Tefosteal Malware

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

What is Tefosteal?

Tefosteal, as its name suggests, is a malicious program that tracks and steals information. It targets data such as cookies and various other credentials from browsers, data from Discord chats, information about basic service set identifiers (BSSIDs), and other system information. It is also capable of taking screenshots.

Having a program of this type installed on your system might cause serious problems and should thus be uninstalled immediately.

Tefosteal malware

Malware-type programs often make money, not for regular users but for cyber criminals who attempt to infect people's computers. In this case, Tefosteal records user-system information that cyber criminals use to generate revenue. One of the ways this program communicates with distributors is via Telegram (a messaging service).

It stores all stolen information/data within ZIP archive files and then sends them to various malicious domains. Furthermore, Tefosteal is capable of deleting and uninstalling itself (using files within the ZIP archive) without users' knowledge. At time of research, this malicious program can be identified as the "vk 3.9.exe" process in Task Manager.

These programs often run as processes with names that attract the least suspicion. Therefore, having Tefosteal (and other programs capable of taking screenshots, recording credentials from browsers, etc.) installed might cause problems relating to privacy, browsing safety, or even financial loss. This is a high-risk program and should be uninstalled immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Tefosteal 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 hundreds malicious programs that, if installed, often cause serious problems. Generally, these programs steal personal data that cyber criminals use to generate revenue in various ways. Some of these high-risk infections might be capable of proliferating other malicious programs, misusing system resources, and so on.

These programs cause financial/data loss, problems with privacy, further system damage, etc. If you believe that your computer is infected with a malicious program, remove the suspicious software immediately. Some examples of other high-risk malicious programs include PhropiexMore_eggs, IcedID, Brushaloader, Beta Bot, and KadrBot.

How did Tefosteal infiltrate my computer?

Tefosteal can be installed through spam campaigns. Cyber criminals send emails that contain malicious attachments (Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, archives such as ZIP, RAR, PDF documents, executables, and so on) or web links. Once opened, they cause download and installation of a specific malicious program.

Viruses are also proliferated through Trojans - malicious programs that cause chain infections. When installed, they download and install malware. Fake software updaters are also used to spread computer infections. Unlike official tools, they download and install malware rather than expected updates or software fixes.

These tools can be used to exploit bugs and flaws of outdated software. Software "cracking" tools operate in a similar manner. Rather than activating paid software free of charge, they install malicious programs. This is a common way to proliferate computer infections.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Emails received from unknown, suspicious addresses should be handled with care, especially if they contain links or attachments. Presented attachments/links should not be opened without studying them first. If a received email seems irrelevant, ignore it. Furthermore, software should be activated properly.

"Cracking" tools cannot be trusted and using them is a cyber crime (it is illegal to use them to activate paid software/operating systems). Software should be updated using tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers. We strongly recommend against use any other tools (such as fake/dubious third party updaters).

Have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed (and enabled). These programs protect operating systems from various threats. 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 "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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