ZFX Virus 🔐 (.ZFX Files) — How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Zfx virus falls under the Makop ransomware family. Harmful software of such sort encrypts all the data on your computer (photos, text files, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its specific extension to every file, creating the +README-WARNING+.txt text files in every folder which contains the encrypted files.
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What is Zfx virus?

☝️ A scientifically accurate denomination for the Zfx is “a Makop family ransomware-type malicious agent”.

The pattern of renaming is this: [id-xxxxxx].[contact_email].ZFX. As a part of encryption, a file named, for example, “report.docx” will be changed to “report.docx.[2AF20FA3].[[email protected]].ZFX”.

In each folder containing the encoded files, a +README-WARNING+.txt text document will be found. It is a ransom money memo. Therein you can find information about the ways of paying the ransom and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to buy the decryption tool from the racketeers. You can get this decoding tool after contacting [email protected] through email. That is it.

Zfx outline:
NameZfx Virus
Ransomware family1Makop ransomware
Ransomware note+README-WARNING+.txt
Contact[email protected]
DetectionCrytex.Virus.FileInfector.DDS, Win32/Filecoder.OLC, Malware-Cryptor.InstallCore.5
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) have a .ZFX extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Zfx virus

The +README-WARNING+.txt file accompanying the Zfx ransomware states the following:

::: Hey :::

Small FAQ:

Q: What\'s going on?
A: Your files have been encrypted. The file structure was not affected, we did our best to prevent this from happening.

Q: How to recover files?
A: If you want to decrypt your files, you will need to pay us.

Q: What about guarantees?
A: It\'s just business. We are absolutely not interested in you and your transactions, except for profit. If we do not fulfill our work and obligations, no one will cooperate with us. It\'s not in our interest.
To check the possibility of returning files, you can send us any 2 files with SIMPLE extensions (jpg, xls, doc, etc... not databases!) and small sizes (max 1 mb), we will decrypt them and send them back to you. This is our guarantee.

Q: How to contact you?
A: You can write to us at our mailboxes: [email protected]

Q: How will the decryption process take place after payment?
A: After payment, we will send you our scanner-decoder program and detailed instructions for use. With this program you will be able to decrypt all your encrypted files.

Q: If I don\'t want to pay bad people like you?
A: If you do not cooperate with our service - it does not matter to us. But you will lose your time and data because only we have the private key. In practice, time is much more valuable than money.

DO NOT try to modify encrypted files yourself!
If you try to use third party software to recover your data or antivirus solutions - back up all encrypted files!
Any changes to the encrypted files may result in damage to the private key and, as a result, the loss of all data.

Spare contact for communication:
If we have not answered your email within 24 hours, you can contact us via the free messenger qTox
Download from the link hxxps://tox.chat/download.html
Next go qTox 64-bit
after downloading the program, install it and go through a short registration.
Our Tox ID

In the picture below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Zfx looks like. Each filename has the “.ZFX” extension appended to it.

Zfx Virus - encrypted .ZFX files

That is how encrypted “.ZFX” files look.

How did my computer get infected with Zfx ransomware?

There are many possible ways of ransomware infiltration.

There are currently three most popular ways for malefactors to have ransomware planted in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer-to-peer file transfer.

If you open your mailbox and see letters that look like familiar notifications from utility services companies, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose addresser is strange to you, beware of opening those emails. They are most likely to have a malicious file attached to them. Thus it is even riskier to download any attachments that come with letters like these.

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan virus scheme2. A Trojan is an object that infiltrates into your machine disguised as something different. For example, you download an installer for some program you want or an update for some software. However, what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful program that corrupts your data. As the update wizard can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the resource of the stuff you’re downloading. The optimal way is to trust the software companies’ official websites.

As for the peer networks like torrent trackers or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never know what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy websites. Also, it is a good idea to scan the folder containing the downloaded objects with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is done.

How to remove the Zfx virus?

