WIZOZ virus Removal Guide
What is WIZOZ ransomware?
WIZOZ ransomware is the intruder that blocks users' access to common files on the machine
The infection allegedly can be decrypted after the Bitcoin transfer.
WIZOZ ransomware is a cryptovirus that encodes files found on the system and asks for the payment that should be in exchange for the decryption tool or key. However, these people behind cryptocurrency extortion viruses are only focused on getting those payments from victims. There is no need to consider the payment, in this case, because the Void ransomware family that this piece belongs to is known for being not decryptable and criminals overall are not trustworthy. The infection starts with infiltration and immediately after that, the malware starts to encrypt pieces of images, documents, videos, other commonly used files and marks them using the pattern with email and .WIZOZ appendix.
Ransomware and file-locking viruses, in particular, are not simple or easy to remove. Even though these infections are silent, the process of encryption requires skill. Especially successful encryption when files become useless. Specific algorithms are needed to achieve these goals. This is why hacker groups like that take some time to develop new versions when those are changed and upgraded each time.
The threat provides a ransom message in the file Decrypt-info.txt that gets placed in various folders with encoded data and on the desktop, so the victim can find the instructions as soon as those files receive the .[firstname.lastname@example.org][ID].WIZOZ marker and become unopenable.
|Marker||.[email@example.com][ID].WIZOZ gets placed at the end of the file name after the original file type|
|Distribution||Attached files from spam emails, malicious links. Payload data can also be received when users get torrent files, pirated software|
|Ransom sum||Should be determined individually once the victim contacted criminals|
|Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com|
|Elimination||Ransomware can be removed using anti-malware tools. Such applications fully check the machine and eliminate the infection|
|System repair||You should get help from a tool like ReimageIntego so all functions get recovered properly, and virus damage is cleared off|
The ransom note informs people about possible next steps and the possibility to get your files by only paying the said sum to virus creators. The particular file with your unique victims' ID or private key needs to be sent to the creators, so the WIZOZ ransomware virus can be terminated and files restored. It is not advisable to contact these criminals via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com email addresses because you may receive additional malware instead of the decryption tool.
The message that threat actors sent to victims after the full WIZOZ ransomware actions:
All Your Files Has Been Encrypted
You Have to Pay to Get Your Files Back
1-Go to C:\ProgramData\ or in Your other Drives and send us prvkey*.txt.key file , * might be a number (like this : prvkey3.txt.key)
2-You can send some file little than 1mb for Decryption test to trust us But the test File should not contain valuable data
3-Payment should be with Bitcoin
4-Changing Windows without saving prvkey.txt.key file will cause permanete Data loss
in Case of no Answer:firstname.lastname@example.org
The prvkey file should be found on the machine, as this message states, but we do not recommend contacting malicious actors or even trying to get your files decrypted. Researchers always note that there is no need to trust people behind malicious apps like this since the main goal is profit.
Once files get encoded, the original code of the piece is changed, so you cannot even see the content of the said document, image, video file. It becomes difficult to determine which pieces are needed and which ones are not that important. However, file recovery is difficult and can be possible when you have proper backups of files or rely on third-party file restoring software.
Files receive a lengthy marker when the encryption process is done.
Step 1. Removing the threat
You need to terminate the virus, and the best way to do so is by choosing an anti-malware tool or security program capable of detecting the infection. If you try to restore files on the system where the .WIZOZ file virus is still working, you might get your files affected again and permanently lose those pieces.
Choosing a program like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes can help fully clear all threats and terminate this ransomware, so you can be sure that the system is safe to restore your files on it. The removal process might cause some difficulty when your anti-malware tools cannot scan the system, so you might need to enter the safe mode or use the external device to launch the AV scan. However, anti-malware tools are the ones that can help with malware termination.
Also, once a system is damaged by malware, files in system folders get affected, and antivirus software cannot do anything about it, leaving it just the way it is. Consequently, users might experience performance, stability, and usability issues, to the point where a full Windows reinstallation is required.
We highly recommend using a system recovery tool ReimageIntego. Not only can it fix virus damage after the infection, but it can also remove malware that has already broken into the system thanks to several engines used by the program. Besides, the application can also fix various Windows-related issues that are not caused by malware infections, for example, Blue Screen errors, freezes, registry errors, damaged DLLs, etc.
