.zzzzzzzz Scarab Ransomware — How to Remove Virus Infections

.zzzzzzzz Scarab Ransomware — How to Remove Virus Infections

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This article will aid you to remove .zzzzzzzz Scarab Ransomware. Follow the ransomware removal instructions provided at the end of the article.

.zzzzzzzz Scarab Ransomware is one that encrypts your data and demands money as a ransom to get it restored. Files will receive the .zzzzzzzz extension. The .zzzzzzzz Scarab Ransomware will leave ransomware instructions as a desktop wallpaper image. Keep on reading the article and see how you could try to potentially recover some of your locked files and data.

Threat Summary

Name.zzzzzzzz Scarab
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe Scarab ransomware encrypts files by placing the .zzzzzzzz before the affected files on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
SymptomsThe Scarab ransomware will encrypt your files and leave a ransom note with payment instructions.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .zzzzzzzz Scarab


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .zzzzzzzz Scarab.
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.

.zzzzzzzz Scarab Ransomware – Distribution Techniques

A new variant of the Scarab ransomware family has been released in the wild, this time choosing to distinguish itself with the .zzzzzzzz extension. As previous iterations of this malware family it will use several of the most popular distribution tactics to infect as many victims as possible.

Using exploit kits and coordinated attack campaigns this particular version of the Scarab ransomware can be found in hacker-made email messages. They are designed just like legitimate notifications sent out from well-known companies, services or products that the users know and actually might be using. The .zzzzzzzz Scarab Ransomware files can be directly attached to the messages or linked somewhere in the body contents — multimedia, text links and banners.

An alternative to this is the creation of malicious web sites that impersonate legitimate and well-known landing pages, download portals, search engines or product sites. Whenever they are visited any interaction with their elements can lead to the virus infection. In many cases simply clicking on any of them will execute scripts that can silently deploy the malware.

In many cases the use of file-sharing networks like BitTorrent can also be an outlet for ransomware files, they are widely use to share both legitimate and pirate content.

All of these tactics can be used to carry infected payload carriers of which there are two main types:

  • Malicious Documents — The hackers can embed the necessary installation scripts in documents of many types: presentations, text documents, spreadsheets and databases. Whenever they are opened a notification prompt will be spawned asking the victims to enable the built-in macros in order to correctly view the document. If this action is taken by the victims then the infection will follow.
  • Infected Application Installers — The criminals behind the .zzzzzzzz Scarab Ransomware may embed the necessary commands into setup files across all popular software chosen by end users: system utilities, optimization tools, creativity suites, productivity apps and office programs.

In order to create a larger number of infected computers the criminals can also use browser hijackers which are dangerous plugins made for the most popular web browsers. These extensions are uploaded to the relevant repositories, often with fake user reviews and developer credentials. They will contain descriptions that will promise feature additions and optimizations. In reality upon installation the malware behavior will be triggered and the .zzzzzzzz Scarab Ransomware installed. Additionally the settings may be changed in order to redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled landing page — this is done by manipulating the default home page, new tabs page and search engine.

.zzzzzzzz Scarab Ransomware – Detailed Analysis

The .zzzzzzzz virus has been confirmed to be a new iteration of the Scarab ransomware family. As such it will follow the modular structure as defined by the criminals. The exact configuration can change between attack campaigns which is the reason why a single analysis cannot determine all malicious actions that can potentially be carried out by the Scarab infections.

Most of them will run a data harvesting process before starting the other modules. This is done in order to acquire sensitive information that can be further processed by the virus or the hackers behind the virus. This is the case with any personal information that is accessed, the Scarab ransomawre can be programmed to search both the local drive contents, as well as the memory, Windows Registry and even accessible network shares and removable storage devices. Such information includes the victim’s real name, address, location and even stored account credentials.

The other data that is acquired by the engine is machine identification which is composed of information related to the installed hardware components, sysgtem settings and operating system values. The algorithm will take the extracted values as input parameters and lead to the creation of an unique infection ID.

Following the completion of this step the Scarab ransomware can list all installed security software and attempt to bypass them. This is done by scanning all of the relevant applications and stoping the real-time engines. This can bypass most anti-virus programs, firewalls, virtual machine hosts and sandbox environments.

At this point the virus engine will have complete control over the infected machine allowing it to hook up to existing processes which allows it to spy on the users activities. Additionally changes to the Windows Registry are often made — this is done in order to make it more difficult to remove the threat. Modifications to the strings used by the operating system can render the system unusable by severely reducing the stability and performance. Changes to settings used by any third-party installed applications can make them stop working.

A related mechanism is the creation of a persistent infection which is used to automatically start the .zzzzzzzz Scarab Ransomware as soon as the computer is powered on. It may also block access to system menus and recovery options which are used by manual user removal guides. To make recovery even more difficult the Scarab ransomware samples can locate and delete important system data such as System Restore Points and Shadow Volume Copies. In these cases a combination of a professional-grade anti-malware and backup solution is to be used.

One of the most dangerous conseqences of having this virus on a given computer is its ability to install a Trojan client — this will allow the hackers to to spy on the victims in real-time, steal their data (before and after the ransomware is engaged) and also take over control of their machines.

.zzzzzzzz Scarab Ransomware – Encryption Process

When all prerequisite commands have completed the encryption process will be started. It will search for sensitive user data according to a built-in list of target file type extensions. An example one is the following:

  • Archives
  • Backups
  • Databases
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Music

All victim files will be renamed with the .zzzzzzzz extension which contains the email address used by the operators. The associated ransomware is created in a file called HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT.

Remove .zzzzzzzz Scarab Ransomware and Try to Restore Data

If your computer system got infected with the .zzzzzzzz Scarab ransomware virus, 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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