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Can ‘.encrypted Virus’ Files Be Restored?

There are several ransomware pieces that append an ‘.encrypted’ extension to the victim’s filenames. Thus, such ransomware are often referred to as ‘.encrypted viruses’. One such threat is ZeroLocker that has been known to security researchers since 2014. Another ransomware using the .encrypted extension is TorrentLocker which later was renamed to Crypt0L0cker, both known to researchers for a while now.

In the last couple of days, several users have contacted us saying that their files have been changed and now have an ‘.encrypted’ extension. This could mean two things – either one of the ransomware cases mentioned above has been just revived, or there’s a new crypto malware using the same file extension (possibly created by affiliates).

The good news is that there’s а decryption utility available for ZeroLocker. Proceed with reading to learn more.

What Is ZeroLocker?


Clearly, it is a piece of devastating crypto malware that sneaks into a victim’s machine and encrypts their files, demanding ransom in exchange for the files’ decryption.

What we know about ZeroLocker (via Bleeping Computer’s analysis):

  • ZeroLocker uses AES encryption, expect when the files are located in certain folders or are larger than 20 MegaBytes;
  • Folders that are spared from encryption are any that contain any of the following words in their names – Windows, WINDOWS, Program Files, ZeroLocker, Desktop;
  • Files encrypted by ZeroLocker have an .encrypted extension appended to their file names;
  • Once the encryption process has finished, the ransomware will run the C:\Windows\System32\cipher.exe /w:C:\ command, and will overwrite all deleted data on the victim’s C:\ drive to get in the way of using a recovery tool;
  • ZeroLocker also creates the C:\ZeroLocker folder where it stores various files and the decryptor executable named ZeroRescue.exe; the latter runs automatically upon system reboot via a new registry entry.

What about Shadow Volume Copies?

When we researched the threat back in 2014, we discovered that it didn’t affect Shadow Volume Copies.

Currently, we cannot provide any information as to whether ZeroLocker’s source code has been recently modified to affect Shadow Volume Copies. Nonetheless, a decryptor for ZeroLocker is available and it was created by Vinsula .

Here’s what Vinsula say about their utility:

  • The recovery utility we have developed is a Windows console application that scans a single encrypted executable to uncover the encryption key. The operation uses a brute-force method and is CPU-bound (compute-bound). In our tests, the utility typically takes less than a day to find an encryption key, but in a worst-case scenario it could take up to 5 weeks. The utility can brute force an encrypted binary executable on either an infected machine or on a different, dedicated machine. The faster the machine (more CPU cores), the faster the brute force process takes to resolve the encryption key.
  • No Internet connection is required for the process to run and scan for the encryption key. The utility doesn’t have any external dependencies. For the brute forcing option the tool needs only to have access to a single encrypted binary executable.

N.B. The Vinsula recovery utility applies only to files encrypted by ZeroLocker. If your files have an ‘.encrypted’ extension but this utility doesn’t decrypt them, you have been hit by another ransomware.

Here is an example of an ‘.encrypted’ file:

  • es.gamma01.xla.encrypted (via a user post on GitHub).

What Is Crypt0L0cker?


Crypt0L0cker attacks were registered in the spring of 2015. That is when security analysts revealed that Crypt0L0cker is in fact a new version of the well-known TorrentLocker. However, Crypt0 appeared to be Geo-Locked and as such, wouldn’t attack US based machines. As with many other ransomware cases, Crypt0 was mainly distributed in spam email campaigns, pretending to be government notices.

Learn More about TorrentLocker

The communication methods used by Crypt0 were quite similar to TorrentLocker’s. When installed on victim’s system, Crypt0L0cker would connect to a Command & Control server and transmit the victim’s unique identifier and a campaign ID.

Crypt0L0cker would then scan all hard drive letters and encrypt certain files, while others are excluded. Encrypted files would have an ‘.encrypted’ extension at the end.

What about Shadow Volume Copies?

Once activated, Crypt0L0cker would delete Shadow Volume Copies and thus make the files’ restoration quite difficult, if not impossible.

Unfortunately, there is still no solution to either Crypt0L0cker or TorrentLocker.

You can still refer to the instructions below to clean your system from ransomware and back up your data.

We will keep you posted if a decryption tool for Crypt0L0cker/ TorrentLocker is developed. You can also leave a comment in our security forums.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker

Boot Your PC Into Safe Mode

1. For Windows 7,XP and Vista. 2. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

For Windows XP, Vista, 7 systems:

1. Remove all CDs and DVDs, and then Restart your PC from the “Start” menu.
2. Select one of the two options provided below:

For PCs with a single operating system: Press “F8” repeatedly after the first boot screen shows up during the restart of your computer. In case the Windows logo appears on the screen, you have to repeat the same task again.


For PCs with multiple operating systems: Тhe arrow keys will help you select the operating system you prefer to start in Safe Mode. Press “F8” just as described for a single operating system.


3. As the “Advanced Boot Options” screen appears, select the Safe Mode option you want using the arrow keys. As you make your selection, press “Enter“.

4. Log on to your computer using your administrator account


While your computer is in Safe Mode, the words “Safe Mode” will appear in all four corners of your screen.

Step 1: Open the Start Menu


Step 2: Whilst holding down Shift button, click on Power and then click on Restart.
Step 3: After reboot, the aftermentioned menu will appear. From there you should choose Troubleshoot.


Step 4: You will see the Troubleshoot menu. From this menu you can choose Advanced Options.


