Danger level:  
  (99/100)

.zzzzz file virus. How to delete? (Removal tutorial)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware
12

.zzzzz file extension virus is a new member of the Locky ransomware family

The developers of the Locky virus[1] take competition with Cerber’s creators seriously and just recently developed a new variant – .zzzzz file extension virus. The newest version does not differ a lot from the previous versions Thor and Odin. The only difference is the file extension. Similarly to other variants, it also encrypts all personal files using a combination of AES and RSA algorithms, changes affected computer’s desktop picture and leaves a ransom note where victims are offered to use Locky Decryptor for 1 Bitcoin[2] to restore corrupted files. For many computer users, it seems the only possibility to restore data encrypted by the .zzzzz virus. However, we want to remind that paying the ransom might lead to money loss. Hacker might not give you access to the decryption software, or it may not work. However, if you be able to use this tool, you might install additional malware with decrypted files. Therefore, you might end up with another ransomware attack. If you want to avoid these programs, you should remove .zzzzz file extension virus immediately.

Malware spreads similarly to previous versions – via exploit kits[3] and malicious email attachments. After infiltration, .zzzzz file extension virus starts data encryption and renames all files to [8_random_characters]-[4_random_characters]-[4_random_characters]-[4_random_characters]-[12_random_characters].zzzzz. As you can see, it appends .zzzzz file extension. When all files on the affected computer are corrupted, ransomware leaves three new files. One of them – –INSTRUCTION.bmp – is a new desktop’s picture informing about virus attack. Victims can find more information about data encryption and decryption in other two files (-INSTRUCTION.html and _6-INSTRUCTION.html). Both files include identical ransom notes. Hackers provide detailed information about data encryption and leave a link to the same Locky’s payment website. We do not recommend following cyber criminal’s instructions. As we already mentioned, your payment might be just a waste of money. If you have data backups, you should not worry about anything. After .zzzzz file extension virus removal, you can plug in the external device and copy necessary files. However, if you do not have them, you are in trouble, indeed. Fortunately, there are some additional data recovery methods, and we have presented them at the end of the article. Therefore, scan computer with Reimage or other reputable anti-malware program, and later we will tell you how to get back your personal files.

.zzzzz file extension virus is another version of Locky

How does malware spread and how to avoid it?

One way how the .zzzzz virus spreads is exploit kits. Therefore if you want to avoid ransomware[4], you should install and regularly update anti-malware program. Besides, it’s important to keep all your programs updated in order to avoid misleading or fake ads that offer update particular programs. Of course, you should stay away from suspicious and high-risk websites, do not click on shady ads and unknown links. Another way how .zzzzz ransomware[5] spreads is malicious email attachments. If you have heard about ransomware distribution techniques, probably you already know that it’s the most popular and effective method to spread malware. It’s already known that the latest version spreads via .zip archive. The message includes information that some illegal activities are spotted on this computer or provides some information about the recent order. However, there might be a dozen of other misleading emails where cyber criminals pretend to re representatives from legal, governmental or well-known institutions, so you have to be careful and always double check information before opening any attached file or link. 

Instructions for .zzzzz file extension virus elimination

.zzzzz file virus belongs to the big and hazardous malware family, so its removal is not simple. First of all, if you think about manual removal option, you should forget this idea right now. This job can do only experienced IT specialists. Regular computer users might remove important system files or leave some malicious components on the PC. For .zzzzz virus removal, use professional anti-malware programs, for instance, Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus. Malware might prevent from installing these tools, so you should reboot the computer to the Safe Mode with Networking and check our prepared instructions below. After .zzzzz file extension virus removal, you can restore your files from backups or use additional data recovery methods.

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If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Computer security experts recommend using Reimage to uninstall .zzzzz file virus. Reimage scans the entire computer system and checks whether it is infected with spyware/malware or not. If you want to remove computer threats and secure your computer system, you should consider buying the licensed version of Reimage.

