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.ZqVIkE Virus File (Hidden Tear Ransomware) – Remove It

.ZqVIkE file extension is placed on all of your files? .ZqVIkE Virus File is also known as Hidden Tear ransomware which locks files on a computer and demands money to be paid as a ransom fee.

Hidden Tear honor virus image

Security reports indicate that there is a new .ZqVIkE Hidden Tear virus threat which is currently being used against computer users worldwide. It is otherwise known as .ZqVIkE Virus File is a ransomware-type virus. It encrypts files by appending the .ZqVIkE extension to them, making them inaccessible. All encrypted files will receive the new extension. The Hidden Tear ransom note gives instructions to victims on how they can allegedly restore their data by paying a ransom fee.

Hidden Tear Ransomware Virus

Hidden Tear Ransomware will encrypt all types of files such as audio, video, pictures, backups, banking data and other personal user files found on a compromised computer system.

.ZqVIkE virus Summary

Name .ZqVIkE virus
File Extension .ZqVIkE
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The ransomware encrypts files on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
Symptoms The Hidden Tear ransomware will encrypt your files by appending the .ZqVIkE extension to them.
Ransom Demanding Note security_audit_.eml
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss .ZqVIkE virus.

.ZqVIkE Virus File – How Did It Infect My Computer?

The .ZqVIkE virus is a Hidden Tear ransomware that is specifically designed to infect computer users. At this time a very limited attack campaign has been detected, for this reason, we think that the hackers behind it are still optimizing it, it might be a test release or still be in development. There is no information available about the identity of the criminals, what we know is that they are probably not very experienced by modifying the Hidden Tear codebase. This is one of the oldest families of threats of this virus category and Hidden Tear malware is well-known for being sold on the underground marketplaces.

We anticipate that the most common infection techniques will be used to carry out the distribution. This stipulates that the .ZqVIkE virus can be embedded in different forms of payload carriers which is often seen as the most effective solution for this category of threats. This means that the criminals will insert the relevant code in common data that can be retrieved from the Internet. This includes documents across all-important office formats, and also software installers of popular programs. The infection will happen in the background without alerting the victim users. The virus can also be placed in small programs and executables such as patches, add-ons, and etc.

Of course the .ZqVIkE and all virus-related files can be pushed to the targets via manipulative tactics – this relies on the use of forged credentials and manipulative content to impersonate well-known companies and services to make the victims that they are accessing safe and legitimate content. The virus data is carried in email messages (prepared in bulk) or in hacker-created sites. Both of these two can use self-signed security certificates, forged content and design, and other elements that want to manipulate the victims. Virus files can also be shared on social networks, file-sharing networks, and other places where such data is commonly found.

Usually, Hidden Tear threats follow a prescribed behavior sequence which is common among most of them. This usually starts a data gathering procedure at the start. It is used to scan for the presence of security programs, advanced viruses can disable them based on the collected data. Any personal user’s information can be abused in identity-related crimes, as well as operating system-related data. The generated report of the installed hardware components can be used to create a unique identifier (ID) for each affected computer. It can be shown in the ransom note or used by the criminals to count the number of affected computers.

The .ZqVIkE virus like other Hidden Tear threats can also be used to cause dangerous system changes. This includes the installation of this ransomware as a persistent threat, an action that is very common with this type of ransomware. It will start automatically when the computer is powered on, and it may additionally disable access to the recovery system options.

This threat can change the Windows Registry values, this can result in the modification of already existing entries or the creation of new ones. This can lead to issues such as performance issues, the inability to run certain services, data loss, and the removal of important files such as backups and shadow volume copies.

Other viruses can also be installed through an existing .ZqVIkE malware infection. This may include the likes of Trojan horse infections, they are used to install a local agent that will connect to a hacker-controlled server. This allows the criminals to take over control of the infected hosts, steal user’s data, and spy on the victims.

When every module has finished running, the actual encryption action will take place. It will use a powerful cipher to process victim files and make them inaccessible. They will receive an extension called .ZqVIkEstrong> and in the folders where there are processed files, ransom notes, lockscreens, or wallpapers will be placed to blackmail the victims into paying a given fee.

Remove .ZqVIkE Virus File

In case your computer got infected with the .ZqVIkE Virus File, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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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 .ZqVIkE virus from Windows.

Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .ZqVIkE virus


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 .ZqVIkE virus 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 .ZqVIkE virus 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 .ZqVIkE virus 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 .ZqVIkE virus 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 .ZqVIkE virus.

Ransomware infections and .ZqVIkE virus 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 .ZqVIkE virus from Mac OS X.

Step 1: Uninstall .ZqVIkE virus 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 .ZqVIkE virus:

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 .ZqVIkE virus. 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 .ZqVIkE virus. 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 .ZqVIkE virus 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 .ZqVIkE virus. 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 .ZqVIkE virus:


SpyHunter for Mac

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

Ransomware infections and .ZqVIkE virus 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.

.ZqVIkE virus FAQ

What is .ZqVIkE virus ransomware and how does it work?

.ZqVIkE 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 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 .ZqVIkE virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..ZqVIkE virus 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 .ZqVIkE 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 ..ZqVIkE virus files?

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

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .ZqVIkE virus 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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