It is important to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Zfx virus will most likely deploy the Azorult Spyware on your computer to get access to credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That spyware3 can derive your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Sometimes tamperers would decrypt few of your files so you know that they really have the decryption tool. Since Zfx virus is a relatively recent ransomware, anti-malware developers have not yet found a method to undo its work. Nevertheless, the decryption tools are constantly updated, so the solution may soon be available.

Of course, if the evildoers succeed in encrypting victim’s critical data, the desperate person will most likely fulfill their demands. Nevertheless, paying a ransom gives no guarantee that you’re getting your data back. It is still risky. After receiving the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption key to the victim. There were reports about racketeers just disappearing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.

The best countermeasure to ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud disk or at least on an external drive. Of course, that might be insufficient. Your most crucial thing could be that one you were working on when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also wise to scan your drives with the anti-malware utility after the OS is rolled back.

Zfx is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. For instance, Bpws, Mzop, Bpsm, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Zfx are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is almost identical: files become blocked, their extensions altered, ransom notes are created in each folder containing encoded files.

Some lucky people were able to decrypt the arrested files with the aid of the free tools provided by anti-malware experts. Sometimes the racketeers mistakenly send the decoding key to the wronged in the ransom note. Such an epic fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But of course, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a bandits’ tool to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How to avoid ransomware attack?

Zfx ransomware has no endless power, so as any similar malware.

You can defend your system from ransomware injection taking several easy steps:

  • Ignore any emails from unknown mailers with unknown addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are expecting (can you win in a lottery without participating in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, check all elements of the dubious email carefully. A fake email will surely have mistakes.
  • Never use cracked or unknown programs. Trojan viruses are often shared as a part of cracked products, possibly under the guise of “patch” which prevents the license check. But untrusted programs are very hard to distinguish from trustworthy software, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. You can try searching for information about this software product on the anti-malware forums, but the best solution is not to use such software.
  • And finally, to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a perfect defense for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft4

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft5.

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.

Run Setup.exe

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.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Setup

Press “Install” button.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Install

Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Splash-Screen

Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your computer for Zfx 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.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scanning

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.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 Are the “.ZFX” files accessible?

Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.ZFX” files first. Then you will be able to open them.

🤔 The encrypted files are very important to me. How can I decrypt them quickly?

It’s good if you have fаr-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. All other solutions require time.

🤔 You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Zfx virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?

No way! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will remove active viruses from your PC. The malware that has attacked your system is must be still functional and it scans your system from time to time to arrest any new files you might create on your computer after the attack. As it has been mentioned above, the Zfx malware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide criminals with easy access to your system in the future.

🤔 What should I do if the Zfx ransomware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation code.

If that happened, you need to prepare a memory stick with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the procedure. The point is that the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or imported into your machine. To suppress this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 What can I do right now?

Some of the encrypted files can be found elsewhere.

  • If you sent or received your critical files through email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You might have shared images or videos with your friends or family members. Just ask them to give those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try to do it again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud storage might have all those files too.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old PC, a notebook, cellphone, external storage, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can employ file recovery utilities6 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware blocks the copies of your files, removing the authentic ones. In the video below, you can learn how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, but be advised: you can do it only after you eradicate the ransomware itself with an antivirus program.

Also, you can contact the following governmental fraud and scam sites to report this attack:

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.

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Brendan Smith
How to Remove ZFX Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: ZFX Virus

Description: ZFX Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .ZFX extension. So, you can't use them at all.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

User Review
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  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  3. You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective section of GridinSoft official website.
  4. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  5. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/comparison
  6. Here are Top 10 Data Recovery Software Of 2023.

About the author

Brendan Smith

I'm Brendan Smith, a passionate journalist, researcher, and web content developer. With a keen interest in computer technology and security, I specialize in delivering high-quality content that educates and empowers readers in navigating the digital landscape.

With a focus on computer technology and security, I am committed to sharing my knowledge and insights to help individuals and organizations protect themselves in the digital age. My expertise in cybersecurity principles, data privacy, and best practices allows me to provide practical tips and advice that readers can implement to enhance their online security.

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