THREAT REMOVAL

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 malware

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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.

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Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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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.


OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Spy Hunter
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 Zepto from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Zepto

OFFER

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 Zepto 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 Zepto 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 Zepto 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.

IMPORTANT!
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 Zepto 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.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


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

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


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.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

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

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Zepto.

Ransomware infections and Zepto 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 Zepto from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Zepto and remove related files and objects

OFFER
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 Zepto:

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 Zepto. 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 Zepto. 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 Zepto 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 Zepto. 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
/Library/LaunchDaemons

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


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Zepto.

Ransomware infections and Zepto 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.


Zepto FAQ

What is Zepto ransomware and how does it work?

Zepto 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 Zepto ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Zepto 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 Zepto 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 .Zepto files?

You can't. At this point the .Zepto 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 .Zepto files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Zepto 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 ".Zepto" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Zepto 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 Zepto 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 Zepto ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Zepto files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Zepto 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.

3 Comments

  1. AvatarJ$

    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.

    Reply
    1. SensorsTechForumSensorsTechForum

      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?

      Reply
  2. AvatarxDR1TeK

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

    Reply

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