Emotet Trojan

Also Known As: Emotet trojan
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Emotet virus removal guide

What is Emotet?

Emotet trojan (also known as Geodo) is high-risk malware designed to record personal data and proliferate other viruses. Research shows that Emotet infiltrates systems without users' consent. After successful infiltration, this malware modifies system settings and uses the infiltrated computer to proliferate itself further. Cyber criminals usually spread this virus using spam email campaigns.

Emotet malware distributing email

A main feature of Emotet is to gather various sensitive information, including logins/passwords and browsing activity. Collected data often includes banking information. Therefore, the presence of Emotet can lead to serious privacy issues and significant financial loss (cyber criminals can misuse the data to transfer money or make various purchases). Malware distribution is also an issue. Emotet works as a trojan - it opens "backdoors" for other high-risk viruses (e.g., Dridex) to infiltrate the system. These additional viruses might be more dangerous. Therefore, having Emotet installed on your system can lead to a chain of system infections. Emotet is also capable of connecting the infected computer to a botnet, which is used to proliferate spam emails that distribute this malware. In addition, this malware hides within system folders and registers as a 'system service', thereby modifying Windows Registry settings so that it auto-runs when the system is started. Emotet hide its tracks and, therefore, is virtually impossible for regular users to detect. If you suspect that Emotet is present, immediately scan the system with a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. In fact, have a reputable suite installed and running and scan the system periodically.

Threat Summary:
Name Emotet trojan
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, Spyware.
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate the victim's computer and remain silent, thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software cracks.
Damage Stolen banking information, passwords, identity theft, victim's computer added to a botnet.
Removal

To eliminate Emotet trojan our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

There are dozens of trojans similar to Emotet including, for example, Adwind, Pony, and Trickbot. Their behavior might differ slightly (in terms of information tracking, crypto-mining, botnet connections, and similar), however, all of these viruses are extremely harmful and pose a direct threat to your privacy and browsing safety.

How did Emotet infect my computer?

In most cases, Emotet is proliferated using spam email campaigns. The emails are delivered together with malicious attachments (usually Microsoft Word documents) or links, leading to execution of a malicious JavaScript file. Once opened, malicious MS Word documents ask users to enable macro commands (otherwise the content will supposedly not be displayed properly), however, in doing so, users inadvertently grant the document permission to connect to a remote server and execute a JavaScript file designed to download and install Emotet into the system. Links that are attached to emails have an essentially identical function - they lead to malicious JavaScript files. Cyber criminals typically disguise attachments/links as bills, invoices, and other finance-related documents that seem important. These emails usually deliver messages warning users about certain problems (e.g., unpaid bills, lost invoices, etc.) and advising them to open attached documents/files. Doing so results in infiltration of Emotet malware. This is a common technique used to distribute trojan-type viruses. It is very effective, since many careless users open received attachments without understanding the possible consequences. This behavior often leads to various computer infections.

How to avoid installation of malware?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the internet and downloading, installing, and updating software. Never open email attachments or links that seem irrelevant or have been received from a suspicious email address. We strongly recommend that you delete these emails immediately. Download your programs from official sources only, using direct download links. The same applies to updating software. Keep installed applications up-to-date, however, this should be achieved using implemented update functions or tools provided by the official developer only. As mentioned above, having a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount. If your computer is already infected with Emotet, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Update September 17, 2019 - For a short period of time Emotet's Command & Control (C&C) servers were shut down and, thus, infected machines were no longer controlled by Emotet's developers. However, in late August cyber criminals have re-started their distribution campaigns and Emotet is now back in the game. There are two main distribution methods that cyber criminals currently use: 1) the aforementioned email spam campaigns, and; 2) hijacking of legitimate websites and injecting them with malicious scripts that download/install Emotet into visitors' computers. According to Confense Labs' researchers, Emotet's developers are currently targeting around 66000 email address for over 30000 domain names under 385 top-level domains. It is also worth noting that crooks target not only home users, but various companies and even governmental agencies as well. Spam emails typically come with a malicious attachment (link/file) which, once opened, injects Emotet into the system. In some cases, the attachments inject other malware (e.g., TrickBot) which eventually download and install Emotet. It is known that spam campaigns (at least at this current moment) used to spread Emotet are typically related to finances.

List of legitimate websites hijacked by Emotet's developers includes (but it is not limited to):

  • biyunhui[.]com
  • broadpeakdefense[.]com
  • charosjewellery[.]co.uk
  • customernoble[.]com
  • holyurbanhotel[.]com
  • keikomimura[.]com
  • lecairtravels[.]com
  • mutlukadinlarakademisi[.]com
  • nautcoins[.]com
  • taxolabs[.]com
  • think1[.]com

Appearance of a malicious MS Word document asking to enable macro commands in order to download Emotet (GIF):

Malicious MS Word file distributing Emotet trojan

Another variant of an MS Word document used to spread Emotet:

Infectious MS Word file distributing Emotet

Emotet trojan process (blank name) in Windows Task Manager:

Emotet trojan in Windows Task Manager

Samples of spam emails distributing Emotet malware:

Emotet malware distributing email (sample 1) Emotet malware distributing email (sample 2) Emotet malware distributing email (sample 3) Emotet malware distributing email (sample 4) Emotet malware distributing email (sample 5)

Another malicious Microsoft Word document ("UNTITLED_FILE_N46-84D759.doc") used to spread Emotet trojan:

Emotet trojan distributing MS Word document

Instant automatic removal of Emotet trojan: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Emotet trojan. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using Spyhunter for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example, using task manager, and identified a program that looks suspicious, you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1 Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

 

manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.

extract autoruns.zip and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck the "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program you wish to remove, right click your mouse over its name and choose "Delete".

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, be sure to remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure your computer is free of malware infections, we recommend scanning it with Spyhunter for Windows.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Emotet trojan QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Emotet trojan on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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