D0NUT Ransomware πŸ” (.D0NUT File) β€” Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith
The D0nut virus belongs to the ransomware type of infection. A harmful program of this type encrypts all the data on your PC (photos, documents, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its extra extension to every file, showing the pop-up window at the end of the encryption process.
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When we talk about the intrusion of unfamiliar programs into your computer’s work, the proverb β€œForewarned is forearmed” describes the situation as accurately as possible. Gridinsoft Anti-Malware is exactly the tool that is always useful to have in your armory: fast, efficient, up-to-date. It is appropriate to use it as an emergency help at the slightest suspicion of infection.
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D0nut virus: what is known so far?

☝️ A strictly correct denomination for the D0nut would be “a ransomware malicious agent”.

D0nut adds its own .d0nut extension to the name of every encoded file. For instance, an image named “photo.jpg” will be turned into “photo.jpg.d0nut”. Just like the Excel sheet with the name “table.xlsx” will become “table.xlsx.d0nut”, and so forth.

In each folder that contains the encoded files, a pop-up window will appear. It is a ransom money note. Therein you can find information about the ways of paying the ransom and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the tamperers. You can get this decryptor after contacting Tor website. That is it.

D0nut summary:
NameD0nut Virus
Extension.d0nut
Ransomware notepop-up window
ContactTor website
Detection1Malware-Cryptor.InstallCore.5, Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.PA!MTB, Ransom.BlackCat
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .d0nut extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by D0nut virus

The pop-up window accompanying the D0nut ransomware states the following:

ATTENTION!!! The system is locked.

All data is already encrypted. In order to avoid losses, we recommend that you carefully read the instructions.

Your personal ID: -
It is also the password to access the chat.

Press OK button to download the chat app where you can get more support.

ATTENTION: hxxps://transfer.sh should not be in a blocklist.

Luck
[OK]

In the image below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the D0nut looks like. Each filename has the “.d0nut” extension appended to it.

D0nut Virus - encrypted .d0nut files

An example of encrypted .d0nut files.

How did my machine catch D0nut ransomware?

There are many possible ways of ransomware injection.

Nowadays, there are three most exploited ways for hackers to have ransomware acting in your system. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer networks.

If you open your mailbox and see letters that look just like notifications from utility services companies, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose addresser is unknown to you, beware of opening those emails. They are most likely to have a harmful item enclosed in them. Therefore, it is even more dangerous to download any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan file model2. A Trojan is a program that infiltrates into your computer disguised as something different. For instance, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some service. However, what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful agent that encodes your data. As the installation file can have any name and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the source of the files you’re downloading. The best thing is to use the software companies’ official websites.

As for the peer-to-peer networks like torrent trackers or eMule, the danger is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never guess what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the folder containing the downloaded items with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is done.

How to remove the D0nut virus?

It is important to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the D0nut virus will most likely install the Azorult Spyware on your computer to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned program can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Often criminals would decrypt few of your files to prove that they indeed have the decryption tool. As D0nut virus is a relatively new ransomware, anti-malware designers have not yet found a way to undo its work. However, the anti-ransomware tools are constantly updated, so the effective countermeasure may soon arrive.

Understandably, if the criminals do the job of encoding someone’s essential files, the desperate person will most likely fulfill their demands. Despite that, paying to racketeers gives no guarantee that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still risky. After getting the ransom, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports of racketeers simply vanishing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.

The optimal countermeasure to ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud disk or at least on an external drive. Obviously, that might be insufficient. The most crucial thing could be that file you were working upon when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your drives with the anti-malware utility after the OS is rolled back.

There are other ransomware products, besides D0nut, that work similarly. For instance, Fatp, Powd, Bowd, and some others. The two major differences between them and the D0nut are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is almost identical: files become encoded, their extensions altered, ransom notes appear in every folder containing encoded files.

Some fortunate people were able to decrypt the arrested files with the help of the free software provided by anti-malware developers. Sometimes the criminals mistakenly send the decryption key to the victims in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But of course, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a tamperers’ technology to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How to avoid ransomware attack?

D0nut ransomware has no superpower, neither does any similar malware.

You can protect your PC from ransomware injection in several easy steps:

  • Ignore any letters from unknown senders with unknown addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are expecting (how can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, check all elements of the dubious letter carefully. A hoax email will always have mistakes.
  • Never use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojan viruses are often shared as a part of cracked products, possibly under the guise of β€œpatch” which prevents the license check. But potentially dangerous programs are very hard to tell from reliable ones, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you need. You can try to find information about this program on the anti-malware message boards, but the best way is not to use such software.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, scan them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful shield for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft3

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft4.

Download Removal Tool.

You can download GridinSoft Anti-Malware by clicking the button below:

Run the setup file.

When setup file has finished downloading, double-click on the setup-antimalware-fix.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your PC.

Run Setup.exe

An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click β€œYes” to continue with the installation.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Setup

Press “Install” button.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Install

Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Splash-Screen

Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your system for D0nut infections and other malicious programs. This process can take a 20-30 minutes, so I suggest you periodically check on the status of the scan process.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scanning

Click on “Clean Now”.

When the scan has completed, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the β€œClean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

Frequently Asked Questions

πŸ€” How can I open “.d0nut” files?Are the “.d0nut” files accessible?

Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.d0nut” files first. Then you will be able to open them.

πŸ€” I really need to decrypt those β€œ.d0nut” files ASAP. How can I do that?

If the β€œ.d0nut” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. In case you haven’t, there is still a chance that you do have a Restore Point from some time ago to roll back the whole system to the moment when it had no virus yet, but already had your files. The rest of the methods require patience.

πŸ€” Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the D0nut virus?

No way! The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will remove actual viruses from your computer. The ransomware that has infected your computer is must be still active and running scans from time to time to encode any new files you might create on your computer after the attack. As it has been mentioned above, the D0nut malware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide hackers with easy access to your computer after some time.

πŸ€” What actions should I take if the D0nut ransomware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation code.

In such a case, you need to prepare a flash memory card with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. The point is that the ransomware starts automatically as the system launches and encodes any new files created or imported into your PC. To suppress this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital programs to run upon system start. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

πŸ€” And what should I do now?

Some of the encrypted data can be found elsewhere.

  • If you sent or received your important files through email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You may have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Simply ask them to give those images back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, you can try downloading them again.
  • Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud disks might have all those files too.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old PC, a notebook, mobile, memory stick, etc.

HINT: You can employ file recovery programs5 to get your lost data back since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, deleting the authentic ones. In the video below, you can see how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, but remember: you won’t be able to do it before you eradicate the virus with an anti-malware program.

Also, you can contact the following official fraud and scam sites to report this attack:

To report the attack, you can contact local executive boards. For instance, if you live in USA, you can have a talk with FBI Local field office, IC3 or Secret Service.

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Brendan Smith
How to Remove D0NUT Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: D0NUT Virus

Description: D0NUT Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .d0nut extension. So, you can't use them at all.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. Encyclopedia of threats.
  2. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  3. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  4. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  5. Here’s the list of the top 10 file recovery tools of 2021.

About the author

Brendan Smith

Journalist, researcher, web content developer, grant proposal editor. Efficient and proficient on multiple platforms and in diverse media. Computer technology and security are my specialties.

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