Remove Ziggy Ransomware Virus (.ziggy Files)

This post is all about the hazardous crypto-virus called Ziggy, Removal Guide, File Recovery options, Computer Protection, and Tutorial Video to get rid of the threat.

Ziggy is one example of a ransomware infection that is able to restrict computer user’s access to their files. Due to lack of symptoms, users often caught by surprise with this kind of attack. They will only learn about the infection once the majority of computer files have turned into .ziggy format. Data often ends on this type after the ransomware virus have completed encrypting the files using a complex encryption technique.

How Ziggy virus arrives at the computer?

Different payload carriers have their own ways to approach the computer. For example, if the carrier is a pirated software, computers may get infected if user downloads the file and run the setup. In this instance, the virus if frequently embedded to the installer file. The same manner goes with the malicious freeware and bogus software update. Furthermore, malicious links put up by hackers on social media sites, blog posts, and forums points to the website where web users can download Ziggy virus and this is an automated procedure via the script running on the website. Trojan Downloader, weak security, and software vulnerabilities are other methods wherein Ziggy ransomware can reach the computer and successfully infiltrate the system.

Ziggy Ransomware Encryption

If the virus is active on the computer, it will encrypt selected files such as documents, photos, images, videos, databases, zip files, and so on. Ziggy does not mind system files or data that belong to applications especially executable ones. Because the applied cipher technique is so complex, affected file becomes useless. In addition, the virus adds the extra strings on the data as unique ID, email address, and the specific .ziggy file extension. An example of this data modification process will transform photo.jpg into photo.jpg.id=[C7AB4216].email=[EnceryptedFiles@tutanota.com].ziggy.

Its next move is to inform the victims about the current attack especially the file encryption, which it applied to the chosen data. A ransom note is created and inside it is the description of the attack as well as ways to recover the encrypted files. As usual, people behind Ziggy ransomware will demand victims to pay the ransom money if they want to restore the files back to its original format. Here is part of that message:

All your files have been encrypted!
Ziggy Ransomware
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail: EnceryptedFiles@tutanota.com
Write this ID in the title of your message: 81256284
In case of no answer in 12 hours write us to this e-mail: ReturnEncerypted@tutanota.com
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment, we will send you the tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 4Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

Screenshot of Ziggy ransom note

Technical Data of Ziggy Ransomware

Technical Details
Threat NameZiggy Ransomware
Threat TypeCrypto-virus, File Locker, Encryption Virus
Encryption MethodAES-256 combined with RSA-1024 Asymmetric Encryption
File Extension.id=[unique ID].email=[EnceryptedFiles@tutanota.com].ziggy
Ransomware Note File ## HOW TO DECRYPT##.exe
Attacker’s emailEnceryptedFiles@tutanota.com
ReturnEncerypted@tutanota.com
maykeljakson@cock.li
maykeljakson@criptext.com
Discovered by@Amigo-A
Virus AliasAd-Aware : Gen:Variant.Bulz.250282
AegisLab : Trojan.Win32.Bulz.4!c
AhnLab-V3 : Malware/Win32.RL_Generic.C4265420
ALYac : Gen:Variant.Bulz.250282
Avast : Win32:Malware-gen
BitDefender : Gen:Variant.Bulz.250282
CAT-QuickHeal : Trojan.Wacatac
Emsisoft : Gen:Variant.Bulz.250282 (B)
eScan : Gen:Variant.Bulz.250282
ESET-NOD32 : A Variant Of MSIL/TrojanDownloader.Agent.HCJ
GData : Gen:Variant.Bulz.250282
Malwarebytes : Ransom.Ziggy
McAfee : Artemis!55CB627F9925
Microsoft : Trojan:Win32/Ymacco.AA07
Palo Alto Networks : Generic.ml
Symantec : ML.Attribute.HighConfidence
TrendMicro : TROJ_GEN.R002H09LB20

Backup your files

One important step before proceeding with the procedures below is to backup your files. Ransomware are not the same. Each has its unique sets of payloads aside from encrypting the files with complex method. Others tend to delete the infected files after certain period, while others keep them concealed on hidden places. In addition, ransomware decryption tools are not guaranteed to be perfect, there are instances that files suffer from damages during the decryption process.

