Remove .zzzzz Virus File Ransomware in just a few easy steps with our removal guide which works with all versions of Windows.
Unlike other forms of malware, instead of trying to damage your system or data, Ransomware viruses use a technique called encryption to lock your files and then demand ransom for the decryption key. Due to their unique approach, this particular type of viruses is almost always devastating and the worst part about them is that in most instances the user never realizes what is happening until the malicious program has finished carrying out its agenda. Lately, there have been a number of reports concerning yet another virus of this type with the name .zzzzz. Since we believe that awareness is the best way to counteract any sort of malware here, in this guide, we will provide our readers with an in-depth explanation of how Ransomware programs such as .zzzzz work and how you can stop them from locking your files by encrypting them with their code. You will also be presented with a removal manual that also contains a list of decryptor tools for a number of Ransomware viruses. Therefore, if Ransomware has already locked your data, you can use that guide and see if it solves the problem.
As we mentioned earlier, the majority of users remain completely unaware of the Ransomware infection until their files have been rendered inaccessible by the virus. This is because most security programs have a hard time spotting the process that is ran by the virus. The reason for that is the utilization of the so-called encryption. Encryption processes are a widely used file protection method that is commonly employed by a large number of legal and non-malicious programs. This is why when .zzzzz initiates its own encryption process, your antivirus might not target that as a threat and let it slip under its radar. The virus would then go on to lock all your personal documents and files without being interrupted or even spotted by you and after it has completed its malicious task it will start blackmailing you. Usually, once all data has been made inaccessible, Ransomware viruses display a notification that demands a certain amount of money from the victim in return for the said key. Bitcoins are the preferred method of payment, since they are a cryptocurrency that cannot be traced back to the hacker. Most of the times there will be instructions within the message on exactly how to execute the transfer.
The threat of getting attacked by Ransomware is increasing each day and with every new addition to the Ransomware family. It is extremely important that users remain vigilant and observant at all times because they might just be able to manually spot and intercept a Ransomware infection. The only real flaw of the encryption method is that it usually takes time and even though your antivirus might not notice it, you can technically do that yourself. .zzzzz does not instantly force its code on you original files. In fact, it creates copies of them, which are actually the ones that are locked by it. After that, the virus makes sure to delete all of your original documents so that you are left with the inaccessible copies. The copies themselves are intact, it’s only that you cannot open them without the key.
Obviously, a process such as this one is prone to take some time and require substantial amounts of system resources such as CPU time, HDD space and RAM. An observant user would be able to spot the difference in their PC performance and the unusually high use of its resources. If you happen to notice anything like that and there is no any visible reason for it, you might be currently under the attack of .zzzzz. In that case shut down your machine immediately and call for professional aid. Also, you must not connect any smartphones, flash memory sticks or other external devices if there is Ransomware on your PC, since they can be attacked by it as well.
Unfortunately, most people fail to address the threat before it’s too late and their files get locked. In this case, there are not many options to choose from. Many get tempted by the idea of getting it over with by simply making the ransom payment. However, this is exactly what the hacker’s goal is. Furthermore, you can never know if you are actually going to get the key even if you send the demanded money. Ransomware victims need to understand that making the transfer is a really bad idea. Our advice for all who have had their data locked by .zzzzz is to try our removal guide located below this article. We cannot guarantee a hundred percent success in all instances of Ransomware infection, but it is undoubtedly a much better alternative compared to sending money to an anonymous online criminal.
There is simply no better way to handle Ransomware viruses than to make sure that they stay away from your personal files. For that reason, we have provided our readers with a short list of rules and tips that will help them fend off any future Ransomware attacks coming their way.
- High-quality software protection – Invest in a reliable antivirus program, because many times Ransomware viruses get onto people’s computers through other viruses that serve as backdoor and a good security software would help you stop those.
- Spam – Do not open shady e-mail messages or links since they might be malicious spam that carries the Ransomware with it.
- Safe browsing – Always make sure that you only visit and download content from reliable websites. Never go to sites that are illegal or seem sketchy/potentially dangerous.
- Data backup – this is an extremely important and effective precaution – backup all files that are important to you and even if .zzzzz gets into your system and encrypts everything there, you will have a safe and accessible copy of each important data file.
.zzzzz File Virus Ransomware Removal
Step 1 – hunt for active virus processes
To do this, you will have to make use of your Task Manager. Use the R-Ctrl+Shift+Esc key combination in order to open it. Now, go to the Processes tab and sort the list by order of CPU and/or memory used. Now, look through the list – if any process is using up very high amounts of memory or has a suspicious name or description, then it might be a process ran by the Ransomware. End that process immediately and move on to the next step.
Now open your start menu and search for MSConfig. Go to the Startup section and see if there are any suspicious entries with unknown manufacturers. Disable anything that seems illegitimate. Keep in mind that the virus may duplicate the names of real programs!
Step 2 – prepare your PC for the removal process
Next thing you need to do is boot your machine into Safe Mode and reveal all hidden files and folders. Click on the links for detailed instructions.
Step 3 – find and delete virus-related files
- Open your Registry Editor by typing regedit in the Run window (Winkey+R) and pressing Enter, then open Edit->Find. Search for the virus name.
- If there are any results, delete those registry entries.
- Open your Start Menu and in the search field type each of the following and go to the corresponding location:
- Delete everything from Temp. In the other folders, see if there has been added anything recently that seems suspicious. If that is the case, delete the new entries.
Step 4 – look for Hosts file manipulation
- Use the Win-key+R combination to open Run and hit enter after you copy-paste the following:
- A notepad file will open. If your PC has been infected, may be IP addresses at the bottom of the file. Delete them.
- Note that if those IP’s are either 0.0.0.0 or 127.0.0.1, then they are not coming from a virus, thus this is no indication of an infection.
Step 5 – decrypt already encrypted files
For this, you will first have to identify the virus you are dealing with and then acquire the corresponding decryptor tool that can help you decrypt your files.
- To identify the Ransomware, go to this link and follow the instructions.
- Now that you know what you are dealing it, make a search for how to decrypt ransomware and look for a decryptor for your specific virus.