ZeuS Panda Trojan

Also Known As: ZeuS Panda virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

ZeuS Panda virus removal guide

What is ZeuS Panda?

ZeuS Panda is a high-risk trojan. Its main purpose is to record users' bank account credentials. This malware is distributed in various ways, including spam email campaigns (e.g., "Electronic Intuit Email Virus"), fake Adobe Flash Player updaters, and fake pop-up errors (e.g., "The HoeflerText Font Wasn't Found"). In some cases, the presence of adware-type applications can also lead to ZeuS Panda infiltration, since some adware delivers fake pop-up errors.

ZeuS Panda malware

As mentioned above, ZeuS Panda is mainly designed to gather bank account credentials (logins/passwords). The trojan hijacks various bank (and online-payment-related) websites and modifies the contents so that entered logins/passwords are saved to a remote server. This behavior can lead to significant financial loss, since cyber criminals can misuse hijacked accounts through online purchases, money transfers, and so on. ZeuS Panda is also capable of performing other malicious tasks, including information tracking - ZeuS Panda can take screenshots and copy the information saved in the clipboard. In addition, ZeuS Panda provides developers with remote access to infected machines using Virtual Network Computing (VNC). Developers can easily take advantage and cause further system infections (e.g., infiltrate ransomware, cryptominers, etc.). Therefore, the presence of ZeuS Panda can lead to permanent data loss and a significant reduction in overall system performance. In summary, ZeuS Panda is a very dangerous virus and must be eliminated as soon as possible. Note that this malware is very good at hiding its traces. It does, however, run a process that can be found in Windows Task Manager (the process name is blank). Therefore, if you have recently opened dubious email attachments or installed suspicious applications, and find a random process in Windows Task Manager, immediately run a full system scan with a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and eliminate all threats.

Threat Summary:
NameZeuS Panda virus
Threat TypeTrojan, Password stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware
SymptomsTrojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate victim's computer and remain silent thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Distribution methodsInfected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software cracks.
DamageStolen 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.
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ZeuS Panda shares similarities with Emotet, TrickBot, LokiBot, FormBook, and dozens of other trojan-type viruses. Their behavior might be different (some record information, others cause chain infections, etc.), but all pose a direct thread to your privacy and computer safety. Therefore, you should eliminate these threats immediately.

How did ZeuS Panda infiltrate my computer?

ZeuS Panda is distributed in various ways, including spam email campaigns, fake software updaters, and fake error messages. Spam campaigns distribute malicious attachments (in most cases, MS Office documents) that, once opened, stealthily download and install malware. Fake software updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. Fake error messages claim that the system is damaged (e.g., infected, missing files, etc.) and encourage users to download various files/software that will fix all errors. In any case, lack of knowledge and careless behavior by some users, often leads to system infections.

How to avoid installation of malware?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, pay attention when browsing the internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Think twice before opening email attachments. Files that are irrelevant and those received from suspicious/unrecognizable emails should never be opened. Furthermore, download software from official sources only (using direct download links). Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus these tools should never be used. The same applies to software updates. Keep installed applications and operating systems updated. To achieve this, however, employ implemented features or tools provided by the official developer. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running at all times is also essential, since these tools can detect and eliminate malware before it does any damage. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Emails that distribute malicious attachments proliferating Zeus Panda:

Emails that distribute malicious attachments proliferating ZeuS Panda (sample 1) Emails that distribute malicious attachments proliferating ZeuS Panda (sample 2)

Malicious attachments distributing ZeuS Panda:

Malicious attachment distributing ZeuS Panda (sample 1) Malicious attachment distributing ZeuS Panda (sample 2)

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:
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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 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:

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 seems 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 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 "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 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, 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 Malwarebytes 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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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
ZeuS Panda virus 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 ZeuS Panda virus on your mobile device.
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