.adobe ransomware - How to remove

adobe extension ransomware dharma and stop(djvu) cryptovirus

There are thousands of ransomware variants on the World Wide Web that come and go, no matter how persistent and sneaky they are, but it seems like recently users and malware professionals have been dealing with some crypto viruses for longer than they’d like to. This past year of 2018 and beginning of 2019, questions and desperate requests of victims to help with .adobe and .adobee ransomware infections flooded cybersecurity forums, putting a lot of pressure on experts to look for possible ways to decrypt locked files. However, keeping up with the crooks has not been easy, because the .adobe virus extension belongs to two different crypto infections, which are equally important and difficult.

Pretty much all ransomware use different words to affix at the end of encrypted files, which allow users to identify the threat. Typically the same word becomes the general name of the virus itself, therefore crooks try to be creative on this part so it would not clash with some other threat. But in this case, at the moment there are two very similar and yet very different ransomware families that have been using .adobe extension confusing tons of people who want to find the help and get their files back. In this article, we’ll help you identify which .adobe ransomware samples belong to Dharma (CrySiS) and which to STOP(Djvu) crypto family and show ways to remove them. At the moment none of the crypto viruses have an official decryptor, however, there are a few ways, which we’ll disclose below on how .adobe ransomware victims were able to recover their files, therefore, keep on reading.

What is .adobe ransomware

Adobe ransomware is a cryptovirus that infects computers and uses encrypting algorithms to lock victim’s personal files, later demanding for a certain amount of ransom in exchange for the unique unlocking key. It just so happens that at the same time there are two powerful virus families using the same extension – .adobe, so many people are left confused which removal instructions they should follow and what exactly has compromised their systems. Mind you, if you apply the wrong decrypting code to your infection, all the files can get permanently damaged, therefore knowing the exact predecessor is crucial.

The first and most reliable action you should take to tell what .adobe ransomware variant is bothering you is a free identification procedure on Nomoreransom.org website, which was created by dozens of cybersecurity professionals. All you need is an encrypted file with an .adobe extension and crooks’ email, crypto wallet address or a ransom note itself. After uploading these files, the Crypto Sheriff website is able to very accurately tell which threat is that. At times, for some reason, this site may not work for you, or you still will be convinced otherwise, so by simply observing the features of Adobe virus and following our guidelines you should be able to distinguish the threat manually yourself.

.adobe ransomware by Dharma (CrySiS)

Dharma ransomware was initially released in 2016 but has not been stopped ever since. Although many primary extensions have working decryptors, there have been so many variants that malware experts were simply not able to keep up. At the moment, our researchers counted 23 different .adobe ransomware Dharma versions. Of course, they were released over the course of a year or two, but that is still a lot. But despite different name appendixes and email addresses, Dharma has kept the same ransom notes, which you can distinguish by the specific looks, portrayed in the picture below, as well as their names ‘FILES ENCRYPTED.txt’ and ‘Info.hta’.

adobe ransomware dharma virus extension

Another thing that has stayed the same is the encryption cipher combination AES+RSA. While these algorithms are fairly possible to reverse engineer when they are used alone, together they make very strong protection, which makes it almost impossible to crack. Fortunately, malware mastermind known as @demonslay335 on Twitter has already helped victims of other Dharma version to recover their files, so keep following this Bleepingcomputer.com forum, which has the newest updates about this virus, .adobe ransomware versions including. While there is no official amount that Dharma’s Adobe cryptovirus is asking, users claim that they have been demanded 0.1-0.5 BTC (which we still don’t recommend paying, nor using bogus file restore offers from unknown individuals).

Here’s the list of all extensions that we could find, used by Dharma .adobe ransomware:

If you happen to see a string from this list at the end of your inaccessible files, you can be sure that your computer was compromised by Dharma ransomware. Email addresses that crooks use to contact them are the same as used in the extension.

