I wrote this article to help you remove ZekwaCrypt Ransomware. This ZekwaCrypt Ransomware removal guide works for all Windows versions.
ZekwaCrypt Ransomware, also known as Win32/Zekwacrypt.A, was first noticed in May last year but recently the number of infected users has grown. As you may know, ransomware threats are the most dangerous cyber infections out there and if you are stuck with one, prepare yourself for a myriad of issues. As a classic member of this family, ZekwaCrypt is no different. It sneaks into your system undetected and then proceeds to lock your files. But first things first. How does the pest manage to enter without you realizing? We assume you didn’t download it on purpose and yet, here it is. Well, ransomware parasites rely on the old but means of infiltration. Like spam emails, for example.
The crooks send the infection directly into your inbox but they are smart. The subjects of these messages don’t say “Warning: Dangerous Ransomware”. On the contrary, they are disguised to look legitimate. They may pose as invoices from shipping companies or as job applications. Anything that can make you open them. This is why you have to be more cautious. Delete all emails from unknown senders right away. Also, beware of bogus program updates. For instance, you may think you are updating Java but you are actually downloading ransomware. These infections are sneaky. They can hide in freeware as well, or corrupted pages/links/torrents. They may even use the help of a Trojan to enter. You always have to be on the alert. Don’t be careless. This is what infections pray for. And this is how you got stuck with ZekwaCrypt – by being negligent.
Once on your machine, ZekwaCrypt doesn’t waste any time. It starts encrypting all of your files. This pest targets more than 650 different types of files meaning that pretty much everything you have on board gets locked. Your pictures, music, videos, documents, files, work-related data, etc. They all become inaccessible. They also receive the brand new “.zekwakc” extension which makes them unrecognizable to your PC. Renaming them or moving them into another folder does nothing as well. They are locked and cannot open/watch/listen to/read any of them. This is the exact moment when it is very easy for you to panic. The hackers rely on that. If you do, you will be more willing to give them what they want. And they want money.
During the encryption, ZekwaCrypt creates a ransom note for you which it drops on your desktop. According to the note, the only way of freeing your data is by obtaining a special decryption tool. The tool, of course, costs you. The ransom amount usually varies from 0.5 to 1.5 Bitcoins. A single Bitcoins equals around $600 which is not a small sum at all. But even if the ransom was a single dollar, you still shouldn’t pay. It is worthless. You won`t get what you paid for. The crooks are not the kind or people to make deals with. They will double-cross you. They will take your money and won`t deliver what they promise. Or, another scenario is they actually give you the tool and you unlock your files, but they get re-encrypted again in a couple of hours.
The decrypter removes the encryption, not the infection. Whether or not you receive one, you still lose. But not only that. By paying you are only helping these hackers develop more malware and infect more people. They will use your money for nothing but for expanding their business. You become a sponsor of crooks. And, you give them access to your personal and financial information. It goes without saying that if these cybercriminals get their hands on it, things won`t end up well for you. So, don’t take that kind of risk. Don’t give them even a cent of your money. Instead, use our removal guide below and remove ZekwaCrypt in a few simple steps. Also, a piece of advice for the future: get yourself a reliable anti-malware program and always creates backups of your most important data.
ZekwaCrypt Ransomware Removal
Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, ZekwaCrypt Ransomware deletes all shadow copies, stored in your computer. Luckily, the ransomware is not always able to delete the shadow copies. So your first try should be restoring the original files from shadow copies.
- Download ShadowExplorer from this link: http://www.shadowexplorer.com/downloads.html.
- Install ShadowExplorer
- Open ShadowExplorer and select C: drive on the left panel
- Choose at least a month ago date from the date field
- Navigate to the folder with encrypted files
- Right-click on the encrypted file
- Select “Export” and choose a destination for the original file
Method 2: Restore your encrypted files by using System Restore
- Go to Start –> All programs –> Accessories –> System tools –> System restore
- Click “Next“
- Choose a restore point, at least a month ago
- Click “Next“
- Choose Disk C: (should be selected by default)
- Click “Next“. Wait for a few minutes and the restore should be done.
Method 3: Restore your files using File Recovery Software
If none of the above method works, you should try to recover encrypted files by using File Recovery Software. Since ZekwaCrypt Ransomware first makes a copy of the original file, then encrypts it and deletes the original one, you can successfully restore the original, using a File Recovery Software. Here are a few free File Recovery Software programs: