XROM Virus — [money21@onionmail.org].xrom File Ransomware

Written by Brendan Smith
Security expert Tomas Meskauskas was the one who originally identified the Xrom virus, which belongs to the Dharma ransomware family. A harmful program of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the computer (images, documents, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its specific extension to every file.
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What is Xrom virus?

☝️ A strictly accurate denomination for the Xrom is “a Dharma family ransomware-type malicious agent”.

The renaming will be executed according to the following scheme: .xrom. After the encryption, a file named, for example, “report.docx” will be changed to “report.docx.id-9ECFA84E.[money21@onionmail.org].xrom”.

The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the tamperers. You can get this tool after contacting money21@onionmail.org, qazqwe@msgsafe.io through email. That is pretty much the scheme of the malefaction.

Xrom outline:
NameXrom Virus
Ransomware family1Dharma ransomware
Extension.xrom
Contactmoney21@onionmail.org, qazqwe@msgsafe.io
Detection2Rogue:Win32/Trapwot, Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Gen.ytn, Trojan:Win32/Raccrypt.GK!MTB
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .xrom extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Xrom virus

The note coming in package with the Xrom malware states the following:

YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED
Don\'t worry,you can return all your files!
If you want to restore them, follow this link:email money21@onionmail.org YOUR ID -
If you have not been answered via the link within 12 hours, write to us by e-mail:qazqwe@msgsafe.io
Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

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

Xrom Virus - encrypted .xrom files

That is how encrypted “.xrom” files look.

How did my machine catch Xrom ransomware?

There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware injection.

There are currently three most popular methods for criminals to have the Xrom virus acting in your system. These are email spam, Trojan infiltration and peer-to-peer networks.

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

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan file scheme3. A Trojan is an object that gets into your machine pretending to be something else. Imagine you download an installer for some program you want or an update for some software. However, what is unpacked reveals itself a harmful agent that encrypts your data. As the installation package can have any title and icon, you’d better be sure you can trust the resource of the things you’re downloading. The best way 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 know what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the directory containing the downloaded objects with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is complete.

How do I get rid of the Xrom virus?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Xrom virus will probably install the Azorult Spyware on your computer to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned spyware4 can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Often, criminals would unblock some of your files so you know that they really have the decryption tool. Since Xrom virus is relatively recent ransomware, security software designers have not yet found a method to reverse its work. Nevertheless, the anti-ransomware instruments are constantly upgraded, so the solution may soon be available.

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

The optimal solution against ransomware is to have an OS restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud storage or at least on an external disk. Obviously, that might be insufficient. The most important thing could be that file you were working upon when it all started. But at least it is something. It is also advisable to scan your drives with the antivirus program after the system restoration.

Xrom 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 Eiur, Hhwq, Hkgt, and some others. The two main differences between them and the Xrom are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is almost identical: files become encrypted, their extensions altered, ransom notes appear in each folder containing encrypted files.

Some lucky people could decode the blocked files with the help of the free software provided by anti-malware experts. Sometimes the criminals accidentally send the decoding code to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an epic fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But of course, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a criminal’s instrument to pull the money out of their victims.

How to avert ransomware infiltration?

Xrom ransomware has no superpower, so as any similar malware.

You can defend your system from ransomware infiltration taking three easy steps:

  • Never open any letters from unknown mailers with unknown addresses or content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). In case the email subject is more or less something you are waiting for, check all elements of the suspicious letter with caution. A hoax letter will always contain mistakes.
  • Do not use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojans are often distributed as an element of cracked products, possibly as a “patch” to prevent the license check. Understandably, dubious programs are difficult to distinguish from trustworthy software, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. You can try to find information about this software product on the anti-malware forums, but the optimal way is not to use such software.
  • And finally, to ensure the safety of the files you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a perfect defense for your personal computer.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft5

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft6.

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 Xrom 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 finished, 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

Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 Can I somehow access “.xrom” files?

There’s no way to do it, unless the files “.xrom” files are decrypted.

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

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. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.

🤔 Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the Xrom virus?

No way! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with real threats. The virus that has infected your PC is probably still functional and launching checks from time to time to encode any new files you might create on your computer after the initial attack. As it has been mentioned above, the Xrom malware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide malefactors with easy access to your PC in the future.

🤔 What actions should I take if the Xrom virus has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation key.

In such an unfortunate situation, you need to have 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 encodes any new files created or imported into your PC. To suppress this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential applications to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 And what should I do now?

Many of the blocked files might still be within your reach

  • If you sent or received your critical files through email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You may have shared images or videos with your friends or family members. Simply ask them to post those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Web, you can try doing it again.
  • Your messengers, social media 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, memory stick, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can use data recovery programs7 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 recover your files with PhotoRec, but remember: you won’t be able to do it before you kill the virus with an anti-malware 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 XROM Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: XROM Virus

Description: XROM Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .xrom 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. Encyclopedia of threats.
  3. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  4. You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective section of GridinSoft official website.
  5. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  6. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  7. 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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