In this article we are going to try and help you remove .Zzzz File Ransomware Virus. Our instructions cover all Windows versions.
In the event that your files have been encrypted by .Zzzz, we’re glad you’ve chosen to search for alternative solutions to your problem, other than paying the ransom that’s been demanded by the hackers. Unfortunately, you have come face to face with arguably the worst cyber security threat out there – ransomware. It’s a type of program specifically designed to extort money from innocent users and enterprises, hence its name. The reason why it’s considered so utterly dangerous is because of two main factors: 1) its stealth and ability to go undetected while inside the victim’s machine; 2) the fact that it constantly evolves, with each variant having its very own encryption that could often not be breached. However, don’t let these facts scare you into surrendering to the cybercriminals who invaded your PC. We have a removal guide prepared for you in order to successfully locate and remove .Zzzz, but we’ve also included some steps that could help you restore some or all of the affected files.
What ransomware is and how it operates
Let’s start out with a little history. To begin with, ransomware was mainly present only in Russia ever since the early nineties. It has only gained such massive distribution and popularity among hackers in recent years, with the number of unique samples skyrocketing into the millions. Not to mention the amount of money this type of malware earns for the people behind it – that too has been estimated to be in the multimillion range each year. The key to its success is that it’s highly unlikely that you would be able to intercept its activity, once it’s been downloaded onto your PC, simply because there’s little to no way of knowing that this has happened. The most common way of getting infected with .Zzzz or another virus of this type is through malicious ads or malvertisements, as they are better known in this field. Basically, they represent regular-looking ads that come in the shape of banners, popup windows, box messages, etc. The only thing that sets them apart from actual ads, though, is that they have been injected with malicious scripts and can end up either automatically downloading the malware (e.g. ransomware) or redirecting you to a harmful website, from which you can be targeted by viruses.
Another common way to get infected is by interacting with a Trojan horse that has been programmed to download the ransomware onto your system. Trojans like this are usually spread through spam email campaigns and are typically embedded in the attached files. These attachments can seem as harmless as a Word or PDF document, but you mustn’t let that fool you. The emails themselves can be very sophisticated and try to convince you that they have been sent by legitimate organizations with an actual purpose. For example, they may pose as a popular online store or a utility company, claiming to be sending you a bill for the products or services you have purchased. The probability of you actually having dealings with organizations like these is quiet high, which ensures a greater chance for you falling in the trap.
About the ransom and being able to protect your PC
We’ve already determined that you are most likely unwilling to pay the ransom and are therefore searching for alternative ways to get your data back. Good for you! There is a list of reasons why we would not recommend paying money to cybercriminals (or any criminals for that matter) and it includes the main possibility of you simply not getting what you paid for. It’s not uncommon that the hackers might not send you the decryption key, for which the ransom was initially demanded. In other cases it has happened that a key was indeed sent, but failed to work. And this may not have even been the intention of the hackers, but in the area of programming – these things can and do happen. We’re not even going to venture into the moral side of the question, where paying criminals money is the equivalent to supporting them.
As for avoiding future infections of the sort, this is probably the most important thing you should consider. We would recommend backing up all of your most valuable information and storing it on an external hard drive or a cloud. Naturally, avoiding all the possible sources of .Zzzz and ransomware in general will also maximize your security. Try to avoid opening any suspicious emails or emails that come from unknown senders, as well as stay away from any form of online adverts – there’s no way of telling the difference between the malicious ones and the legit ones until it’s already too late.
.Zzzz File Ransomware Removal
Enter Windows Safe mode.
- Win 7 Users: Restart your PC –> keep on clicking F8 –> In the subsequent Menu select Safe Mode with Networking.
- Win 8 Users: Start Button –> Control Panel –> System and Security –> Administrative Tools –> System Configuration –> In the subsequent Menu select Safe Boot –>
- Win 10 users: Start Menu –> Power Options Menu –> Hold down the SHIFT button while clicking on Restart –> Troubleshoot –> Advanced Options –> Startup Settings –> Restart –> In the subsequent Menu select Safe Mode with Networking.
Open Task Manager and locate any processes associated with .Zzzz.
- Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC keys simultaneously –> Processes Tab –> Select a suspicious process (use Google or ask us in the comments if you are not sure about a process) –> Right Click and Open File Location –> End the suspicious process in Task Manager –> Delete the Folders containing the suspicious files.
Open the Registry Editor and search for .Zzzz.
- Win 7 Users: Click Start and type regedit –> Enter –> Press CTRL + F buttons –> Type Cryp1 Virus in the search field.
- Win 8/10 users: Start Button –> Choose Run –> type regedit –> Enter Press CTRL + F buttons –> Type .Zzzz in the search field.
Try to recover your files. First you will need System Restore.
- Win 7 Users: Start button –> Type Windows System Restore –> Enter –> Open System Restore –> Select a Restore Point and revert to it.
- Win 8 Users: Hold down the Windows key + Q –> Type Recovery –> Settings –> Choose the Recovery icon –> Open System Restore –> Select a Restore Point.
- Win 10 Users: Start Menu –> Power Options Menu –> Hold down the SHIFT button while clicking on Restart –> Troubleshoot –> Advanced Options –> System Restore –> Select a Restore Point and apply it.
Secondly use program that can access your Shadow Copies.
- Use Google to find the official website of such a program and download it.
- Use the program to select the file types and the hard drive locations you want the program to scan for.
- Start the scan and keep in mind that it might take a while.
- Once the scan has been completed just select the files you want to be recovered.
If you have questions or suggestions feel free to use our comments section!