THREAT REMOVAL

.zzzzz Extension Virus – Remove Locky Ransomware

stf-locky-ransomware-virus-zzzzz-file-extension-spam-email-amazon-spoof-zip-js-payload-script-file-attached

Locky ransomware has a new version. That is very likely to be an answer to the new Cerber ransomware variant and to keep up the rivalry between the two cryptoviruses. Also, some of the spam emails will be made to look like buy orders from well-known companies such as an Amazon and may be related to the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Your files become encrypted with a new extension .zzzzz. The new string of this virus uses a .js file for its payload, but it seems to lack a C&C (Command and Control) server, according to researchers. To see how to remove the ransomware and how you can try to restore your files, carefully read the whole article.

Threat Summary

NameLocky Ransomware
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts your data and then displays a ransom message with instructions for payment.
SymptomsEncrypted files will have the .zzzzz extension appended to them.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, .js files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Locky 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.

Locky Ransomware – Infection Spread

The newest version of the Locky ransomware relies on traditional methods for spreading its infection. The cryptovirus uses a spam e-mail campaign that is mainly distributing spoof e-mails of popular sale websites. The body of one such email can be seen below:

stf-locky-ransomware-virus-zzzzz-file-extension-spam-email-amazon-spoof-zip-js-payload-script-file-attached
Image Source: Microsoft

Mainly companies such as Royal Mail, FedEx, and DHL Express are mentioned as couriers for delivering an order that you or your place of business supposedly made. There is a name of a sender and an email that look like they are related to a company or business, and a subject named “Order #34342123” (where the numbers are random).

More sets of e-mails are being spread as well. These emails are quite short and state the following:

Dear [your name], our HR Department told us they haven’t received the receipt you’d promised to send them. Fines may apply from the third party. We are sending you the details in the attachment.
Please check it out when possible.

No matter what the e-mail body is, an attachment is always present with the electronic letter. The attachment is an archive file, most often being .zip and that archive contains a .js payload file. The script is malicious and once executed will infect you with Locky ransomware. In some countries the .aesir extension of Locky is still seen as the result from loading the payload file. You can see an example of detections for the newest .zzzzz extension on the VirusTotal website below:

stf-locky-ransomware-virus-zzzzz-file-extension-spam-email-attachment-js-nemucod-infection-virustotal-detections

It seems that the .js file loads the Trojan downloader known as Nemucod. Countries which are affected are the United States, Canada, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Africa according to malware researchers from the MalwareHunterTeam. More countries are targeted but they may get the extension .aesir.

Locky ransomware is also spread around social media sites like Facebook. Avoid all suspicious or unknown links, attachments or files as a general rule of thumb. Before opening any file, always perform a check with a security program. You should read the ransomware prevention tips in our forum to learn about more methods about fighting such threats.

Locky Ransomware – Detailed Analysis

Locky ransomware has been released with a new version with a different extension – .zzzzz. The previous version was released only a few days ago and still being distributed simultaneously as the newest string of the virus that emerged earlier today. Emails containing an archive file called order_[your name].zip which contains the malicious .js script. Some of the download locations can be viewed right here:

  • musicphilicwinds.org/q2spze
  • jxhyhz.com/pgkf09
  • stivyiseum.com/faphs9m
  • mschroll.de/pgdom
  • derekglum.net/ecesblt

Do not open these links, as they contain malware – this is purely for informing about known download URLs.

This version of Locky that uses the .zzzzz extension after encryption, does not use C&C (Command and Control) servers, but a .tdb file for its entry point, according to malware researchers.

After executing the payload, your files will be encrypted, and a ransom note will be displayed on your desktop. A copy of the note with the payment instructions will be made in files with the name _1-INSTRUCTION.html.

The ransom note with instructions is set as your desktop background, and it is the same as past iterations:

stf-locky-ransomware-virus-zzzzz-file-extension-ransom-screen-desktop

The text 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. [Redacted] 2. [Redacted] If all of this addresses are not available, follow these 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: [Redacted] 4. Follow the instructions on the site.
!!! Your personal identification ID: [Redacted] !!!

In .html loaded in a browser it will look like this:

stf-locky-ransomware-virus-zzzzz-file-extension-ransom-note-html

The Locky cryptovirus will link you to a network domain hidden with the TOR service. The asked price for decryption is 0.5 Bitcoins which amounts to nearly 370 US dollars. The service looks exactly like the one of its predecessors as you can see below:

stf-locky-ransomware-virus-zzzzz-file-extension-locky-decryptor-page-payment-instructions

The Locky ransomware is nowhere close to being beaten, as its encryption is strong and researchers have not reported having found flaws in its code. Previous Locky ransomware victims have reported that they had no success in recovering their files after paying the ransom money to the cybercriminals. So, there is no reason for you contacting the crooks or paying them. To this moment we only see that the malware creators continue to develop new versions of their ransomware and will continue doing so.

