Zaps Virus

Zaps

Zaps is a threatening malware program used for money extortion that locks valuable data on the victim’s computer. Zaps won’t damage your files but will prevent you from opening them and ask you to pay a ransom if you want to be able to access them again.

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The Zaps virus ransom note

The Ransomware-based infections may well be called one of the largest threat on the Internet today. They use the method of encryption to take hostage of the victim’s files or the screen of the infected device in order to ask for a ransom payment for their liberation. Unfortunately, the security experts are still a couple of steps behind the criminals who create such malicious programs in the sense that there is still no solution that can help the victims reverse the effects of the attack in 100% of the cases. However, this is not a reason to despair because there are some methods which may potentially help you remove such an infection and deal with its consequences to an extent. In fact, in this article, we will provide you with instructions on how to remove one recently reported Ransomware called Zaps. You can find the instructions in the detailed removal guide below along with some suggestions on how to restore the files that have been encrypted by this nasty malware. However, before proceeding to them, we advise you to read the information that follows as it can be useful to you and will help you protect your computer and data against similar malware programs in the future.

The Zaps virus

The Zaps virus is a recently-discovered file-locking Ransomware virus that has already managed to lock the files of a very big number of users. The encryption used by the Zaps virus to seal the users’ files is highly advanced and most antivirus programs don’t even detect it before it finishes.

Once in your system, the Ransomware typically begins to secretly scan your system for the presence of certain file types. These files can be documents, images, audios, video files and, in some cases, even system files which are needed for the operation of the system. After the malware gains the necessary information about which files are stored on your system, it starts creating encrypted copies of these files one by one. As a result, the victim cannot open or use those copies in any way unless a special decryption code is applied to them. The original files of these encrypted copies get deleted without the user’s knowledge. As soon as this whole process ends, a large ransom-demanding message appears on the screen and asks the victim for a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key.

The Zaps file

The Zaps file could be any piece of data that this virus has placed under its advanced encryption. The Zaps file can typically only be recovered with the decryption key but there may be several other things you could try in order to restore your data even if you don’t have that key.

Zaps File
The Zaps file virus

The ransom message typically states the conditions under which the hackers promise to send you the needed decryption key for the restoration of your files. Most often, a certain amount of money (typically requested in BitCoins) needs to be sent to the crooks before you obtain the key. If no payment is made, the hackers threaten to destroy that key and thereby make you permanently lose access to your files. This is usually done in order to scare the victims and make them panic in order to prevent them from seeking a rational approach to the Ransomware’s attack. Letting yourself get into a panic, however, is the worst that you could do in case that you have been attacked by Zaps because, when acting out of fear and frustration, you are more likely to get fooled by the crooks rather than solve the problem. In addition, the payment of the ransom does not guarantee that you will actually receive the key necessary for decoding your data. The criminals may simply not send it to you and vanish with the money as they oftentimes do with many of the victims. That’s why our suggestion is to give a try to other methods such as the ones in the removal guide above and try to remove Zaps and Ijrg on your own instead of risking your hard earned money by offering it to some anonymous crooks.

SUMMARY:

NameZaps
TypeRansomware
Detection Tool

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Remove Zaps Ransomware


Step1

In the start of this guide, we will recommend you to first reboot the infected computer in Safe Mode (click the link and follow the instructions there if you need help with that.)

In safe mode, the computer will run only the most essential processes and programs and this will eventually make it easier to spot any unusual ransomware-related activity on the system.

Another recommendation that we have is to save the page with the Zaps removal instructions by bookmarking it in your browser. In this way, if a system restart is required during some of the steps below, you can easily open it and continue from where you left.

Step2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

Ransomware researchers know that threats like Zaps can operate under cover and can run one or more malicious processes in the system’s background without showing any symptoms that can give them away.

That’s why, if you have decided to deal with Zaps manually, a very important thing that you need to do is to check what kind of processes are presently running in the background.

For that, press CTRL, SHIFT and ESC from the keyboard at the same time. This will start the Task Manager. In it, open the Processes Tab and check what is going on there. You may need to have some basic computer knowledge to determine which of the processes that you see are legitimate and which of them could be ransomware-related. A possible indication could be the high usage of CPU and Memory without any particular activity from your side. Another indicator could be a process with a random name in the list. However, in some cases the ransomware may operate under a fake name that resembles the name of a legitimate program, in which case you may need to use a professional removal tool to detect and stop the dangerous process.

If you think that you have found a process that could be malicious, right-click on it and select the Open File Location option from the pop-up menu.

malware-start-taskbar

Drag and drop the files from that location to the free online virus scanner below and check them:

Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users.
This file is not matched with any known malware in the database. You can either do a full real-time scan of the file or skip it to upload a new file. Doing a full scan with 64 antivirus programs can take up to 3-4 minutes per file.
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Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
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    If the results from the scan show that there is danger in the files, end the process, and delete the files and their folders from the computer.

    Note: You can use the scanner above to check the files of every process that looks suspicious to you. When you are sure that you have stopped all Zaps-related processes from running, proceed to the next step.

