I wrote this article to help you remove zXz Ransomware. This zXz Ransomware removal guide works for all Windows versions.
zXz ransomware is a Trojan ransomware virus. The infection is also known as Wagcrypt, since the Trojan carrying it is called Win32/Wagcrypt.A. zXz ransomware works in a similar manner to other win-lockers. It encrypts a certain range of files and asks for a ransom to decrypt them. Victims need to pay to access their own data on their own computer. Blocking the accessibility to your machine is a cyber crime. When dealing with fraudsters, you need to keep in mind that there is a security risk to paying. There is no guarantee that the clandestine program will restore your files after you pay up. You should wait until zXz ransomware has been cracked. When a new virus appears, security experts start working on a custom decrypter. Depending on the complexity of the program’s code, the process could take a while.
Infections are spread in a few ways. You need to keep your guard up in order to protect your system. We will explain how zXz ransomware is distributed and give you tips on how to avoid these dark patterns. The essence of the rogue program makes spam emails the preferred host. The bogus letter carries the Trojan which hosts zXz ransomware. Win32/Wagcrypt.A will be hidden behind an attached file. The host can be a text document, an archive, a compressed folder, or an image. The sender will state that the attachment is an important document of some kind. He can write on behalf of an existing entity to make the message believable. Before opening a file from an email, you need to confirm that it is genuine. Check the sender’s contacts.
The other way to contact Win32/Wagcrypt.A is through a corrupted website or a compromised link. This type of distribution is called a drive-by installation. zXz ransomware will be downloaded and installed to your computer by the Trojan. Note that Trojans do not require an installation themselves. When the sinister program enters, it will commence working right away. You need to be cautious about your sources. Entering the host domain is all it takes to get your computer infected. It is best to do your research on unfamiliar websites. If you have the slightest doubt about its reliability, check what people have to say about it. Be advised that redirect links can come from ads, forums, emails, and messenger programs.
zXz ransomware targets 167 file types. This includes MS Office and Adobe documents, archives, databases, images, audios, videos, and other formats. The malevolent program appends the .zXz extension to the names of the encrypted files. Since the win-locker was just discovered last week, it is still unknown what encryption technology it uses. For the same reason, a custom decrypter is not available yet. Despite this, there is a way to decrypt zXz ransomware without paying the ransom. The insidious program does not move the targeted files from their original folders or delete their shadow volume copies. The latter can be used to recover the encrypted data.
The creators of zXz ransomware have chosen bitcoins as the payment method. Most ransomware developers prefer this means of payment because it protects their identity. Bitcoins are a type of cryptocurrency. They are traded through online platforms which hide the details of both parties. Not even the bitcoin vendors can trace the transactions. This is the reason why cyber thieves are able to get away with swindling computer users. Some hackers use the Tor web browser as an additional measure. This browsing client hides their physical location, thus preventing the authorities from discovering their whereabouts.
Paying a ransom is not advisable for a number of reasons. To begin with, the proprietors of zXz ransomware may not provide the decryption key. A lot of win-locker developers are in the habit of collecting payments without completing their end of the deal. Depending on the infection, this can be from a seldom occurrence to a regular tendency. Since zXz ransomware is a new win-locker, there are no stats on this matter. Even if the nefarious program does restore your files, there is a looming threat to be aware of. The hackers can reactivate the win-locker in time and launch a secondary attack. zXz ransomware makes registry entries and leaves traces of itself on the hard drive. At the end of the day, paying the ransom would encourage the cyber criminals to continue making and spreading infections.
zXz Ransomware Removal
Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, zXz 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 zXz 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: