SMILE DOG Ransomware 🔐 (.SMILE Files) — How to Remove?

Smile Dog Ransomware
Smile Dog Ransomware
Written by Brendan Smith
The Smile dog virus belongs to the ransomware type of infection. Malware of this type encrypts all the data on your PC (images, text files, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its extra extension to every file, leaving the SMILEJPG.txt text files in every folder with the encrypted files.
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When we talk about the intrusion of unfamiliar programs into your computer’s work, the proverb “Forewarned 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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What is Smile dog virus?

☝️ A strictly accurate designation for the Smile dog is “a ransomware-type infection”.

Smile dog appends its specific .sMilE extension to the title of each encrypted file. For instance, a file named “photo.jpg” will be turned into “photo.jpg.sMilE”. Likewise, the Excel table with the name “table.xlsx” will be altered to “table.xlsx.sMilE”, and so forth.

In each directory containing the encrypted files, a SMILEJPG.txt file will be created. It is a ransom money note. Therein you can find information about the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to buy the decryption tool from the Smile dog developers. You can get this tool after contacting SMILEDOGISTHEBESTMATE@gmail.com by email. That is it.

Smile dog summary:
NameSmile dog Virus
Extension.sMilE
Ransomware noteSMILEJPG.txt
ContactSMILEDOGISTHEBESTMATE@gmail.com
DetectionCrypt.Trojan.MSIL.DDS, MSIL/Kryptik.AIEP, Trojan:Win32/Nitol.RA!MTB
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .sMilE extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Smile dog virus

The SMILEJPG.txt document coming in package with the Smile dog malware provides the following dispiriting information:

ALL YOUR FILES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED BY THE SMILE DOG RANSOMWARE CONTACT SMILEDOGISTHEBESTMATE@gmail.com

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

Smile dog Virus - encrypted .sMilE files

An example of encrypted .sMilE files.

How did my computer get infected with Smile dog ransomware?

There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware injection.

Nowadays, there are three most exploited methods for tamperers to have ransomware acting in your system. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer-to-peer networks.

If you access your inbox and see emails that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, delivery agencies like FedEx, Internet providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is unknown to you, be wary of opening those emails. They are very likely to have a ransomware file enclosed in them. So it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with letters like these.

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan file model. A Trojan is a program that infiltrates into your machine pretending to be something different. For instance, you download an installer for some program you want or an update for some program. But what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful agent that encrypts your data. As the installation package can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the files you’re downloading. The best way is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer file transfer protocols like torrents or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Internet. You can never guess what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy resources. Also, it is reasonable to scan the directory containing the downloaded items with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is finished.

How to remove the Smile dog virus?

It is important to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Smile dog virus will probably install Vidar Stealer on your machine to get access to credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can extract your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Sometimes criminals would decrypt several of your files so you know that they do have the decryption program. As Smile dog virus is a relatively new ransomware, security software developers have not yet found a method to undo its work. However, the anti-ransomware tools are constantly upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Of course, if the tamperers succeed in encrypting someone’s critical data, the desperate person will probably comply with their demands. However, paying to criminals gives no guarantee that you’re getting your data back. It is still risky. After getting the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption key to the victim. There were reports of hackers simply disappearing after getting the ransom without even writing back.

The optimal countermeasure to ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud storage or at least on an external drive. Of course, that might be not enough. Your most crucial thing could be that one you were working upon when it all went down. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also advisable to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the OS restoration.

Smile dog is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. Examples of those are Coty, Foza, Coza, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Smile dog are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is almost identical: documents become encoded, their extensions changed, ransom notes appear in each folder containing encrypted files.

Some lucky people were able to decrypt the arrested files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-ransomware experts. Sometimes the hackers mistakenly send the decryption key to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an epic fail allows the user to restore the files. But obviously, one should never rely on such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a criminals’ tool to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How do I avert ransomware infiltration?

Smile dog ransomware has no endless power, so as any similar malware.

You can defend your system from ransomware attack in several easy steps:

  • Ignore any letters from unknown mailboxes with strange addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are waiting for (can you win in a money prize draw without participating in it?). If the email subject is more or less something you are expecting, scrutinize all elements of the questionable email with caution. A fake email will always contain a mistake.
  • Never use cracked or unknown programs. Trojan viruses are often distributed as an element of cracked products, most likely as a “patch” to prevent the license check. Understandably, dubious programs are very hard to distinguish from reliable software, because trojans may also have the functionality you seek. Try to find information on this program on the anti-malware message boards, but the optimal solution is not to use such software.
  • And finally, to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a powerful armor for your PC.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft1

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft2.

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 system.

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 Smile dog 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

🤔 How can I open “.sMilE” files?Is it possible to open“.sMilE” files?

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

🤔 I really need to decrypt those “.sMilE” files ASAP. How can I do that?

If the “.sMilE” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. Otherwise, you might try to employ System Restore. The only question is whether you have saved any Restore Points that would be helpful now. The rest of the methods require patience.

🤔 You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Smile dog virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?

Of course not. Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your computer off the actual threats. The ransomware that has infected your system is probably still functional and it scans your system periodically to encode any new files you might create on your PC after the attack. As it has been said above, the Smile dog ransomware comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide criminals with easy access to your computer after some time.

🤔 What should I do if the Smile dog malware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation code.

In such an unfortunate situation, you need to have a flash memory drive with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the cleaning. The point is that the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or brought into your computer. To suppress this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential applications to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 What can I do right now?

Many of the encrypted files might still be within your reach

  • If you sent or received your critical files via email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You may have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to send those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try doing it again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud disks might have all those files as well.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old computer, a laptop, cellphone, external storage, etc.

HINT: You can use file recovery utilities3 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware blocks the copies of your files, removing the original ones. In the video below, you can learn how to use PhotoRec for such a recovery, but be advised: you won’t be able to do it before you eradicate the ransomware itself 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 SMILE DOG Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: SMILE DOG Virus

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

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  2. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  3. Here’s the list of the best 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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