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

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware

Zlocker ransomware threatens Russian-speaking people

The image of Zlocker ransomware ransom note

Zlocker is a file-encrypting virus which aims to encode data on the victim's computer. Following the encryption, it appends╘ symbol as a file extension and drops ВАШИ ФАЙЛЫ ЗАШИФРОВАНЫ.txt ransom note which is written in Russian. The filename means YOUR FILES ARE STRIKED.txt in English and demands the victim to pay 5000₽ (approximately $85) as a ransom. 

The translation of Zlocker's ransom note:

Your files have been encrypted. To decrypt them, having received the decryption key you must pay 5000r. on QIWI 79684666319. Otherwise, your files will be deleted without the possibility of recovery. When paying, indicate in your comments your mail, to which the decoder will be sent.

The crooks do not provide an email address for contact purposes like most of the ransomware authors do. Instead, they encourage the victims to transfer the funds to a specific QIWI account and indicate their emails to receive Zlocker decoder. However, note that you have no guarantees that the criminals will keep their promises.

Currently, experts do not know which algorithms Zlocker virus uses. Since encryption is a highly sophisticated technique which requires a unique decryption key, even IT professionals might struggle to recover compromised data. Although, paying the ransom is not the solution.

Zlocker ransomware illustrationZlocker ransomware is a file-encrypting virus, which targets Russian-speaking people and appends╘ symbol as an extension after data encryption.

Ransomware developers might trick you to pay the ransom and ask for more money after you make the transaction. Thus, we do not recommend following the rules of the criminals. Instead, you are advised to remove Zlocker and try to retrieve your data from backup copies which a stored in the cloud[1]

You can complete Zlocker removal with the help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or another reliable antivirus system. It will quickly eliminate the malicious program and allow you to proceed to the file recovery. If you do not have backups, make sure to check the guide below. We have suggestions how you can alternatively regain access to your data.

Ways how ransomware reaches your system

While most of you might think that hackers remotely infuse the file-encrypting virus into your computer, in most cases the user infiltrates it manually. Ransomware spreads as an imitation of legitimate software updates or corrupted email letters[2]. Both ways, the user clicks on a bogus file and unconsciously installs the malware.

Ransomware and other high-risk computer infections successfully reach the targeted systems since they are designed to look deceptive. Typically, hackers create malicious files which look exactly or only slightly different from legitimate computer programs. For example, VLC or Adobe Flash player updates. 

Also, they tend to send spam emails and impersonate well-known companies insisting on opening documents of “high importance.” Note that usually the letters are named as Invoices or shopping receipts to trick you into opening them. However, as soon as you click on the attachment, the executable of the ransomware is dropped on your system.

Therefore, you should be cautious and never be lured to open or download deceptive files. Search for slight differences which might indicate that the file is malicious like spelling mistakes, etc. Or you could simply use a security software which would scan the files before download and protect your system.

Zlocker ransomware removal guide 

Since Zlocker virus is a dangerous computer threat, you should not try to delete it manually. This can lead to either computer damage or an unsuccessful ransomware elimination which might permanently corrupt your files. Thus, get help from a certified IT expert or choose automatic termination method.

You should install Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, or Malwarebytes to remove Zlocker automatically. They are reliable and time-tested antivirus tools which will help you to clean your system from ransomware and other bogus programs which might be present on your system. Do not worry, it will only take several minutes to finish the procedure.

After Zlocker removal, check the instructions below to learn how to recover your files without backups. There are several alternative ways which might help you to regain access to your data. However, NoVirus.uk[3] team warns that the guide should be followed strictly, to avoid any further damage.

 

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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.

To remove Zlocker virus, follow these steps:

Remove Zlocker using Safe Mode with Networking

Zlocker ransomware might block the installation of the security software. Likewise, you should disable the malware by rebooting your computer to Safe Mode with Networking:

  • 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 Zlocker

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

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

Remove Zlocker using System Restore

If you are still unable to download/install the antivirus tool, try booting your computer into Safe Mode with command prompt:

  • 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 Zlocker. 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 Reimage Cleaner Intego and make sure that Zlocker removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Try recovering files with Data Recovery Pro

IT professionals have developed an effective tool to not only recover files if you accidentally delete them, but also after ransomware attack. Thus, do not hesitate and give it a try. You will find the instructions below.

  • 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 Zlocker ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows users can retrieve data with Windows Previous Versions feature

If you have previously enabled System Restore function, you are highly advised to try this alternative recovery method.

  • 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”.

Get help from ShadowExplorer

Many viruses which are still in-development stages do not delete Shadow Volume Copies from the victimized computer. Likewise, if they are still there, you have a great change to take advantage of this tool and recover the most important files.

  • 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.

Zlocker decryptor is not released yet

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

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 various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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