You have our sincerest sympathy if you’re on this page, because you have recently learned that your computer was invaded and tampered with by the world’s most notorious cyber-threat – ransomware. More specifically, you were infected with one of the several million unique samples of ransomware called .Zepto Virus. It’s quite the traumatic experience, having to be startled with a message on your screen informing you that you’ve lost access to certain files and you are to pay a given amount, if you are to ever be able to use them again. It’s a violation of your property, and a serious one at that. To make matters worse, the criminals responsible for this awful act probably also tried to apply scare tactics in order to urge you to pay the ransom immediately. They may have said something about the amount being dramatically increased over time and eventually even losing the opportunity to regain access to your invaluable data. Our guide is designed to help you safely remove the virus and possibly restore the encrypted files, mentioned in the ransom note on your screen. Read on and we will explain to you in short what exactly it is you’re dealing with and how to prevent this from ever happening again.
What .Zepto Virus does
Its main goal is the encryption of some of your most-used files, so that you are unable to open or use them. The biggest problem with ransomware and what makes it such a huge threat is that it is practically impossible to detect. You will most likely have no idea when and how it entered and chances are very slim that you will suspect anything, while it’s at work on your computer. In rare events, you could notice that your machine has become incredibly slow due to this nasty virus. This could happen if the amount of files stored on your computer is pretty substantial, but the general speed and processing power of your PC aren’t exactly topnotch. The malware will start using a large amount of your computer’s CPU and RAM power, which will enable you to see it right away in your Task Manager. Should this be the case – shut down your computer as quickly as possible and contact a technician to help you deal with this issue.
How it travels
When faced with any type of cyber infection, it’s vital to understand the way it’s distributed, mainly so you can avoid contamination in the future. One of the most effective ways viruses like .Zepto Virus are spread, as studies of leading cyber-security companies have shown, is through malvertisements. These are fake adverts, usually in the forms of banners or popups, which upon clicking on them infect your PC with the harmful software. Another very common means of distribution is with the help of a Trojan horse virus, which in turn is often sent to users via spam emails. These emails may contain attachments or hyperlinks and they are usually successful in fooling users either because the attachments are generally some harmless-seeming Word or PDF document and/or because the email is disguised as a truly legitimate one. It could pose as a utility bill or a statement bill from a popular online shop and once you open that attachment, the Trojan horse is unleashed onto your system, downloading .Zepto Virus shortly afterwards.
NOTE: With the idea that it’s very likely you were infected with the help of a Trojan, it’s very important that you detect and remove it as well.
Encryption process, prevention and safety
Once .Zepto Virus or other type of ransomware has successfully been brought into your system, it begins to encrypt (read encode) your files and without the necessary decryption keys – your system will be unable to read these files. The decryption keys are actually two: one is public, the other – private. The public one you are given from the start and the private is the one you are actually required to pay ransom for, as you need both to decrypt your files. Unfortunately, there is no one, who could guarantee that the decryption process will be successful and you will have restored all of your files by the end of it all. Whether or not you choose to pay the hackers, you risk permanently losing access either way. However, we do recommend you try the steps described in the below guide, which will by all means help you remove the virus and might succeed in retrieving your coded data.
In order for you to maximize the security of your system, we highly recommend you at all times have a reliable antivirus at work and for optimal results – a good anti-malware tool to help deal with malicious threats particularly. Also, always be cautious with the emails you receive, even when they come from a known source – anyone can become subject to hacking and infection with viruses. Another important tip is to stay away from shady, obscure websites that could potentially be harboring malware.
.Zepto Virus Removal
Reveal Hidden Files. If you don’t know how to do this, ask us in the comments.
=> Search=> Copy/Paste “notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts” => Enter.
If you notice other IPs different from the localhost IPs – you might be in danger!
Ask for additional help in the comments.
Right click on the Taskbar => Start Task Manager.
Navigate to Processes.
Locate any suspicious processes associated with .Zepto Virus. Right click on the process = > Open File Location => End Process = > Delete the directories with the suspicious files.
=> Search => Type:
Hit Enter after each new search. Check each Folder and delete recent entries.
Get Your Files Back!
The only way you can do that is by backpedaling to a moment when you were not infected. You can achieve this in one of two ways:
- System Restore.=> Search field => Type System Restore => Enter.
Choose a Restore Point.
Click Next until the process has been completed.
- Google and Download a Program called ShadowExplorer. Install and open it => Choose the Drive letter (C:, D:, F:, etc.) and date you want to restore information from => Right click on the files you want restored => Export.
If you run into any trouble – ask us for help in the comments section!