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Remove Zepto Ransomware and Restore .zepto Encrypted Files

STF-zepto-ransomware-ransom-note

A ransomware named Zepto, because of the extension it adds to encrypted files, has been seen by researchers recently. Seemingly related to the Locky ransomware, Zepto uses the same ransom note. Another such crypto-virus, which might be spreading with the same malicious campaign is Bart Ransomware. To know how to remove Zepto ransomware and see how to try to restore your data, you should read the article through.

Threat Summary

NameZepto
TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionThe ransomware uses 128-bit AES ciphers to encrypt files with an asymmetric algorithm to have a decryption key different than the encryption one.
SymptomsThe ransomware will lock all your files with .zepto extension appended to them and put a ransom note in your PC. The note states that you have to pay the equivalent of 300$ in Bitcoins for decryption.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Suspicious Sites
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Zepto

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Zepto Ransomware
Data Recovery ToolWindows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.

Zepto Virus Video Removal Guide

Zepto Ransomware – How Did I Get Infected?

Zepto ransomware is spread with a spam email campaign similar to the one of Locky ransomware and the same as Bart ransomware. When opened, the email contains a file which in fact is a JavaScript file with the malicious code inside. The whole process of encryption is masked, so a user only notices the after effects of the encryption.

Zepto Ransomware – Further Inspection

Zepto is the name of a ransomware that appears to be a new variant of Locky ransomware. The Zepto ransomware is named after the extension it puts to encrypted files.

The ransomware possibly makes an entry in the Windows Registry for automatically loading upon the start of Windows:

→HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run [exe name]

Right after your files get encrypted, the Zepto ransomware creates two files containing payment instructions. The files are:

  • HELP_instructions.html
  • HELP_instructions.bmp

You can see the picture of the ransom note:

STF-zepto-ransomware-ransom-note

The ransom note reads the following:

!!! IMPORTANT INFORMATION !!!

All of your files are encrypted with RSA-2048 and AES-128 ciphers.
More information about the RSA and AES can be found here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Encryption_Standard
Decrypting of your files is only possible with the private key and decrypt program, All which is on our secret server.
To receive your private key follow one of the links:
1. http://mphtadhci5mrdlju.tor2web(.)org/D7F6EEB0D8FC508E
2. http://mphtadhci5mrdlju.onion(.)to/D7F6EEB0D8FC508E
If all of this addresses are not available, follow synthesis steps:
1. Download and install Tor Browser: https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy(.)html
2. After a successful installation, run the browser and wait for initialization.
3. Type in the address bar: mphtadhci5mrdlju(.)onion/D7F6EEB0D8FC508E
4. Follow the instructions on the site.
!!! Your personal identification ID: D7F6EEB0D8FC508E !!!

The sum of money wanted as ransom is 0.5 Bitcoins, which is a little over than 315 US dollars. The note indicates two web addresses using a Tor proxy where if you simply copy the links you can see their content. Inside are instructions for paying similar to that of Locky and Bart ransomware viruses. Do not pay the ransom as that will only support the criminals. No guarantee is there that paying will get your files back. The ransomware doesn’t use threats but simply give links to the paying websites.

The Zepto ransomware uses a 128-bit ciphers with 2048-bit AES algorithm for file encryption. The key is asymmetric, which means that is different than the encryption one and is sent to the ransomware makers. Zepto resembles Bart ransomware so much and it appeared almost at the same time. If the new Locky variant is sold on the black market, then the extensions which the ransomware encrypts could be the same as the Bart variant:

STF-zepto-ransomware-.zepto-crypted-file

→.123, .3dm, .3ds, .3g2, .3gp, .602, .aes, .arc, .asc, .asf, .asm, .asp, .avi, .bak, .bat, .bmp, .brd, .cgm, .cmd, .cpp, .crt, .csr, .csv, .dbf, .dch, .dif, .dip,
.djv, .djvu, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .fla, .flv, .frm, .gif, .gpg, .hwp, .ibd, .jar, .java, .jpeg, .jpg, .key, .lay, .lay6, .ldf, .m3u, .m4u, .max, .mdb, .mdf, .mid, .mkv, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .ms11, .myf, .myi, .nef, .odb, .odg, .odp, .ods, .odt, .otg, .otp, .ots, .ott, .p12, .paq, .pas, .pdf, .pem, .php, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .psd, .rar, .raw, .rtf, .sch, .sldm, .sldx, .slk, .stc, .std, .sti, .stw, .svg, .swf, .sxc, .sxd, .sxi, .sxm, .sxw, .tar, .tbk, .tgz, .tif, .tiff, .txt, .uop, .uot, .vbs, .vdi, .vmdk, .vmx, .vob, .wav, .wb2, .wk1, .wks, .wma, .wmv, .xlc, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .zip

When the whole encryption procedure is complete, you will see that every file on your computer is renamed with symbols and has a new extension appended – .zepto. The symbols take hexadecimal characters from the ransomware ID of a victim, in a specific order. Locky ransomware had a similar renaming pattern when it came out.

Zepto ransomware is likely to erase the Shadow Volume Copies present on a Windows operating system. Keep on reading this article to see how you might restore your data to what it was before encryption.

Remove Zepto Ransomware and Restore .zepto Locked Files

If your computer is infected by the Zepto ransomware, you should have a little experience in dealing with malware removal. You should get rid of the ransomware as fast as you possibly can because it could encrypt more data and spread itself deeper over your current network. The recommended action for you is to remove the ransomware completely by following the step-by-step instructions given below.

Manually delete Zepto from your computer

Note! Substantial notification about the Zepto threat: Manual removal of Zepto 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.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Zepto files and objects.
2. Find malicious files created by Zepto on your PC.
3. Fix registry entries created by Zepto on your PC.

Automatically remove Zepto by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

1. Remove Zepto with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
2. Back up your data to secure it against infections and file encryption by Zepto in the future
3. Restore files encrypted by Zepto
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Berta Bilbao

Berta is the Editor-in-Chief of SensorsTechForum. She is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space.

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  • J$

    My computer has been over taken by Zepto. I’ve made a new test word document file to see if it will continue to encrypt my files but so far it hasn’t. They want 4 BTC which is about $2600 right now. I’m wondering how long before someone figures out the key to this problem. They’re asking for money worth the value of my computer. I can’t support their cause of illegal actions by paying them. If it was $20 I would consider the risk but this is serious.

    • Hi J$,

      What you’re saying is absolutely true – giving ransom money to cyber criminals only enables their malicious operations further!

      Is there a development with your infection case?

  • xDR1TeK

    Hello, so far there hasn’t been any breakthroughs? lost files are lost forever?

Please wait...

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