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G-Cleaner Unwanted Application

Also Known As: AZORult trojan
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

G-Cleaner virus removal guide

What is G-Cleaner?

G-Cleaner is promoted as an app that supposedly speeds up and optimizes Windows computers. It is promoted as a legitimate application (and its appearance may suggest this) and has a website from which it can be downloaded. In fact, its installation setup also contains a malicious program. G-Cleaner is installed together with AZORult, a trojan-type malicious program.

G-Cleaner malware

Developers present G-Cleaner as software that cleans temporary files, broken shortcuts, browsing history, temporary internet files and other 'junk' (unnecessary files). Cleaning up these files supposedly makes Windows systems work faster, however, this is a fake cleaner that is promoted to trick people into installing AZORult. This Trojan is a program designed to steal sensitive, personal information. It does this by hijacking the web browser and then recording saved passwords and entered data. For example, logins, passwords, cookies, browsing history, etc. Typically, cyber criminals use the details to steal logins and passwords of crypto wallets or email accounts, XMPP clients, FTP accounts, and so on. Newer versions can be used to take screenshots, record data from Skype, Jabber, and other similar apps. If a computer is infected with AZORult, cyber criminals can cause serious problems for victims such as financial loss, privacy, browsing safety issues, etc. They use stolen data to generate as much revenue as possible. Therefore, we advise against downloading or installing G-Cleaner. If it is installed, remove it immediately. Also, the operating system should be scanned for viruses with a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite.

Threat Summary:
Name AZORult trojan
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware.
Detection Names (SETEU.EXE) Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Ursu.421428), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of Win32/Kryptik.GRLH), Kaspersky (Trojan-PSW.Win32.Azorult.lpm), Full List (VirusTotal)
Payload AZORult trojan 
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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Apps such as G-Cleaner are usually promoted as useful and legitimate, however, they cannot be trusted and should not be downloaded or installed. These apps are used only to generate revenue for the developers by encouraging people to purchase the 'full version' or (in this case) by infecting computers with a Trojan that is programmed to steal personal data/information.

How did G-Cleaner infiltrate my computer?

Apps such as G-Cleaner are often promoted using websites from which they can be downloaded, however, potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) are installed through set-ups of other software as well. Unwanted apps are usually hidden in "Custom", "Advanced" and other settings/options of various (usually free) software download or installation set-ups. This method is called "bundling", a method that developers use to trick people into installing one software package with another, however, they succeed only if users leave all settings unchanged. PUAs are also installed unintentionally by clicking intrusive ads that download and install them.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Download software from official, trustworthy websites and using direct links. Avoid using third party downloaders, installers, torrents, eMule (or other Peer-to-Peer networks), unofficial websites, and so on. Do not rush software download/installation process and do not leave "Advanced", "Custom" and other options/settings unchecked. Deselect proposals to download or install unwanted apps and only then proceed to the next step or finish downloading or installing software. Bear in mind that intrusive ads (if clicked) open dubious/untrustworthy websites (gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.). Therefore, these ads should not be clicked, however, if they (or redirects) occur randomly check the browser for unwanted extensions, add-ons, plug-ins and remove them immediately. Make sure that there are no unwanted, unknown programs installed on the operating 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.

Website promoting G-Cleaner unwanted application:

g-cleaner website

Appearance of G-Cleaner application (GIF):

g-cleaner appearance gif

Screenshot of deceptive installer bundling G-Cleaner unwanted application:

Installer prompting G-Cleaner potentially unwanted application

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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 the "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 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.

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.

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