Remove Alpha Crypt malware (ZZ 78 Virus Removal Guide)

Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78) is a file-encrypting ransomware, which will encrypt the personal documents found on victim’s computer using RSA-2048 key (AES CBC 256-bit encryption algorithm). Alpha Crypt then displays a message which offers to decrypt the data if a payment of 0.7 BTC (Bitcoins) is made within 96 hours, otherwise the data will be destroyed.



1. How did the Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78) virus got on my computer?
2. What is Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78) Ransomware?
3. Is my computer infected with Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78) virus?
4. Is it possible to decrypt files encrypted by Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78)?

1. How did the Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78)virus got on my computer?

The Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78) virus is distributed through several means. Malicious websites, or legitimate websites that have been hacked, can infect your machine through exploit kits that use vulnerabilities on your computer to install this Trojan without your permission of knowledge.
Another method used to propagate this type of malware is spam email containing infected attachments or links to malicious websites. Cyber-criminals spam out an email, with forged header information, tricking you into believing that it is from a shipping company like DHL or FedEx. The email tells you that they tried to deliver a package to you, but failed for some reason. Sometimes the emails claim to be notifications of a shipment you have made. Either way, you can’t resist being curious as to what the email is referring to – and open the attached file (or click on a link embedded inside the email). And with that, your computer is infected with the Alpha Crypt virus.
The threat may also be downloaded manually by tricking the user into thinking they are installing a useful piece of software, for instance a bogus update for Adobe Flash Player or another piece of software.

2. What is Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78) Ransomware?

Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78) is a trojan ransomware program which targets all versions of Windows including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. This infection is notable due to how it encrypts the user’s files – namely, it uses AES-265 and RSA encryption method – in order to ensure that the affected user has no choice but to purchase the private key.
When Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78) ransomware is first installed on your computer it will create a random named executable in the %AppData% or %LocalAppData% folder. This executable will be launched and begin to scan all the drive letters on your computer for data files to encrypt.
Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78) searches for files with certain file extensions to encrypt. The files it encrypts include important productivity documents and files such as .doc, .docx, .xls, .pdf, among others. When these files are detected, this infection will append a new .EZZ extension to the file name.
Files targeted are those commonly found on most PCs today; a list of file extensions for targeted files include:
.sql, .mp4, .7z, .rar, .m4a, .wma, .avi, .wmv, .csv, .d3dbsp, .zip, .sie, .sum, .ibank, .t13, .t12, .qdf, .gdb, .tax, .pkpass, .bc6, .bc7, .bkp, .qic, .bkf, .sidn, .sidd, .mddata, .itl, .itdb, .icxs, .hvpl, .hplg, .hkdb, .mdbackup, .syncdb, .gho, .cas, .svg, .map, .wmo, .itm, .sb, .fos, .mov, .vdf, .ztmp, .sis, .sid, .ncf, .menu, .layout, .dmp, .blob, .esm, .vcf, .vtf, .dazip, .fpk, .mlx, .kf, .iwd, .vpk, .tor, .psk, .rim, .w3x, .fsh, .ntl, .arch00, .lvl, .snx, .cfr, .ff, .vpp_pc, .lrf, .m2, .mcmeta, .vfs0, .mpqge, .kdb, .db0, .dba, .rofl, .hkx, .bar, .upk, .das, .iwi, .litemod, .asset, .forge, .ltx, .bsa, .apk, .re4, .sav, .lbf, .slm, .bik, .epk, .rgss3a, .pak, .big, wallet, .wotreplay, .xxx, .desc, .py, .m3u, .flv, .js, .css, .rb, .png, .jpeg, .txt, .p7c, .p7b, .p12, .pfx, .pem, .crt, .cer, .der, .x3f, .srw, .pef, .ptx, .r3d, .rw2, .rwl, .raw, .raf, .orf, .nrw, .mrwref, .mef, .erf, .kdc, .dcr, .cr2, .crw, .bay, .sr2, .srf, .arw, .3fr, .dng, .jpe, .jpg, .cdr, .indd, .ai, .eps, .pdf, .pdd, .psd, .dbf, .mdf, .wb2, .rtf, .wpd, .dxg, .xf, .dwg, .pst, .accdb, .mdb, .pptm, .pptx, .ppt, .xlk, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xls, .wps, .docm, .docx, .doc, .odb, .odc, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt
While encrypting your files, this ransomware also create a HELP_TO_SAVE_FILES.txt text file ransom note in each folder that a file has been encrypted and on the Windows desktop. The ransomware will also change your Windows desktop wallpaper to HELP_TO_SAVE_FILES.bmp.
Both the wallpaper and the text ransom note will contain the same information on how to access the payment site and get your files back.
When you go to the URLs listed in the ransom note you will be taken to a TOR site where you can learn how much your ransom is and how to make the payment.
Alpha Crypt will also hijack your .EXE extensions so that when you launch an executable it will attempt to delete the Shadow Volume Copies that are on the affected computer. It does this because you can use shadow volume copies to restore your encrypted files. Once the infection has successfully deleted your shadow volume copies, it will restore your exe extensions back to the Windows defaults.
When it has finished encrypting your data files it will then show the Alpha Crypt screen as shown above and demand a ransom of 0.7 BTC Bitcoins ($500 dollars) in order to decrypt your files. It also states that you must pay this ransom within 96 hours or the private encryption key will be destroyed on the developer’s servers.

