Msfeedssync.exe Virus

Also Known As: msfeedssync.exe trojan
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is msfeedssync.exe?

msfeedssync.exe (Microsoft Feeds Synchronization) is a legitimate process/file which is part of Windows Internet Explorer. It starts running in Task Manager when it updates RSS feeds for Internet Explorer 7 and 8 browsers that have the automatic Feeds synchronization feature enabled.

The msfeedssync.exe file can be found in the "C:\Windows\System32" folder, however, its name is often used by cyber criminals who attempt to disguise malicious processes and files as harmless.

msfeedssync.exe malware

The msfeedssync.exe file is necessary for Internet Explorer browsers to run properly and it should not be deleted. If this process is distracting, it is possible to disable automatic Feeds synchronization without deleting the msfeedssync.exe file. As mentioned, however, this filename can also be used to disguise a malicious file.

Typically, cyber criminals make minor changes to the filename in an attempt to make malicious files seem as inconspicuous as possible. For example, a malicious msfeedssync.exe file could be called "msfeedsync.exe" (without one "s" character). Additionally, malicious files disguised as legitimate ones are usually placed in incorrect folders.

In this case, the genuine msfeedssync.exe file must be placed in the "C:\Windows\System32" folder, and not in any other location. Furthermore, there are cases whereby legitimate processes running in Task Manager have system icons (malicious processes are presented as legitimate, but generally use other graphical icons).

If a supposedly legitimate process has any of these symptoms, it should be classed as a threat. Trojans can lead to serious computer infections, financial loss, or other problems. We recommend that you run a virus scan using the installed anti-virus or anti-spyware software and check if it detects any possible threats.

Unfortunately, antivirus software sometimes detects legitimate processes as threats. These are known as 'false positive' results. In such cases, anti-virus or anti-spyware programs might lead to removal of legitimate, important system files. This usually happens due to mistakes in databases.

Fortunately, most of the time, these mistakes are fixed rapidly. Before removing files that could be legitimate system files, check if they have correct names and are placed in the correct folders.

Threat Summary:
Name msfeedssync.exe trojan
Threat Type Trojan, Password stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware.
Detection Names (msfeedssync.exe) Avast (Win32:Vitro), BitDefender (Win32.Virtob.Gen.12), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Virut.NBP), Kaspersky (Virus.Win32.Virut.ce), Full List (VirusTotal)
Malicious Process Name(s) Microsoft Feed Synchronization, msfeedssync.exe (the process name depends on malware).
Additional Information
Presence of such process names in Windows Task Manager indicates malware infection only if the executable C:\Windows\System32 folder and/or the filename is different (e.g., msfeedsync.exe rather than msfeedssync.exe).
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate the victim's computer and remain silent and 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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False positive detections are common, since criminals disguise their malicious files as legitimate and make them as inconspicuous as possible. If, however, you have good reason to believe that a file or process is malicious, it should be removed immediately.

Some examples of other cases whereby legitimate files might be detected as threats are gwx.exe, csrss.exe, and Trojan.gen.npe.2.

How did msfeedssync.exe infiltrate my computer?

Common ways to proliferate computer infections are spam campaigns, Trojans, untrustworthy software download sources, software 'cracking' tools and fake software updaters. Spam campaigns are used to cause computer infections when cyber criminals send malicious attachments (or web links) though emails.

If people (recipients) open these files, they allow them to download and install malicious programs. The most commonly-used attachments are Microsoft Office documents, archives such as ZIP, RAR files, PDF documents, JavaScript, and executable files. Trojans are malicious programs that cause chain infections. If installed, they download and install other malware.

Freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, unofficial pages, third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (such as eMule, torrents etc.) can be used to proliferate computer infections. Cyber criminals use them to present various threats as normal, harmless files.

By downloading and opening them, people are tricked into installing malicious programs. Software 'cracking' tools activate software, allowing people to avoid payment, however, they are also used by cyber criminals who proliferate malware. Using 'cracking' tools thus often leads to download and installation of computer infections.

Fake software updaters usually infect systems by exploiting bugs/flaws of installed and outdated software, or by downloading and installing malicious programs rather than expected updates, fixes, and so on.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Emails that include attachments and are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be trusted, or attached files/links opened, even if they are presented as legitimate and important. Do not download software using third party downloaders, from untrustworthy websites or other similar channels.

Use official pages and direct links. Installed software should be updated at all times, however, use tools and functions provided by official software developers. Avoid tools that supposedly activate software free of charge. They cause installation of malware and are illegal. Finally, have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and keep it enabled at all times.

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.

msfeedssync.exe detected as a threat by a number of virus engines:

msfeedssync.exe detected as a virus by virus engines

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 filename 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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