The Zerobit virus falls under the Babuk ransomware family. Malware of this type encrypts all user’s data on the computer (images, text files, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its own extension to every file, leaving the readme.txt text files in each folder containing encrypted files.
It is better to prevent, than repair and repent!
Subscribe to our Telegram channel to be the first to know about news and our exclusive materials on information security.
Zerobit virus: what is known so far?
☝️ A strictly accurate denomination for the Zerobit is “a Babuk family ransomware infection”.
Zerobit appends its specific .zerobit extension to every file’s title. For example, a file entitled “photo.jpg” will be turned into “photo.jpg.zerobit”. In the same manner, the Excel file with the name “table.xlsx” will become “table.xlsx.zerobit”, and so forth.
In every directory that contains the encoded files, a readme.txt text document will be created. It is supposed to be a ransom money memo, however, it does not contain even a single word. Possibly, a bug occurred when malware was generating the ransom note.
|Ransomware family1||Babuk ransomware|
|Detection2||MSIL/Spy.Agent.DSV, TrojanSpy:Win32/Delgent, Trojan.Ransom.Magniber|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) have a .zerobit extension and you can’t open them.|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by Zerobit virus|
In the image below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Zerobit looks like. Each filename has the “.zerobit” extension added to it.
How did my machine catch Zerobit ransomware?
There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware injection.
Nowadays, there are three most popular ways for criminals to have ransomware acting in your system. These are email spam, Trojan infiltration and peer file transfer.
If you open your inbox and see letters that look just like notifications from utility services providers, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose mailer is unknown to you, be wary of opening those emails. They are most likely to have a viral item enclosed in them. So it is even riskier to download any attachments that come with emails like these.
Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan virus scheme3. A Trojan is a program that infiltrates into your computer disguised as something legal. For example, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some software. But what is unboxed reveals itself a harmful agent that corrupts your data. Since the update package can have any title and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the stuff you’re downloading. The best way is to use the software developers’ official websites.
As for the peer-to-peer networks like torrent trackers or eMule, the danger is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Internet. You can never know what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the folder containing the downloaded files with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is done.
How do I get rid of the Zerobit virus?
It is important to note that besides encrypting your data, the Zerobit virus will probably install the Azorult Spyware on your computer to get access to credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That spyware4 can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.
Often racketeers would decode some of your files so you know that they really have the decryption tool. Since Zerobit virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures developers have not yet found a method to undo its work. However, the decoding tools are constantly updated, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.
Sure thing, if the evildoers do the job of encrypting victim’s critical files, the desperate person will most likely comply with their demands. Nevertheless, paying a ransom gives no guarantee that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still risky. After getting the ransom, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption key to the victim. There were reports of hackers just disappearing after getting the ransom without even bothering to reply.
The best countermeasure to ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud disk or at least on an external storage. Obviously, that might be not enough. The most crucial thing could be that file you were working upon when it all started. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your drives with the anti-malware utility after the OS is rolled back.
There are other ransomware products, besides Zerobit, that work similarly. Examples of those are Qbaa, Ooii, Fgui, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Zerobit are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is almost identical: files become encoded, their extensions changed, ransom notes are created in every folder containing encoded files.
Some fortunate people were able to decode the blocked files with the aid of the free software provided by anti-malware experts. Sometimes the racketeers accidentally send the decoding code to the wronged in the ransom note. Such an extraordinary fail allows the victim to restore the files. But obviously, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a tamperers’ tool to lay their hands on the money of their victims.
How to avert ransomware infection?
Zerobit ransomware has no endless power, neither does any similar malware.
You can protect yourself from ransomware attack in three easy steps:
- Ignore any letters from unknown senders with unknown addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are expecting (how can you win in a lottery without participating in it?). In case the email subject is more or less something you are waiting for, check all elements of the suspicious email with caution. A fake email will always have mistakes.
- Avoid using cracked or unknown software. Trojans are often spreaded as a part of cracked products, possibly as a “patch” which prevents the license check. But potentially dangerous programs are difficult to tell from reliable ones, as trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. Try to find information about this software product on the anti-malware forums, but the best way is not to use such software.
- And finally, to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a perfect defense for your PC.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft5
There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft6.
Download Removal Tool.
You can download GridinSoft Anti-Malware by clicking the button below:
Run the setup file.
When setup file has finished downloading, double-click on the setup-antimalware-fix.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your computer.
An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Press “Install” button.
Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.
Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your PC for Zerobit infections and other malicious programs. This process can take a 20-30 minutes, so I suggest you periodically check on the status of the scan process.
Click on “Clean Now”.
When the scan has completed, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the “Clean Now” button in right corner.
Frequently Asked Questions
🤔 How can I open “.zerobit” files?Can I somehow access “.zerobit” files?
Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.zerobit” files you will not be able to access them.
🤔 What should I do to make my files accessible as fast as possible?
It’s good if you have fаr-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. In case you haven’t, there is still a chance that you do have a Restore Point from some time ago to roll back the whole system to the moment when it had no virus yet, but already had your files. All other solutions require time.
🤔 If GridinSoft deletes the Zerobit malware, will it also delete my files that were encrypted?
Of course not. Your encrypted files are no threat to your PC.
With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your PC off the actual viruses. The ransomware that has attacked your computer is most likely still functional and it scans your system from time to time to encode any new files you might create on your computer after the initial attack. As it has been said above, the Zerobit virus comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide hackers with easy access to your system in the future.
🤔 What actions should I take if the Zerobit malware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation key.
If that happened, you need to have a memory stick with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to do the cleaning. You see, the ransomware starts automatically as the system launches and encodes any new files created or brought into your computer. To block this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital programs to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.
🤔 And what should I do now?
Some of the encrypted data can be found elsewhere.
- If you sent or received your important files through email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
- You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Simply ask them to post those images back to you.
- If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try doing it again.
- Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud storage might have all those files too.
- Maybe you still have the needed files on your old PC, a portable device, cellphone, external storage, etc.
HINT: You can employ file recovery programs7 to get your lost data back since ransomware arrests the copies of your files, removing the original ones. In the video below, you can learn how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, but remember: you can do it only after you eradicate the virus with an anti-malware program.
Also, you can contact the following official fraud and scam sites to report this attack:
- In the United States: On Guard Online;
- In Canada: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre;
- In the United Kingdom: Action Fraud;
- In Australia: SCAMwatch;
- In New Zealand: Consumer Affairs Scams;
- In France: Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information;
- In Germany: Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik;
- In Ireland: An Garda Síochána;
To report the attack, you can contact local executive boards. For instance, if you live in USA, you can have a talk with FBI Local field office, IC3 or Secret Service.
I need your help to share this article.
It is your turn to help other people. I have written this guide to help users like you. You can use the buttons below to share this on your favorite social media Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.Brendan Smith
How to Remove ZEROBIT Ransomware & Recover PC
Name: ZEROBIT Virus
Description: ZEROBIT Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .zerobit extension. So, you can't use them at all.
Operating System: Windows
Application Category: Virus
User Review( votes)
- My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
- Encyclopedia of threats.
- You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
- You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective section of GridinSoft official website.
- GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
- More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products/
- Here’s the list of the top 10 file recovery tools of 2021.