David Ransomware

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

David ransomware removal instructions

What is David?

David is another ransomware-type virus discovered by malware security researcher, Martin Stopka. Once infiltrated, David encrypts stored data and adds the ".david" extension to the name of each compromised file. For instance, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.david". Encrypted files become unusable. After successful encryption, David creates a text file ("get_my_files.txt") and places a copy in every existing folder.

The new text file contains a short message informing victims of the encryption and encouraging them to contact David's developers via an email address provided. Victims then supposedly receive further instructions about how to receive decryption software together with a key. It is currently unknown which cryptography (symmetric or asymmetric) David uses. In any case, decryption requires a unique key. Cyber criminals hide these keys on a remote server and encourage victims to pay ransoms for their release. The cost is currently unknown - this information is supposedly provided after contacting David's developers. Cyber criminals typically demand $500-$1500 in Bitcoins or another cryptocurrency. These people cannot be trusted. Research shows that victims are often ignored after submitting payments. In other words, paying gives no positive result and users are scammed. Therefore, we strongly advise you to ignore all requests to contact these people or pay any ransoms. Unfortunately, there are currently no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by David. The only solution is to restore everything from a backup.

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

David decrypt instructions

David is virtually identical to Tornado, TBlocker, BlackRuby, SYSTEM, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. Although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, they have identical behavior - they encrypt data and make ransom demands. These viruses typically have just two major differences: 1) cost of decryption, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, most ransomware employs algorithms (i.e., RSA, AES, and so on) that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, in most cases, file decryption manually is impossible. The only possibility is ransomware not being fully developer or having certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally, or similar). Ransomware-type viruses present a strong case for maintaining regular data backups. Backup files must be stored on a remote server (for example, Cloud) or an unplugged external storage. If not, they will also be encrypted.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Most ransomware is proliferated using spam emails (malicious attachments), P2P (peer-to-peer) networks, third party software download sources, fake software update tools, and trojans. Malicious attachments typically come in the format of JavaScript files or MS Office documents. By opening them, users execute scripts that stealthily download and install malware. P2P networks (eMule, torrents, and so on) and other unofficial download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, etc.) proliferate malware by presenting it as legitimate software. Users are tricked into downloading and installing viruses. Fake updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or downloading/installing malware rather than software updates. Trojans are the simplest ones - they open "backdoors" for other high-risk malware to infiltrate the system. Ultimately, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, be careful when browsing the Internet. Files received from suspicious email addresses should never be opened. These emails should be deleted without reading. Applications should be downloaded from official sources only using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are used to proliferate rogue apps, and thus these tools should not be used. Keep installed applications up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite, however, since criminals proliferate ransomware via fake updaters, software should be updated using implemented functionality or tools provided by the official developer only.

Text presented in David ransomware text file ("get_my_files.txt"):

*** ALL YOUR WORK AND PERSONAL FILES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED ***

To decrypt your files you need to buy the special software
You can find out the details / buy decryptor + key / ask questions by contact for communication (email):
davidfreemon2@aol.com

Screenshot of Command Prompt window displayed at the start of infection:

David Command Prompt

Screenshot of files encrypted by David (".david" extension):

Files encrypted by David

David ransomware removal:

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 David 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.


Download remover for David virus
1) Download and install   2) Run system scan   3) Enjoy your clean computer!

By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Reimage.

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 David 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 David 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 David 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 David, 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 David ransomware.

Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.

Controll Folder Access

Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.

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 David ransomware: