the ongoing infection. At the same time, the ransom note serves as instruction stating that computer users should communicate with the attackers if they want to obtain the Harma decryption software. Below is the screenshot of the message.

Technical Data of Harma Ransomware

Technical Details
Threat NameHarma Ransomware, Dharma, Crysis
Threat TypeCrypto-virus, File Locker, Encryption Virus
Encryption MethodAES-256 combined with RSA-1024 Asymmetric Encryption
File Extension.id-(unique id)[qb777@tutanota.com].harma
Ransomware Note FileFILES ENCRYPTED.txt
Attacker’s emailqb777@tutanota.com
ban.out@foxmail.com
hobbsadelaide@aol.com
Discovered by@xiaopao
Virus AliasAd-Aware : Trojan.Ransom.Crysis.E
Avast : Win32:RansomX-gen [Ransom]
Avira : TR/Dropper.Gen
BitDefender : Trojan.Ransom.Crysis.E
ClamAV : Win.Trojan.Dharma-6668198-0
Comodo : TrojWare.Win32.Crysis.D@6sd9xy
DrWeb : Trojan.Encoder.3953
Emsisoft : Trojan.Ransom.Crysis.E (B)
ESET-NOD32 : A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Crysis.P
F-Secure : Trojan.TR/Dropper.Gen
Fortinet : W32/Crysis.W!tr.ransom
GData : Win32.Trojan-Ransom.VirusEncoder.A
Ikarus : Trojan-Ransom.Crysis
Kaspersky : Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Crusis.to
Malwarebytes : Ransom.Crysis
McAfee : Ransom-Dharma!6651235B6E93
Microsoft : Ransom:Win32/Wadhrama!hoa
Palo Alto Networks : Generic.ml
Panda : Trj/GdSda.A
Sophos AV : Troj/Criakl-G
SUPERAntiSpyware : Ransom.Crysis/Variant
Symantec : Ransom.Crysis
Tencent : Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Crysis.a
TrendMicro : Ransom.Win32.CRYSIS.SM
VBA32 : TrojanRansom.Crusis
Webroot : W32.Ransom.Gen
ZoneAlarm : Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Crusis.to

For complete details including full detection list, hash file, file names, and technical behavior (registry actions, shell commands, and processes) of Harma ransomware, please refer to this VirusTotal page.

Backup your files

One important step before proceeding with the procedures below is to backup your files. Ransomware are not the same. Each has its unique sets of payloads aside from encrypting the files with complex method. Others tend to delete the infected files after certain period, while others keep them concealed on hidden places. In addition, ransomware decryption tools are not guaranteed to be perfect, there are instances that files suffer from damages during the decryption process.

So, create a backup copy of your entire Harma encrypted files right now.

Harma Ransomware Removal Guide

First thing to do is remove the Harma virus before attempting the decryption. Remember that as long as the ransomware is active, it will repeatedly encrypt the files on the compromised computer.

Infection of Harma ransom virus is dangerous to the system because it can inject files that runs each time Windows starts. To prevent the malicious files from loading, Windows operating system must run with minimal process and it can be done through SafeMode With Networking.

Stage 1 : Temporarily Disable System Restore on Windows OS

Because Harma and relevant virus is capable of reinstating itself by exploiting the System Restore of Windows, we suggests that you temporary disable System Restore while executing the steps. This option is also helpful to effectively run a full scan on the computer.

Do not forget to enable back System Restore after completing the removal of Harma ransomware. This feature is vital in reinstating the operating system to previous normal working condition in case of problems or conflicts occurs.

Stage 2 : Start Windows in Safe Mode With Networking

Windows 10 Guide

1. Click on Windows logo and select Power icon when options pop-ups.
2. Select Restart from the options while pressing Shift key on the keyboard.
3. Choose an Option window will appear, select the Troubleshoot button.
4. On next window, please choose Advanced Option.
5. On Advanced Option window, click on Startup Settings and then, click Restart button to reboot the computer.
6. When Windows boot on Startup Settings, press function key F5 or number 5 on keyboard.