You can find more details about this program in Reimage review.

You can find more details about this program in Reimage review.
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Manual .zzzzz Virus Removal Instructions:

Eliminate .zzzzz using Safe Mode with Networking

You can detect malware using Reimage.
You need to purchase a licensed version of it to remove threats.
More details about Reimage.

  • Step 1: Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Go to Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. As soon as your computer starts, start pressing F8 key repeatedly before the Windows logo shows up.
    3. Choose Safe Mode with Networking from the list Choose 'Safe Mode with Networking' option

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Click on the Power button at the Windows login screen, and then press and hold Shift key on your keyboard. Then click Restart.
    2. Then select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and click Restart.
    3. Once your computer starts, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking from the list of options in Startup Settings. Choose 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking' option
  • Step 2: Remove .zzzzz

    Sign in to your account and launch any Internet browser. Download a legitimate anti-malware software, for instance, Reimage. Make sure you update it to the latest version and then run a full system scan with it to detect and eliminate all malicious components of the ransomware to remove .zzzzz completely.

If your ransomware does not allow you to access Safe Mode with Networking, please follow the instructions provided below.

Eliminate .zzzzz using System Restore

You can detect malware using Reimage.
You need to purchase a licensed version of it to remove threats.
More details about Reimage.

  • Step 1: Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Go to Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. As soon as your computer starts, start pressing F8 key repeatedly before the Windows logo shows up.
    3. Choose Command Prompt from the list Choose 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Click on the Power button at the Windows login screen, and then press and hold Shift key on your keyboard. Then click Restart.
    2. Then select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and click Restart.
    3. Once your computer starts, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of options in Startup Settings. Choose 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option
  • Step 2: Perform a system restore to recover files and settings
    1. When the Command Prompt window appears, type in cd restore and press Enter. Type 'cd restore' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    2. Then type rstrui.exe and hit Enter.. Type 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    3. In a new window that shows up, click the Next button and choose a restore point that was created before the infiltration of .zzzzz and then click on the Next button again. When 'System Restore' wizard comes up, click 'Next'. Choose a preferable restore point and click 'Next'
    4. To start system restore, click Yes. Hit 'Yes' and start system restore
    After restoring the computer system to an antecedent date, install and check your computer with Reimage to uncover any remains of .zzzzz.

Bonus: Restore your files

Using the tutorial provided above you should be able to eliminate .zzzzz from the infected device. novirus.uk team has also prepared an in-depth data recovery guide which you will also find above.

There are a couple of methods you can apply to recover data encrypted by .zzzzz:

Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro is a professional tool that helps to restore lost or corrupted files, so it might be useful after .zzzzz attack.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro (https://novirus.uk/download/data-recovery-pro-setup.exe);
  • Install Data Recovery on your computer following the steps indicated in the software’s Setup;
  • Run the program to scan your device for the data encrypted by .zzzzz ransomware;
  • Recover the data.

Windows Previous Versions feature

This method allows restoring individual files if System Restore function has been enabled before ransomware attack.

  • Right-click on the encrypted document you want to recover;
  • Click “Properties” and navigate to “Previous versions” tab;
  • In the “Folder versions” section look for the available file copies. Choose the desired version and press “Restore”.

ShadowExplorer

If .zzzzz ransomware failed to delete Shadow Volume Copies, you could use ShadowExplorer to restore encrypted files.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Install Shadow Explorer on your computer following the instructions in the software’s Setup Wizard;
  • Run the program. Navigate to the menu on the top-left corner and select a disk containing your encrypted files. Look through the available folders;
  • When you find the folder you want to recover, right-click it and select “Export”. Also, choose where the recovered data will be stored.

It is strongly recommended to take precautions and secure your computer from malware attacks. To protect your PC from .zzzzz and other dangerous viruses, you should install and keep a powerful malware removal tool, for instance, Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters

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References

Source: https://www.2-spyware.com/remove-zzzzz-file-extension-virus.html

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