Znto Virus

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*Znto is a variant of Stop/DJVU. Source of claim SH can remove it.


Znto is a very dangerous virus that encrypts the files on the computers it infects. Znto belongs to the malicious program category of ransomware.

The Znto ransomware will leave a _readme.txt file with instructions

And ransomware gets its name because by encrypting your files it in a sense holds them ‘hostage’ in exchange for ransom. As you may have noticed, the encrypted files cannot be opened by any program, no matter how hard you try. And in order to be able to access them again, you need to apply a decryption key that is unique for this specific ransomware virus. This decryption key is what the hackers behind Znto, Znsm, Iswr are trying to blackmail into paying the ransom.

Being faced with a situation like this can be quite startling and can hurl just about anyone into panic. But it’s important to remain calm and approach the problem rationally. We do not recommend rushing to comply with the hackers’ demands, because doing so won’t guarantee that you’ll get your data back. What we do recommend is removing Znto from your computer first and then trying to recover your most important files through alternative means. Below you will find a detailed guide that will walk you through the process of removing this ransomware variant from your system. And we’ve also included some tips on how you can attempt to restore your data from system backups.

The Znto virus

The Znto virus is particularly harmful because it may result in permanent data loss. Not even the decryption key promised by the hackers may be able to undo the encryption applied by the Znto virus.

Znto File

It may happen that you don’t even receive a key at all and the criminals simply disappear with your money. There are certainly plenty of examples of cases like this.

If you have an antivirus program working on your PC, you may be asking yourself how it failed to detect this ransomware and warn you about it. This is another of this type of malware’s most powerful assets. Due to its use of encryption, it doesn’t actually qualify as malware in the eyes of security software, because encryption in itself is a means of data protection. That is why once you’ve been infected, there’s very little chance you’ll be able to stop the ransomware in its tracks while it’s operating on your computer. Hence, the best possible way to shield yourself from these types of attacks in the future is by preventing them altogether. And that brings us to this next bit…

The Znto file extension

The Znto file distribution normally occurs with the help of a Trojan horse that acts as a backdoor virus. Once you get infected with the Trojan, it downloads the Znto file onto your PC and the encryption can take place.

In turn, you can land a Trojan infection like this by clicking on an infected email attachment, for example. You could also contract one from unsafe web locations, malicious online ads and infected downloadable content that can be obtained from various sketchy websites across the internet. Always be very careful with any type of content you interact with when browsing the web. And after you’ve removed Znto, it’s a good idea to scan your system for the potential Trojan that may have brought in the infection.


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*Znto is a variant of Stop/DJVU. Source of claim SH can remove it.

Remove Znto Ransomware


Remember to save these instructions as a bookmark if you’re dealing with ransomware, so you don’t have to keep searching for them after every system restart that is required. Rebooting the system in Safe Mode before proceeding to the second step of this guide will also make it easier to detect and remove the malware.



*Znto is a variant of Stop/DJVU. Source of claim SH can remove it.

The next step in this guide is to check the Task Manager’s Processes tab for any suspicious processes by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC on your keyboard. Unusual processes, such as those that aren’t associated with any of your regular programs, should get extra attention. When a suspicious process catches your attention, right-click on it and select Open File Location from the context menu.


You can check for malicious code in files associated with the suspicious-looking process using the free online virus scanners listed below. You can scan files by dragging and dropping them into the scanner from the File Location folder of a suspected process.

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    After you see the results from the scan, you have to remove any potentially harmful files that are discovered during the scanning process. It is best to end the suspicious process prior to deleting the files by right-clicking on it and selecting End Process from the context menu, as some files may not be deleted while the process is running.


    After searching for the command msconfig in the Windows search bar and pressing Enter, click on the result to open System Configuration. Once in System Configuration, select the Startup tab and look for any startup items that could be related to Znto. 


    Check off any startup item that doesn’t come from a reputable source. You should only leave the checkboxes next to legitimate startup items that you want your system to start with.

    Another location on a computer where changes could be made without your permission is the Hosts file. Open it and look for any suspicious IP addresses listed under “Localhost”. In order to do so, open a Run window by pressing Win+R, then paste the following line into the text box and press Enter:

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

    Check the Localhost section of the Hosts file as shown on the image below. Please send us any IP addresses that look suspicious in the comments below. They will be investigated by a member of our team to determine whether or not they are dangerous.

    hosts_opt (1)

    *Znto is a variant of Stop/DJVU. Source of claim SH can remove it.

    In order to remain on the system longer and be more difficult to remove, more advanced malware frequently adds harmful registry entries. You may not be aware of the harmful files that Znto may have added to your registry, thus, we recommend you to use the Registry Editor to see if you can locate any and remove them. This can be done in a variety of ways. To open the Registry Editor, type Regedit in the Windows search bar and press Enter. CTRL and F can be pressed simultaneously to open a Find window inside the Registry Editor. Enter the ransomware’s name and click “Find Next” to start the search process.

    Remove any ransomware-related entries that appear in the search results. Once a result has been found and removed, the search may be repeated as many times as needed.

    Attention! If you delete files unrelated to the ransomware infection while cleaning up the registry, the operating system may be damaged. If you don’t delete all associated registry entries, on the other hand, the threat may return. As a result, we urge you to run a malware scan and a registry clean with an anti-malware program.

    The following five locations should also be checked manually. Type them exactly as they are shown in the Windows search bar and press Enter to open them one at a time.

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

    Remove any dangerous-looking files that have recently been added to any of these locations. Selecting the files in your Temp folder and pressing Del on your keyboard will remove all of the temporary files in your system.


    How to Decrypt Znto files

    Ransomware victims still face the challenge of decrypting their encrypted files, even after they have had the ransomware removed. Ransomware comes in many forms, and each one may have a different means of decrypting the encrypted data. In order to identify a specific ransomware variant, look at the extensions of the encrypted files.

    Prior to attempting to recover your files, you should run a reliable anti-virus scan with a trusted security tool (such as the one available on this page) on the infected system. A ransomware-free machine can be used to test various file recovery methods and even connect backup sources after you’re sure the computer is clean and the virus has been removed from it.

    New Djvu Ransomware

    Experts in the field of cyber security have recently discovered STOP Djvu, a brand-new Djvu ransomware variant. The .Znto suffix at the end of files encrypted by this infection sets it apart from the rest of the malware. You can decrypt data encrypted by this threat using an offline key decryptor, such as the one found at the following link.


    Once you download the STOPDjvu.exe file on your computer from the link above, select “Run as Administrator” to open it. To start the program, simply press the Yes button. You can begin decrypting data as soon as you’ve read the license agreement and any accompanying brief instructions. Please note that unknown offline keys or online encryption cannot be decrypted with this tool.

    If you need to get rid of the ransomware quickly and easily, consider using the anti-virus software listed in this guide. Alternatively, a  free online virus scanner can be used to check for any suspicious files.


    About the author


    Violet George

    Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.

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