A simpler alternative for Windows 10 users is to scan the computer with Microsoft Defender Offline. This will run a virus scan in the recovery environment.

Windows 8 Guide

1. Click Windows Start icon at the lower left section of the screen.
2. Open Search window and type Advanced in the field. It will open General PC Settings.
3. Click on Advanced Startup and then, click on Restart Now button.
4. Once the computer starts in Advanced Startup option menu, select Troubleshoot.
5. Next, click on Advanced Options to reveal the next section.
6. Click Startup settings and then, click Restart button to boot the PC in Startup Settings.
7. Use function key F5 or number key 5 to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

Stage 3 : Scan the Computer with Anti-Malware Tool

Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Harma virus. Aside from our suggested tool, you may also run your own security program.

To remove Harma automatically, scanning the computer with this efficient anti-malware tool is suggested. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering hazardous ransomware like Harma.

1. Download free anti-malware scanner called MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.

2. After downloading, install the program. It may run automatically or you have to double-click on the downloaded file MBSetup.exe.

3. Carry out the installation with default setup process.

4. After the installation process, click the Get Started button to launch the program.

5. Continue with the prompts until the main program opens.

6. On the main console, click on Scan to run most complete detection method to find hidden objects associated to Harma ransomware.

7. Scanning may take a while. Please wait until the anti-malware tool is done with the checking.

MBAM Scan

8. Once the scan has completed, the tool will display the list of detected threats. Remove all identified malicious items and restart the computer if necessary.

Stage 4 : Double-check with Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool

1. Download the free scanner called Malicious Software Removal Tool.

Download MSRT

2. The tool automatically checks the operating system and suggest appropriate download version. Click on Download button to begin. Save the file to a convenient location, preferably on Desktop.

3. After downloading the file, Windows will prompt that download has completed. Click Run to start scanning for Harma ransomware. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.

MSRT Icon

4. The tool will display Welcome screen, click Next. Please note the message "This tool is not a replacement for an antivirus product." You must understand that this program is made specifically to find and remove malware, viruses, Trojans, and other harmful elements on the computer. It was not designed to protect the computer.

MSRT Welcome

5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Harma ransom virus entities and other harmful files left on the computer will be found and removed. For advanced computer user, you can opt for Customized Scan, if there are other drives or folders you wanted to include in this scan.

MSRT Scan

6. Full scan may take a while, please wait for Malicious Software Removal Tool to complete the tasks. However, you may cancel the scan anytime by clicking on the Cancel button.

MSRT Scan

7. After scanning, the tool will reveal all identified threats. There may be other threats that our first scan fails to detect. Please remove/delete all detected items.

8. When removal procedure is complete, you may now close Malicious Software Removal Tool. We hope that Harma ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.

Recover Files from Harma Ransomware Infection

On this section, we will provide ways to decrypt files infected with Harma ransomware. Aside from dedicated decryption software and common tools, other options for file recovery are provided. As much as we can, we will update this area whenever there is new and more suitable decryption tool was made available.

Decrypting Harma infected files with Emsisoft Tools

This service from Emsisoft is helpful in unlocking encrypted files without paying the ransom. It gives three ways to detect the ransomware and provide suitable recovery method:

Upload ransom note – This is usually the .txt or .hta files that was generated by Harma ransomware.

Upload the encrypted file – The actual encrypted file. Choose the one that is less than 8MB in size.

Contact information – Enter the email address or any links provided as it appears in the ransom note of Harma virus.

Emsisoft Tools

After submitting any of the appropriate data, Emsisoft will attempt to identify the ransomware and provide keys if there are available.

Option 1: Windows Previous Version Tool

Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a feature called Previous Versions. However, this tool is only usable if restore point was made prior to ransomware infection. To use this tool as "recovery option" for files encypted by Harma virus, please follow these steps:

1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.

