In this article we are going to try and help you remove zcryptor. Our instructions cover all Windows versions.
Hackers have found a way to lock with your files and make you pay to get them back! How to prevent this from happening?
Viruses are nasty – we all know that. Some will delete your files, others may format your hard-drives, some will steal money from your bank accounts and others could even spy on you. However, there’s a type of malicious programs that are unique in what they do. Unlike other viruses, this kind of harmful software will not destroy your files or render your PC unusable. It will not try to bust your passwords and steal your money. In fact it will ask you to willfully send money to the hacker who’s using the nasty virus. Ransomware is the term used to describe this kind of malicious software due to their blackmailing nature. Unlike other infamous viruses such as the Trojan Horse category, ransomware is quite new. It hasn’t been around for too long and yet is currently one of the most problematic online threats, infecting thousands of computers daily. zcryptor is one of the latest ransomware and is highly likely to get to your computer if you’re not being careful. Hopefully, this article has gotten to you in time and the information in it will help you keep your system protected against such malicious software.
Important information about ransomware
Before we get to the topic of fending off potential ransomware threats, let us first introduce you to what zcryptor actually does and how it does it. As we mentioned above, the virus is not supposed to destroy your system. For the virus to be effective, it needs to keep your machine intact. Once the ransomware infects your system it starts copying your files. Each of the copies is encrypted and all originals are deleted after they’ve been copied. Encrypted files cannot be accessed without a certain code that your computer needs to have, so as to be able to read the encryption. This means that until you get that code, you won’t be able to open your own files. Here’s where the ransom part comes into play: Once the process has finished, a message is displayed to you by the virus itself. The message informs you about the encryption that has just taken place and tells you that if you wish to unlock your files, you’ll have to pay a certain amount of money in the form of bitcoins (or some other cyber-currency) so as to get the code for the encryption. Instructions on how to buy bitcoins and make the ransom will be provided in the message.
The problem with zcryptor and ransomware in general is that there’s very little you can do once you see the ominous message. Few programs can decipher the code and also the newer a ransomware is, the more sophisticated the code it’s using for the encryption is. There are some earlier ransomware viruses that have weaker encryption protocols, but we are talking about zcryptor here – the latest of its kind. At this point you might be thinking: “Why shouldn’t I simply pay the ransom and get it over with?” Well, a couple of reasons against that:
- Firstly, you can never be sure that you’ll get that code even if you make the transfer. Nothing obliges a criminal to keep their end of the bargain. Besides, bitcoins are virtually impossible to trace down, therefore, the hacker will retain their anonymity without fear of being brought to justice.
- Secondly, paying money to a criminal almost always results in that criminal becoming more encouraged to continue blackmailing people. Keep in mind that zcryptor may leave a backdoor file on your PC and even if you pay the ransom succeed in removing it, it may still come back and lock your files all over again.
Therefore, our suggestion is to first try out our ransomware removal guide which could help you with regaining access to your files without the need of paying a ransom. However, keep in mind that since zcryptor is indeed one of the latest of its kind, even our guide might not be enough to deal with every aspect of the issue. Still, it’s a much better alternative to the ransom payment and will cost you nothing to give it a try.
Here we will give you several piece of advice, which will help you prevent potential zcryptor infections for future.
- Have a reliable anti-virus program. This is essential since often ransomware viruses get inside your PC with the help of another malicious program (a Trojan Horse for example).
- Stay away from shady and illegal sites and be careful when opening new e-mails; reconsider opening any suspicious-looking ones. This is very important, since these are two of the main zcryptor distribution methods.
- Have a backup of all your important files on a flash memory or a portable hard-drive. If you suspect that a ransomware might be currently encrypting your files, do not, under any circumstances, connect the portable device to the computer. zcryptor can also encrypt files on any portable devices that are currently attached to your PC.
- Stay alert for the following ransomware infection symptoms: Higher than usual CPU and RAM usage; less hard-drive storage space than you’re supposed to have; unusual PC behaviour.
zcryptor Ransomware Virus 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 zcryptor.
- 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 zcryptor.
- 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 zcryptor 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!