ZinoCrypt ransomware / virus (Virus Removal Guide) - Recovery Instructions Included

ZinoCrypt virus Removal Guide

What is ZinoCrypt ransomware virus?

Modus operandi of ZinoCrypt ransomware:

ZinoCrypt virus is a brand new ransomware which the virus researchers have spotted earlier in March. The first thing that pops out taking the first glimpse at this malware, is its conventionality. While the contemporary ransomware developers tend to experiment with new malware forms, authors of this virus obviously take no chances when it comes to software engineering and follow the example of numerous other ransomware that have been successful in the past. In particular, they employ AES encryption to render victim’s files unreadable. ZinoCrypt targets the typical types of files including Microsoft Office, PDF documents, databases and archives, media files that it finds on the computer’s hard disk and external storage devices. Such files are of great value to the users since they carry most of their personal and sensitive information. Unfortunately, when the virus is done with the encryption and all the files are marked with .ZINO extensions, it becomes virtually impossible to recover them. The hackers are ready to take matters into their own hands and quickly approach the victims with an offer to purchase the miracle decrypter and roll the computer back to its previous state. Sadly, statistics of such system recovery attempts are not promising at all. In fact, most extortionists vanish into thin air as soon as they get paid. So, ignoring such offers might be the best option to protect yourself from financial loss or further damage to your personal files. If you have already chosen not to collaborate with the virus creators, the next step is to remove ZinoCrypt from your computer. Beware, ransomware infection may be a tough candy to crack even for the most tech-savvy users. Thus, make sure you have professional software like FortectIntego to back you up.

ZinoCrypt Ransomware – 2017 Edition is a virus primarily oriented towards the English speakers. Nevertheless, this does not limit the virus from infecting computers of victims who do not speak a word in this language. All devices are at risk as long as they are connected to the network. So, do not be surprised if one day you’ll find files appended with unfamiliar extensions and ZINO_NOTE.TXT file dropped on your home screen. This document is the so-called ransom note which features information about the victim’s current situation and data recovery options offered by the criminals. To have a more general idea of how such ransom note looks like, check out the unedited transcript below:

ZinoCrypt Ransomware – 2017 Edition
Your important files has been encrypted with the new ZinoCrypt Ransomware. (Photos, Videos, Etc..)
There are no tools online that will allow you to decode your files for free.
The only way to get your files back is to pay us.
Payment would be done stricly via BTC / Bitcoin.
Do not worry, al your files are safe, but are unavailable at the moment.
To recover the files you need to get special decryption software and personal key.
You can contact us:
Primary Email: ZinoCrypt@protonmail.com
Personal ID:
[random characters]

Though grammar mistakes and careless attitude simply radiates when looking at the note, these features do not make ZinoCrypt any less of a dangerous ransomware than its counterparts. It is interesting that in order to communicate with their victims, the hackers rely on the same email provider which has been used by the creators of OzozaLocker and some HiddenTear spin-offs. This encrypted email ensures that identities of the extortionists remain anonymous and they cannot be tracked by law enforcement institutions. Since the hackers are simply impossible to control, this leaves victims with one option, and that is ZinoCrypt removal. The full elimination of this malware from the computer will prevent the virus from encrypting more of your files and ruining your regular browsing experience.

Malware distribution tactics:

We may have discussed how ZinoCrypt works, but not how it enters computers. And there is a reason for this. The virus is still relatively new, so experts did not have enough time to figure it out. Nevertheless, the tendencies are clear. Ransomware typically spread via malicious spam emails disguised as legitimate-looking attachments also, through malvertising campaigns that try to make users obtain infected software. Needless to say, the hackers may also employ the exploit kits that look for system vulnerabilities and use them to deploy malware on the targeted computer. To avoid ransomware, try to be more careful when opening and especially downloading email attachments. Never open them in a heist and give time for your antivirus to scan them for potentially unwanted bundled components, malware or ZinoCrypt virus.

Suggestions for those who want to remove ZinoCrypt from their computers:

There are numerous antivirus tools that may promise you to remove ZinoCrypt virus in a blink of an eye. Are they all worth trusting? Definitely no. Some antivirus tools may be fishing for users who are looking for the quickest ZinoCrypt removal options. Do not get scammed! Always choose software recommended by professionals and check twice whether you are downloading the application from an official and trusted source.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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 ZinoCrypt virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Below you will find instructions which will help you run your security software in case the virus blocks it and prevents its removal.

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.
  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.
  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.

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
    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):


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

Remove ZinoCrypt using System Restore

Follow the guidelines below to learn more about ransomware decontamination techniques. NOTE: these are not ransomware removal guidelines, so you must scan your computer with a professional antivirus tool after you are done with these steps.

  • 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 ZinoCrypt. 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 FortectIntego and make sure that ZinoCrypt removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove ZinoCrypt 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 ZinoCrypt, you can use several methods to restore them:

Recover your PC after it was encrypted by ZinoCrypt with Data Recovery Pro: 

Follow the instruction below to use Data Recovery Pro for data recovery:

  • 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 ZinoCrypt ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Roll back your files with Windows Previous Versions feature

The guidelines below will explain how to use Windows Previous Versions feature to roll back certain files to their pre-ransomware form. 

  • 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”.

Work around the encryption with ShadowExplorer

You may try to decrypt your files using ShadowExplorer. Here is what you will have to do:

  • 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 ZinoCrypt and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.


Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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