ZIP ransomware / virus (Virus Removal Guide) - Tutorial

ZIP virus Removal Guide

What is ZIP ransomware virus?

ZIP virus archives victim's files, adds passwords and demands a ransom

Image of ZIP ransomware virus

ZIP virus (also found as Zipper ransomware) is a recently discovered malware variant that seems to hack servers. Even though it is categorized as ransomware,[1] the virus does not actually encrypt files. It adds them to the password-protected zip archive. It sets a strong 8 characters passcode which hasn’t been cracked yet.

Once Zipper virus takes files to the hostage, it delivers a ransom note in “Unzip your ZIP files.txt” file where crooks ask to contact them via in order to learn about data recovery possibilities:

Your files have been compressed!
To recover them, you need a security key.

If you're really interested in their recovery, please submit your code for reference: [redacted 64 hex] zip
For the email:

Your contact will be responded to as soon as possible, and if necessary offered a recovery guarantee.

Even though authors of the ZIP ransomware promise to give some recovery guarantees, security researchers from Sweden warn that it might be a trap. Contacting cyber criminals and relying on their promises is not recommended. These type of cyber threats are created for swindling money from computer users only.

Criminals might let victims decrypt few small files for free in order to give a proof that they actually have a working decryptor. However, these might be the only files that you will get back. Crooks might ask for more money and threaten you into paying it but do not give a necessary password to unlock other files once it's done.

Therefore, we highly recommend focusing on ZIP virus removal instead of thinking about recovering corrupted data. We understand that crypto-malware may have taken to hostage important documents. However, you might only increase your loss by paying the ransom.

To remove Zipper ransomware entirely, you have to scan the server and computer with reputable malware removal tool, such as FortectIntego. It helps to terminate all malicious components. Trying to locate virus-related files manually is not recommended because malware might inject legit processes and you might delete crucial system entries.

Ransom note by ZIP ransomware virusAuthors of ZIP ransomware virus asks to contact them via email address.

Prepare your computer for a ransomware attack and secure your files in advance

The No. 1 security tip nowadays is to backup your files and update them regularly. In case of ransomware attack, you will be able to focus on malware removal because you have all the important data you need.

Security experts from No Virus[2] recommend following these tips to avoid ransomware attacks:

  • Be careful with emails. Never open spam email attachments or links because they are often infected.
  • Avoid suspicious advertisements. If you receive a pop-up that warns about an available update[3] or detected viruses, ignore it because it’s fake.
  • Do not download illegal content. Movies, music, software and other illegal content that is available on torrents and similar sources are one of the sources of the malware.
  • Keep software and operating system updated. Malware can exploit vulnerabilities that are left in outdated software.

Zipper ransomware removal guidelines

To remove ZIP virus, you have to obtain a reputable malware removal tool and run a full scan. For this task, we recommend FortectIntego or Malwarebytes. Of course, you can choose your preferred software as well. However, do not forget to update it first. Additionally, if malware blocks the program, check the instructions below.

After the Zipper ransomware removal, you can use alternative recovery methods to restore your files. It’s the only way to rescue data after ransomware attack. However, you should also try third-party tools and alternative recovery ways that might help to get back at least some of the files.

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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 ZIP virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

If you cannot run automatic ZIP removal, follow these steps:

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 ZIP using System Restore

  • 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 ZIP. 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 ZIP removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Data Recovery Pro – alternative way to restore files after the Zipper ransomware attack

Originally, this tool is created for recovering files after system wreckage. However, it might help after the ransomware attack as well.

  • 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 ZIP ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try ShadowExplorer

If malware did not delete Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files, you can try to restore them with ShadowExplorer:

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • 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.

ZIP ransomware decryptor is not available yet

At the moment, there are no third-party tools that could decrypt files locked by Zip (or Zipper) ransomware.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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