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Zepto Virus Removal
August 2, 2019
Zepto ransomware is an extension of the dangerous Zepto ransomware virus. It is a part of a series of attacks that was launched by cybercriminals in 2016. The aim of these viruses is to take data hostage and then ask for large sums of ransom in exchange. In this article, we will discuss how to remove the Zepto ransomware virus and prevent such cyberattacks from happening in the future.
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As the name suggests, Zepto is a ransomware. Like all ransomware, it makes important files unusable after encrypting them. Then, it demands ransomware from the victim to decrypt the affected files.
Internet users regard ransomware as one of the most dangerous viruses in cyberspace. After a ransomware attack, it’s almost impossible to recover the affected files, unless you have a back-up in place. While making files unusable may not seem like a big deal, it can be devastating for people who have valuable data in them.
For instance, if a company keeps information about its transactions and customers in one place, not being able to access the data can disrupt business operations or bring them to a halt. Circumstances like these force people to pay the ransom amount for recovering the encrypted data.
However, the worst thing about these viruses is paying ransom doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get your data back. A special ransomware called crypto lockers deletes the original copy of the file after encryption. So the even after decryption, the file remains damaged. Moreover, it can also damage the files shared or attached to network drives.
Other times, cybercriminals lock a computer through a special kind of virus called a ransomlocker. After being shut out from their own computer, victims receive an email demanding a fine to unlock the computer again.
While the Zepto virus is not as dangerous as ransomlockers, it certainly isn’t safe. The virus spreads through malicious emails. According to one estimate, the virus sent a payload of almost 137,000 emails containing the Zepto virus in June 2016. The virus leverages the infamous Necurs botnet to deliver its payload.
After infiltration, the virus uses a combination of advanced encryption ciphers like AES 128 and RSA 2048 algorithms for encoding information. The virus replaces all original copies of a file with their encrypted versions. The virus gets its name from the extension of its encrypted files, which is “.zepto.”
The Zepto ransomware virus operates secretly during the entire encryption process. It makes its presence known after it has completed the encryption of important files. The virus then replaces the desktop picture with an image that displays the ransom message. This image mentions the amount of ransom and instructions on how to pay it.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals leverage their programming skills to make these malicious programs indecipherable. So, if you haven’t been infected with the Zepto virus yet, you should do all you can to avoid it.
First of all, we advise our users to pay special attention to all the emails they receive. Like most viruses, the Zepto virus uses spam emails to infiltrate the computers of its victims. These emails usually have deceptive subject lines like “Please see the attachment,” “To the head of sales,” and “Scanned image.”
They trick users into downloading attachments containing malicious files. Other times, these emails claim to have invoices, speeding tickets, phone bills, CVs, or similar documents. The first and foremost thing you should do is avoid engaging with these emails.
Secondly, people should avoid downloading software from unverified sources. If the virus doesn’t get users through emails, it can affect you from viruses bundled in the software. Even using peer-to-peer networks, such as downloading through torrent files can expose you to these viruses.
Thirdly, people need to understand that in today’s day and age, a cyber attack is a glaring possibility. Therefore, they should always keep a back-up of all important files, at all times. If you have a back-up, you can easily replace your files even if they are infected.
However, they would still have to remove the virus before recovering the files. Not removing the virus first may lead to infecting the external drive you have your back-up in. So, you also need a reliable antivirus to remove every trace of the Zepto virus.
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Zepto encrypts important files and renders them unusable. After that, it demands ransom from its victims to decrypt those files and allow access again. However, there’s no guarantee of recovery even after paying the ransom.
Symptoms of the Virus
Usually, there are no active symptoms of the Zepto ransomware virus. Victims will know about the attack after the virus has taken over important files and changed their extensions. The virus will also display a message alerting the victims about the attack.
The most common way to get infected by the Zepto ransomware virus is via email attachments. However, you can also be infected by Zepto ransomware virus through torrent downloads or downloading files from unreliable sources.