Step 5: After the Advanced Options menu appears, click on Startup Settings.


Step 6: Click on Restart.

Step 7: A menu will appear upon reboot. You should choose Safe Mode by pressing its corresponding number and the machine will restart.

2. Remove ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

Remove ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker.2. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker.
Step 1:Click on the “Download” button to proceed to SpyHunter’s download page.

It is highly recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter.

Step 2: Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser.
Step 3: After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to automatically update.


Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button.
Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently.
Step3: Once the intrusions on your PC have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart it.

3. Back up your data to secure it against infections and file encryption by ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker in the future

Back up your data to secure it against attacks in the future

IMPORTANT! Before reading the Windows backup instructions, we highly recommend to back up your data automatically with cloud backup and insure it against any type of data loss on your device, even the most severe. We recommend reading more about and downloading SOS Online Backup .

To back up your files via Windows and prevent any future intrusions, follow these instructions:

1. For Windows 7 and earlier 1. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 1. Enabling the Windows Defense Feature (Previous Versions)

1-Click on Windows Start Menu
2-Type Backup And Restore
3-Open it and click on Set Up Backup
4-A window will appear asking you where to set up backup. You should have a flash drive or an external hard drive. Mark it by clicking on it with your mouse then click on Next.
5-On the next window, the system will ask you what do you want to backup. Choose the ‘Let Me Choose’ option and then click on Next.
6-Click on ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the next window in order to protect your files from possible attacks by ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker.

1-Press Windows button + R
2-In the window type ‘filehistory’ and press Enter
3-A File History window will appear. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’
4-The configuration menu for File History will appear. Click on ‘Turn On’. After its on, click on Select Drive in order to select the backup drive. It is recommended to choose an external HDD, SSD or a USB stick whose memory capacity is corresponding to the size of the files you want to backup.
5-Select the drive then click on ‘Ok’ in order to set up file backup and protect yourself from ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker.

1- Press Windows button + R keys.
2- A run windows should appear. In it type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and then click on Run.
3- A System Properties windows should appear. In it choose System Protection.
5- Click on Turn on system protection and select the size on the hard disk you want to utilize for system protection.
6- Click on Ok and you should see an indication in Protection settings that the protection from ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker is on.
Restoring a file via Windows Defense feature:
1-Right-click on the encrypted file, then choose Properties.
2-Click on the Previous Versions tab and then mark the last version of the file.
3-Click on Apply and Ok and the file encrypted by ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker should be restored.

4. Decrypt files encrypted by ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker

Decrypt Files Encrypted by ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker

Security engineers strongly advise users NOT to pay the ransom money and attempt restoring the files using other methods.
Luckily, Emsisoft have discovered that the UmbreCrypt’s source code is the same as HydraCrypt and CrypBoss. And they have a working decrypter software you can download:


You can read the full details on their blog site.

If the decryptor mentioned above doesn’t work, wait for an update or try to bring back your files via data recovery software. Here are some examples of data recovery programs:

Optional: Using an Alternative Anti-Malware Tool

Remove ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker Using an Alternative Anti-Malware Tool

STOPZilla Anti Malware
1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker.
Step 1: Download STOPZilla by clicking here.
Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards.
Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
Step 6: Review and click on the ‘Install’ button.
Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button.

2. Scan your PC with STOPZilla Anti Malware to remove all ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker associated files completely.
Step 1: Launch STOPZilla if you haven’t launched it after install.
Step 2: Wait for the software to automatically scan and then click on the ‘Repair Now’ button. If it does not scan automatically, click on the ‘Scan Now’ button.
Step 3: After the removal of all threats and associated objects, you should Restart your PC.

NOTE! Substantial notification about the ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker threat: Manual removal of ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum since the project started. A professional with 10+ years of experience in creating engaging content. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.

As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.

How to recognize trustworthy sources:

  • Always check "About Us" web page.
  • Profile of the content creator.
  • Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
  • Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.


with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy

Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker from Windows.

Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker


Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R

2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.

3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.

4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.

5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.

Step 2: Uninstall ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:

1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.

2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.

3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.

Step 3: Clean any registries, created by ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.

2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.

3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.

It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.

2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.


If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker.

Ransomware infections and ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.

Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker from Mac OS X.

Step 1: Uninstall ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker and remove related files and objects

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy

1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:

2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:

3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.

4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.

5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.

6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.

7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.

Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker:


SpyHunter for Mac

Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker.

Ransomware infections and ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.

ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker FAQ

What is ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker ransomware and how does it work?

ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker is a ransomware infection - the malicious software that enters your computer silently and blocks either access to the computer itself or encrypt your files.

Many ransomware viruses use sophisticated encryption algorithm how to make your files inaccessible. The goal of ransomware infections is to demand that you pay a ransom payment to get access to your files back.

How does ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, containing virus attachment.

This attachment is usually masked as an important document, like an invoice, bank document or even a plane ticket and it looks very convincing to users.

After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.

Another way, you may become a victim of ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker is if you download a fake installer, crack or patch from a low reputation website or if you click on a virus link. Many users report getting a ransomware infection by downloading torrents.

How to open .ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker files?

You can't. At this point the .ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.

How Do I restore ".ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How do I get rid of ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like ZeroLocker, Crypt0L0cker ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.

What to Do If nothing works?

There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:

  • Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
  • Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
  • Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted it can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way to get back some of your files is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
  • You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.

More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.

How to Report Ransomware to Authorities?

In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer. Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:

Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:

Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.

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