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Remove .zzzzz file extension virus (Improved Guide) - Decryption Steps Included

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware

Bad news: Locky hides under .zzzzz file extension

.zzzzz file extension virus has been revealed to be another version of the menacing Locky virus [1] . The current events show that Locky has successfully reclaimed its title of the most dangerous cyber threat. Interestingly, that there is visible competition between the hackers of this menace and Cerber which introduced their 6th installment – Cerber 4.1.6 – as well. Locky developers might be praised for their sense of humor as they shifted from mythology-inspired infections, such as ODIN and Thor to such viruses as .shit virus, .aesir, and .zzzzz file extension threats. The new version has been named after the appended extension accordingly. However, there is no need to panic as you should concentrate on .zzzzz virus removal. Do not waste time and install Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to speed up the process.

Snapshots of the .zzzzz file extension virus
Locky reappaears as .zzzzz file extension virus. The ransom note can be found in INSTRUCTION.html file.

Questions about .zzzzz file extension virus

While there have been occasional stories of this ransomware hijacking the databases of medical institutions and major companies, ordinary users may not have worried much about their cyber safety. It was only a matter of time when the authors of this frightening cyber infection would launch a more insidious campaign. The news about the detected virus on Facebook in the disguise of .svg file quickly went viral [2]. On this occasion, the crooks launched a “back-up“ – .zzzzz malware. There are not many updated features, the main one is the altered extension attached to the corrupted data. Now valuable documents, image file, audio and media files are labeled with [8_random_characters]-[4_random_characters]-[4_random_characters]-[4_random_characters]-[12_random_characters].zzzzz extensions. The virus presents its demands in INSTRUCTION.html, _6-INSTRUCTION.html, and -INSTRUCTION.bmp files.

All of your files are encrypted with RSA-2048 and AES-128 ciphers.
More information about RSA and AES can be found here:
hxxp:// (cryptosystem)
hxxp:// Encryption Standard
Decrypting of your files is only possible with the private key and decrypt program, which is on our secret server.
To receive your private key follow one of the links:
If all of this addresses are not available, follow these steps:
1. Download and install Tor Browser: hxxp://
2. After a successful installation, run the browser and wait for initialization.
3. Type in the address bar:
4. Follow the instructions on the site.
+*-++|| *==_*-a-

Speaking of the ransom note, the current ransom is set on 740 USD, while it still varies depending whether the infected user is an ordinary or corporate one. Unfortunately, the data breach involving the Office of Personnel Management only facilitated the cyber campaign of .zzzzz hijack. After the crooks had obtained the personal data of millions of federal employees, they came up with much more destructive infection techniques. No matter how perilous this virus may look, remove .zzzzz ransomware right away. Lastly, we would like to warn not to install Locky Decrypter promoted by the hackers. There is no guarantee that you will retrieve the files after transferring the money [3]. The program may decrypt the files but in exchange leave the infected files on the system which would reactivate the hijack in the future.

How can the PC get infected with the virus?

The ransomware empowered its distribution channels by targeting users via email attachments. Unfortunately, they remain the profitable tool to deliver .zzzzz virus hijack. The recent cases reveal that the malware might disguise under Amazon and send you the email with a .zip attachment which supposedly includes information about your order. Alternatively, some emails may falsely accuse of detected illegal activity sent from the OPM. Do not fall for such deception and instead, update your security applications. Keep in mind that the virus spreads via trojans. The latter might lurk in the websites promoting pirated content or similar P2P file-sharing domains [4].

Getting rid of .zzzzz ransomware

Since the infection possesses an elaborate structure, you should not waste time on manual .zzzzz removal procedure. Instead, install and update anti-spyware applications, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or Malwarebytes, which are able to detect the trojans carrying the ransomware as well. After you remove .zzzzz virus completely, look up the recommendations to recover the data. The best way to do that is to use the backup copies. If you do not have them use the following recommended utilities. Lastly, pay attention to the received spam [5] and ordinary email messages. Even if you get the message from the well-known company, look for grammar and typos. They might be hints that one of the Locky versions attempts to assault your device.

do it now!
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove 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.

To remove .zzzzz virus, follow these steps:

Remove .zzzzz 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 .zzzzz

    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 .zzzzz removal.

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

Remove .zzzzz 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 .zzzzz. 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 .zzzzz removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Does Data Recovery Pro help?

If you do not have the copies of your files, this utility might be your the only chance to recover at least some of the important files. Originally, the utility helps retrieve the damaged or lost files.

  • 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 .zzzzz ransomware;
  • Restore them.

The effectiveness of Windows Previous Versions feature

If System Restore is enabled, you may access the previously saved copy of your document. However, this method might be more time-consuming.

  • 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”.

How does ShadowExplorer work?

The main advantage of this program is its ability to access shadow volume copies and create the copies of the lost data. However, this method is only successful in the case if .zzzzz file extension virus does not delete them beforehand.

  • 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.

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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

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

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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  1. AngryBird says:
    November 25th, 2016 at 8:00 am

    How long is Locky going to wreak havoc! Were sick of it already!

  2. clumsyagent says:
    November 25th, 2016 at 8:02 am

    I guess law enforcement institutions are not interested in enough…

  3. SarahD says:
    November 25th, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Its too fast!

  4. gill246464 says:
    November 25th, 2016 at 8:03 am

    This intense atmosphere is too much for me…

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