DESYNC Ransomware

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

DESYNC ransomware removal instructions

What is DESYNC?

Discovered by Michael Gillespie, DESYNC is a ransomware-type program developed by cyber criminals who use it to encrypt people's files (make them unusable) and then demand ransom payments. Like most malicious programs of this type, DESYNC adds its own extension to each encrypted file, in this case, ".DESYNC". For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.DESYNC". DESYNC also creates a ransom message within a text file called "# HOW TO DECRYPT YOUR FILES #.txt".

The "# HOW TO DECRYPT YOUR FILES #.txt" file explains how DESYNC victims can regain access to their files (decrypt them). They state that there is only one way: to purchase a decryption tool from them. They warn victims not to use tools provided by other parties, since they will be scammed or this will cause permanent data loss. To purchase the correct tool, users are encouraged to contact DESYNC developers via the email address and send their assigned unique ID numbers. They offer free decryption of one file as a 'guarantee' that this is possible using their tool. To decrypt all other data, however, ransomware victims must first pay a ransom. The cost of decryption tool is unknown but must be purchased using a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. Note that cyber criminals often ignore victims even if their demands are met and ransoms are paid - they provide no decryption tools or keys and people are simply scammed. Unfortunately, only DESYNC developers can provide tools cable of decrypting this ransomware encryption. The best free solution is to use an existing backup and restore data from there.

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

DESYNC decrypt instructions

DESYNC is not the only ransomware-type program available, and there are many. Some examples of other malicious programs that operate similarly include Frend, _Write_To_Emails_, and Cryptotes. Typically, ransomware-type programs encrypt data and make ransom demands. Common differences are the cost of decryption tool/key and cryptography algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) used to encrypt data. Unfortunately, cyber criminals usually design these computer infections to be 'uncrackable'. In other words, people with computers infected with ransomware are encouraged to contact the developers (cyber criminals). This situation can be avoided only if these programs are not fully developed or have bugs/flaws. Therefore, we recommend that you create regular backups on remote servers or unplugged storage devices.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

The exact method used to proliferate DESYNC is unknown, however, most cyber criminals distribute ransomware through spam (email) campaigns, Trojans (malicious programs), fake software updaters, software cracking tools, and dubious/untrustworthy software download channels. When using spam campaigns, cyber criminals send emails that contain malicious attachments or web links that lead to them. The main goal is to trick recipients into opening the attachments/links. Some examples of files used to cause computer infections are Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, archive files (such as RAR, ZIP), and executable files (.exe). Once opened/executed, these malicious files trigger download and installation of specific viruses. Trojans are malicious programs that proliferate other programs of this type, thereby causing chain infections. Cyber criminals employ fake (unofficial) software updaters as tools to download and install malware rather than the promised updates or software fixes. They might be also used to exploit bugs, flaws of installed outdated software. Software cracking tools supposedly activate paid software (or operating systems) free of charge, however, in some cases, cyber criminals use these tools to infect computers with ransomware or other viruses. Dubious download sources such as P2P (peer-to-peer) networks, free file hosting websites, freeware download websites (and other sources of this type) can also be used by cyber criminals. They use them to present malicious files (usually executables) as legitimate, however, by downloading (and installing) them, users cause computer infections.

Threat Summary:
NameDESYNC 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.

To eliminate DESYNC virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To keep computers safe from infiltration by ransomware or other infections, be careful while downloading, installing, and updating software. Be careful when dealing with various attachments (or web links) presented in received emails - if they are presented in emails received from unknown or suspicious addresses - especially in cases where the email subject (its context) is irrelevant - do not open them. Use official and trustworthy tools (websites) to download software. Avoid using unofficial websites, third party downloaders, installers, and other tools of this type. Note that to use software cracking tools is illegal. Furthermore, they are often the reason for computer infections. Update your software using implemented functions or tools provided by the official software developers only. Having reputable anti-virus or/and anti-spyware software installed (and enabled) can detect and remove various computer infections before they can do any damage to the system. If your computer is already infected with DESYNC, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in DESYNC ransomware text file "# HOW TO DECRYPT YOUR FILES #.txt":


All your files are encrypted on your network using a powerful and highly sophisticated encryption algorithm.
No way to recover your files without buy special decryption service that we have made for you!


If you are looking for internet. You will see nothing except scam websites want you to install their software and waste your money for them.
Any change in encrypted files completely breaks your file for every.


Will free guarantee our decryption service, we have to offer you 'ONE FREE FILE DECRYPTION'
You can send us one of any of your encrypted files in the first contact with us.


But, if you want to recover all your files need to make payment.


Now go to your email and send your 'PERSONAL IDENTIFIER' to following e-mail address:


Don't forget to send e-mail us only with your work e-mail address, else we never reply you.



Screenshot of files encrypted by DESYNC (".DESYNC" extension):

Files encrypted by DESYNC

DESYNC ransomware removal:

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

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 DESYNC 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 DESYNC 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 DESYNC 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 DESYNC 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 DESYNC, 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 DESYNC ransomware.

Note that the 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 DESYNC 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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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
DESYNC 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 DESYNC virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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