WinSec ransomware / virus (Easy Removal Guide) - Virus Removal Guide

WinSec virus Removal Guide

What is WinSec ransomware virus?

WinSec ransomware strikes at Portuguese users

WinSec virus seems to target one specific group of netizens – Portuguese users. However, if it does not mean that residents of other countries should let their guard down. It is yet another virus created on the basis of open-source crypto-malware – HiddenTear[1]. The internet has no borders so virus targeted at one group may soon spread into other cyber regions[2]. Unintentionally users facilitate the distribution as well. Speaking of this malware, its transmission frequency is still low, but it is already detectable by several security applications. It also contains quite unusual features but is said to use AES encryption method which unfortunately bothers the decryption process. If you accidentally happened to open the email attachment and activate this file-encrypting threat, find out how you can remove WinSec from the device.

Portuguese ransomware viruses are not a rarity. In the past, there were already a couple of viruses directed at this country‘s Internet users: CryptoLocker Portuguese virus, etc. There have been also poor imitations. However, some of them even happen to be quite elaborate[3]. WinSec malware seems to possess quite insidious features: once it gets into the system, it might trigger fake Windows error messages which might be presented as Windows Security alerts. Likewise, if users notice winsec.exe file running on the system, they may not regard it as a fraudulent file. As a result, they accidentally pave way for the ransomware to operate without disturbance. Furthermore, WinSec malware does not indicate any email address for contacting the racketeers.

The image illustrating WinSec virusWinSec malware might disguise as fake Windows OS security alerts.

Instead, the program of the infection presents a box where users should enter their email and supposedly receive the decryption key. No specific amount of ransom is indicated so the sum varies each case. Needless to say, that we do not recommend contacting the cyber villains[4]. Besides your computer, your email account might be hacked as well. If you store your important documents in Google Docs, such WinSec hijack might be too severe. Speaking about data recovery, you might need to opt for alternative methods to restore documents which now contain .locked file extension. You can do it with the help of backup copies, shadow volume copies or data recovery programs. Some of the recommendations are provided below.

How did the malware settle on my device?

Spam emails remain the most profitable and popular distribution methods. Regardless of constant warnings, users still pay little attention when reviewing their spam folder. They should not get on the hook even if the emails are addressed to them directly. Some hackers may scare users with a subpoena from a court or tax refund emails[5]. In such cases, restrain from opening the attached files and remove the email right away. Alternatively, WinSec ransomware might occupy the device in the form of a trojan. Now it is detectable as Trojan.MSIL.Filecoder, Win32:Malware-gen, Troj.Ransom.W32.Foreign!c, Ransom_CRYPTEAR.SM, etc. Thus, you should combine your anti-virus with malware elimination utility, e.g. FortectIntego or Malwarebytes, to improve the overall protection of the system. Now let us proceed to WinSec removal section.

WinSec elimination guidelines

Whether it is more elaborate or quite weak ransomware, manual termination might be futile. Use security apps to remove WinSec virus. If either anti-virus or malware elimination utility is shut down forcefully, look up the below instructions to regain full access. Then, you will be able to proceed with WinSec removal. Note that security applications do not restore encrypted files. take a look at the bottom of the page. Under “Bonus: Recover your data,” you might find useful tips.

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 WinSec virus. 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 WinSec using System Restore

If Safe Mode with Networking fails to restore access, you might need to opt for 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 WinSec. 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 WinSec removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

What are the benefits of Data Recovery Pro?

The authors of software claim for it to be able to restore users files and even emails.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by WinSec ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try Windows Previous Versions function

Though this method is less elaborate, but it might help you restore some of the files. Note that it takes time.

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

Expklore the usefulness of Shadow Explorer

This program might help you recover the files encrypted by WinSec virus. It locates shadow volume copies and restores your valuable documents based on them.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.


Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

If this free guide helped you and you are satisfied with our service, please consider making a donation to keep this service alive. Even a smallest amount will be appreciated.

Contact Julie Splinters
About the company Esolutions