3. Is my computer infected with Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78) virus?

If your computer is infected with the Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78) ransomware will display a black HELP_TO_SAVE_FILES.bmp wallpaper that covers the entire desktop. A HELP_TO_SAVE_FILES.txt text file will be placed on your desktop. Both files contain instruction on how or recover the encrypted files.
Alpha Crypt ransomware
HELP_TO_SAVE_FILES virus
The messages displayed by this ransomware infection can be localized depending on the user’s location, with text written in the appropriate language.

  • Alpha Crypt
  • HELP_TO_SAVE_FILES
  • Decryption ServiceYour personal files are encrypted!


  • Alpha Crypt

Your files have been safely encrypted on this PC: photos, videos, documents, etc. Click “Show encrypted files” Button to view a complete list of encrypted files, and you can personally verify this. Encryption was produced using a unique public key RSA-2048 generated for this computer. To decrypt files you need to obtain the private key. The only copy of the private key, which allow you to decrypt your files, is located on a secret server in the Internet; the server will eliminate the key after a time period specified in this window.
Once this has been done, nobody will ever be able to recover.
  • HELP_TO_SAVE_FILES
  • All your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted
    with strongest encryption RSA-2048 key, generated for this computer.Private decryption key is stored on a secret Internet server and nobody can
    decrypt your files until you pay and obtain the private key.
    If you see the main encryptor red window, examine it and follow the instructions.
    Otherwise, it seems that you or your antivirus deleted the encryptor program.
    Now you have the last chance to decrypt your files.
    Open http://[random letters].com or http://qcuikaiye577q3p2.s24f53mnd7w31.com ,
    https://[random letters].s5.tor-gateways.de/ in your browser.
    They are public gates to the secret server.
    Copy and paste the following Bitcoin address in the input form on server. Avoid missprints.
    [random letters]
    Follow the instructions on the server.
    If you have problems with gates, use direct connection:
    1. Download Tor Browser from http://torproject.org
    2. In the Tor Browser open the http://[random letters].onion/
    Note that this server is available via Tor Browser only.
    Retry in 1 hour if site is not reachable.
    Copy and paste the following Bitcoin address in the input form on server. Avoid missprints.
    [random letters]
    Follow the instructions on the server.
  • Decryption ServiceYour personal files are encrypted!
Decryption Service website:
How to pay us in bitcoins:
Useful site: howtobuybitcoins.info (find exchanges in your country)
1. Visit one of the sites below to buy bitcoins (or find one yourself using the site given above)
(2. Login or create an account if necessary.)
3. Buy the amount of bitcoins you need to pay and send them to the address given in this window.
(4. You can go to blockchain.info and search for your address to see whether the bitcoins are received.)
5. If the bitcoins are on the address, click ‘check payment and receive keys’.
6. Your keys are now received, press ‘decrypt using keys’.
7. Your files will be restored and the program will delete itself.

4. Is it possible to decrypt files encrypted by Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78)?

No, at this time it’s not possible.
Alpha Crypt (ZZ 78) is notable due to how it encrypts the user’s files – namely, it uses AES-265 and RSA encryption method – in order to ensure that the affected user has no choice but to purchase the private key. The RSA public key can only be decrypted with its corresponding private key. Since the AES key is hidden using RSA encryption and the RSA private key is not available, decrypting the files is not feasible as of this writing.
Brute forcing the decryption key is not realistic due to the length of time required to break an AES encryption key.
So unfortunately, once the Alpha Crypt (.EZZ extensions) encryption of the data is complete, decryption is not feasible without paying the ransom on Decryption Service site.
Because the needed private key to unlock the encrypted file is only available through the cyber criminals, victims may be tempted to purchase it and pay the exorbitant fee. However, doing so may encourage these bad guys to continue and even expand their operations. We strongly suggest that you do not send any money to these cyber criminals, and instead adress to the law enforcement agency in your country to report this attack.


News article is edited by: yakura - 11-04-2018, 14:14

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