.adobe ransomware by STOP (Djvu)

STOP (Djvu) ransomware, unlike the Dharma, does not have that many .adobe ransomware samples and has only been using this extension since late 2018 and early 2019. The .adobe and .adobee extensions are the most recent STOP virus samples, that came right after Rumba predecessor. On the other hand the prevalence of the .adobe ransomware is even higher than Dharma’s because there are only two different versions of it, but it is known that victims have been attacked all over the world (Asia, Middle East, Africa, all parts of Europe, North and South America and etc.). Most likely it’s because developers cunningly decided to disseminate their creation inside various software exploits and KMSpico tool, which is an illegal but very popular Windows/MS Office activator.

adobe ransomware stop djvu virus variant

This Adobe cryptovirus variant is easy to recognize because its extension is literraly just .adobee or .adobe with no personal ID’s or email involved. As well as Rumba ransomware (another version of STOP virus), the ransom note is exactly the same ‘_openme.txt’ and asks for the same amount of 0,14 – 0,29 BTC. The first .adobe ransomware was hunted and reported by GrujaRS cybersecurity professional, while the .adobee was caught by https://twitter.com/demonslay335/status/1089600374330327041. Just like Dharma, STOP (Djvu’s) Adobe cryptovirus is using a combination of AES+RSA ciphers, which is a tough nut to crack, however in the Bleepingcomputer.com forum with the help of demonslay335, a lot of people were able to recover their files. For that, you’ll need a ransom note, personal ID from the ransom note, MAC address of the infected computer and an encrypted and original file pair. But make sure to carefully read everything in the forum before trying to restore your data, because you might very easily ruin your files by not following the instructions. 

How to remove .adobe ransomware

Before any important action on your compromised system, and especially before trying to recover your files you must remove .adobe ransomware so the threat would not lock the new or restored files again. If you do not have backups, you should be able to successfully eliminate Adobe virus with Spyhunter or Malwarebytes anti-spyware software. These security programs are designed to catch and destroy various kinds of malware and typically do a better job than just antivirus because they are more specific. On the other hand, if you have been regularly making Backups, recovering your system from the point back in the past can really save you from all the headache and worry trying to get your data back and getting rid of the .adobe crypto infection. Below you will find detailed instructions on how to recover your computer from backups. Also, check the Ultimate Guide Against Ransomware for future prevention.

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How to recover .adobe ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus

Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore

1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt:

for Windows 7 / Vista/ XP
  • Start Shutdown RestartOK.
  • Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
  • Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Windows 7 enter safe mode

for Windows 8 / 10
  • Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart. Windows 8-10 restart to safe mode
  • Choose TroubleshootAdvanced OptionsStartup Settings and click Restart.
  • When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings. Windows 8-10 enter safe mode

2.Restore System files and settings.

  • When Command Prompt mode loads, enter cd restore and press Enter.
  • Then enter rstrui.exe and press Enter again.CMD commands
  • Click “Next” in the windows that appeared. Restore point img1
  • Select one of the Restore Points that are available before STOP (Djvu) ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”. Restore point img2
  • To start System restore click “Yes”. Restore point img3

Step 2. Complete removal of Dharma (CrySiS)

After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to .adobe ransomware. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore STOP (Djvu) ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies

If you do not use System Restore option on your operating system, there is a chance to use shadow copy snapshots. They store copies of your files that point of time when the system restore snapshot was created. Usually Dharma (CrySiS) tries to delete all possible Shadow Volume Copies, so this methods may not work on all computers. However, it may fail to do so. Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There are two ways to retrieve your files via Shadow Volume Copy. You can do it using native Windows Previous Versions or via Shadow Explorer. a) Native Windows Previous Versions Right-click on an encrypted file and select PropertiesPrevious versions tab. Now you will see all available copies of that particular file and the time when it was stored in a Shadow Volume Copy. Choose the version of the file you want to retrieve and click Copy if you want to save it to some directory of your own, or Restore if you want to replace existing, encrypted file. If you want to see the content of file first, just click Open.
Previous version
b) Shadow Explorer It is a program that can be found online for free. You can download either a full or a portable version of Shadow Explorer. Open the program. On the left top corner select the drive where the file you are looking for is a stored. You will see all folders on that drive. To retrieve a whole folder, right-click on it and select “Export”. Then choose where you want it to be stored.
Shadow explorer

Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover .adobe ransomware encrypted files

There are several data recovery programs that might recover encrypted files as well. This does not work in all cases but you can try this:
  • We suggest using another PC and connect the infected hard drive as slave. It is still possible to do this on infected PC though.
  • Download a data recovery program.
  • Install and scan for recently deleted files. Data Recovery Pro
Note: In many cases it is impossible to restore data files affected by modern ransomware. Thus I recommend using decent cloud backup software as precaution. We recommend checking out Carbonite, BackBlaze, CrashPlan or Mozy Home.
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