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AZaZeL ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware
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aZaZeL ransomware is a crypt-virus that demands small-ish ransom

aZaZeL virus

aZaZeL is a ransomware[1] virus which is known to require a relatively small ransom – 0.1 BTC. However, that shouldn't encourage you to pay this ransom fee to cyber criminals. As soon as it infiltrates the system, it encrypts your files with a powerful encryption algorithm and makes them inaccessible.

Among the signature features of aZaZeL virus, there are the .Encrypted extension which is used to mark locked files and the “File_Encryption_Notice.txt” file which explains the whole file recovery procedure. Typically, the extortionists drop this file on the computer's desktop. It contains such information as the azazel-bot@india.com email which should be used to reach hackers after they infect victim's computer.

The hijack of the system is carried out in a few simple steps of aZaZeL ransomware. First of all, the malicious virus drops its executable on the target computer. The file will typically be obfuscated and looks like some legitimate system process or running application.

The second stage requires downloading ransomware's executable and the rest virus components to the system and establishing a connection with the command and control (C&C) server[2]. From this point, virus receives the following commands from its owners. One of the first commands is to download the latest updates of its code to the system. These updates implement improvements to the program’s functionalities or make adjustments to complicate aZaZeL removal.

Finally, the most destructive part of the attack may begin. We are talking about data encryption, in particular. The malware will start scanning the computer for different types of documents, archives, gaming files, video/audio/visual material, etc.

The AES algorithm will be applied to render the contents of these files unreadable, similarly like the military encodes messages for secret communication. The victims will have virtually no chance decrypting the files themselves. Even the professionals do not always manage to find ways to work around the encryption, so the victims’ files remain locked indefinitely.

Even if your files remain encrypted by aZaZeL, that does not mean you will not be able to use your PC because of that. You can backup the encrypted files for a potential future decryption and remove aZaZeL from your computer, leaving it clean and suitable for storing new data.

A full PC cleanup can be performed using professional antivirus tools such as Reimage, or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. Typically, ransomware spread faster in countries with high Internet utilization rate, such as Germany, so the computer users in these regions should be more concerned about their computer safety. [3]

Ways of ransomware settling on your computer

There are numerous illegal ways aZaZeL ransomware can be deployed on the computers. Usually, the hackers will use drive-by downloads, malware-laden software updates or malicious spam email attachments to place the malicious executable on the system. You might also quickly fall victim of the encryption virus attack if you have outdated software on your computer and you end up on some malicious website hosting exploit kits.

You may not foresee aZaZeL virus attack, but you sure can reduce the extent of its consequences. We recommend keeping backup copies of your files stored in some safe locations so that in case the virus hits, you would be able to recover them easily.

aZaZeL ransomware removal approaches

In case your device and the containing files have been compromised by ransomware, it is important that you remove aZaZeL virus from the system as soon as possible. We recommend using professional anti-malware programs to ensure the elimination goes smooth. You should also remember that it might be helpful to boot your PC in Safe Mode before launching the system scan.

When you perform aZaZeL removal, you may start thinking about data recovery. Unfortunately, there are currently no free or paid tools that could restore your system to the state it was prior to the ransomware attack. Nevertheless, you can check out alternative recovery solutions at the end of the article and try to win back at least some of your files.

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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.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall aZaZeL ransomware virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual aZaZeL virus Removal Guide:

Remove aZaZeL using Safe Mode with Networking

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

To remove aZaZeL with Safe Mode, you can use these instructions. Make sure you repeat a full system scan after running it on Safe Mode.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove aZaZeL

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete aZaZeL removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove aZaZeL using System Restore

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

The instructions below explain how you can decontaminate the ransomware by performing System Restore. They will help you disable your virus and initiate its full removal.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of aZaZeL. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that aZaZeL removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove aZaZeL from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

If your files are encrypted by aZaZeL, you can use several methods to restore them:

Get back your files using Data Recovery Pro

With alternative data recovery solutions there is never a 100% guarantee that you will get back access to your files, but neither does the paying ransom to the cyber criminals. So, it is really worth giving this data recovery technique a try.

Perform data recovery using Windows Previous Versions feature

It is quite possible that you may not have heard about this technique before. It is basically a travel through time, as it allows you to restore the files to the previously saved versions. Here is how this technique works:

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

Try to restore your files using Shadow Explorer

The last data recovery method on our list is the file recovery using Shadow Explorer. This recovery process works like so:

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from aZaZeL and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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