Zinocrypt Ransomware

What is Zinocrypt Ransomware?

Zinocrypt Ransomware is a brand new malicious application detected by our malware analysts in March, 2017. Although it is a new computer infection, it acts exactly like other ransomware infections seeking to obtain money from users. First of all, after the successful infiltration on the computer, it searches for files (PDF documents, archives, Microsoft Office documents, pictures, media files, etc.) and then encrypts them all. Second, it drops a ransom note on those computers it affects. It becomes clear after reading this ransom note that Zinocrypt Ransomware has been programmed to lock those files users value the most because cyber criminals need users’ money. Do not give them anything even though you are told that “there are no tools online that will allow you to decode your files for free.” Keep in mind that the ransomware infection still needs to be erased from your computer if you pay money for the decryption tool because it will not be closed and deleted by cyber criminals when they receive your money. Even though Zinocrypt Ransomware should not create any new files on the computer, the malicious file responsible for launching this computer infection on your system has to be found and erased. On top of that, this infection might create a new process in the Task Manager – it needs to be killed too. Take action only after you read the ransomware description.

What does Zinocrypt Ransomware do?

Specialists have discovered Zinocrypt Ransomware recently, but, even though it is a newly-discovered malware, it does not differ at all from similar ransomware-type infections. After the entrance, it finds files on the computer’s hard drive and starts the encryption process. It should be noted that data on external storage devices might be encrypted too if these devices are connected to the computer when Zinocrypt Ransomware enters the system and starts performing its activities. Once it is done with the personal data, users notice that all files have the .ZINO extension appended. Sadly, it might be impossible to remove it and thus unlock files encrypted by this ransomware infection. If we believe the message in the ransom note ZINO_NOTE.txt left by the ransomware infection on Desktop, the only way to decrypt files is to pay a ransom in Bitcoins. Cyber criminals promise to send users the “special decryption software and personal key” after getting money from them. The exact price is not indicated in the ransom note, so users need to contact the author of Zinocrypt Ransomware by writing an email to ZinoCrypt@protonmail.com. Most probably, users will not only find the price of the decryption tool, but will also get the payment instructions. Do not go to write this email if you are sure that you are not going to transfer your money to bad people because it will be a waste of time.

It does not mean that users who do not purchase the decryption key are condemned to lose their files permanently. Specialists say that some users might manage to unlock those files with the .ZINO extension for free. In order to do that, a user needs to have a backup of files on an external device (e.g. a USB flash drive). Unfortunately, you are not one of these lucky guys who could unlock their data without the special decryption key if you have never backed up any of your files.

Where does Zinocrypt Ransomware come from?

We have already discussed how Zinocrypt Ransomware acts, so let’s talk about its distribution. Unfortunately, we have to admit that not much is known about the methods used to disseminate it because it is a relatively new computer infection, but, of course, it does not have an official website users can download it from, which suggests that it usually enters computers illegally. According to specialists working at anti-spyware-101.com, it is very likely that this file-encrypting threat is also spread through spam emails just like similar ransomware-type threats are. It is not installed on users’ computers right after such an email is opened. They give it permission to enter their PCs inadvertently by opening an attachment from this spam email. Stay away from these emails and their attachments in the future, and go to install a reputable application for protecting the system from harm. The maximum protection of the system will only be ensured if you keep it enabled 24/7.

How to delete Zinocrypt Ransomware

Users can delete Zinocrypt Ransomware from their computers by killing the suspicious process after opening the Task Manager and deleting the malicious file (it might be located in %TEMP%, %USERPROFILE%\Downloads, or %USERPROFILE%\Desktop) from the computer. There are a number of antimalware tools that promise to remove Zinocrypt Ransomware in the blink of an eye automatically too, but, without a doubt, you cannot trust them all. Of course, it does not mean that you cannot go to delete Zinocrypt Ransomware automatically – just use a 100% trustworthy antimalware scanner, such as SpyHunter.

Zinocrypt Ransomware manual removal instructions

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc simultaneously.
  2. Click Processes to open this tab.
  3. Locate the suspicious process which might belong to ransomware, right-click on it, and select End Process.
  4. Close the Task Manager.
  5. Launch the Windows Explorer by tapping two buttons Win and E simultaneously.
  6. Open the following directories one after the other and find the malicious recently downloaded file: %TEMP%, %USERPROFILE%\Downloads, and %USERPROFILE%\Desktop.
  7. Delete it.
  8. Remove ZIN_NOTE.txt from Desktop (it is not harmful, but there is no point in keeping it on the computer too).
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