GRYPHON Ransomware

Also Known As: GRYPHON virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

GRYPHON ransomware removal instructions

What is GRYPHON?

GRYPHON is a ransomware-type virus discovered by malware security researcher, Leo. It's a variant of BTCWare ransomware. Once infiltrated, GRYPHON encrypts stored data and appends filenames with the ".[test].gryphon" extension (for example, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.[test].gryphon"). Live variants of this ransomware use .[].gryphon and .[].gryphon extensions for encrypted files. Following successful encryption, GRYPHON creates a text file ("!## DECRYPT FILES ##!.txt") containing a ransom-demand message and places it in each folder containing encrypted files. Updated variants of this ransomware use .crypton extension for encrypted files. For example “.[   ].crypton” and “.[ ].crypton”.

The message states that files are encrypted and that decryption requires a unique key. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. It is currently unknown whether GRYPHON uses symmetric or asymmetric encryption algorithm. In either case, decryption requires a unique key. Criminals store this key on a remote server - victims are encouraged to contact them to pay a ransom to receive it. The size of ransom is unconfirmed, however, criminals usually demand the equivalent of between $500 and $1500 in Bitcoins. Note that GRYPHON's extension contains the word "test" and the email address provided are "test2" and "test3". Therefore, it is safe to assume that GRYPHON is still in the development/testing phase. In any case, you should never attempt to contact these cyber criminals or pay any ransom. Research shows that they ignore victims once payments are submitted. There is a high probability that paying will not deliver any positive result and you will be scammed. These people should never be trusted. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by GRYPHON and the only solution is to restore your files/system from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

GRYPHON decrypt instructions

GRYPHON is very similar to Shade, Explorer, BLACKOUT, Ranrans, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. As with GRYPHON, all encrypt files and make ransom demands. There are just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of cryptography used. Unfortunately, most ransomware-type viruses use algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Thus, restoring files manually (without involvement of the developers, which is not recommended) is mostly impossible.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

To proliferate ransomware, developers employ spam emails (malicious attachments), P2P networks (torrents, eMule, etc.), third party software download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, etc.), trojans, and fake software updaters. Spam emails often contain infectious attachments (for example, JavaScript files, MS Office documents, etc.) designed to download/install malware. P2P networks and other unofficial software download sources often present malicious executables as legitimate software.

Threat Summary:
NameGRYPHON virus
Threat TypeRansomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
SymptomsCan't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methodsInfected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
DamageAll files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To prevent ransomware infections, be very cautious when browsing the Internet. Never open files received from suspicious emails or download software from unofficial sources. Furthermore, keep installed applications up-to-date. Be aware, however, that criminals proliferate malware via fake updaters. Therefore, using third party tools to update installed apps is very risky. Finally, use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. The key to computer safety is caution.

Message presented within GRYPHON ransomware text file ("!## DECRYPT FILES ##!.txt"):


Your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted
cryptographically strong, without the original key recovery is impossible!
To decrypt your files you need to buy the special software - "GRYPHON DECRYPTER"
Using another tools could corrupt your files, in case of using third party
software we dont give guarantees that full recovery is possible so use it on
your own risk.

If you want to restore files, write us to the e-mail: test2
In subject lite write "encryption" and attach your ID in body of your message
also attach to email 3 crypted files. (files have to be less than 2 MB)

It is in your interest to respond as soon as possible to ensure the restoration
of your files, because we wont keep your decryption keys at our server more than
one week in interest of our security.

Only in case you do not receive a response from the first email address
withit 48 hours, please use this alternative email adress: test3

Your personal identification number: -


Screenshot of files encrypted by GRYPHON (".[test].gryphon" extension):

Files encrypted by GRYPHON

Update 7 September, 2017 - Cyber criminals have updated this ransomware, it now uses 8 random symbols for extension of the encrypted files. For example "1.jpg" after encryption would look like "1.jpg.g58ufkre" It now also has a Tor website where victims are instructed on how to pay the ransom.

Gryphon Decryptor Tor website:

gryphon decryptor Tor website

Text presented within this site:

We present a special software - Gryphon Decryptor™ -
which allows to decrypt and return control to all your encrypted files.

How to buy Gryphon Decryptor™?

You can make a payment with BitCoins, there are many methods to get them.

You should register BitCoin wallet:

Simplest online wallet or Some other methods of creating wallet

Purchasing Bitcoins, although it's not yet easy to buy bitcoins, it's getting simpler every day.

Wait, we'll send you a Decryptor by email.

GRYPHON ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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Quick menu:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the GRYPHON virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the GRYPHON ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining GRYPHON ransomware files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of GRYPHON are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.

To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by GRYPHON, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

To protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as GRYPHON ransomware.

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.

Other tools known to remove GRYPHON ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
GRYPHON virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of GRYPHON virus on your mobile device.
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