Zyka ransomware / virus (Decryption Steps Included) - Free Guide

Zyka virus Removal Guide

What is Zyka ransomware virus?

Something new in the ransomware world – Zyka virus

Zyka ransomware virus is a new file-encrypting virus that targets the most popular computer users’ files. This new ransomware may be lurking on every dark and shady corner of the Internet. Hence, if you don’t be careful, it may sneak inside your computer and cause lots of damage. After infiltration, malware scans computer’s system looking for the targeted files. It is designed to encrypt videos, pictures, documents, databases, backups, configuration files, and others: .7z, .bmp, .doc, .docm, .docx, .html, .jpeg, .jpg, .mp3, .mp4, .pdf, .php, .ppt, .pptx, .rar, .rtf, .sql, .tiff, .txt, .xls, .xlsx, .zip. Zyka virus uses AES[1] algorithm and encrypts victims’ files with a unique public key[2] and appends .locked file extension to each encrypted file. Meanwhile, data decryption requires having a private key which is safely placed on the secret hackers’ servers. Of course, they will gladly offer to purchase this key; however, this trade may not be favorable for the victims. When dealing with ransomware[3], we always recommend sacrificing the files and eliminating the virus. Some alternative data recovery methods and tools may help to restore some of the corrupted files for free. Though, this virus seems to delete Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files by utilizing the command →vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet. For this reason, data recovery may be complicated, but we believe it’s better to risk your files than your money. After Zyka removal, try our suggested data recovery options below.

When all targeted files are successfully encrypted, ransomware leaves a ransom note written in English. The background includes a picture of Guy Fawkes’ mask[4], which we have seen in many other ransom notes. The content of the message is also similar to other ransomware requirements. After explaining why victims cannot access their files, creators of Zyka ransomware informs that they have to pay 170 USD or 170 EUR within 72 hours for the private decryption key. Hackers demand to transfer the ransom in Bitcoins and promises that as soon as the transaction is made, people can automatically decrypt their files. For those computer users who does not have data backups, it may seem like the only option to rescue their memories, audio collection or important documents. However, you should estimate whether your files are actually worth taking the risk and transferring almost 200 dollars. Bear in mind that cyber criminals may not provide you the key but they use your money for developing other illegal projects. If you do not willing to be a sponsor for the cyber crimes, remove Zyka from the PC with the help of ReimageIntego.

Image of Zyka ransomware virusFollowing data encryption, Zyka ransomware virus leaves a ransom note where it demands 170 dollars for the decryption key.

What channels are used for the distribution of the ransomware?

Apart from classic dissemination methods – malicious spam email attachments and malvertising[5] – authors of the Zyka ransomware also use social media and file-sharing networks for the distribution. The payload file may be hidden in the bogus software or updates as well. Therefore, you should be extremely careful when surfing the Web. Always chose reliable sources for new software installation and install them using Advanced/Custom setup only. Do not rely on ads and pop-ups warning about poor computer’s performance or necessity to update particular programs. Ads like these often include malware. Zyka malware may also be included in the safely-looking Word, PDF or ZIP archive sent via email. Hence, before opening any email attachment, make sure you can trust the sender.

Getting rid of Zyka virus

Zyka removal requires scanning the computer with professional malware removal software such as ReimageIntego, Malwarebytes or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. Of course, you can rely on any other reputable program, but make sure you use a powerful and updated tool. Sometimes ransomware-type viruses prevent victims from automatic elimination. So, in order to scan the system, you may need to reboot your PC to the Safe Mode with Networking, and then run your chosen security tool. Don’t forget that it’s not enough to remove Zyka to recover your files. Our suggestions for data recovery are presented below.

Offer
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Intego Happiness
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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 Zyka virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Manual ransomware removal is a complicated task, and we do not recommend to perform it. If you cannot access malware removal tools, reboot your PC to the Safe Mode with Networking and try to install, update and run your chosen tool.

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 Zyka using System Restore

If nothing has worked and you still cannot scan computer’s system with malware removal tool, follow the instructions and try again.

  • 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 Zyka. 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 Zyka removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

We want to remind that paying the ransom may not be an effective way to get back your files. If you do not have data backups, please try additional data recovery methods. They may not be 100% effective, but hopefully, you will get back at least some of your files.

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

Data Recovery Pro may help to restore encrypted files by Zyka virus

It’s a professional tool that is created to restore corrupted, accidentally deleted, and encrypted files. Therefore, it may help you 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 Zyka ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature

If you have enabled System Restore function before Zyka malware attack, you did yourself a favor. Follow these steps to retrieve individual files:

  • 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”.

ShadowExplorer

Zyka ransomware is supposed to delete Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files; however, it may have failed. If shadow copies are left on your PC, ShadowExplorer may help you to restore some of the 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.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Zyka and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, 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
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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