What Is ZATP Virus?
Zatp is the latest variant of the STOP/DJVU ransomware family. The ransomware mainly relies on malspam (malicious spam) and fake software downloads to propagate across Windows computers. You either have downloaded a program from a download platform, or you executed a malicious email attachments which activated the infection with Zatp ransomware.
Keep in mind that ransomware such as Zatp ransomware tend to encrypt files with strong encryption algorithms that can only be decrypted by specially crafted decryption tools, usually developed by the hackers themselves. However, we don’t recommend getting in touch with the ransomware operators. In most cases, victims who pay the ransom don’t receive the decryption key. Furthermore, collected ransoms will only enable cybercriminals to continue with the malicious activities. The best way to recover your files is from a previously created backup, or by attempting the alternative methods we have listed in the removal part of the article.
N.B. One of the most common questions in ransomware infections is how to decrypt the encrypted files, as is the case with the Zatp virus STOP/DJVU variant.
Unfortunately, if your files have been encrypted by Zatp ransomware, it most probably means that the battle is lost. The chances to get your files restored on your own or with the help of a company/a professional that advertises decryption capabilities are nearly non-existent. What most such companies and professionals do is buy a decryption tool from the ransomware operators, and add a markup to the ransom amount upon charging you for their decryption services. In other words, trusting anyone, other than an officially released decrypter, with the decryption of your files is utterly pointless. We will update this article once we have more information on possible decryption, even though the chances are quite slim. What you should do for now is remove the ransomware from your system, so that it doesn’t reinfect you and it doesn’t spread further. Continue reading to get to the final part of the article where we provide technical removal instructions.
Zatp Threat Summary
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will encrypt your files by appending a malicious extension to them. Then it will demand a ransom fee for their recovery.|
|Ransom Demanding Note||_readme.txt|
|Ransom Fee||$490 – $980 in Bitcoin|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Zatp.|
ZATP Virus – More Information
ZATP is a ransomware infection that has recently been spotted in the wild. As a strain of one of the most vicious ransomware families – STOP, the threat disrupts system security and encodes personal files. In the beginning, the ransomware corrupts system settings that help it to evade detection and hide malicious files. Beware that when an infection with the ransomware occurs, some major registry keys in the Registry Editor are contaminated. The reason is that their functionalities can enable it to launch malicious files every time the infected system is started.
In terms of distribution, techniques that ransomware operators use include spam emails, email attachments, hacked web pages, and corrupted freeware installers. Since the malspam propagation technique enables hackers to spread their malicious code on a large scale it is considered to be the main one.
So, how to recognize an email that endangers the overall security of your PC and data stored on its drives? First, answer these questions:
Does the email have an attached file of common type or a link presented as a button, an image, a plain URL or another clickable form? If the answer is positive then avoid interacting with these elements. If you believe that you should view the content then scan the file / link with online malware scanners like VirusTotal. The results will provide information about the security level of the content.
All initial malicious changes performed by the ransomware aim to enable it to reach the data encryption stage. During this stage, the ransomware launches a strong cipher algorithm to encrypt personal files. All drives and folders are scanned for commonly used types of files as they are likely to store valuable user data. As a result of encryption, corrupted files receive the malicious extension .zatp .
Unfortunately, encrypted files remain inaccessible after encryption. The malicious file extension .zatp may appear at the end of document, music, project, database, image, video, backup, archive, and audio files. It should be noted that in order to remain unnoticed displays a fake Windows update pop-up during the encryption:
At the end of the attack, Zatp virus drops a ransom message to extort a ransom fee from victims. In fact, the primary goal of Zatp virus is to blackmail you into paying a ransom fee to hackers. So its ransom note called _readme.txt informs that the decryption of corrupted files can be realized after you pay hackers a ransom fee ($490 – $980 in Bitcoin). Here is the full text content of this file:
Don’t worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that’s price for you is $490.
Please note that you’ll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail “Spam” or “Junk” folder if you don’t get answer more than 6 hours.
To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
Your personal ID:
You should NOT under any circumstances contact cybercriminals or pay any ransom sum to them. This action does not guarantee the recovery of your encrypted .zatp files.
Can .zatp Files Be Decrypted?
At this point, STOP ransomware strains associated with .zatp extension are not decryptable by Michael Gillespie or Emsisoft free decryption tools. However, as soon as we notice security researchers’ announcement about an update that supports the decryption of Zatp STOP ransomware variants we will update this article with information on how to decrypt files for free.
How to Remove Zatp Virus
The so-called Zatp ransomware virus is a threat with a highly complex code that disrupts system security in order to encrypt personal files. Hence the infected system could be used in a secure manner again only after you remove all malicious files and objects created by the ransomware. The steps presented in the ransomware removal guide below will help you with the complete removal process. Beware that the manual ransomware removal is suitable for more experienced computer users. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual steps navigate to the automatic part of the guide. It is also worth mentioning that personal data remains encrypted even after the complete removal of Zatp virus. Its removal only prevents it from causing further encryptions and security issues.
Step 5 from our Zatp ransomware removal guide presents alternative data recovery methods that may be efficient for the recovery of encrypted files. Beware that you should make copies of all encrypted files and save them on a flash drive for example before the beginning of the recovery process.
What is Zatp Ransomware?
Zatp 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 Zatp 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 Zatp?
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 Zatp Infect?
Via several ways.Zatp 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 Zatp 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 .Zatp files?
You can't. At this point, the .Zatp 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 .Zatp files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Zatp" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Zatp 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 Zatp 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 Zatp ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Zatp files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Zatp 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 Zatp 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 Zatp Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Zatp 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.
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.