Danger level:  
  (98/100)

Monero Miner virus. How to delete? (Removal tutorial)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Malware
12

Monero Miner gets active in autumn 2017

Monero Miner virus

Monero Miner virus is an illegal software used to mine cryptocurrency on infected computer systems without their users’ knowledge. Cyber security experts say that XMR miners were extremely prevalent in 2016, and today it seems that tendencies hardly changed since then. One of the most widespread programs mining this cryptocurrency is known as Vatico Monero (XMR) CPU Miner.

Also, since Coinhive introduced the new in-browser mining technology, criminals started creating malicious browser extensions to mine cryptocurrency while the user browses the Internet. Besides, some popular websites like The Pirate Bay or Showtime were quick to test new ad-free content monetization technology as well.

It is worth saying that cryptocurrency mining as a process isn’t illegal. However, a fraudster needs a number of computers to generate significant revenue, so one needs to expand the network somehow. Therefore, criminals create cryptocurrency mining botnets by spreading cryptocurrency miners illegally. Victims who install such miners experience system slowdowns while the malicious programs use the CPU power for cryptocurrency mining.

According to the latest news, the most popular miners are CPU Miner, Vnlgp Miner, and Gplyra Miner. It is worth mentioning that such programs can mine different kinds of cryptocurrencies, however, the potentially unwanted software we discuss today clearly aims to provide bookkeeping services to the cryptocurrency network. In other words, mining means providing computer accounting services also known as verifying transactions.

Key problems that users whose computers are infected with illegal cryptocurrency miners experience:

  • System slowdowns;
  • Crashes;
  • Programs stop responding to user’s commands and requests;
  • Difficulties detecting the problem – while operating on the system, miners tend to remain unnoticeable.

Versions of Monero Miner malware

Vatico Monero (XMR) CPU Miner virus. This cryptocurrency miner is frequently used by criminal individuals seeking to earn revenue by leveraging victims’ computers’ resources. The malicious program typically emerges in Windows Task Manager as moloko.exe, although it can hide under a different name as well.

As soon as it starts operating, it seizes more than 80% of CPU power. Clearly, this leaves little CPU power for other processes to run, causing frequent system slowdowns or even software crashes.
Vatico Monero Miner gets into the system using distribution style typically used by ransomware developers. It can be downloaded to computers by Trojan horse that sneaks into the system in the form of a legitimate-looking program or part of another (usually illegal) software.

The malicious downloader then opens a VBS file which contains a script set to connect to a remote domain, download and execute the Miner. Once executed, miner connects to xmr-eu.dwarfpool.com:8050 mining pool and starts operating instantly.

SafeBrowse virus. It is a deceptive extension that was caught using Monero Miner to mine digital currency for its developers. The extension promises to lower the number of ads the user sees on the Internet, although at the same time it leverages Coinhive’s JavaScript cryptocurrency mining technology to earn revenue using victim’s computer.

Coinhive technology allows injecting the same JavaScript Crypto Miner into regular Internet sites, offering it as an alternative content monetization method. According to the developers of this technology, this allows website owners earn money and provide ad-free content. Sadly, we do not believe that site visitors will be happy to find out their computers are being used for cryptocurrency mining.

The described in-browser miner has been adapted to many malicious programs and also seen on websites like The Pirate Bay and Showtime.

Ways to install XMR miner

Just like any other unwanted and dangerous program, Monero Miner malware proliferates using typical malware distribution methods. Fraudsters tend to inject the miner into illegal software packs or add them to convincing, yet deceiving emails pushed to thousands of random computer users.

However, Monero Miner can be installed without your knowledge if you happened to install a Trojan virus into your computer earlier. Therefore, it is important to schedule regular system scans using anti-malware software to remove any dangerous programs that manage to slip into your computer unnoticed. Updating your security programs on time is simply a must, too.

In-browser Monero miners such as SafeBrowse extension can be installed from suspicious Internet sites or bundled alongside freeware. To avoid such unwanted browser additions, experts recommend choosing Custom/Advanced software installation settings and avoiding questionable Internet sites cluttered with untrustworthy content (such as ads or download links).

Monero Miner removal guide

Malware analysts suggest that Monero Miner removal is a complicated task that should be accomplished by experienced IT professionals only.

Therefore, if you are a simple computer user, we advise trusting anti-malware solutions provided by known and trustworthy security firms. One of the programs we recommend using to remove Monero Miner is Reimage.

Guidelines provided below will help you to prepare your computer in case you can’t find or remove the malicious software because something prevents your security software from running.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Computer security experts recommend using Reimage to uninstall Monero Miner virus. Reimage scans the entire computer system and checks whether it is infected with spyware/malware or not. If you want to remove computer threats and secure your computer system, you should consider buying the licensed version of Reimage.

You can find more details about this program in Reimage review.

You can find more details about this program in Reimage review.
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Manual Monero Miner Removal Instructions:

Eliminate Monero Miner using Safe Mode with Networking

You can detect malware using Reimage.
You need to purchase a licensed version of it to remove threats.
More details about Reimage.

If you can't remove Monero Miner while your computer is running in regular mode, you need to restart it into Safe Mode. Instructions are given below.

  • Step 1: Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Go to Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. As soon as your computer starts, start pressing F8 key repeatedly before the Windows logo shows up.
    3. Choose Safe Mode with Networking from the list Choose 'Safe Mode with Networking' option

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Click on the Power button at the Windows login screen, and then press and hold Shift key on your keyboard. Then click Restart.
    2. Then select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and click Restart.
    3. Once your computer starts, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking from the list of options in Startup Settings. Choose 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking' option
  • Step 2: Remove Monero Miner

    Sign in to your account and launch any Internet browser. Download a legitimate anti-malware software, for instance, Reimage. Make sure you update it to the latest version and then run a full system scan with it to detect and eliminate all malicious components of the ransomware to remove Monero Miner completely.

If your ransomware does not allow you to access Safe Mode with Networking, please follow the instructions provided below.

Eliminate Monero Miner using System Restore

You can detect malware using Reimage.
You need to purchase a licensed version of it to remove threats.
More details about Reimage.

  • Step 1: Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Go to Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. As soon as your computer starts, start pressing F8 key repeatedly before the Windows logo shows up.
    3. Choose Command Prompt from the list Choose 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Click on the Power button at the Windows login screen, and then press and hold Shift key on your keyboard. Then click Restart.
    2. Then select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and click Restart.
    3. Once your computer starts, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of options in Startup Settings. Choose 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option
  • Step 2: Perform a system restore to recover files and settings
    1. When the Command Prompt window appears, type in cd restore and press Enter. Type 'cd restore' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    2. Then type rstrui.exe and hit Enter.. Type 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    3. In a new window that shows up, click the Next button and choose a restore point that was created before the infiltration of Monero Miner and then click on the Next button again. When 'System Restore' wizard comes up, click 'Next'. Choose a preferable restore point and click 'Next'
    4. To start system restore, click Yes. Hit 'Yes' and start system restore
    After restoring the computer system to an antecedent date, install and check your computer with Reimage to uncover any remains of Monero Miner.

It is strongly recommended to take precautions and secure your computer from malware attacks. To protect your PC from Monero Miner and other dangerous viruses, you should install and keep a powerful malware removal tool, for instance, Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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