Malware researchers have confirmed that the extensions from the previous variant of Locky are sought to get encrypted in this one as well. The list includes more than 450 file extensions:

→.001, .002, .003, .004, .005, .006, .007, .008, .009, .010, .011, .123, .1cd, .3dm, .3ds, .3fr, .3g2, .3gp, .3pr, .602, .7z, .7zip, .ARC, .CSV, .DOC, .DOT, .MYD, .MYI, .NEF, .PAQ, .PPT, .RTF, .SQLITE3, .SQLITEDB, .XLS, .aac, .ab4, .accdb, .accde, .accdr, .accdt, .ach, .acr, .act, .adb, .adp, .ads, .aes, .agdl, .ai, .aiff, .ait, .al, .aoi, .apj, .apk, .arw, .asc, .asf, .asm, .asp, .aspx, .asset, .asx, .avi, .awg, .back, .backup, .backupdb, .bak, .bank, .bat, .bay, .bdb, .bgt, .bik, .bin, .bkp, .blend, .bmp, .bpw, .brd, .bsa, .cdf, .cdr, .cdr3, .cdr4, .cdr5, .cdr6, .cdrw, .cdx, .ce1, .ce2, .cer, .cfg, .cgm, .cib, .class, .cls, .cmd, .cmt, .config, .contact, .cpi, .cpp, .cr2, .craw, .crt, .crw, .cs, .csh, .csl, .csr, .css, .csv, .d3dbsp, .dac, .das, .dat, .db, .db3, .db_journal, .dbf, .dbx, .dc2, .dch, .dcr, .dcs, .ddd, .ddoc, .ddrw, .dds, .der, .des, .design, .dgc, .dif, .dip, .dit, .djv, .djvu, .dng, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .drf, .drw, .dtd, .dwg, .dxb, .dxf, .dxg, .edb, .eml, .eps, .erbsql, .erf, .exf, .fdb, .ffd, .fff, .fh, .fhd, .fla, .flac, .flf, .flv, .flvv, .forge, .fpx, .frm, .fxg, .gif, .gpg, .gray, .grey, .groups, .gry, .gz, .hbk, .hdd, .hpp, .html, .hwp, .ibank, .ibd, .ibz, .idx, .iif, .iiq, .incpas, .indd, .iwi, .jar, .java, .jnt, .jpe, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .kc2, .kdbx, .kdc, .key, .kpdx, .kwm, .laccdb, .lay, .lay6, .lbf, .ldf, .lit, .litemod, .litesql, .log, .ltx, .lua, .m2ts, .m3u, .m4a, .m4p, .m4u, .m4v, .mapimail, .max, .mbx, .md, .mdb, .mdc, .mdf, .mef, .mfw, .mid, .mkv, .mlb, .mml, .mmw, .mny, .moneywell, .mos, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .mrw, .ms11, .msg, .myd, .n64, .nd, .ndd, .ndf, .nef, .nk2, .nop, .nrw, .ns2, .ns3, .ns4, .nsd, .nsf, .nsg, .nsh, .nvram, .nwb, .nx2, .nxl, .nyf, .oab, .obj, .odb, .odc, .odf, .odg, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt, .ogg, .oil, .onetoc2, .orf, .ost, .otg, .oth, .otp, .ots, .ott, .p12, .p7b, .p7c, .pab, .pages, .pas, .pat, .pcd, .pct, .pdb, .pdd, .pdf, .pef, .pem, .pfx, .php, .pif, .pl, .plc, .plus_muhd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prf, .ps, .psafe3, .psd, .pspimage, .pst, .ptx, .pwm, .py, .qba, .qbb, .qbm, .qbr, .qbw, .qbx, .qby, .qcow, .qcow2, .qed, .r3d, .raf, .rar, .rat, .raw, .rb, .rdb, .re4, .rm, .rtf, .rvt, .rw2, .rwl, .rwz, .s3db, .safe, .sas7bdat, .sav, .save, .say, .sch, .sd0, .sda, .sdf, .sh, .sldm, .sldx, .slk, .sql, .sqlite, .sqlite3, .sqlitedb, .sr2, .srf, .srt, .srw, .st4, .st5, .st6, .st7, .st8, .stc, .std, .sti, .stm, .stw, .stx, .svg, .swf, .sxc, .sxd, .sxg, .sxi, .sxm, .sxw, .tar, .tar.bz2, .tbk, .tex, .tga, .tgz, .thm, .tif, .tiff, .tlg, .txt, .uop, .uot, .upk, .vb, .vbox, .vbs, .vdi, .vhd, .vhdx, .vmdk, .vmsd, .vmx, .vmxf, .vob, .wab, .wad, .wallet, .wav, .wb2, .wk1, .wks, .wma, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .x11, .x3f, .xis, .xla, .xlam, .xlc, .xlk, .xlm, .xlr, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .ycbcra, .yuv, .zip

Encrypted files will have the .zzzzz extension appended to them, replacing their original one. The encryption algorithm that is claimed to be used by Locky is RSA-2048 with AES 128-bit ciphers.

This latest version of Locky ransomware is highly likely to delete the Shadow Volume Copies on the Windows operating system with the following command:

→vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet

Read further to see how to remove this ransomware and to see what methods you can try to decrypt some of your files.

Remove Locky Ransomware and Restore .zzzzz Files

If your computer got infected with the Locky ransomware virus, you should have some experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as fast as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect more computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide given below. To see ways that you can try to recover your data, see the step titled 2. Restore files encrypted by Locky Ransomware.

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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 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 Locky Ransomware from Windows.


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

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 Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware:

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 Locky Ransomware. 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 Locky Ransomware. 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 Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware. 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.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Locky Ransomware:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and Locky Ransomware 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.


Locky Ransomware FAQ

What is Locky Ransomware ransomware and how does it work?

Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Locky Ransomware 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 Locky Ransomware 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 .Locky Ransomware files?

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

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Locky Ransomware 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.

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