Zyka Ransomware

Also Known As: Zyka virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Zyka ransomware removal instructions

What is Zyka?

Zyka is a ransomware-type virus that stealthily infiltrates systems and encrypts files using the AES encryption algorithm. During encryption, Zyka appends filenames with the ".lock" extension. For example, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.lock". A pop-up window containing a ransom-demand message is then displayed.

The message states that files are encrypted using AES cryptography and that a ransom must be paid to restore them. AES is a symmetric encryption algorithm and, therefore, a unique key is generated to encrypt and decrypt files. It is impossible to decrypt files without this key, which cyber criminals store on a remote server. To receive it, a ransom equivalent of 170 USD/EUR in Bitcoins must be paid within 72 hours. After this period, the key is permanently deleted and, thus, files becomes undecryptable. Be aware, however, that cyber criminals should not be trusted - they often ignore victims, despite submitted payments. If you pay, there is a high probability that you will be scammed. We strongly advise that you ignore all requests to pay or contact these people. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking the AES algorithm and restoring files encrypted by Zyka. Therefore, you can only resolve this problem by restoring your files/system from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

Zyka decrypt instructions

There are dozens of ransomware-type viruses that share similarities with Zyka. Examples include XCrypt, RansomPlus, Dharma, and many others. As with Zyka, the above malware also encrypts files and demands ransom payments. The only major differences between these viruses are cost of decryption and type of cryptography (symmetric/asymmetric) used. Distribution methods are also identical. Developers proliferate ransomware via third party software download sources (torrents, freeware download/free file hosting websites, etc.), spam emails (malicious attachments), trojans, and fake software updaters. Therefore, never download software from unofficial sources or open files received from suspicious/unrecognizable emails. Furthermore, use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and keep your installed applications up-to-date. Bear in mind, however, that cyber criminals are capable of exploiting software bugs/flaws to infect the system. Therefore, never use third party updaters. Poor knowledge and careless behavior is often the reason for computer infections.

Text presented within Zyka pop-up:

You are the victim of Zyka
Your important files encryption produced on this computer: photos, videos, documents etc. Here is a complete list of encrypted files, and you can personally verify this.
Encryption was produced using a unique public key AES that generated for this computer. To decrypt your files you need to obtain the private key.
The single copy of the private key, which will allow you to decrypt the files, located on a secret server on the Internet, the server will destroy the key after 72 hours.
After that nobody and never will be able to restore files.
To obtain the private key for this computer which will automatically decrypt files, you need to pay 170 USD /170 EUR to the bitcoin wallet below.
1GmGBH9ra2dqA8CgRg8a8Rngx4qHb2hLDW
If you do not have bitcoins you can buy them from localbitcoins.com
Thank you!

Screenshot of files encrypted by Zyka ransomware (".lock" extension):

Files encrypted by Zyka

Zyka ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Zyka virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Zyka virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the Zyka virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the Zyka ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Zyka ransomware files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of Zyka are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.

To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by Zyka, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

To protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Zyka ransomware.

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.

Other tools known to remove Zyka ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Zyka virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Zyka virus on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Zyka virus today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW with Spyhunter

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Spyhunter:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.