.arrow Virus (Dharma Ransomware) Removal Guide (Full Instructions)

An infection with the dangerous .arrow Virus leads to serious security issues. Victims can restore and protect their computers by following our complete removal guide.

Remove .arrow Virus and Restore PC
Manual Removal Guide
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Distribution of .arrow Virus

The .arrow Virus is a new virus which has been sighted in attack campaign. At the moment the security researchers cannot determine the primary infection strategy. We presume that the most widely used tactics are going to be employed.

Among them are the email messages created in an automated way and sent to large lists of potential victims. The .arrow Virus can be directly attached to the messages. This is one of the easiest way for the criminals to attempt the infection. However a lot of email hosting providers usually capture the signatures of the virus and as such discard such messages or label them as dangerous or spam. Other infection methods related to this one is the option of inserting hyperlinks in the body content of the messages. The links are usually labeled as leading to a familiar website or a file of user interest. Redirects can redirect to hacker-controlled sites, infected payloads or other instances that can lead to an .arrow Virus infection.

The computer criminals behind the malware can create malicious sites or download portals which distribute malware of different kinds, including the .arrow Virus. A popular option is the use of infected documents which may be of different types ‒ spreadsheets, rich text documents, presentations and databases. They are modified to initiate the virus once the built-in scripts are run. Usually when the files are opened a notification will ask the users to run the macros (scripts). If this is done the infection follows.

The hacker-controlled sites are specialist portals that have been created either manually or automatically by the criminals behind the .arrow Virus. They can either directly distribute the threat by initiating various scripts or automated operations or link to such instances. Redirects are usually caused by email interaction, ad networks or other browsing activity. However one of the main sources is the availability of browser hijackers. They are malicious addons made for the most popular web browsers ‒ Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Microsoft Edge and Safari. Once installed they not only infect the users with the malware, but also redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled site. Depending on the configuration the browser hijackers can also steal sensitive information such as any stored passwords, account credentials, history, bookmarks, form data and settings.

Impact of .arrow Virus

A new strain of the Dharma ransomware family has been identified known as the .arrow virus. It appears to be a new customized build of the original code that has been made by an unknown hacker or criminal collective. The security analysis into it is still ongoing however some of the captured samples showcase that the virus continues its tradition of infiltrating the computers on a deep level.

The infection unfolds in several stages, the first of which has been identified as preparatory. The virus engine can start different components that can institute some of the following changes to the compromised machines:

  • Data Harvesting — The .arrow virus can be programmed into gathering information about the machine and its user. It may be anonymous in nature by including only values related to the hardware components. Another instance is the harvesting of personal data that can directly expose the victims identity. This is done by looking out for strings related to their name, address, telephone number, location, interests and passwords.
  • Stealth Protection — It is possible to configure the .arrow virus to protect itself from discovery. Usual targets are any installed anti-virus software, sandbox and debug environments, as well as virtual machine hosts. If any of them are found they can be bypassed or removed altogether. In certain cases the malware can be programmed into deleting itself if it is unable to bypass the protection.
  • System Modification — Changes to the operating system can make the virus sample a persistent threat. This means that the malware code can interact with the operating system and make manual removal difficult for the end users.

Once this is done the second stage begins. It is related to a larger extent to the virus delivery and its immediate effects. The main samples can be placed in system folders under operating system component names in order to make it difficult for the system administrators to identify the threat.

The .arrow virus can manipulate the system into obtaining administrative privileges. Once this is done it can spawn different processes and hook up to system processes. To make data recovery it can delete the shadow volume copies. To recover the affected data the users will need to use a professional-grade application, refer to our instructions below for more information.

Interactions with the Windows Registry manipulate the system into starting the malware once the computer is booted. As part of the Dharma ransomware family the .arrow virus strain can also be used to set up a network connection with the hacker-controlled servers. They can be used to report of the infected hosts and to deliver additional threats to the compromised hosts. This includes Trojan code that can spy on the users in real-time and also overtake control of the affected machine at any given time.

Once all components have finished executing the ransomware component of the Dharma .arrow virus is lauched. It is very possible that the new iteration uses the same built-in list of target file extensions as previous samples:

PNG .PSD .PSPIMAGE .TGA .THM .TIF .TIFF .YUV .AI .EPS .PS .SVG .INDD .PCT .PDF .XLR .XLS .XLSX .ACCDB .DB .DBF .MDB
.PDB .SQL .APK .APP .BAT .CGI .COM .EXE .GADGET .JAR .PIF .WSF .DEM .GAM .NES .ROM .SAV CAD Files .DWG .DXF
GIS Files .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 .PRFEncodedFiles .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 Audio Files .AIF .IFF .M3U .M4A .MID .MP3 .MPA .WAV .WMA Video Files .3G2 .3GP .ASF .AVI
.FLV .M4V .MOV .MP4 .MPG .RM .SRT .SWF .VOB .WMV 3D .3DM .3DS .MAX .OBJR.BMP .DDS .GIF .JPG ..CRX .PLUGIN .FNT .FON
.OTF .TTF .CAB .CPL .CUR .DESKTHEMEPACK .DLL .DMP .DRV .ICNS .ICO .LNK .SYS .CFG

All processed files receive the .arrow extension. Different types of ransomware notes can be generated based on the hacker campaign.

