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Danger level 6
Type: Trojans
Common infection symptoms:
  • Slow Computer
  • System crashes
  • Connects to the internet without permission
  • Installs itself without permissions
  • Can't be uninstalled via Control Panel

Zip Ransomware

The most important thing when you get infected with the likes of Zip Ransomware is not to panic. Cyber criminals who create and distribute such infections rely on panic a lot. When users panic, they are more likely to do something rash, like giving their money away to these criminals. Of course, here you might say that paying the ransom is probably the only way to get your files back, but that is just an excuse. You should remove Zip Ransomware from your system, and then look for other methods to restore your files. Whatever you do, you should not fall into the hands of these criminals.

Unlike most of the other ransomware infections, Zip Ransomware does not encrypt your files directly. Encryption would mean that the information in the affected files gets scrambled, and your system can no longer read them. When that happens, the only way to decrypt the files is to look for a public decryption tool or to get the unique decryption key from the criminals. Please note that computer security experts are strongly against paying the ransom for the decryption key. The point is that by paying the money, you encourage the criminals to continue their malicious campaign.

So what is it about Zip Ransomware that separates it from the rest of the ransomware infections? The answer is actually in the name: Zip Ransomware. Instead of encrypting the target files, this program gathers all the target files into a zip folder and archives it. It locks everything up with an 8-character pass code that has not been cracked yet. So while the files themselves are still intact, you cannot access them because they are locked. It is probably a lot more frustrating than dealing with a traditional ransomware infection. And you are probably asking yourself, how did this happen?

Well, for that, we have to go back to the way this program gets distributed around. Our research team suggests that Zip Ransomware employs the most common ransomware distribution method: spam emails. Spam email campaigns are the cheapest distribution means that allows such programs reach a lot of target systems around the globe. Although most of the email host services these days have a strong filter algorithm that filters most of the spam messages into the Spam folder, there are still spam messages that manage to enter your main inbox. If that happens, you have to be really careful about the attachments you download.

Spam emails that carry the Zip Ransomware infection usually come with attachments that look like reports from financial institutions or online shopping invoices. Hence, it is not that surprising that some users download and open them no questions asked. If that happens, Zip Ransomware enters your system immediately. It would always be a good idea to scan an attached file with a licensed antispyware tool before you open it. At least this way you would get a head-up in case the file was malicious.

Nevertheless, if this program already entered your system, you will see a ransom note pop up on your screen soon enough. The ransom note is dropped in a file called Unzip your ZIP files.txt. When you open the file, you will see the following information:

Your files have been compressed!
To recover them, you need a security key.

If you're really interested in their recovery, please submit your code for reference: [UNIQUE CODE].zip
For the email:

Your contact will be responded to as soon as possible, and if necessary offered a recovery guarantee.

Should you contact these criminals and pay the ransom? Absolutely not. You would only lose your money, and there is no guarantee that you would get the pass code to unzip your files. The connection between the infection and its control and command center is always too shaky, and quite a few users end up with no money and no decryption key because of the unreliable proxy connection.

Rather than doing what this infection wants you to do, you should delete everything associated with Zip Ransomware from your system, and then acquire a licensed security tool that would scan your PC looking for more threats. Also, you should consider all the potential ways to restore your files. You are bound to have them stored on other drives or devices.

How to Delete Zip Ransomware

  1. Go to your Downloads folder.
  2. Locate the most recently downloaded files.
  3. Remove the files.
  4. Run a full system scan.
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