Remove ZariqaCrypt ransomware (Bonus: Decryption Steps) - Removal Guide

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware

ZariqaCrypt virus Removal Guide

What is ZariqaCrypt ransomware?

ZariqaCrypt – a file locking threat which encrypts files with a unique algorithm

ZariqaCrypt ransomwareZariqaCrypt ransomware - a dangerous virus which enters the PC by spam messages or dubious third-party websites.

ZariqaCrypt is a dangerous ransomware virus[1] which encrypts important documents with a cipher such as AES or RSA on the infected computer and urges for a particular ransom. This dangerous computer infection can enter the computer by a spam email or a dubious website. Once installed, it starts its hazardous activity by dropping registry entries in the Windows Registry section. After such actions, ZariqaCrypt virus locks up files and adds the .crypt appendix to each corrupted file. A ransom message named DECRYPT.txt is displayed and crooks urge victims to contact them via zariqa@protonmail.com email address and discuss the details about the price for decryption tools.

Name ZariqaCrypt
Type Ransomware
Extension .crypt
Ransom note DECRYPT.txt
Provided email zariqa@protonmail.com
Ransom Can differ each time, usually, cryptocurrency is urged
Distribution This virus spreads through spam messages or third-party networks
Removal Install ReimageIntego and follow the instructions to get rid of the infection

You can recognize the ransomware from a file named DECRYPT.txt .dll .exe – random name which is located in \ Desktop \ -> \ User_folders \ -> \% TEMP% \ folder. If you see such a dubious document, you can be sure that your computer is affected by the ZariqaCrypt virus.

Moreover, ransomware such as ZariqaCrypt urges for cryptocurrency as the ransom type. The price amount can differ each time and it is not known for this case. However, cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Monero is used to keep transfers safely hidden and untrackable. Even if users are scammed, they usually have no chance of getting their lost money back after the transferring process.

You need to remove ZariqaCrypt virus from your computer system as soon as you spot files with the .crypt extension and read the DECRYPT.txt ransom note. This ransomware is a very dangerous cyber threat as the longer it is kept in the system, the bigger the damage can be done.

We recommend performing the ZariqaCrypt removal with the help of an anti-malware program such as ReimageIntego. However, you are free to choose any other trustworthy tool for such purpose. After you finish the elimination, you can look through some data recovery methods which are displayed below this article. Remember to take care of valuable files in advance, store them on external devices such as a USB drive.

ZariqaCrypt virusZariqaCrypt - ransomware which uses the .crypt extension to lock up files on the infected computer.

Take some precautionary measures and avoid ransomware infections

According to malware specialists[2], ransomware is widely spread in a couple of techniques. Most commonly, such infections come through spam messages that cybercrooks send to numerous random users. Pishing emails include hazardous attachments or links, which once opened, launch the infection straightly onto the victim's computer. If you ever receive a dubious-looking email, better eliminate it if you are not expecting anything important at the moment.

Moreover, ransomware infections are very likely to distribute through third-party networks. For example, P2P networks[3] such as Torrents are provided by secondary sources and lack protection. It might easily include malware. We recommend visiting only original websites and installing an antivirus for higher security. This program will detect various threats that might enter the computer without your notice while you are browsing the web.

Eliminate ZariqaCrypt ransomware without a delay

If you are wondering, how to remove ZariqaCrypt ransomware from your computer system safely and effectively, we suggest doing it with the help of an anti-malware program. However, manual elimination is not possible as this case is very difficult in comparison to a PUP infection. Download and install ReimageIntego or any other professional anti-malware tool.

After you perform the ZariqaCrypt removal, make sure you reset your computer. Check if the infection was removed successfully. Additionally, we recommend taking care of valuable data in the future. What you need to do is purchase a USB drive and copy all important documents to it. This will secure your files and keep them out of reach of the cybercrooks that might manage to enter your system through a dangerous infection.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of ZariqaCrypt virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Turn on the Safe Mode function and deactivate the virus on your computer:

Important! →
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
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. 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.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
    Settings
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
    Reboot
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

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:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
    Startup

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:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. 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).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Downloads
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove ZariqaCrypt using System Restore

Enable the System Restore feature by following these instructions:

  • 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 ZariqaCrypt. 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 ReimageIntego and make sure that ZariqaCrypt removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

If you have seen files with the .crypt appendix, you can be sure that your computer system is infected by ZariqaCrypt ransomware. If you are wondering, how to restore important files, we are offering a few suggestions which might be helpful. Read the following methods and complete each step carefully.

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

Try using Data Recovery Pro to get your files back:

This method might be helpful for file restoring if you complete all steps as displayed in the given instructions.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by ZariqaCrypt ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Use Windows Previous Versions feature to recover important data:

You can give this method a try. However, notice that it will work only if you have enabled the System Restore function in the past.

  • 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”.

Shadow Explorer might help you to recover corrupted files:

Sadly, if the cyber threat damaged or permanently deleted Shadow Volume Copies of affected documents, this method might not help.

  • 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.

Sadly, no ZariqaCrypt ransomware decryptor has been discovered yet.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from ZariqaCrypt and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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