Remove .arrow Virus and Restore PC

WARNING! Manual removal of the .arrow Virus requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removing important data accidentally can lead to permanent system damage. If you don’t feel comfortable with manual instructions, download a powerful anti-malware tool that will scan your system for malware and clean it safely for you.

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SpyHunter anti-malware tool will diagnose all current threats on the computer. By purchasing the full version, you will be able to remove all malware threats instantly. Additional information about SpyHunter / Help to uninstall SpyHunter

.arrow Virus – Manual Removal Steps

Start the PC in Safe Mode with Network

This will isolate all files and objects created by the ransomware so they will be removed efficiently. The steps bellow are applicable to all Windows versions.

1. Hit the WIN Key + R

2. A Run window will appear. In it, write msconfig and then press Enter

3. A Configuration box shall appear. In it Choose the tab named Boot

4. Mark Safe Boot option and then go to Network under it to tick it too

5. Apply -> OK

Remove .arrow from Windows

Here’s a way to remove the program. This method will work regardless if you’re on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP. Simply selecting the program and pressing delete won’t work, as it’ll leave a lot of small files. That’s bad because these leftovers can linger on and cause all sorts of problems. The best way to delete a program is to uninstall it. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Hold the “Windows” button (It’s between CTRL and Alt on most keyboards) and press “R”. You’ll see a pop-up window.

2. In the textbox, type “appwiz.cpl”, then press“ Enter ”.

3. The “Programs and features” menu should now appear. It’s a list of all the programs installed on the PC. Here you can find the program, select it, and press “Uninstall“.

Remove .arrow Virus From Your Browser

Before resetting your browser’s settings, you should know that this action will wipe out all your recorded usernames, passwords, and other types of data. Make sure to save them in some way.

Removal guide for Mozilla Firefox Removal guide for Google Chrome Removal guide for Internet Explorer

    1. Start Mozilla Firefox. In the upper right corner, click on the Open menu icon and select “Add-ons“.

    2. Inside the Add-ons Manager select “Extensions“. Search the list of extensions for suspicious entries. If you find any, select them and click “Remove“.

    3. Click again on the Open menu icon, then click “Options“.

    4. In the Options window, under “General” tab, click “Restore to Default“.

    5. Select “Search” in the left menu, mark the unknown search engine and press “Remove”.

    1. Start Google Chrome. On the upper-right corner, there a “Customize and Control” menu icon. Click on it, then click on “Settings“.

    2. Click “Extensions” in the left menu. Then click on the trash bin icon to remove the suspicious extension.

    3. Again in the left menu, under Chrome, Click on “Settings“. Go under “On Startup” and set a new page.

    4. Afterward, scroll down to “Search“, click on “Manage search engines“.

    5. In the default search settings list, find the unknown search engine and click on “X“. Then select your search engine of choice and click “Make default“. When you are ready click “Done” button in the right bottom corner.

1. Start Internet Explorer. Go to the “Tools” menu and click on “Manage add-ons“.

2. In the “Manage add-ons” window, bellow “Add-on Types“, select “Toolbars and Extensions“. If you see a suspicious toolbar, select it and click “Remove“.

3. Then again in the “Manage Add-ons” window, in “Add-on Types“, Select “Search Providers“. Chose a search engine and click “Set as default“. Select the unknown search engine and click “Remove and Close”.

4. Open the Tools menu, select “Internet Options”.

5. In the “General” tab, in “Home page”, enter your preferred page. Click “Apply” and “OK”.

Repair Windows Registry

1. Again type simultaneously the WIN Key + R key combination

2. In the box, write regedit and hit Enter

3. Type the CTRL+ F and then write the malicious name in the search type field to locate the malicious executable

4. In case you have discovered registry keys and values related to the name, you should delete them, but be careful not to delete legitimate keys

Click for more information about Windows Registry and further repair help

Preventive Security Measures

  • Enable and properly configure your Firewall.
  • Install and maintain reliable anti-malware software.
  • Secure your web browser.
  • Check regularly for available software updates and apply them.
  • Disable macros in Office documents.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you’re certain they’re safe.
  • Backup regularly your data.
  • Author : Martin Beltov

    Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.


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