- Download the application by clicking on the link above
- Click on the ReimageRepair.exe
- If User Account Control (UAC) shows up, select Yes
- Press Install and wait till the program finishes the installation process
- The analysis of your machine will begin immediately
- Once complete, check the results – they will be listed in the Summary
- You can now click on each of the issues and fix them manually
- If you see many problems that you find difficult to fix, we recommend you purchase the license and fix them automatically.
By employing ReimageIntego, you would not have to worry about future computer issues, as most of them could be fixed quickly by performing a full system scan at any time. Most importantly, you could avoid the tedious process of Windows reinstallation if things go very wrong for one reason or another.
Step 2. Restoring affected files
The ransomware marks files using .[email@example.com][ID].WIZOZ pattern, so those files that the threat affects should be seen and indicated among other pieces on the machine. The data, once encrypted cannot be opened or used as normal, and that is the worst feature about ransomware-type threats.
People get more eager to pay sine that seems to be the only solution. However, if you but your data remains locked, it is a major data and money loss, so make sure to terminate the piece of malware. It is not easy to get the official decryption tool created, so there are no programs capable of doing that at the time of writing.
You can save some of the files belonging to the WIZOZ ransomware virus, including those encoded pieces, and wait for the decryption tool release in the future. That is possible, but make sure to keep the data on an external drive and clean the machine fully to restore the needed functions.
As for the alternative methods that help with data restoring, we can offer limited tips. If WIZOZ ransomware affected your machine and you do not have any file copies placed on external drives or in the cloud storage, there are not many solutions for you.
The file-locking malware can be detected using AV tools
Since many users do not prepare proper data backups prior to being attacked by ransomware, they might often lose access to their files permanently. Paying criminals is also very risky, as they might not fulfill the promises and never send back the required decryption tool.
While this might sound terrible, not all is lost – data recovery software might be able to help you in some situations (it highly depends on the encryption algorithm used, whether ransomware managed to complete the programmed tasks, etc.). Since there are thousands of different ransomware strains, it is immediately impossible to tell whether third-party software will work for you.
Therefore, we suggest trying regardless of which ransomware attacked your computer. Before you begin, several pointers are important while dealing with this situation:
- Since the encrypted data on your computer might permanently be damaged by security or data recovery software, you should first make backups of it – use a USB flash drive or another storage.
- Only attempt to recover your files using this method after you perform a scan with anti-malware software.
Install data recovery software
- Download Data Recovery Pro.
- Double-click the installer to launch it.
- Follow on-screen instructions to install the software.
- As soon as you press Finish, you can use the app.
- Select Everything or pick individual folders where you want the files to be recovered from.
- Press Next.
- At the bottom, enable Deep scan and pick which Disks you want to be scanned.
- Press Scan and wait till it is complete.
- You can now pick which folders/files to recover – don't forget you also have the option to search by the file name!
- Press Recover to retrieve your files.
Malware like this is generally considered to be one of the most dangerous threats, so infection can result in some major issues when not treated in time. You need to remove the virus with all the pieces and related programs that can possibly affect the device's performance. The thorough system scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes tools eliminates the WIZOZ ransomware virus and additional trojans, worms, other malware added silently.
Once you did that, virus damage can get cleared with system optimization tools and ReimageIntego software. This is important if you want to avoid further damage and repeated infections. Since the threat spreads around using methods with malicious files and links, you can catch the threat like this again or even become a victim to the newer version in the same family as the WIZOZ ransomware virus. Be cautious online and keep security tools running to eliminate possible intruders in time.
Getting rid of WIZOZ virus. Follow these steps
Find a working decryptor for your files
File encryption is a process that is similar to applying a password to a particular file or folder. However, from a technical point of view, encryption is fundamentally different due to its complexity. By using encryption, threat actors use a unique set of alphanumeric characters as a password that can not easily be deciphered if the process is performed correctly.
There are several algorithms that can be used to lock data (whether for good or bad reasons); for example, AES uses the symmetric method of encryption, meaning that the key used to lock and unlock files is the same. Unfortunately, it is only accessible to the attackers who hold it on a remote server – they ask for a payment in exchange for it. This simple principle is what allows ransomware authors to prosper in this illegal business.
While many high-profile ransomware strains such as Djvu or Dharma use immaculate encryption methods, there are plenty of failures that can be observed within the code of some novice malware developers. For example, the keys could be stored locally, which would allow users to regain access to their files without paying. In some cases, ransomware does not even encrypt files due to bugs, although victims might believe the opposite due to the ransom note that shows up right after the infection and data encryption is completed.
