The .Z9 files virus is a ransomware from the Crysis/Dharma family. It is extremely dangerous ransomware due to the fact that it encrypts personal files located on the local drives as well as shared network directories. The primary goal of Dharma .Z9 ransomware is to extort a hefty ransom fee from infected users. The extortion happens via a ransom note file named FILES ENCRYPTED.txt
Security experts strongly advise all victims against paying the demanded ransom to hackers. Otherwise, cyber criminals will be encouraged to continue developing vicious ransomware infections like .Z9 files virus and harassing online users. Keep up with this ransomware removal guide and find out how to clean malicious files from infected PC as well as how to potentially recover .Z9 files.
|Short Description||A ransomware dsigned to corrupt valuable files and extort a ransom free for their decryption.|
|Symptoms||Important files cannot be opened due to changes of their code. They are all renamed with .Z9 extension.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Z9 Virus.|
|Data Recovery Tool||Windows 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.|
The .Z9 virus is a new Dharma ransomware that is being distributed in a worldwide attack campaign. There is no information available about the hackers behind it however we assume that they are experienced enough to implement many of the advanced modules which are typical of more dangerous threats. It appears that the majority of infections are done via various web methods. The most popular ones are the following:
- Direct Web Attacks — The hackers can plan direct vulnerability exploits or other methods of penetrating the target networks — brute forcing passwords and other means.
- Phishing Methods — Most of the attacks are done by organizing phishing attacks that depend on social engineering tricks. They aim to manipulate the victims into believing that they are viewing safe and trusted contents by sending out email messages and hacker-created pages. They are hosted on domain names that sound very similar to well-known companies and services.
- Infected Files — The .Z9 virus infections can also be made by implementing the virus code in various types of commonly accessed files. The two most popular types are documents and application installers. They are hosted on these sites and and portals that are commonly operated by the criminals.
The .Z9 virus includes a very advanced infection sequence. One of the first actions done by the main engine is to attempt to bypass the security services and applications. This is done by identifying the running processes and rebooting the system which attempts to overcome startup scripts, tasks and engines. This includes popular options such as firewalls, anti-viruses and etc. The analysis also shows that the engine will scan for the presence of virtual machines and sandbox environments.
As soon as this first step has been made the virus will launch the next modules. A very important step during infection is to overtake administrative privileges from the system. This will allow the .Z9 virus engine to run system-wide commands and execute advanced tasks. Many of them are related to the running processes — by hooking up to them the hackers can extract sensitive data that can reveal much private data about the users and generate a report on the installed hardware resources. In order to hide itself from discovery it will create multiple processes of its own that imitate system or commonly-installed user apps.
The system changes which are done afterwards are the following:
- System Data Manipulation and Removal — The criminals may also modify or remove key system data including backups and configuration files.
- Persistent Installation — The .Z9 virus can be set as a persistent ransomware which means that it will be run every time the computer is booted.
- Further System Changes — Other modifications that can happen after a .Z9 virus intrusion may include process hookup (allowing the criminals to hijack data) and modifies system folders.
When every module has finished running the ransomware operation will start. This is done by following the same method as previous strains of this virus family by using a built-in list of target file type extensions: multimedia files, backups, archives, documents and etc. All of them will be locked and processed by a strong cipher and marked with the .Z9 extension. A ransom note, as well as a lockscreen will be shown to the victims to blackmail them. The note and the lockscreen will feature several distinct elements that will indicate the current campaign.
Remove .Z9 Virus Files and Restore Data
The ransomware associated with .Z9 extension is a threat with highly complex code that plagues not only your files but your whole system. So you should clean and secure your infected system before you could use it regularly again. Below you could find a step-by-step removal guide that may be helpful in attempting to remove this ransomware.
Choose the manual removal approach if you have previous experience with malware files. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual steps select the automatic section from the guide. Steps there enable you to check the infected system for ransomware files and remove them with a few mouse clicks.
In order to keep your system safe from ransomware and other types of malware in future, you should consider the installation of a reliable anti-malware program.
What is Z9 Virus Ransomware?
Z9 Virus 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 algorithms 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.
Can Z9 Virus Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like Z9 Virus?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does Z9 Virus Infect?
Via several ways.Z9 Virus Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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 Z9 Virus 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 .Z9 Virus files?
You can't. At this point, the .Z9 Virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Z9 Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Z9 Virus" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Z9 Virus files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of Z9 Virus Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate Z9 Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Z9 Virus files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Z9 Virus ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
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 can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way 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:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can Z9 Virus Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the Z9 Virus Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Z9 Virus how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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