Remove Pezi Ransomware (Recover .pezi Files)

Ransomware is a type of computer virus that is capable of encrypting files and demands its victims to pay a ransom fee or purchase a certain tool from them to recover the infected data. One of the threat that can do such thing is called Pezi ransomware. It belongs to STOP/DJVU ransomware family that spreads over the internet and infects computer systems rapidly.

Pezi ransomware is injected into computers by means of spam email campaigns, fake software updates, Trojans, dubious software download sites, or unofficial activation tools. Pezi developers often send emails containing malicious attachments, usually executable files in particular such as Archives, JavaScript, and Microsoft office documents which ought to encourage target victims to view it. When opened, it can infect computers with high-risk malware like Pezi ransomware that operates by locating important and valuable files from user’s devices then encrypts and lock it using a strong algorithm.

Once data is corrupted by Pezi ransomware, it automatically appends a .pezi file extension. For example, essay1.doc becomes essay1.doc.pezi. Simultaneously, Pezi will create a text file _readme.txt containing the message of attackers. The note sent by Pezi operators normally states what happens to the files like photos, databases, documents and any other personal contents of device are encrypted using a strongest algorithm. The message from hackers will also include that the only way to decrypt the infected files is to purchase a tool and private key. Here is an excerpt from the ransom note:

ATTENTION!
Don’t worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.

Pezi Ransomware

Pezi ransomware victims will be instructed to send an email that includes a personal key and unique details as shown on the ransom note. The payment should be made through a designated method they preferred, which is mostly via crypto-currencies. When settled, Pezi developers will send a decryption tool and private key. Unfortunately, only Pezi operators can provide the solution to decrypt all .pezy files since they are the ones who handles the codes. However, computer security experts reiterated not to trust these cyber criminals. Nearly all of the do not comply with what was agreed upon even their demands are met.

How to Remove Pezi Ransomware

Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Pezi virus. Aside from our suggested tool, you may also run your own security program.

Though affected files may be impossible to decrypt due to complexity of the encryption, you can still try recovery method like alternative tool, Shadow Explorer or Previous Version as described below.

Stage 1: Scan the Computer with Anti-Malware Tool

1. Download free anti-malware scanner called MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (this will open a new window)

2. After downloading, install the program. It may run automatically or you have to double-click on the downloaded file MBSetup.exe.

3. Carry out the installation with default setup process.

4. After the installation process, click the Get Started button to launch the program.

5. Continue with the prompts until the main program opens.

6. On the main console, click on Scan to run most complete detection method to find hidden objects associated to Pezi ransomware.

7. Scanning may take a while. Please wait until the anti-malware tool is done with the checking.

MBAM-threatscan

8. Once the scan has completed, the tool will display the list of detected threats. Remove all identified malicious items and restart the computer if necessary.

Stage 2: Double-check for Pezi’s leftover with Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool

1. Download the free scanner called Malicious Software Removal Tool.
Malicious Software Removal Tool Download Link (this will open a new window)

download-msrt

2. The tool automatically checks the operating system and suggest appropriate download version. Click on Download button to begin. Save the file to a convenient location, preferably on Desktop.

3. After downloading the file, Windows will prompt that download has completed. Click Run to start scanning for Pezi ransomware. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.

msrt-icon

4. The tool will display Welcome screen, click Next. Please note the message “This tool is not a replacement for an antivirus product.” You must understand that this program is made specifically to find and remove malware, viruses, Trojans, and other harmful elements on the computer. It was not designed to protect the computer.

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5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Pezi ransom virus entities and other harmful files left on the computer will be found and removed. For advanced computer user, you can opt for Customized Scan, if there are other drives or folders you wanted to include in this scan.

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6. Full scan may take a while, please wait for Malicious Software Removal Tool to complete the tasks. However, you may cancel the scan anytime by clicking on the Cancel button.

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7. After scanning, the tool will reveal all identified threats. There may be other threats that our first scan fails to detect. Please remove/delete all detected items.

8. When removal procedure is complete, you may now close Malicious Software Removal Tool. We hope that Pezi ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.

Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Pezi Decryption Tool

Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu will work only if affected files were encrypted using Offline Keys. Pezi ransomware uses the alternate Offline Keys during encryption if there is a problem encountered while communicating to a remote command-and-control server. Follow the guide to start recovering .pezi encrypted files.

1. As precautionary measures, we suggest to BACKUP all your .pezi encrypted files first on a separate media (USB Drive, Flash Drive, DVD Discs, etc…).

2. Download Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu from this archive page.

3. Right-click on decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe and click “Run as Administrator“. Windows may prompt “Do you want to allow this app…” just click Yes to continue.

4. By default, the tool will pre-populate the locations where encrypted files were identified. To include other directories, simply click Add Folder button.

5. To start recovering files infected by Pezi ransomware, click on Decrypt button to start the procedure. The interface will display status of the current decryption process.

decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe

We will update this section once the full decryption tool is on hand. In the meantime, please try other options below if the above procedure is not not effective.

Option 1: Windows Previous Version Tool

Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a feature called Previous Versions. However, this tool is only usable if restore point was made prior to Pezi ransomware infection. To use this tool and recover files affected by the virus, please follow these steps:

1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.

2. Right-click on the affected files or folders. From the drop-down list, please click on Restore previous versions.

3. New window will open display all backup copy of files and folders you wanted to recover. Choose the appropriate file and click on Open, Copy, or Restore. Restoring selected files overwrites the current encrypted files on the computer.

Option 2: Use ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Pezi Ransomware

Just like Previous Version tool, ShadowExplorer is taking advantage of shadow copy created by Windows. This tool allows you to retrieve older version of files before it was encrypted by Pezi ransomware.

1. Download ShadowExplorer from the official web site.

2. Install the program with the default settings.

3. The program should run automatically after installation. If not, double-click on ShadowExplorer icon.

4. You can see the drop-down list on top of the console. Please select proper drive and the most recent point-in-time shadow copies of files you wish to restore prior to Pezi ransomware infection.

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5. Right-click on the Drive, Folder, or File you wish to restore and click Export…

6. Lastly, ShadowExplorer will prompt for location where you want to save the copy of recovered files.

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