Gesd ransomware is another highly dangerous computer virus from DJVU or Stop malware family. The attack scheme of this threat would be to make majority of user’s files inaccessible. That way, cyber crooks behind Gesd will be able to demand payment in order for victims to recover all infected files, which will be very obvious having the .gesd extension.
People behind Gesd are targeting computer users who are carelessly downloading applications from the internet and those that are unwise in opening email attachment. The execution from this two primary deployment scheme allows the Gesd virus to run on the computer. In the process, it drops several executable malicious files that interact with system. But the focus of Gesd ransomware is to change the file structure of targeted data like documents, spreadsheets, images, videos, databases, archives, drawings, and so on.
The total transformation of files from its original format to .gesd in not the only reason why it remains inoperable because aside from this, the attackers are applying a sophisticated encryption algorithm that is quite impossible to decrypt without the required combination of tool and private key. Similar to previous variants as Rote, Zobm, and Msop, attackers are holding the decryption tool and necessary key that they will only make available to victims after ransom demand was paid. As stated in the ransom note, victims are oblige to pay $980 or discounted value of $480 if they can transmit the money within 72 hours after the initial infection.
It is unfortunate that even malware researchers are helpless in providing full recovery tool to restore .gesd files back to their original format. Hence, victims who have their files encrypted using an offline key (not generated by attacker’s server) may have a chance to regain access to their files with the decryption tool provided by malware researchers. See more about this tool on the next section.
How to Remove Gesd Ransomware
Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Gesd virus. Aside from our suggested tool, you may also run your own security program.
Though affected files may be impossible to decrypt due to complexity of the encryption, you can still try recovery method like alternative tool, Shadow Explorer or Previous Version as described below.
Stage 1: Scan the Computer with Anti-Malware Tool
1. Download free anti-malware scanner called MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (this will open a new window)
2. After downloading, install the program. It may run automatically or you have to double-click on the downloaded file MBSetup.exe.
3. Carry out the installation with default setup process.
4. After the installation process, click the Get Started button to launch the program.
5. Continue with the prompts until the main program opens.
6. On the main console, click on Scan to run most complete detection method to find hidden objects associated to Gesd ransomware.
7. Scanning may take a while. Please wait until the anti-malware tool is done with the checking.
8. Once the scan has completed, the tool will display the list of detected threats. Remove all identified malicious items and restart the computer if necessary.
Stage 2: Double-check for Gesd’s leftover with Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool
1. Download the free scanner called Malicious Software Removal Tool.
Malicious Software Removal Tool Download Link (this will open a new window)
2. The tool automatically checks the operating system and suggest appropriate download version. Click on Download button to begin. Save the file to a convenient location, preferably on Desktop.
3. After downloading the file, Windows will prompt that download has completed. Click Run to start scanning for Gesd ransomware. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.
4. The tool will display Welcome screen, click Next. Please note the message “This tool is not a replacement for an antivirus product.” You must understand that this program is made specifically to find and remove malware, viruses, Trojans, and other harmful elements on the computer. It was not designed to protect the computer.
5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Gesd ransom virus entities and other harmful files left on the computer will be found and removed. For advanced computer user, you can opt for Customized Scan, if there are other drives or folders you wanted to include in this scan.
6. Full scan may take a while, please wait for Malicious Software Removal Tool to complete the tasks. However, you may cancel the scan anytime by clicking on the Cancel button.
7. After scanning, the tool will reveal all identified threats. There may be other threats that our first scan fails to detect. Please remove/delete all detected items.
8. When removal procedure is complete, you may now close Malicious Software Removal Tool. We hope that Gesd ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.
Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Gesd Decryption Tool
Tools that may decrypt files infected by Gesd is not yet available at this time. We will update this section once the tool is on hand. In the meantime, please try the options below.
Option 1: Windows Previous Version Tool
Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a feature called Previous Versions. However, this tool is only usable if restore point was made prior to Gesd ransomware infection. To use this tool and recover files affected by the virus, please follow these steps:
1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.
2. Right-click on the affected files or folders. From the drop-down list, please click on Restore previous versions.
3. New window will open display all backup copy of files and folders you wanted to recover. Choose the appropriate file and click on Open, Copy, or Restore. Restoring selected files overwrites the current encrypted files on the computer.
Option 2: Use ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Gesd Ransomware
Just like Previous Version tool, ShadowExplorer is taking advantage of shadow copy created by Windows. This tool allows you to retrieve older version of files before it was encrypted by Gesd ransomware.
1. Download ShadowExplorer from the official web site.
2. Install the program with the default settings.
3. The program should run automatically after installation. If not, double-click on ShadowExplorer icon.
4. You can see the drop-down list on top of the console. Please select proper drive and the most recent point-in-time shadow copies of files you wish to restore prior to Gesd ransomware infection.
5. Right-click on the Drive, Folder, or File you wish to restore and click Export…
6. Lastly, ShadowExplorer will prompt for location where you want to save the copy of recovered files.