Danger level:  
  (99/100)

Zzzzz virus. How to delete? (Removal tutorial)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware
12

What should you know about Zzzzz virus?

It’s hard to tell whether Locky’s developers have lacked imagination or they didn’t have enough time to think about the more creative name for their latest ransomware – Zzzzz virus. Indeed, in this article, we are going to tell you what you can expect from this version of the infamous Locky. Similarly to previous versions – Odin, Thor, .Shit and .Aesir viruses – it uses various distribution techniques, encrypts files using the same sophisticated encryption algorithms, changes the affected computer’s desktop with the same black with red letters wallpaper and drops the ransom note where victims are offered to purchase the Locky Decrypter necessary to restore encoded data. The combination of RSA-2048 and AES-256 ciphers allows Zzzzz ransomware to encrypt files using the public key and to decrypt with the private key. However, the private key is known only to the virus developers, but they are willing to sell it for the victims who want to get back access to the corrupted files. During data encryption malware makes files useless by appending .zzzzz file extension and makes them unrecognisable by renaming them using this scheme: [8_random_characters]-[4_random_characters]-[4_random_characters]-[4_random_characters]-[12_random_characters].zzzzz. The only files that are left untouched is important system files and the ransom note. Here victims can learn more about data encryption algorithms, how to purchase bitcoins, how to install Tor[1] browser necessary for transferring the payment and how to use decryption tool. However, you should not follow hacker’s instructions. We recommend initiating Zzzzz removal with the help of Reimage or other reputable malware removal software. When the virus is gone, you can opt for data recovery. Indeed, there are other ways how you can restore at least some of your files.

Locky became the most dangerous and fastest evolving ransomware of 2016. Since its appearance in February it has been updated several times and widespread even more[2]. Ransomware is threatening not only for home computer users but business sectors as well. Malware started its career by target medical institutions in the USA and later targeted regular computer users. The demanded ransom depends on the targeted computers as well. Companies might be asked to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds; and home computer owners ‘only’ several hundred. At the moment Zzzzz virus asks to pay 1 Bitcoin that equals to almost 600 GBP. Paying the ransom might be a solution in only one condition – if malware attacked an institution and took over important documents. Risking in several thousands of dollars is better than bankruptcy. However, data backups are crucial in the era of ransomware. It helps both – companies and regular users. In case of the attack, there’s no need to worry about paying the ransom. Victims can simply remove Zzzzz ransomware from the computer and restore files from backups.

Zzzzz virus encrypts various files and demands paying the ransom

Ways to get infected with ransomware

The latest Locky’s and its variants distribution strategy include social networks. For the first time in the ransomware history, malware started spreading on Facebook[3]. Victims receive a picture in the .svg file, which redirects to the third-party domain that is identical to YouTube and asks to install a particular plugin. If victims agree to install it, they let ransomware inside the PC. Zzzzz ransomware also spreads using traditional distribution method – malicious spam emails. It can pretend to be from well-known companies as Amazon[4] or organizations such as Office of Personnel Management (OPM)[5]. Crooks use various persuasive techniques to trick users into opening the attached document. It might be MS Word file, PDF or ZIP archive. Besides, Zzzzz malware and its predecessors might get inside computers with the help of exploit kit or malware-laden ads. Therefore, it’s crucial to take all necessary precautions while browsing the Internet. Latest versions are also better getting through computer’s security and antivirus programs; however, it still recommended to install a strong security program because it minimises the risk of the attack. Also, it’s important to keep antivirus program updated as well as other software installed on your PC. Unfortunately, it’s important to be 100% secure, so you should make data backups and store then in the external devices or rely on online storage solutions.

Instructions for Zzzzz ransomware virus elimination

Getting infected ransomware is a horrible experience which might lead to data and money loss. However, we want to discourage you from paying the ransom and trying to get back access to your files this way. There are other options how you can restore at least some of your important records, but before that you have to remove Zzzzz from your PC. We recommend installing reputable malware removal utility, for instance, Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, and run a full system scan. Before that, you might need to reboot your computer to the Safe Mode with Networking as shown in the instructions below. Malware can prevent you from installing and updating security tools in order to stay longer on your PC and swindle your money. However, if you face some difficulties during Zzzzz removal, don’t give up. Eliminating malware for good is possible. Once you’ve done with removal, restore your files from backups or try additional data recovery options suggested below.

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What to do if failed?
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 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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Press mentions on Reimage

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 for data encryption

This tool has been created to restore lost, deleted and encrypted files. It may not decrypt all files corrupted by Zzzzz virus; however, some of them will be rescued.

  • 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.

Data recovery with Windows Previous Versions feature

If System Restore function has been enabled before ransomware attack, you should be able to find the previously stored copy of each file by following these steps:

  • 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”.

Data recovery with ShadowExplorer

If Zzzzz ransomware virus did not delete Shadow Volume Copies, the ShadowExplorer would help you to recover some 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-ransomware-virus.html

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