THREAT REMOVAL

.zXz File Virus (RanRan) – Decrypt Files and Remove

Article created to help remove the RanRan ransomware infection and decrypt files encrypted by the virus.

A very unique ransomware infection has been detected by malware researchers. The virus also dubbed RanRan encrypts files on the computers it infects, just like most ransomware viruses out there do. However, this virus is more than that – it is also politically motivated malware that aims to get the victim to publicly admit he or she is hacked by creating a subdomain and agree with political terms. These terms are against the leader of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Despite this, the virus has also been detected to infect in the Philippines, besides Saudi Arabia, which means it may further spread onto multiple different locations. In case your system has been infected by RanRan ransomware using the .zXz file extension, we advise you to read the following article.

Threat Summary

Name.zXz RanRan
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe RanRan ransomware encrypts your data and then displays a ransom message with instructions for payment.
SymptomsSage ransomware encrypts the files and adds the .zXz file extension. A ransom note is dropped on the desktop with politically-motivated requests..
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, malicious .xls files, .htm Files, .js files, .ZIP archives
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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .zXz RanRan.
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.

RanRan Ransomware – How Does It Infect

For the infection of this virus, the cyber-criminals behind it may have used malicious files that are uploaded on spammed e-mail messages. These messages are sent to a pre-programmed list of e-mail addresses of potential victims. The e-mails may contain different information, like the name of your account and other data to increase legitimacy. They may also pretend to be different types, for example an e-mail pretending to be suspicious activity on the PayPal account of the victim, provided there is one.

Once a misled victim opens the malicious file attachment, this ransomware infection checks for a specific mutex and if this mutex, also reported as Services 1.0 is present, the virus will stop the infection.

RanRan .zXz Virus – Further Analysis

Once an infection by RanRan ransomware is commenced, the virus dropps a file, named services.exe in the C:\ (System Drive) folder. Once this file has been dropped onto the victim PC, the virus reportedly modifies the Run and RunOnce registry keys to run the services.exe file on system boot. The sub-keys 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

After this has been done, the virus creates multiple different files on the computer and runs the encryption.

RanRan .zXz Virus – Encryption Process

For the encryption of the files, the RanRan ransomware infection looks for multiple types of files on the computers it has infected. Most of those files are usually often used and important documents and other content:

→ .mdf .ldf .edb .pst .ost .doc .docx .pdf .xls .xlsx .ppt .pps .pptx .ppsx .accdb .mdb .zip .rar .txt .jpg .bad .epf .bdp .efp .vsd .mpp .xlt .cmd .lic .me .xlsm .war .bdr .stm .sdb .psd .eml .vdw .vdx .tar .csv .max .png .ai .dwg .dxf .7z .c .cpp .bak .ese .ashx .asmx .soap .svc .bkf .issue .sql .fmb .olb .java .webm .mkv .flv .dbf .mtb .asp .aspx .sln .cs .jar .bmp .iso .resx .exe .tar .dat .rtf .img .gz .vmdk .log .ace .kdbx .rdp .psc .bat .cfg .rmvb .3gp .swf .ipdb .db .cmsc .kmz .edx

But the virus does not just get to the encryption of the files. Before this happens, it stops processes of Databases in order to ensure successful encryption. The processes which this ransomware ends are the following:

→ MSSQLSERVER SQLWriter MSSQL$CONTOSO1 SQLServerAgent MSSQL$SQLEXPRESS Microsoft Exchange Information Store OracleASMService+ASM OracleCSService OracleServiceORCL OracleOraDb10g_home1TNSListener usermanager outlook exchange sql

The encryption of the .zXz ransomware is very innovative, but not undefeated. The ransomware uses different encryption procedure for files with different file sizes. For example, if it encrypts files up to 5 MB it will use one set of encryption keys which it generates. But if it encrypts files more than 3 GB, it will proceed with a completely different decryption key being generated.

After encryption, the RanRan virus adds the .zXz file extension to the files which are rendered no longer able to be opened by it. They may appear like the following:

After the encryption process is complete, the .zXz file virus also drops a ransom note with the following message:

“!!!Congratulations!!!
Welcome to my Ransomare!
Cannot you find the files youneed?
Is the content of the files that you have watched not readable?
I want to play a game with you. Let me explain the rules:
Your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key, generated for this computer.
Private decryption key is stored on a secret internet server and nobody can decrypt your files until you pay and obtain the private key.
But, don’t worry!
It is normal because the files names, as well as the data in your files have been encrypted.
Do not: power off computer, run antivirus program, disable internet connection. Failures during key recovery and file decryption may lead to accidental damage on files.
In order to have relationship with us, and pay the ransom; must go the following steps.
1. Launch a subdomain named:
{subdomain.name}
2. Make a txt file named:
Ransomware.txt including
Hacked!
“Your email address”
We will text you ASAP.”

Unlike other ransomware viruses, this one extorts users to register to a political website, which means that it is one of the few ransomware viruses with a hacktivist element in them.

Fortunately the virus is decryptable, thanks to Palo Alto malware researchers. Keep reading this article to learn how to properly get your files back for free if you have become a victim of this virus.

Remove RanRan .zXz Ransomware and Decrypt Files

Before proceeding with any removal of the RanRan ransomware, recommendations are to back up the .zXz files on another drive, just in case.

Then, we recommend following the instructions from the removal accordion below. They are specifically designed to assist with the full removal of the RanRan ransomware virus from the affected computer. For maximum effectiveness and thoroughness during removal, malware researchers often recommend downloading an advanced anti-malware program which will automatically take care of .zXz ransomware’s virus files on your computer.

After you have removed the RanRan virus, you should follow the instructions on the decryptors’s web page, created by experts at PaloAlto to get the encrypted files back:

PaloAlto Public_Tools RanRan Decryption

Avatar

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove .zXz RanRan from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .zXz RanRan

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 .zXz RanRan 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 .zXz RanRan 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 .zXz RanRan 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 .zXz RanRan 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.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of .zXz RanRan from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall .zXz RanRan 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 .zXz RanRan:

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 .zXz RanRan. 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 .zXz RanRan. 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 .zXz RanRan 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 .zXz RanRan. 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove .zXz RanRan from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase .zXz RanRan from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall .zXz RanRan from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove .zXz RanRan from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the .zXz RanRan will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate .zXz RanRan from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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