DEX Virus 🔐 (.DEX Files) — How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Dex virus belongs to the Dharma ransomware family. Malware of such sort encrypts all the data on your computer (images, text files, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its own extension to every file, creating the FILES ENCRYPTED.txt files in each directory which contains the encrypted files.
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What is known about the Dexvirus?

☝️ A strictly accurate denomination for the Dex would be “a Dharma family ransomware infection”.

The renaming will be executed according to this pattern: id-xxxx.[contact-email].dex. During the encryption, a file entitled, for instance, “report.docx” will be changed to “report.docx.id-C279F237.[decryptex@airmail.cc].dex”.

In every folder with the encrypted files, a FILES ENCRYPTED.txt text file will be created. It is a ransom money memo. Therein you can find information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other information. The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the tamperers. You can obtain this decryptor after contacting decryptex@airmail.cc through email. That is it.

Dex outline:
NameDex Virus
Ransomware family1Dharma ransomware
Extension.dex
Ransomware noteFILES ENCRYPTED.txt
Contactdecryptex@airmail.cc
DetectionVirTool:Win32/BeeInject, Trojan:Win32/RedLine.MBCI!MTB, Trojan.Win32.Maxpow
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .dex extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Dex virus

The FILES ENCRYPTED.txt file coming in package with the Dex malware states the following:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email decryptex@airmail.cc or dex.dex.tuta.io

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

Dex Virus - encrypted .dex files

That is how encrypted “.dex” files look.

How did Dex ransomware end up on my PC?

There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware infiltration.

Nowadays, there are three most exploited methods for criminals to have the Dex virus acting in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer-to-peer networks.

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

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan virus model. A Trojan is a program that infiltrates into your computer pretending to be something different. For example, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some software. However, what is unpacked reveals itself a harmful agent that corrupts your data. Since the update file can have any title and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the resource of the things you’re downloading. The optimal thing is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer file transfer protocols like torrent trackers or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never know what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy websites. Also, it is a good idea to scan the folder containing the downloaded items with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is complete.

How to remove the Dex virus?

It is crucial to note that besides encrypting your files, the Dex virus will most likely install Vidar Stealer on your machine to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Sometimes racketeers would decrypt several of your files to prove that they really have the decryption tool. As Dex virus is a relatively new ransomware, security software engineers have not yet found a way to reverse its work. However, the decryption tools are constantly upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Sure thing, if the malefactors succeed in encrypting victim’s essential data, the desperate person will most likely fulfill their demands. However, paying to racketeers gives no guarantee that you’re getting your data back. It is still risky. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption code to the injured party. There were reports about hackers simply disappearing after getting the money without even writing back.

The optimal safety measure against 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 disk. Obviously, that might be not enough. Your most important thing could be that file you were working on when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also wise to scan your drives with the anti-malware utility after the system is rolled back.

Dex is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. For instance, Coty, Foza, Coza, and some others. The two main differences between them and the Dex are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is almost identical: files become encoded, their extensions altered, ransom notes emerge in every folder containing encoded files.

Some fortunate victims were able to decode the arrested files with the help of the free software provided by anti-ransomware developers. Sometimes the racketeers mistakenly send the decryption key to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the user to restore the files. But obviously, one should never expect such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a bandits’ instrument to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How сan I avoid ransomware attack?

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

You can armour your system from ransomware attack within several easy steps:

  • Never open any emails from unknown senders with strange addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (how can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). If the email subject is likely something you are expecting, check all elements of the dubious email with caution. A hoax email will surely have a mistake.
  • Never use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojan viruses are often distributed as an element of cracked products, most likely as a “patch” to prevent the license check. But potentially dangerous programs are very hard to distinguish from reliable software, as trojans may also have the functionality you seek. You can try searching for information about this software product 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, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a perfect defense for your personal computer.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft2

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft3.

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 computer.

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 “Yes” 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 PC for Dex 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 “Clean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

FAQ

🤔 Are the “.dex” files accessible?

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

🤔 What should I do to make my files accessible as fast as possible?

It’s good if you have fаr-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. All other solutions require time.

🤔 If GridinSoft deletes the Dex malware, will it also delete my files that were encrypted?

Absolutely not! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will delete active infections from your PC. The malware that has infiltrated your system is must be still active and it scans your system every so often to encode any new files you might create on your computer after the initial attack. As it has already been said, the Dex malware comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide hackers with easy access to your computer after some time.

🤔 What should I do if the Dex virus has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation code.

In such an unfortunate situation, you need to prepare a flash memory card with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the cleaning. You see, the ransomware runs automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or brought into your machine. To suppress this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital programs to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 And what should I do now?

Some of the encrypted data can be located elsewhere.

  • If you exchanged your important files by email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or family members. Just ask them to send those images back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try to do it again.
  • Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud drives might have all those files too.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old PC, a laptop, phone, external storage, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can employ file recovery utilities4 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, deleting the original ones. In the video below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but remember: you won’t be able to do it before you eradicate the virus with an antivirus program.

Also, you can contact the following governmental 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 DEX Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: DEX Virus

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

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  3. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  4. Here are 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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