So, create a backup copy of your entire Ziggy encrypted files right now.

Ziggy Ransomware Removal Guide

First thing to do is remove the Ziggy virus before attempting the decryption. Remember that as long as the ransomware is active, it will repeatedly encrypt the files on the compromised computer.

Infection of Ziggy ransom virus is dangerous to the system because it can inject files that runs each time Windows starts. To prevent the malicious files from loading, Windows operating system must run with minimal process and it can be done through SafeMode With Networking.

Stage 1 : Temporarily Disable System Restore on Windows OS

Because Ziggy and relevant virus is capable of reinstating itself by exploiting the System Restore of Windows, we suggests that you temporary disable System Restore while executing the steps. This option is also helpful to effectively run a full scan on the computer.

Do not forget to enable back System Restore after completing the removal of Ziggy ransomware. This feature is vital in reinstating the operating system to previous normal working condition in case of problems or conflicts occurs.

Stage 2 : Start Windows in Safe Mode With Networking

Windows 10 Guide

1. Click on Windows logo and select Power icon when options pop-ups.
2. Select Restart from the options while pressing Shift key on the keyboard.
3. Choose an Option window will appear, select the Troubleshoot button.
4. On next window, please choose Advanced Option.
5. On Advanced Option window, click on Startup Settings and then, click Restart button to reboot the computer.
6. When Windows boot on Startup Settings, press function key F5 or number 5 on keyboard.

A simpler alternative for Windows 10 users is to scan the computer with Microsoft Defender Offline. This will run a virus scan in the recovery environment.

Windows 8 Guide

1. Click Windows Start icon at the lower left section of the screen.
2. Open Search window and type Advanced in the field. It will open General PC Settings.
3. Click on Advanced Startup and then, click on Restart Now button.
4. Once the computer starts in Advanced Startup option menu, select Troubleshoot.
5. Next, click on Advanced Options to reveal the next section.
6. Click Startup settings and then, click Restart button to boot the PC in Startup Settings.
7. Use function key F5 or number key 5 to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

Stage 3 : Scan the Computer with Sophos Antivirus

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

To remove Ziggy automatically, scanning the computer with this efficient anti-malware tool is suggested. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering hazardous ransomware like Ziggy.

1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.

2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process.

Screnshot of Sophos Installer

3. On first windows of installation wizard, click Next to continue. Then, it will display the program’s License Agreement. You need to Accept the terms in order to proceed. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.

Screenshot of Sophos EULA Page

4. On succeeding windows, click Next or Continue to carry on with the installation. After completing the installation process, Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool.

5. Internet connection is required when running this virus scanner in order to download important updates. Make sure that everything is up-to-date to effectively remove Ziggy ransomware and other relevant viruses.

6. Click the Start Scanning button to inspect the computer. This will check the system for presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to Ziggy and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

Screenshot of Sophos Virus Scan

The above procedures should have totally eliminated Ziggy ransomware. However, if you found that there are still remnants of the virus, please proceed to succeeding procedures below.

Stage 4 : Double-check with Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool

1. Download the free scanner called Malicious Software Removal Tool.

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 Ziggy 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.

MSRT Welcome

5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Ziggy 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.

MSRT 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.

MSRT Scan

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 Ziggy ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.

Recover Files from Ziggy Ransomware Infection

On this section, we will provide ways to decrypt files infected with Ziggy ransomware. Aside from dedicated decryption software and common tools, other options for file recovery are provided. As much as we can, we will update this area whenever there is new and more suitable decryption tool was made available.

