zCrypt Ransomware - How to remove

zCrypt Ransomware

zCrypt ransomware is a recent ransomware variant for which encryption has not been developed yet. Though its name is not really sophisticated, zCrypt ransomware bears resemblance to TeslaCrypt, CryptoWall, Cerber and other like ransomwares because it uses asymmetric encryption algorithm to encrypt the victim’s data. It is said to be the newest version of CryptoLocker and RSA ransomwares. The interesting trait of this file encryptor is that it displays a pop-up with fake system warning during the process of encryption and targets mainly Russian users. The other basic features of zCrypt ransomware will be given in the following paragraph.

About zCrypt Ransomware

zCrypt Ransomware targets all versions of Windows OS. It uses RSA-2048 and AES CBC 256-bit ciphers. The RSA is the public key generated for encryption and AES is the private key generated for decryption. The encryption key is stored publicly and the decryption key is stored in the remote servers in charge of hackers. zCrypt file encryptor appends .zCrypt extension to the encrypted files. During the encryption a random pop-up, ‘‘There is no disk in the drive. Please insert a disk into drive D’’ appears. The dialog boxes it contains are inactive. This is done only to distract you from the malicious deeds being done by zCrypt cryptomalware.

After the encryption is done, How_to_decrypt_files.txt file appears in every folder of encrypted files, How_to_decrypt_files.png replaces your desktop wallpaper and How_to_decrypt_files.html is placed on the desktop and is loaded automatically whenever the browser is launched. These files contain the ransom note. The cyber criminals currently ask for 1.2 BTC which is 569.82 USD at the moment – a relatively high amount in comparison to other ransomwares. Four days are given to pay the ransom. If the payment is not transferred, it is increased to 5 BTC – 2,377.15 USD at the moment. If no transfer reaches hackers in 7 days, they claim to destroy the unique decryption key. The contact address is [email protected].

How does zCrypt Ransomware Infect Your Computer?

Zcrypt encoding trojan make use of spambots. It sends spam e-mails with infected attachments to the victim’s mail. These fake e-mails are sent from unknown senders or are disguised as official letters. They can even embody logos and other ‘‘legitimate’’ marks. They claim to be sent from such companies as DHL, FedEx, eBay, PayPal, etc. The other path this file encryptor can invade your computer is the security vulnerabilities targeted by exploit kits such as Angler EK (exploit kit), Nuclear EK, etc.

How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by zCrypt Ransomware?

Paying the ransom would only result in losing quite a large sum of money. Unfortunatelly, there are no decryption tools available at the time of writing this article. But security experts are working hard to resolve this issue. zCrypt Ransomware deletes Shadow Volume Copies so local backup will be of no help for you. Thus, it is recommended to store the copy of your most valuable data in some external drive or use external storage services such as Cloud storage service.

However, if it is too late for you to take advantage of the previous advice, you can still apply data recovery tools such as PhotoRec, products of Kaspersky, etc. To remove zCrypt Ransomware employ professional malware removal utilities such as Spyhunter, Malwarebytes or StopZilla. These security tools will not only delete this dreadful ransomware but eliminate all other threats and secure you malware-free future. Follow the removal guide of zCrypt Ransomware below.

How to recover zCrypt Ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus

Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore

1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt:

for Windows 7 / Vista/ XP
  • Start Shutdown RestartOK.
  • Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
  • Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Windows 7 enter safe mode

for Windows 8 / 10
  • Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart. Windows 8-10 restart to safe mode
  • Choose TroubleshootAdvanced OptionsStartup Settings and click Restart.
  • When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings. Windows 8-10 enter safe mode

2.Restore System files and settings.

  • When Command Prompt mode loads, enter cd restore and press Enter.
  • Then enter rstrui.exe and press Enter again.CMD commands
  • Click “Next” in the windows that appeared. Restore point img1
  • Select one of the Restore Points that are available before zCrypt Ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”. Restore point img2
  • To start System restore click “Yes”. Restore point img3

Step 2. Complete removal of zCrypt Ransomware

After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to zCrypt Ransomware . You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore zCrypt Ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies

If you do not use System Restore option on your operating system, there is a chance to use shadow copy snapshots. They store copies of your files that point of time when the system restore snapshot was created. Usually zCrypt Ransomware tries to delete all possible Shadow Volume Copies, so this methods may not work on all computers. However, it may fail to do so. Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There are two ways to retrieve your files via Shadow Volume Copy. You can do it using native Windows Previous Versions or via Shadow Explorer. a) Native Windows Previous Versions Right-click on an encrypted file and select PropertiesPrevious versions tab. Now you will see all available copies of that particular file and the time when it was stored in a Shadow Volume Copy. Choose the version of the file you want to retrieve and click Copy if you want to save it to some directory of your own, or Restore if you want to replace existing, encrypted file. If you want to see the content of file first, just click Open.
Previous version
b) Shadow Explorer It is a program that can be found online for free. You can download either a full or a portable version of Shadow Explorer. Open the program. On the left top corner select the drive where the file you are looking for is a stored. You will see all folders on that drive. To retrieve a whole folder, right-click on it and select “Export”. Then choose where you want it to be stored.
Shadow explorer

Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover zCrypt Ransomware encrypted files

There are several data recovery programs that might recover encrypted files as well. This does not work in all cases but you can try this:
  • We suggest using another PC and connect the infected hard drive as slave. It is still possible to do this on infected PC though.
  • Download a data recovery program.
  • Install and scan for recently deleted files. Data Recovery Pro
Note: In many cases it is impossible to restore data files affected by modern ransomware. Thus I recommend using decent cloud backup software as precaution. We recommend checking out Carbonite, BackBlaze, CrashPlan or Mozy Home.

Manual removal

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