How to eliminate Zeronine ransomware from the operating system?

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

Zeronine ransomware removal instructions

What is Zeronine?

Zeronine is a piece of malicious software, categorized as ransomware. Its discovery is credited to dnwls0719. This malware operates by encrypting data in order to demand payment for the decryption. During the encryption process, all affected files are appended with the ".zeronine" extension. For example, a file originally named something like "1.jpg" would appear as "1.jpg.zeronine" - following encryption. Once this process is finished, a pop-up window is displayed. It contains a brief ransom note in Turkish and English.

The text presented in the pop-up window states that all of the victims' data has been encrypted. To recover the files, users are instructed to contact the cyber criminals via Discord messenger. Additionally, the note offers free decryption of three files. The message warns that closing the pop-up - decryption will no longer be possible. In many cases of ransomware infections, decryption is impossible without interference of the criminals responsible. It might be, if the malicious program is still in development and/or has significant bugs (flaws). Regardless of the circumstances, it is expressly advised against communicating with and/or paying cyber criminals. Since often, despite meeting the ransom demands - victims do not receive the promised decryption tools. Therefore, they experience financial loss and their data remains worthless. To prevent Zeronine from further encryptions, it must be removed from the operating system. Unfortunately, removal will not restore already affected files. The only viable solution in recovering them from a backup, if one was created prior to the infection and was stored in a different location.

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

Zeronine decrypt instructions (pop-up)

GlUTeKupidonDodged are a few examples of other malicious programs with the ransomware category. They are designed to encrypt data and demand ransoms for the decryption tools/software. There are two main differences in-between them: the cryptographic algorithms they use (symmetric or asymmetric) and size of the demanded payment. The latter varies from three to four digit sums (in USD). Digital currencies (e.g. cryptocurrencies, pre-paid vouchers, etc.) are typically used for the ransoms, due to transactions of them being difficult/impossible to trace. To avoid permanent data loss, it is strongly advised to keep backups in remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices (preferably, in several different locations).

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware are usually proliferated through trojans, spam campaigns, illegal activation tools ("cracks"), illegitimate updates and dubious download sources. Trojans are malicious programs, some types of which can cause chain infections. In other words, "backdoor" or "loader" trojans can download/install additional malware. The term "spam campaign" is used to describe a large scale operation, during which thousands of deceptive/scam emails are sent. These letters contain malicious content as attachments or download links. Virulent files can be in various formats (e.g. archive and executable files, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.) and when they are opened - the infection process is initiated. Rather than activate licensed product, illegal activation ("cracking") tools can download/install malicious software. Fake updaters cause infections by exploiting flaws of outdated products and/or by simply installing malware instead of the updates. Malicious content (often disguised or bundled) can be unintentionally downloaded from untrustworthy channels, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders.

Threat Summary:
Name Zeronine virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .zeronine
Ransom Demanding Message Text presented in the pop-up window
Cyber Criminal Contact umutcankurhan#9743 (Discord)
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMalware), BitDefender (Trojan.Ransom.GenericKD.33840713), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Filecoder.YV), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Ransom.MSIL.Encoder.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand payment of a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
Damage All files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password-stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Suspicious and/or irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially ones received from suspect/unknown senders. Any attachments or links found in dubious mail - must not be opened, as doing so can result in a high-risk infection. It is recommended to always download from official and verified sources. Additionally, all products must be activated and updated with tools/functions, provided by legitimate developers. Illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters are advised against use, as they are commonly employed to distribute malware. To protect device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed. Furthermore, this software must be kept updated, used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats and issues. If your computer is already infected with Zeronine, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Zeronine ransomware's pop-up window:



Dosyaların şifrelendi! Şifreyi çözmek için iletişim:
Ücretsiz olarak 3 dosyanı kurtarabilirsin.


Bunu kapatırsan dosyalarını kurtaramazsın!


Şifreyi Çöz





Your files are encrypted! To decrypt them, contact:
You can save 3 of your files for free.


If you close this, you won't be able to decrypt your files!

The appearance of Zeronine ransomware pop-up (GIF):

Zeronine ransomware pop-up gif

Screenshot of files encrypted by Zeronine (".zeronine" extension):

Files encrypted by Zeronine ransomware (.zeronine extension)

Zeronine ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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 Zeronine 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 Zeronine 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 Zeronine 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 Zeronine 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 Zeronine, 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 Zeronine ransomware.

Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites, and Desktop folders.

Controll Folder Access

Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.

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 Zeronine 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 since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Zeronine 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 Zeronine virus on your mobile device.
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