Official Ziggy Decryptor

The tool that is able to decrypt files affected by Ziggy ransomware is now available from official Emsisoft website. Image of Ziggy Recovery Software

Decrypting Ziggy infected files with Emsisoft Tools

This service from Emsisoft is helpful in unlocking encrypted files without paying the ransom. It gives three ways to detect the ransomware and provide suitable recovery method:

Upload ransom note – This is usually the .txt or .hta files that was generated by Ziggy ransomware.

Upload the encrypted file – The actual encrypted file. Choose the one that is less than 8MB in size.

Contact information – Enter the email address or any links provided as it appears in the ransom note of Ziggy virus.

Emsisoft Tools

After submitting any of the appropriate data, Emsisoft will attempt to identify the ransomware and provide keys if there are available.

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 ransomware infection. To use this tool as "recovery option" for files encypted by Ziggy 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 locked files on the computer. The tool is not actually recovering files encrypted by Ziggy. Instead, it restores files from backup copy.

Option 2: Use ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Ziggy 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 Ziggy 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 Ziggy ransomware infection.

shadow3

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.

How to protect the computer from Ziggy ransomware?

After the removal of the ransomware, it is important to prevent similar incident from happening again. In order to protect the computer effectively, computer user must know how Ziggy ransomware was able to infect the computer. To minimize the possible infection, staying away from the common sources of this virus is crucial.

How Ziggy ransomware can infect your computer?

The method of infecting the computers was found to be similar as other common viruses. Though, ransomware like Ziggy is seen to have efficient deployment via spam email messages, web injectors, malicious software installers, misleading online advertisements, and through another virus infection.

Once the virus is executed, it immediately infects the system. Then, Ziggy ransomware communicates to remote server so that unique key can be generated for the specific computer. After acquiring the key, it starts to decrypt target files using a complex method that is almost unbreakable. On the last stage of the attack, Ziggy ransomware demands for ransom money as payment for the decryption tool. To further understand the attack scheme, we have included an infographic below.

Infographic image of ransomware attack stages
You can print, download, or share the infographic by clicking the image.

Securing the computer against ransomware attack

Do a Regular File Back-up - Always backup your data on a separate storage devices such as external hard drives, optical discs, or online backup services.

Keep Your Software Updated - Make sure that you have the latest software updates especially on the operating system. Recent updates often contain vital security patches to help protect the computer against all forms of threats.

Install a Security Program - Protect the computer with effective anti-virus application using efficient real-time scanning. Regularly run a complete scan to check the computer for presence of malware.

Protect your files with Controlled Folder Access (Windows 10)

For Windows 10 users, aside from protecting the computer using anti-virus or anti-malware programs, one way to protect against ransomware attack is by using Controlled Folder Access. This feature of Windows Defender Security Center may not prevent the Ziggy ransomware infection, but it can protect the folder and files in general. Follow the steps to enable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10.

1. Go to Windows 10 Taskbar and search for Windows Defender Security Center.

2. Open Windows Defender Security Center and click on Virus & Threat Protection icon.

Virus and Threat Protection

3. On next window, please click on Ransomware Protection.

4. Under Controlled Folder Access section, switch the slider to On. That will enable the feature and protect the folder against Ziggy or any type of ransomware.

Controlled Folder Access

5. Click on Protected Folderslink to include additional folders. Make sure that folders where important files are located should be included in the list.

Add Protected Folder

Troubleshooting Guide

Certain programs maybe blocked by Controlled Folder Access feature. To fix the issue, simply have the specific program to be white listed.

1. Under Protected Folders, click Allow an app through controlled folder access.

2. Next, click the Add an allowed app and include the target executable file.

This Controlled Folder Access feature is one way to protect files against Ziggy. Other important things to do in keeping files safe against ransomware is through early prevention like keeping programs updated, install an efficient security program, an do regular file backup on a separate media drive.

Tutorial video to remove Ziggy

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