Therefore, regardless of which crypto-malware affects your files, you should try to find the relevant decryptor if such exists. Security researchers are in a constant battle against cybercriminals. In some cases, they manage to create a working decryption tool that would allow victims to recover files for free.
Once you have identified which ransomware you are affected by, you should check the following links for a decryptor:
- No More Ransom Project
- Free Ransomware Decryptors by Kaspersky
- Free Ransomware Decryption Tools from Emsisoft
- Avast decryptors
If you can't find a decryptor that works for you, you should try the alternative methods we list below. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that it sometimes takes years for a working decryption tool to be developed, so there are always hopes for the future.
Create data backups to avoid file loss in the future
One of the many countermeasures for home users against ransomware is data backups. Even if your Windows get corrupted, you can reinstall everything from scratch and retrieve files from backups with minimal losses overall. Most importantly, you would not have to pay cybercriminals and risk your money as well.
Therefore, if you have already dealt with a ransomware attack, we strongly advise you to prepare backups for future use. There are two options available to you:
- Backup on a physical external drive, such as a USB flash drive or external HDD.
- Use cloud storage services.
The first method is not that convenient, however, as backups need to constantly be updated manually – although it is very reliable. Therefore, we highly advise choosing cloud storage instead – it is easy to set up and efficient to sustain. The problem with it is that storage space is limited unless you want to pay for the subscription.
Using Microsoft OneDrive
OneDrive is a built-in tool that comes with every modern Windows version. By default, you get 5 GB of storage that you can use for free. You can increase that storage space, but for a price. Here's how to setup backups for OneDrive:
- Click on the OneDrive icon within your system tray.
- Select Help & Settings > Settings.
- If you don't see your email under the Account tab, you should click Add an account and proceed with the on-screen instructions to set yourself up.
- Once done, move to the Backup tab and click Manage backup.
- Select Desktop, Documents, and Pictures, or a combination of whichever folders you want to backup.
- Press Start backup.
After this, all the files that are imported into the above-mentioned folders will be automatically backed for you. If you want to add other folders or files, you have to do that manually. For that, open File Explorer by pressing Win + E on your keyboard, and then click on the OneDrive icon. You should drag and drop folders you want to backup (or you can use Copy/Paste as well).
Using Google Drive
Google Drive is another great solution for free backups. The good news is that you get as much as 15GB for free by choosing this storage. There are also paid versions available, with significantly more storage to choose from.
You can access Google Drive via the web browser or use a desktop app you can download on the official website. If you want your files to be synced automatically, you will have to download the app, however.
- Download the Google Drive app installer and click on it.
- Wait a few seconds for it to be installed.
- Now click the arrow within your system tray – you should see Google Drive icon there, click it once.
- Click Get Started.
- Enter all the required information – your email/phone, and password.
- Now pick what you want to sync and backup. You can click on Choose Folder to add additional folders to the list.
- Once done, pick Next.
- Now you can select to sync items to be visible on your computer.
- Finally, press Start and wait till the sync is complete. Your files are now being backed up.
Report the incident to your local authorities
Ransomware is a huge business that is highly illegal, and authorities are very involved in catching malware operators. To have increased chances of identifying the culprits, the agencies need information. Therefore, by reporting the crime, you could help with stopping the cybercriminal activities and catching the threat actors. Make sure you include all the possible details, including how did you notice the attack, when it happened, etc. Additionally, providing documents such as ransom notes, examples of encrypted files, or malware executables would also be beneficial.
Law enforcement agencies typically deal with online fraud and cybercrime, although it depends on where you live. Here is the list of local authority groups that handle incidents like ransomware attacks, sorted by country:
- USA – Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3
- United Kingdom – ActionFraud
- Canada – Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
- Australia – ScamWatch
- New Zealand – ConsumerProtection
- Germany – Polizei
- France – Ministère de l'Intérieur
If your country is not listed above, you should contact the local police department or communications center.
Manual removal using Safe Mode
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.
Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking
Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment.
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
- Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
- On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
- Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Press Restart.
- Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes
Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Click on More details.
- Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
- Right-click and select Open file location.
- Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
- Delete the contents of the malicious folder.
Step 3. Check program Startup
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Go to Startup tab.
- Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
Step 4. Delete virus files
Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:
- Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
- Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
- Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:
Temporary Internet Files
- Pick Clean up system files.
- You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):
After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from WIZOZ and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
How to prevent from getting ransomware
Access your website securely from any location
When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.
If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.
Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks
While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.
Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection.