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Zzz12 ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware

Zzz12 ransomware is a file-encrypting virus which aims to extort money from its victims

zzz12 virus
Zzz12 is a file-encrypting virus which runs a Notice.txt ransom message in the background.

Zzz12 ransomware is a hazardous cyber threat which uses AES 256 algorithms to perform data encryption. The compromised files are appended with .zzz12 file extension and cannot be opened. Once Zzz12 ransomware finishes encoding information, it leaves Notice.txt ransom note where victims are encouraged to contact the attachers via zzz12341@protonmail.com email address to get Zzz12 ransomware decryptor.

Name Zzz12
Type Ransomware
Extension .zzz12
Ransom note Notice.txt
Email zzz12341@protonmail.com
Cryptography AES 256
Files affected Images, audios, videos, databases, documents.
Spreading Via spam messages most commonly.
Elimination Use Reimage to get rid of .Zzz12 files virus

To continue, Zzz12 virus scans your computer for the following files to perform data encryption:

  • Images;
  • Videos;
  • Audios;
  • Documents;
  • Databases;
  • etc.

Such data is encrypted by a unique encryption algorithm and becomes hard to recover even for true malware experts. Here is a piece of the Notice.txt. ransom note delivered by Zzz12 ransomware:

  1. Your files was encrypted using AES-256 algorithm. Write me to e-mail: zzz12341@protonmail.com to get your decryption key. You have 5 days after price up. .
  2. Your USERKEY: [512 bytes in base64]

Zzz12 ransomware can also be considered as CryptoSpider but there is no trustworthy proof for that. Furthermore, Zzz12 ransomware uses an AES cipher to corrupt files. The decryption keys are stored on external devices and are out of reach for any IT experts. 

The price needs to be paid in cryptocurrency to recover files encrypted by Zzz12 ransomware. Usually, it is Bitcoin. However, the ransom varies each time and cannot be accurately described. Such currency is demanded due to keeping the transfer process secret. We recommend not paying the demanded ransom for the Zzz12 ransomware decryption tool as users are often scammed and cannot restore their files back anyway.

Perform Zzz12 ransomware removal to get rid of the cyber threat from your system. This needs to be done as Zzz12 ransomware infection might open paths for other malware forms[1] to easily enter the PC. 

Another reason to remove Zzz12 virus is that it deletes Shadow Volume Copies[2] of locked files. Such data becomes almost impossible to decrypt and requires professional decryption methods. However, if you did not manage to avoid Zzz12 ransomware infection, you should eliminate the cyberthreat as fast as possible in order to prevent further damaging consequences.

Ransomware spreads with the help of social engineering tactics

Cybercriminals have improved their social engineering techniques for quite some time now. Malware researchers[3] warn that they use deceptive spam emails to distribute malicious infections. Victims are tricked to open bogus attachments which might appear as innocent-looking files at first. 

Spam emails that spread ransomware might contain the following extensions:

  • .pdf
  • .jpg
  • .jpeg

However, if you receive any spam messages — be quick to eliminate them as they might bring you harm and damage your computer system. In addition, ransomware spreads through various malicious networks, sites, and links. Pay attention to what you are entering and clicking on. Various dubious-looking content might redirect you to a malware infection source.

Some recommendation would be to run an antivirus on your PC. Update it regularly and check if it works properly. If taken care of — the antivirus program will scan the system and search for various threats.

You must uninstall Zzz12 ransomware to recover encrypted data 

User rush to regain access to the files encrypted by Zzz12 ransomware while they should eliminate the infection first. File-encrypted viruses are highly sophisticated and might disguise their components as legitimate system processes. Thus, manual Zzz12 ransomware removal is not an option.

You can remove Zzz12 ransomware by installing a robust antivirus. Our professionals suggest using Reimage, or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes as they contain user friendly features and perform the elimination procedure quickly. This way, you will be able to proceed with data recovery soon. 

As you have noticed, ransomware is a serious virus which might cause damaging consequences. After you perform Zzz12 removal, be sure that no ransomware-related content is left on your system. Do some system refreshments for this purpose. If you cannot download security tool to deal with Zzz12 ransomware virus, you should reboot your system into Safe Mode. Users who are not aware how to perform this action should follow the guidelines below. 

Once you uninstall Zzz12 ransomware you can try to get back the compromised data with alternative recovery methods. Even though these techniques might take some time, it is worth trying as you will avoid financial losses which you might encounter while dealing with cybercriminals. Find the recovery methods below.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

If you decided to select another anti-spyware, uninstall Reimage from your computer.
Press mentions on Reimage
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove zzz12 virus, follow these steps:

Remove zzz12 using Safe Mode with Networking

Disable Zzz12 ransomware by using 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 zzz12

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete zzz12 removal.

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

Remove zzz12 using System Restore

Use the System Restore function to stop the cyber attack by Zzz12 ransomware:

  • 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 zzz12. 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 and make sure that zzz12 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove zzz12 from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

If you got Zzz12 ransomware infection, we are sure you have already spotted documents with the .zzz12 file extension. If you want to recover your data, look through the following decryption methods.

If your files are encrypted by zzz12, you can use several methods to restore them:

Use Data Recovery Pro:

This professional decryption tool should help you get various corrupted files back to their starter positions.

  • 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 zzz12 ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try using Windows Previous Versions feature:

If you enabled the System Restore mode before the infection spread, this tool might help you recover some 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”.

Get Shadow Explorer to recover individual files:

Notice, this method will work ONLY if the cyber threat did not manage to erase Shadow Copies of your affected 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.

No zzz12 ransomware-type virus decryptor has been discovered recently.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from zzz12 and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References