Complete .write Virus Removal Guide (Full Instructions)

.write virus image

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

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

The .Write 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 .Write 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 .Write Virus infection.

The computer criminals behind the malware can create malicious sites or download portals which distribute malware of different kinds, including the .Write 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 .Write 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 .Write Virus

The .Write Virus can be delivered using different strategies according to the hackers configuration and the computer targets. One of the most common methods is the use of email spam messages. They are creating in bulk and tend to use templates and common social engineering scenarios in order to convince the victims into interacting with the malware component. The operators can utilize file attachments that are disguised as legitimate utilities and important software. In other cases hyperlinks can be inserted in the body contents. As the hacker templates usually model popular web services the links themselves are masked as password reset links, confirmation messages or other typical redirects. The email messages can also contain other threats such as links or attachments with malware software installers. The are hacker-modified installers taken from the official vendors and modified to include the .Write Virus code. In certain cases the victims may be able to disallow the infection by unchecking certain options during the setup process.

In recent times it has become very popular for computer criminals to craft malware sites in order to deliver ransomware infections like the GandCrab virus. They are made using template engines that mimic well-known search engines and download portals. In some configurations the malware is delivered through site interaction via specific parts or by clicking on banners, links, ads and etc.

If the sites attempt to look like download portals they may offer infected documents that are also being distributed via e-mail messages. They can be of different types including rich text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once the victims open them up a notification prompt appears which asks them to enable the built-in macros (scripts). If this is done the infection follows.

Another method that is frequently used is the distribution of browser hijackers. They represent malware browser plugins that feature complex behavior patterns. They can alter important settings (default home page, search engine and new tabs page), as well as directly deliver malware threats to the victims.

Finally exploit kits can automatically test the targets for software vulnerabilities. If such are identified then the computers are penetrated and the .Write Virus is installed onto them.

.Write Virus – In-Depth Description

Security researchers discovered a new strain of the Dharma ransomware family known as the .write virus. The analysts suspect that it would follow the same behavior pattens as the parent threat by first instituting an information gathering module. It aims to extract as much data as possible which is categorized into two main categories:

  • Personally-identifiable Data — The malware engine can search the machines for strings related to the identity of the users, namely their name, telephone number, address, interests, passwords and account credentials. They are forwarded to the criminal operators that can utilize them for blackmail purposes or sold to marketing agencies.
  • Anonymous Metrics — Such information is used to gather metrics of importance to the hacker operators such as the operating system version, installed software and regional settings.

The next step would be to enable a stealth protection feature. It uses the harvested information to scan the system for any running security software. The malware can be programmed into scanning for any virtual machines, debugging environments and sandboxes. Their real time engines can be bypassed or entirely removed.

The .write virus can proceed by manipulating important system configuration files. Such alterations include the Windows registry and operating system files. As a result the users may experience performance issues and may find that certain applications or Windows services fail to start. This is particular worrisome as the virus can use this approach to remove recovery options as well as modify the boot operations. It may also delete the found Shadow volume copies of all accessible data. This prevents data recovery without the use of a quality data recovery solution.

In a similar way the .write virus can interact with the volume manager which gives the ransomware access to all available removable storage devices and network shares. A persistent installation allows the criminals to setup the infection in a way which makes it very hard for the victims to remove it manually. In such cases they need to use a good anti-spyware solution which guarantees efficient and total removal.

The Dharma ransomware family and specifically newer variants such as the .write virus have the ability to drop the malware in various locations, including the Windows system folder. The encryption engine can be made up of many individual files that can be hidden as legitimate files and Windows services. In many cases advanced strains such as this one can be used to deliver additional malware if such patterns are programmed.

Some ransomware components can introduce Trojan malware. It gives the hacker operators the ability to spy on the victims in real time as well as take over control of the compromised devices at any given time.

The ransomware component can be configured using various parameters. The analysts detect that the created ransomware note differs from target to target. The only symptoms that remain the same using the virus is the fact that the engine encrypts target data using the .write extension. It is possible that the same list of target file type extensions as used in previous samples from the Dharma ransomware family is utilized:

.PNG .EPS .PS .SVG .PCT .PDF .XLR .XLS .XLSX .DB .DBF .MDB .PDB .SQL .APK .APP .BAT .COM .EXE .GADGET .JAR .PIF .WSF .DEM .GAM .NES .ROM
.SAV CAD .DWG .DXF GIS Files .GPX .ASP .ASPX .CER .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 .UUE .7Z .CBR .DEB .GZ .PKG .RAR .RPM .SITX .TAR .GZ .ZIP .ZIPX .BIN .CUE
.DMG .ISO .MDF .TOAST .VCD SDF .TAR .VCF .XML .AIF .IFF .M3U .M4A .MID .MP3 .MPA .WAV .WMA .3G2 .3GP .ASF .AVI .FLV .M4V .MOV .MP4 .MPG .RM
.SRT .SWF .VOB .WMV 3D .3DM .3DS .MAX .OBJ R.BMP .DDS .GIF .JPG .CRX .PLUGIN .CPL .DLL .DMP .DRV .ICNS .ICO .LNK .SYS .CFG

Remove .Write Virus and Restore PC

WARNING! Manual removal of the .Write 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.

DOWNLOAD Anti-Malware Tool

 
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

.Write 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 .write 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.

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

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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“.

uninstall-malicious-software-control-panel-programs-features-windows

Remove .write 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“.
    add-ons-mozilla-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    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“.
    remove-suspicious-extensions-mozilla-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    3. Click again on the Open menu icon, then click “Options“.
    options-mozilla-firefox-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    4. In the Options window, under “General” tab, click “Restore to Default“.
    restore-to-default-settings-mozilla-firefox-removal-guide-browser-hijacker

    5. Select “Search” in the left menu, mark the unknown search engine and press “Remove”.
    search-remove-unknown-search-engine-mozilla-firefox-removal-guide-browser-hijacker

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

    settings-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    2. Click “Extensions” in the left menu. Then click on the trash bin icon to remove the suspicious extension.
    delete-suspicious-extension-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    3. Again in the left menu, under Chrome, Click on “Settings“. Go under “On Startup” and set a new page.
    set-new-page-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    4. Afterward, scroll down to “Search“, click on “Manage search engines“.
    manage-search-engines-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    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“.
manage-add-ons-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker-bestsecuritysearch

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“.
remove-suspicious-toolbars--internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

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”.
search-providers-set-engine-delete-suspicious-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

4. Open the Tools menu, select “Internet Options”.
internet-options-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

5. In the “General” tab, in “Home page”, enter your preferred page. Click “Apply” and “OK”.
enter-preferred-homepage-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

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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