BitCoinMiner virus removal guide
What is BitCoinMiner?
BitCoinMiner is a generic name for various cryptocurrency-mining viruses. On first glance, the name suggests that these viruses mine only Bitcoin cryptocurrency, however, cyber criminals also attempt to mine other cryptocurrencies, such as Monero, Ethereum, etc. Research shows that most BitCoinMiners are distributed using spam emails and other trojan-type viruses.
The last few years were extremely successful for cryptocurrency miners, drawing great attention, and thereby encouraging thousands of people to get into this market for "easy money". Now crypto-mining is essentially the solving of mathematical problems using computers. To generate revenue, you must have extremely powerful hardware costing thousands of dollars. Therefore, the entire process requires investment. To avoid this, cyber criminals decided to hijack regular users' computers and use them to collectively mine cryptocurrencies. They essentially inject the system with malicious tools that employ computer processors (CPUs) and graphic's cards (GPUs) to mine cryptocurrency. This causes a number of problems. Firstly, this process might take up to 100% of system resources, thus making the computer unstable and virtually unusable (it barely responds and can freeze/reboot, resulting in permanent data loss). Furthermore, highly loaded systems generate excessive heat and in certain circumstances (high room temperatures, bad cooling systems, etc.), hardware might overheat. Therefore, the presence of cryptomining viruses can lead to significant financial loss. Although most BitCoinMiner trojans hide their traces, determining their presence is straightforward - as mentioned above, the average system temperature rises, the computer starts lagging, and so on. Furthermore, many anti-virus/anti-spyware suites are capable of removing such viruses. Therefore, if you have noticed at least one of aforementioned symptoms, you should immediately scan the system with a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and eliminate all detected threats.
|Threat Type||Trojan, Password stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware|
|Symptoms||Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate 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.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)|
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
There are dozens of crypto-mining trojans similar to BitCoinMiner. For example, XMR Miner, JSMiner-C, IdleBuddy, and many others. These viruses might may differ slightly (mining different cryptocurrencies, various distribution methods, etc.), however, the main purpose remains identical: to help developers generate revenue by exploiting other users' computers (providing nothing in return).
How did BitCoinMiner infect my computer?
Crypto-mining viruses are typically distributed using spam email campaigns and other trojan-type viruses (chain infections). Spam email campaigns distribute malicious attachments (typically MS Office documents) by presenting them as legitimate documents (invoices, bills, etc.) Once opened, these files stealthily download and install malware. Trojans open "backdoors" for other viruses to infect the system. In some cases, cryptominers are also distributed using unofficial download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, peer-to-peer [P2P] networks, etc.), fake software updaters, and the "bundling" method. Unofficial download sources present malware as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into downloading and installing it. Fake updaters infect the system by exploiting old software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of third party applications with regular software/apps. In summary, the lack of knowledge and careless behavior of many users are the main reasons for computer infections.
How to avoid installation of malware?
To prevent system infiltration by PUPs, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Never open any email attachments that seem irrelevant or have been received from suspicious email addresses. Furthermore, it is very important to download your programs from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are used to distribute malware, and thus these tools should never be used. Keep installed applications up-to-date using implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount. The key to computer safety is caution. If you have already opened the "BitCoinMiner" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Screenshot of resource usage during the mining process:
Screenshot of malicious attachment distributing BitCoinMiner trojans:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is BitCoinMiner?
- STEP 1. Manual removal of BitCoinMiner malware.
- STEP 2. Check if your computer is clean.
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 Malwarebytes 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:
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:
Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:
Restart 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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.
In 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.
Check 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".
After removing the malware through the 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, remove it.
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 Malwarebytes for Windows.