Rietspoof Malware

Also Known As: Rietspoof virus
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is Rietspoof?

Rietspoof is relatively new malware that entered the scene in mid-2018. Initially, the malware was not widely proliferated or sophisticated, however, developers continually add features and the infection rate increases. Therefore, Rietspoof becomes more of an issue as time passes.

At time of writing, Rietspoof was used to cause chain infections. Therefore, cyber criminals employ Rietspoof to inject other malware into the system.

Rietspoof malware

Rietspoof is designed to carry out a number of actions. Firstly, it downloads another trojan-type application that allows cyber criminals to control the infected by running various processes, downloading and uploading data, and executing self-destruct commands. Using these tools, cyber criminals can cause various issues.

The bot can be used to download and execute malicious executables, and thus its presence can lead to further computer infections. Stored data might be uploaded to a remote server, thereby risking users' privacy.

After injecting this trojan, Rietspoof continues by connecting to a Command and Control (C&C) server, however, Rietspoof checks victims' IP addresses to determine the geo-location. This is used to ascertain which actions/commands are performed/executed (C&C server responds differently depending on the user's location).

Therefore, malware behavior differs depending on the location of the user. It is currently unknown exactly how Rietspoof threatens users in each country, however, in some cases it places other viruses into the system, whilst in others, no action is taken. In any case, Rietspoof poses a significant threat to your privacy and browsing safety.

Unfortunately, Rietspoof hides its traces well and thus it is difficult for regular users to determine the presence of Rietspoof. One of the methods used to proliferate this malware is via instant messaging clients (Skype, Messenger, etc.).

Therefore, if you have recently opened dubious files/links, perform a full system scan using a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and eliminate all detected threats.

Threat Summary:
Name Rietspoof virus
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 Combo Cleaner.
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There are many similar trojan-type viruses including, for example, Hancitor, AZORult, Emotet, RogueRobin, and Nymeria. The developers are different and, thus, the behavior of these infections also differs - some gather information, whilst others proliferate additional infections, etc.

Nevertheless, these viruses all pose a threat to your privacy and computer safety. Therefore, eliminate malware such as Rietspoof immediately.

How did Rietspoof infiltrate my computer?

Research shows that Rietspoof is distributed using instant messaging software. The infection comprises four stages. The third (injection of a system-management trojan) and fourth (connection to a C&C server) stages are described above. The first stage, however, is proliferation of a .VBS (Visual Basic Script) file that includes a hard-coded and encrypted CAB archive.

The second step is extraction of the CAB archive, which transforms into an executable (.exe) that is used in the fourth step. Note that this may not be the only way criminals proliferate Rietspoof. In most cases, these trojans are distributed using spam email campaigns, third party software download sources, fake software update tools, cracks, and other trojans.

Spam campaigns are used to proliferate malicious attachments that, once opened, inject malware into the system. Unofficial download sources (e.g., torrents, freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, etc.) are used to proliferate malware by presenting as legitimate software. Users are tricked into downloading and installing malware.

Fake updaters infect computers by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates.

Software cracks bypass paid software activation and are also often used to proliferate viruses. Rather than gaining access to paid features, users end up infecting their computers. Rietspoof is a typical example of a trojan used to cause "chain infections". These tools infiltrate computers and continue to inject additional malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Lack of knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. Caution is the key to safety. Therefore, to prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the web and downloading, installing, and updating software. Think twice before opening attachments received from suspicious emails. The same applies to instant messaging.

If you receive a dubious link/file, do not open it without ensuring that it is safe to do so. Furthermore, download apps 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 programs and operating systems updated.

To achieve this, however, employ implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Never use software cracks: 1) this is stealing from the developers and software piracy is considered a cyber crime, and; 2) the risk of infection is extremely high.

Have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running, since these tools can detect and eliminate malware before it harms the system. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

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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.

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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.

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