Zepto is a powerful malware that encrypts files to take them hostage. To detect and eliminate Zepto, you need a powerful antimalware solution like TotalAV.TotalAV uses real-time protection to stop Zepto before it starts infecting your files.
If Zepto has already infected your operating system, most of your data would be infected by the time you discover the virus. Trying to recover encrypted files is impossible without back-up files. But, you still need to save files that haven’t been infected yet. Moreover, you need to remove the virus before inserting the back-up, unless you want the virus to infect your back-up as well. Removing the malware can also save files that haven’t been infected yet.
There are two ways to remove the virus; one is manual, while the other one is through a comprehensive antivirus tool. With the manual method, there’s no guarantee that you will succeed in removing the virus. Furthermore, it will give the virus time to encrypt even more files.
Therefore, we recommend removing Zepto through the premium version of the TotalAV antivirus. However, if you want to see how manual removal works, you can try it and see for yourself.
A. Removing Zepto Ransomware Virus Manually
The following instructions can help remove the Zepto ransomware virus manually.
Step#1: Reboot in Safe Mode
To remove the Zepto ransomware virus, restart Windows in safe mode first. You can follow this guide to restart Windows 7 in safe mode. People using Windows 8 and 10 can visit the Microsoft Support site to learn how to reboot in safe mode.
Step#2: Check the Task Bar
After the first step, you need to check which programs are causing trouble in the operating system. Users should press “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” simultaneously to open the taskbar. If there are any suspicious applications running in your system, you’ll see them running in your taskbar.
To stop these processes from running, click the Processes tab (Details tab if you’re using Windows 8 or 10). Select the suspicious or unwanted programs in the taskbar and then click “End Process.” You’ll have to select and end these processes one by one.
Step #3: Uninstall from Control Panel
Ending processes manually can stop them from running for now. In the end, you’ll have to remove them from the control panel. Press the keys “Windows + R” at the same time, type “appwiz.cpl”, and hit Enter to open the control panel.
Here, identify all suspicious activities and remove them individually. For that, hover the cursor over the dubious application, press right-click and choose Uninstall.
B. Install a TotalAV Antivirus
The Zepto ransomware virus can infect a wide range of files. Therefore, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to remove the virus manually. We recommend installing TotalAV to remove it.
TotalAV antivirus can detect all security threats in your operating system through its advanced virus scans. You can test how well it performs by opting for the 7-day free trial. If the antivirus doesn’t live up to your expectations, you can always apply for a refund by availing TotalAV’s 30-
day money-back guarantee. Follow the steps below to install the TotalAV antivirus and stay protected from viruses in the future.
Open your browser, type “TotalAV download” and hit Enter. Click on the first search result you will find. Alternatively, you can click on this link to reach the website’s download page. The browser screen will display a green button that reads “Download now.” Click on that button to download the installation files for the antivirus.
Select the downloaded file named “TotalAV_Setup.exe” the bottom left of the screen. By clicking on it, you can begin the installation process of TotalAV.
Allow the operating system to continue with the installation by clicking ‘Yes.’ Wait for the installation process to be completed and select “Yes” again if it asks for restarting the computer.
Open the TotalAV antivirus and select the Antivirus option.
Choose “System Scan” and then click on its icon to start a full-blown virus scan.
The system scan will analyze each file in the computer and remove any virus it finds. However, you’ll have to wait as this takes considerable time.
Review the recommendations suggested by TotalAV.
Allow TotalAV to ‘Take Action’ against all the detected viruses. After that, delete all the files in the “Quarantine” section unless you are sure that a file is 100% legitimate.
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Zepto is an extremely dangerous virus. It has the ability to take files hostage by encrypting them and making them unusable. The virus keeps on encrypting every file in the system unless the
victim pays the ransom amount. On some occasions, the user won’t get the affected files back even after paying the ransom.
The best way to handle the virus is to take swift action against it. Users need to install a credible antivirus solution that can detect and remove suspicious files before they damage the operating system. In our opinion, TotalAV is one of the best antivirus tools to protect your system from the Zepto ransomware virus
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