2. Right-click on the affected files or folders. From the drop-down list, please click on Restore previous versions.

3. New window will open display all backup copy of files and folders you wanted to recover. Choose the appropriate file and click on Open, Copy, or Restore. Restoring selected files overwrites the current locked files on the computer. The tool is not actually recovering files encrypted by Harma. Instead, it restores files from backup copy.

Option 2: Use ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Harma Ransomware

Just like Previous Version tool, ShadowExplorer is taking advantage of shadow copy created by Windows. This tool allows you to retrieve older version of files before it was encrypted by Harma ransomware.

1. Download ShadowExplorer from the official web site.

2. Install the program with the default settings.

3. The program should run automatically after installation. If not, double-click on ShadowExplorer icon.

4. You can see the drop-down list on top of the console. Please select proper drive and the most recent point-in-time shadow copies of files you wish to restore prior to Harma ransomware infection.

shadow3

5. Right-click on the Drive, Folder, or File you wish to restore and click Export...

6. Lastly, ShadowExplorer will prompt for location where you want to save the copy of recovered files.

How to protect the computer from Harma ransomware?

After the removal of the ransomware, it is important to prevent similar incident from happening again. In order to protect the computer effectively, computer user must know how Harma ransomware was able to infect the computer. To minimize the possible infection, staying away from the common sources of this virus is crucial.

How Harma ransomware can infect your computer?

The method of infecting the computers was found to be similar as other common viruses. Though, ransomware like Harma is seen to have efficient deployment via spam email messages, web injectors, malicious software installers, misleading online advertisements, and through another virus infection.

Once the virus is executed, it immediately infects the system. Then, Harma ransomware communicates to remote server so that unique key can be generated for the specific computer. After acquiring the key, it starts to decrypt target files using a complex method that is almost unbreakable. On the last stage of the attack, Harma ransomware demands for ransom money as payment for the decryption tool. To further understand the attack scheme, we have included an infographic below.

Infographic image of ransomware attack stages
You can print, download, or share the infographic by clicking the image.

Securing the computer against ransomware attack

Do a Regular File Back-up - Always backup your data on a separate storage devices such as external hard drives, optical discs, or online backup services.

Keep Your Software Updated - Make sure that you have the latest software updates especially on the operating system. Recent updates often contain vital security patches to help protect the computer against all forms of threats.

Install a Security Program - Protect the computer with effective anti-virus application using efficient real-time scanning. Regularly run a complete scan to check the computer for presence of malware.

Protect your files with Controlled Folder Access (Windows 10)

For Windows 10 users, aside from protecting the computer using anti-virus or anti-malware programs, one way to protect against ransomware attack is by using Controlled Folder Access. This feature of Windows Defender Security Center may not prevent the Harma ransomware infection, but it can protect the folder and files in general. Follow the steps to enable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10.

1. Go to Windows 10 Taskbar and search for Windows Defender Security Center.

2. Open Windows Defender Security Center and click on Virus & Threat Protection icon.

Virus and Threat Protection

3. On next window, please click on Ransomware Protection.

4. Under Controlled Folder Access section, switch the slider to On. That will enable the feature and protect the folder against Harma or any type of ransomware.

Controlled Folder Access

5. Click on Protected Folderslink to include additional folders. Make sure that folders where important files are located should be included in the list.

Add Protected Folder

Troubleshooting Guide

Certain programs maybe blocked by Controlled Folder Access feature. To fix the issue, simply have the specific program to be white listed.

1. Under Protected Folders, click Allow an app through controlled folder access.

2. Next, click the Add an allowed app and include the target executable file.

This Controlled Folder Access feature is one way to protect files against Harma. Other important things to do in keeping files safe against ransomware is through early prevention like keeping programs updated, install an efficient security program, an do regular file backup on a separate media drive.

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