Zzz12 ransomware (Removal Guide) - Improved Instructions

zzz12 virus Removal Guide

What is zzz12 ransomware?

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

zzz12 virusZzz12 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 ReimageIntego 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.

zzz12 ransomwareZzz12 ransomware encrypts files by using an AES algorithm.

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 ReimageIntego, or 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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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 zzz12 virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Disable Zzz12 ransomware by using Safe Mode with Networking:

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 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 ReimageIntego 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 ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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