DarkSide Ransomware


DarkSide is a type of computer virus aimed at blocking important user files as a lever for extortion. DarkSide is categorized as a ransomware virus and demands a money transfer from its victims in order to liberate their files from the applied encryption.

DarkSide Ransomware

The DarkSide Ransomware message for the victim

The ransomware-based infections, such as DarkSide, Oonn, Nile, are currently very popular and very common type of malware. These threats won’t damage your device, steal sensitive information from you or spy on your activities but they have a great deal of potential to cause problems, particularly if you are a user who keeps important files on your computer.

DarkSide, for instance, aims at restricting access to the files that you are using the most and the first thing it does once it sneaks inside the computer is to scan it to locate those files. Next, it encrypts them one by one and makes it impossible to open them without a decryption key. The critical aspect about the effects of the attack of this ransomware depends on whether you have backup copies of your files or not. A virus such as DarkSide can only encrypt files on the infected device and all other computers and devices linked to it. That’s why if you have done your job to back up your most important files on an external drive, another computer or on a cloud server, you won’t be affected by the ransom demands that the malware will place on your screen. All that you will have to do is to figure out how to safely and effectively remove the infection from your computer and copy your data back to the clean machine. Sadly, many people don’t create regular backups of their digital information and, once they are hit by a ransomware cryptovirus like DarkSide, they are faced with the threat of losing all their valuable files unless they pay a ransom to the hackers behind the infection.

The DarkSide virus

The DarkSide virus is a file-encrypting ransomware variant that uses a complex algorithm to encrypt user files. During the attack, the DarkSide virus generates a special file-decryption key and once the encryption process is over, it asks the victims to pay a ransom for it.

The cyber criminals behind the ransomware try to scare the victims into paying the ransom amount as soon as possible and promise that those who fulfill all the ransom demands will obtain the key and will regain access to the files that have been encrypted. However, there is no assurance that this will happen. Besides, this is not a course of action we would suggest that you take because it is likely that you will get nothing for your money to help you free your files from the ransomware’s encryption.

The DarkSide file encryption

The DarkSide file encryption is the lock-up procedure which this virus begins when it infects your computer. The DarkSide file encryption is normally silent and has no noticeable symptoms. This is why users do not detect it on time.

Generally speaking, the decryption key will help you reverse the applied encryption, but because it is uncertain whether you will get the key after you pay the required ransom, we’ve created a removal guide with alternative file-recovery solutions and steps that explain how to remove DarkSide from your computer.


Name DarkSide
Type Ransomware
Danger Level High (Ransomware is by far the worst threat you can encounter)
Symptoms Very few and unnoticeable ones before the ransom notification comes up.
Distribution Method From fake ads and fake system requests to spam emails and contagious web pages.
Data Recovery Tool Not Available
Detection Tool

Remove DarkSide Ransomware

DarkSide Ransomware

Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).

DarkSide Ransomware


Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which processes are dangerous.

DarkSide Ransomware

Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users.
This file is not matched with any known malware in the database. You can either do a full real-time scan of the file or skip it to upload a new file. Doing a full scan with 64 antivirus programs can take up to 3-4 minutes per file.
DarkSide Ransomware
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DarkSide Ransomware
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    After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders.

    Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections.

    DarkSide Ransomware

    Hold the Start Key and R copy + paste the following and click OK:

    notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

    A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

    DarkSide Ransomware

    If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

    Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:

    DarkSide Ransomware

    Go in Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.

    • Please note that ransomware may even include a fake Manufacturer name to its process. Make sure you check out every process here is legitimate.

    DarkSide Ransomware

    Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter. Once inside, press CTRL and F together and type the virus’s Name.

    Search for the ransomware in your registries and delete the entries. Be extremely careful – you can damage your system if you delete entries not related to the ransomware.

    Type each of the following in the Windows Search Field:

    1. %AppData%
    2. %LocalAppData%
    3. %ProgramData%
    4. %WinDir%
    5. %Temp%

    Delete everything in Temp. The rest just check out for anything recently added. Remember to leave us a comment if you run into any trouble!

    DarkSide Ransomware

    How to Decrypt DarkSide files

    We have a comprehensive (and daily updated) guide on how to decrypt your files. Check it out here.

    If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


    About the author


    Lidia Howler

    Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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