CryptoDefense (Removal Guide) - Mar 2021 update

CryptoDefense Removal Guide

What is CryptoDefense?

CryptoDefense – malware that prevents access to personal files until ransom is paid

CryptoDefense virus

CryptoDefense (also known as HOW_DECRYPT.txt) is a very dangerous cyber infection, which belongs to the ransomware category. The most important thing about this virus is encrypting all your text files, videos, office documents, and similar data. As a result, none of the files can be opened until a unique key is provided by cybercriminals.

Of course, malware authors are unwilling to give it for free and ask for a ransom that needs to be paid in bitcoin cryptocurrency. Users allegedly then would receive a personal code that can enter into a pop-up window and decrypt all files automatically.

According to experts, CryptoDefense is still incapable of affecting Macs, but it can easily attack all Windows versions, such as:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 10, etc.

Similar to ransomware that was discovered before, this variant displays a huge alert after taking over its target PC system. This warning claims that all files were encrypted by CryptoDefense Software and says that the victim needs to obtain the private key to decrypt them.

Of course, this service is not for free – scammers ask paying $500 in bitcoins. If you fail to pay, they promise that after four days the ransom will be doubled. Unfortunately, there is still no method to decrypt files that were encrypted by the CryptoDefense virus. Therefore, you should always make sure that you have working backups prepared – they should be stored on a separate medium.

As soon as the virus enters the system, it encrypts data files and starts showing this notification:

All files including videos, photos and documents on your computer are encrypted by CryptoDefense Software.

Encryption was produced using a unique public key RSA-2048 generated for this computer. To decrypt files you need to obtain the private key.

The single copy of the private key, which will allow you to decrypt the files, located on a secret server on the Internet;
the server will destroy the key after a month. After that, nobody and never will be able to restore files.

CryptoDefense instructs people how they can pay the ransom and purchase a tool for decryption. For that, they need to visit specific site, enter their unique key and then reveal how much bitcoins they need to pay. As we have said, delaying this may increase the amount of ransom and instead of $500 you may have to pay $1,000 in bitcoins.

Instead, remove ransomware with FortectIntego or another tool, and then use alternative methods for data recovery we provide below.

CryptoDefense virus

Ransomware distribution and prevention methods

Ransomware is possibly on the most devastating computer infections in the wild. It became one of the most lucrative illegal businesses around, and there are new strains emerging every day. One of the most damaging ransomware features is that the elimination of malware would not restore files to their previous states. The encrypted data requires a unique key that is in the possession of cybercriminals behind the attack.

That's why you need to understand how to avoid ransomware. The most important thing in this situation is to ignore all unfamiliar emails that typically report about nonexistent purchases, payments, and similar things that could make people click on the malicious link.

Similarly to CTB Locker, CryptorBit, and CryptoLocker viruses, it may also enter your PC in a bundle with fake Flash and Java updates, so ignore all unexpected alerts offering downloading them for free.

Delete CryptoDefense ransomware before attempting file recovery

If you need to remove CryptoDefense from your computer, you need to perform a full system scan with powerful anti-malware software, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. FortectIntego can also be useful when dealing with virus damage to the system files. If the malware is interfering with its functions, you can try accessing Safe Mode with networking, as explained below.

After CryptoDefense removal, you should restore all your files from backups. Unfortunately, most people don't have adequate backups prepared, and end up losing their data after a ransomware attack. Not all hope is lost, however, – we provide a few alternative methods that might help you to recover at least some of your lost files.

Also, you should start thinking about the prevention of such infections. For that, you can use the previously mentioned programs. Besides, don't forget to think about the immunity of your files and backup. For that, you can use:

  • USB external hard drives, CDs, DVDs;
  • rely on online backups, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Flickr, and other solutions.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of CryptoDefense. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove CryptoDefense using System Restore

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of CryptoDefense. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with FortectIntego and make sure that CryptoDefense removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove CryptoDefense from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

If your files are encrypted by CryptoDefense, you can use several methods to restore them:

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from CryptoDefense and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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