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Dot Ransomware

Posted: March 1, 2017

Threat Metric

Ranking: 17,805
Threat Level: 8/10
Infected PCs: 61
First Seen: March 1, 2017
Last Seen: June 1, 2022
OS(es) Affected: Windows

The Dot Ransomware is a 'Ransomware as a Service' or RaaS Trojan that threat actors can generate with divergent characteristics, depending on its builder's settings. This threat can use any of several methods for encrypting and locking the files of your PC, which con artists can exploit for soliciting payments. Since the Trojan's distribution model may vary between individual threat actors, use generalized anti-malware protection for stopping the Dot Ransomware and backups for overriding any local damage it may cause.

Booming Business on the Dot

Competition within the construction kit sub-sector of the threat marketplace often is heated, with different threat actors providing incentives such as innovative ransoming features, anti-security defenses or merely low prices to lure new customers. Once they buy into a construction model, these third-party con artists find victims in turn, with the aim of attacking their PCs and extorting money to be funneled back to both teams. The Dot Ransomware is a brand-new occupant of this black market, competing next to threats malware experts analyzed previously, including Hidden Tear, the Crysis Ransomware, and Troldesh.

Con artists build variants of the Dot Ransomware from a CMD-based kit that offers different options for how to encrypt the victim's data, what formats should be locked, and how much to charge in ransoms. Malware experts can verify that current versions of the Dot Ransomware don't bluff their file-encrypting behavior and can lock the victim's files permanently. A secondary feature they also noted is the Dot Ransomware's defenses against standard Windows self-recovery features, such as the Error Recovery Screen, which the Trojan can disable by default.

Even if using the infected PC actively, operators may see no symptoms until the Dot Ransomware finishes encoding their content, after which it drops any of several files containing instructions on paying for the unlocker or decryptor. Like many ransom-based cyber attacks, the Dot Ransomware's campaign also includes a diagnostics panel that gives its threat actors information such as the infected PC's rough location (as per its IP address) and the Trojan's status, which helps them monitor and stay engaged with different attacks.

Keeping New Delinquent Families from Converting Your Files into Money Mills

Much like the fabled 'black spot' of Stevenson's novel that foretold imminent demise for its bearer, the Dot Ransomware offers symptoms to see after your files may be permanently unusable. No free decryptors are in circulation for the Dot Ransomware, and, since its builder offers variable options for its encryption mode, malware experts are unable to estimate the probability of one's development. While it's not highly advanced, the Trojan's baseline defenses, such as non-standard header data and code compression, also may hinder less competent or outdated security solutions from making an initial detection.

Preventing Trojan infections by practicing overall good Web-browsing habits and having active anti-malware protection always is preferable, but particularly in the light of Trojans like the Dot Ransomware with the capacity for causing permanent data loss. Any files of financial or personal importance always should be saved to a backup, such as a cloud server, to allow for restoring them in cases of encryption attacks. As of early March, one-third of most professional brands of anti-malware products also can detect and delete the Dot Ransomware as a threat.

Since the Dot Ransomware's family is just starting its marketing, PC users can anticipate seeing new variants of the Trojan for weeks to come. Protect your computers and what you save in them accordingly.

Use SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PC Threats

If you are concerned that malware or PC threats similar to Dot Ransomware may have infected your computer, we recommend you start an in-depth system scan with SpyHunter. SpyHunter is an advanced malware protection and remediation application that offers subscribers a comprehensive method for protecting PCs from malware, in addition to providing one-on-one technical support service.

Download SpyHunter's Malware Scanner

Note: SpyHunter's free version is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware tool to remove the malware threats. Learn more on SpyHunter. If you would like to uninstall SpyHunter for any reason, please follow these uninstall instructions. To learn more about our policies and practices, visit our EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria .

Why can't I open any program including SpyHunter? You may have a malware file running in memory that kills any programs that you try to launch on your PC. Tip: Download SpyHunter from a clean computer, copy it to a USB thumb drive, DVD or CD, then install it on the infected PC and run SpyHunter's malware scanner.

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