A new ransomware strain called ZaToN has been discovered demanding hundreds of dollars from its victims. As per the latest threat reports from cybersecurity researchers, tens of thousands of Windows users have already been targeted by this new form of file-encrypting virus.
If you wish to know more about this newly-found ransomware variant, then you’ve landed on the right page. Read on for ZaToN ransomware definition and deployment methods that will help you take proper precautions and prevent it in the future.
What is ZaToN Ransomware?
ZaToN is a type of hazardous malware from crypto virology that is designed to encrypt all kinds of files (archives, excel tables, images, multimedia, work documents) found on the victim’s computer and demand a large sum of ransom money in the form of Bitcoin cryptocurrency to provide decryption keys/tools and data recovery instructions. During the encryption process, the ransomware virus renames the files by adding the nasty “.ZaToN” extension at the end of all targeted files. For example, a file originally named “1.mp3” would appear as “1.mp3. ZaToN”, and so on.
After this process is complete, ZaToN drops a ransom-demanding message (“HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt”) into compromised folders. Inside of the ransom note, there are usually instructions on how to contact ZaToN developers and pay a fee to get the decryption key.
If you have just become a victim of such an attack, it is strongly recommended to avoid dealing with ransomware authors as there is no guarantee that they will provide a decryption key once payment is submitted.
How Did ZaToN Ransomware Infect Your Computer?
Cybercriminals rely on various techniques to distribute ransomware-type programs. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Malicious Spam (Malspam) campaigns
- Fake online ads or software updating tools
- Exploit Kits
- Untrustworthy download channels
- Pornographic and adult content hosting websites
- Peer-to-Peer file-sharing networks (e.g., BitTorrent)
How to Prevent ZaToN Ransomware?
Manual malware removal is a quite time-consuming and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Therefore, it is advised to use powerful anti-malware software to automatically detect and remove malicious programs from your computer. Along with this, always keep installed programs updated, practice safe surfing, and take regular backup of all your important files to external storage devices.