ZeroGuard is a form of threatening software categorized as ransomware, a type of malware explicitly designed to encrypt files and extort ransom payments from its victims. In this context, the threat alters the name of the original file significantly during the locking process. Victims will observe that their files now bear an appended email address belonging to the cybercriminals, a unique identification code, and a '.ZeroGuard' extension. For instance, a file initially named '1.png' might now be displayed as '1.jpg.ZeroGuard0@skiff.com.FFDPVRAPR7LI.ZeroGuard.'
Upon completing the encryption process, the ZeroGuard Ransomware generates a ransom note labeled 'Readme.txt,' providing further instructions to the affected individuals.
The ZeroGuard Ransomware Extorts Victms After Taking Their Data Hostage
ZeroGuard's ransom note informs the victims that their network has fallen prey to a security breach, leading to the encryption of files. In addition to file encryption, the ransomware takes an extra step by deleting the Shadow Volume Copies, limiting potential recovery options. The communication emphasizes that the exclusive avenue for retrieving the encrypted data is through the acquisition of decryption tools from the attackers. Although the exact ransom amount remains unspecified, the demand stipulates payment in Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
To add an element of assurance for the victim, the note allows for a testing phase where decryption can be attempted on two randomly chosen files before committing to the ransom payment. However, caution is advised against restarting or shutting down the system, as these actions may disrupt the decryption process or even make it impossible.
Regrettably, successful decryption without the involvement of the attackers is a rarity, with the only exceptions occurring in cases where the ransomware is significantly flawed. Importantly, victims often find themselves unrewarded even after complying with the ransom demands. As a result, cybersecurity experts strongly discourage meeting the criminals' demands, as there is no guarantee of data recovery, and paying only serves to perpetuate this illegal activity.
While the removal of the ZeroGuard Ransomware from the operating system can prevent further file encryption, it is crucial to note that elimination does not automatically restore files that have already been locked.
Essential Security Measures that Should Be Implemented on All Devices
In a time where digital threats loom large, safeguarding our devices from ransomware has become paramount. Implementing a robust set of security measures is crucial to fortify our defenses against these evolving cyber dangers. Here, we explore five essential practices that users should incorporate across all their devices to bolster protection against the persistent and ever-adapting threat of ransomware.
- Regular Software Updates and Patch Management: Be certain that all operating systems and software are kept up-to-date with the latest security patches. Regularly updating your devices strengthens their defenses against potential vulnerabilities that ransomware may exploit.
- Robust Backup Solutions: Implement a comprehensive backup strategy for critical data. Regularly back up your files to an external, offline storage gadget, such as an external hard drive or a secure cloud service. This ensures that you can restore your data even if your device is compromised without succumbing to ransom demands.
- User Training and Awareness Programs: Conduct regular cybersecurity awareness training for all users. Keep them educated about the risks associated with phishing emails, doubtful links, and downloading files from untrusted sources. Human vigilance is a powerful defense against social engineering tactics commonly used in ransomware attacks.
- Application Whitelisting: Employ application whitelisting to control which applications are allowed to run on your devices. By explicitly permitting only trusted applications to execute, you lessen the attack surface and minimize the risk of ransomware infiltrating your system through unauthorized software.
- Network Segmentation and Least Privilege Access: Put into practice network segmentation to isolate critical systems and sensitive data from the broader network. Additionally, follow the principle of least privilege, ensuring that users and systems only have access to the resources necessary for their specific tasks. This limits the potential impact of a ransomware attack by restricting the lateral movement of the malware within the network.
Adhering to these measures establishes a multi-layered defense strategy, enhancing the overall resilience of your devices against the evolving threat landscape of ransomware.
The whole text of the ransom note generated by ZeroGuard Ransomware is:
'Your network has been penetrated!
All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorithm.
Backups were either encrypted or removed. Shadow copies were also removed, so using F8 or any other methods may damage the encrypted data but not recover it.
We exclusively have decryption software for your situation.
More than a year ago, world experts recognized the impossibility of deciphering the data by any means except the original decoder. No decryption software is available to the public. Antivirus companies, researchers, IT specialists, and no other persons can help you decrypt the data.
DO NOT RESET OR SHUTDOWN - files may be damaged. DO NOT DELETE readme files.
To confirm our honest intentions, send two different random files, and you will get them decrypted. They can be from different computers on your network to be sure that one key decrypts everything. We will unlock two files for free.
To contact us, please message us on Telegram. If you do not receive a response within 24 hours, then email us.
Contact information :
Mail : ZeroGuard0@skiff.com
You will receive btc address for payment in the reply letter
No system is safe !'