    Step3

    A lot of sophisticated malicious infections add components in the system that help them start operating as soon as the computer starts. Zaps is not an exception and may have added startup items in your system configurations without your knowledge. To check if this is the case, go to the Start Menu and type msconfig in the search field. Press Enter from the keyboard and as soon as you do that, a System Configuration window should open on the screen. In it, click on the Startup tab and take a look at the startup items listed there:

    msconfig_opt

     

    If you believe that a given item is malicious and should not start with your computer, remove its checkmark to disable it. You may need to do some research online to be sure that the items you disable are not related to some essential processes and legitimate programs. 

    • Please keep in mind that, in some cases, the ransomware may use a fake Manufacturer name or a fake name to its process, so pay attention and research carefully everything that you are about to disable.

    The Hosts file of your system is another place that you need to check for unauthorized changes if you have been infected with Zaps. For that, press the Windows and R keyboard keys together and, in the Run box that opens, copy this line:

    notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

    Next, press Enter and this should open the Hosts file. In the text of the file, search for Localhost, and check if any suspicious-looking IP addresses have been added below:

    hosts_opt (1)

    In the ideal case, there should be nothing disturbing, but if you detect a bunch of virus-creator IPs in your file, please leave us a copy of them in the comments below this guide.

    Step4

    We do not recommend you to follow this step if you haven’t dealt with registry files before. If, however, you are sure that you can safely detect and remove all ransomware-related entries from the registry, please do the following:

    Click the Start menu button from the bottom left corner, type Regedit in the search field and press Enter

    As soon as the Registry Editor opens,use the CTRL and F key combination to open a Find window and type the ransomware’s Name in it.

    Next, search the registry for files and folders that are matching the name of the infection and carefully delete any results that are found.

    Attention! There is a real risk of a system damage if you delete files unrelated to the ransomware from your computer. To avoid involuntary system corruption, please use the professional removal software recommended on this page.  

    Next, go to the search field of the Start menu, copy/paste each of the items below one by one and press Enter to open each of them.

    1. %AppData%
    2. %LocalAppData%
    3. %ProgramData%
    4. %WinDir%
    5. %Temp%

    If you notice anything unusual in each of the locations, such as recently added files or folders with random names and unusual characters, carefully decide if they need to be removed.

    At the end, when you open Temp, select its content and delete everything.

    Step5

    How to Decrypt Zaps files

    Please make sure that you have removed Zaps completely before you move to any file-recovery attempts. This is important because if the ransomware or some of its files are still present in the system, any files that you potentially recover may get encrypted again. And what is more, the same may happen with any file-recovery sources that you connect to the infected device.

    To ensure that your system is ransomware-free, we recommend you to scan it with the anti-virus program linked on this page. You can also use the free online virus scanner to check every file that looks suspicious. If no danger is detected, then feel free to check out our file-recovery guide for suggestions on how to get your encrypted files back.

    What is Zaps?

    Zaps is a special form of malware capable of silently sneaking inside your computer and encrypting your most valuable files without getting noticed. Upon completing its malicious task of locking your data via encryption, Zaps would then demand a ransom payment for the decryption key.

    This method of online blackmailing is very common and the type of malware programs used to perform it – known as Ransomware – has been a major cybersecurity issue for the past six or seven years. The viruses that fall in the Ransomware category are typically highly advanced and use very strong encryption algorithms that are extremely difficult to break. For this reason, paying the ransom is often the only method that can free the files that the virus has locked up. The problem is that this is risky as the chance of sending your money only to eventually realize that no decryption key would be sent to you by the hackers is rather high. For this reason, it is generally not advisable to opt for the payment unless you’ve run out of other options.

    Is Zaps a virus?

    Zaps is a virus that belongs to a category of malicious programs known as Ransomware. The purpose of Zaps is to secretly infiltrate your computer and place encryption on your most important files so that it can later blackmail you for access to them.

    This type of virus is typically not able (or intended) to harm the system of the computer that it infects, which means that if Zaps hasn’t managed to lock any important data on your machine, the effects of its attack would be negligible. Removing the virus should still be a priority, though, since if it remains on your computer, it may try to encrypt more files in the future. Additionally, Ransomware threats are often distributed alongside and/or with the help of Trojan Horses, which means that if Zaps is in your computer, there might be a Trojan hidden in it as well. Trojans, unlike Ransomware, is a very versatile form of malware and may be able to cause system damage.

    How to decrypt Zaps files?

    To decrypt Zaps files, it’s recommended that you first try different alternative methods of recovering your data before you decide to pay the ransom. If you pay the ransom to decrypt Zaps files, you may simply end up wasting your money.

    There are many things that may prevent you from getting the needed decryption key even if you send your money to the blackmailers. Obviously, the first risk is if the hackers themselves refuse to provide you with the key. Another unfortunate possibility is if the key that gets sent to you doesn’t work as intended due to a mistake in its code. Obviously, in such cases, you cannot expect any refunds from cybercriminals. Thirdly, if the Ransomware that has attacked you is no longer new, the hackers who have created it may no longer be using the same virtual wallet that they have specified in the ransom note, meaning that you may end up sending your money to somebody entirely different.

    For all of those reasons, it’s almost always better to try all other available options before deciding to perform the payment.

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    About the author

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    Brandon Skies

    Brandon is a researcher and content creator in the fields of cyber-security and virtual privacy. Years of experience enable him to provide readers with important information and adequate solutions for the latest software and malware problems.

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