Zepto Ransomware is a dangerous virus that was made to lock files on your computer. It may sneak into the computer with the help of Trojans and viruses. Once executed, Zepto encrypts selected file on the computer using AES algorithm. Like its predecessor called Locky Ransomware, this new version is using the same encryption technique so that they can demand for payment in order for users to recover infected files. The only noticeable difference is the new naming scheme.
While encrypting important files, this ransomware append the extension with .zepto. Then, attacker demands ransom money for decryption instructions. Normally, makers of Zepto virus will demand payment in Bitcoin currency online that does not require them to reveal identity.
Software flaws and vulnerabilities are the common entry point of malware such as this. Executing malicious email attachment triggers the virus to exploit flaws and spread the infection on target computer. Ransomware scans the computer for target files and uses sophisticated encryption method. Then, it provides a ransom note named _HELP_Instructions.html. It is a text file containing instructions to contact the email address provided in order to recover Zepto encrypted files.
System Restore of Windows may help in resolving issues with viruses and malware. However, it will not settle problems with encrypted files. If your computer is running on Windows Vista/7 or later, perhaps ‘Previous Versions’ may help restore files from backup.
How to Remove Zepto Ransomware
Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Zepto Ransomware 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 Shadow Explorer or Previous Version as described below.
Stage 1: Scan the Computer with ESET Rogue Application Remover (ERAR)
1. Download the free scanner called ESET Rogue Application Remover.
Download Link for ERAR (this will open a new window)
2. Choose appropriate version for your Windows System. 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 the program. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file ERARemover_.exe.
4. On ESET Rogue Application Remover SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS, click Accept to continue.
5. The tool will start scanning the computer. It will prompt when it finds Zepto Ransomware virus and other malicious entities. Follow the prompt to proceed with the removal.
Stage 2: Double-check for Zepto Ransomware’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)
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 Zepto Ransomware. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.
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.
5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Zepto Ransomware 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.
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.
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 Zepto Ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.
Stage 3 : Recover files that were encrypted by Zepto Ransomware
1. Download the program Ransomware File Decryptor by Trend Micro.
RansomwareFileDecryptor Download Link (this will open on a new window)
2. Save the file to your hard drive, Desktop, or any location.
3. Once the download completed, decompress the file and double-click to run.
4. If it prompts for End User License Agreement (EULA), please Accept to proceed.
5. The tool will launch the main user interface.
6. Under “Select Ransomware Name“, please choose Autolocky. This is the closest one to Zepto. Press OK to save your choice.
7. On main interface, click on Select & Decrypt button.
8. Select a file or folder that was encrypted by Zepto. This tool can either decrypt single file or all files inside the folder and sub-folders.
9. Press OK to start the decryption process. The tool will begin to analyze the files and start decrypting them automatically.
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 Zepto Ransomware virus 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 Zepto 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 Zepto 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 Zepto Ransomware infection.
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.