Eliminate Dridex malware from the operating system

Also Known As: Dridex virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

Dridex virus removal guide

What is Dridex?

Dridex (also known as Bugat and Cridex) is a malicious program that is used to steal banking credentials from users of Windows computers. Cyber criminals proliferate this rogue software when it is downloaded and installed through a malicious Microsoft Word or Excel document. Once installed, it targets banking information. Therefore, users with computers infected by Dridex are likely to experience financial loss.

Dridex malware

The main goal of this malware is to steal sensitive details relating to victims' bank accounts, such as online banking credentials. Therefore, this malicious software helps distributors and cyber criminals to access victims' bank accounts and make fraudulent transactions - effectively stealing money from unsuspecting people. This malicious software operates as a key logger and records keystrokes (keys pressed). Cyber criminals seek to infect computers with these key loggers so they can steal logins, passwords, and other sensitive details, including banking credentials. This program is also capable of performing several 'injection attacks'. These attacks allow injection of malware into a computer system to execute remote commands or inject code into a specific program and modify its execution/behavior. Furthermore, the latest Dridex variant is difficult to detect, since it is capable of evading anti-virus detections. It uses file signatures that go undetected as threats, and thus Dridex bypasses virus detection engines. Additionally, this malware uses an Application Whitelisting technique to block elements of WSH (Windows Script Host). It takes advantage of a WMIC (WMI command-line) flaw by targeting a weak spot (execution policy) in the application whitelisting process. To bypass mitigation efforts, Dridex malware loads XLS scripts that contain malicious Visual Basic Script. In summary, this is advanced malware, which is goes undetected. If you have reason to believe that your computer is infected with Dridex, remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Dridex virus
Threat Type Trojan, Password-stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.41400500), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Dridex.CO), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Chapak.druk), Full List (VirusTotal)
Payload Banking trojan, keylogger
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 and compromised FTP websites.
Damage Stolen banking information, logins, passwords. Injection attacks.
Additional Information The latest Dridex version is capable of avoiding detection by virus detection engines.
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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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

There are a number of malware infections used to steal personal details. Some examples are Emotet, Adwind, FormBook, and AZORult. Typically, cyber criminals spread these programs to generate revenue by stealing personal details, distributing other malware such as ransomware, and so on. These programs can cause serious problems (financial, data loss, privacy issues, etc.). For this reason, it is important to eliminate them immediately.

How did Dridex infiltrate my computer?

Research shows that cyber criminals poliferate Dridex through spam campaigns. They send emails that contain attached Microsoft Word or Excel files. Typically, these emails are presented as official and important. In our example, the email is disguised as a message regarding an invoice. The main purpose of this spam campaign is to trick people into opening the attached file, which then causes download and installation of a malicious program. In this case, an MS Office file infects computers with Dridex. Typically, these files demand permission to enable macro commands (thus allowing content/editing). Once this permission is given, a document starts downloading (and then installing) malicious software. In summary, these documents cannot do any damage unless they are opened and permission to enable macros is granted. Other examples of files that cyber criminals send to proliferate malware are PDF documents, JavaScript files, executables (.exe files), and archive files such as ZIP and RAR.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Be careful with files that are attached to emails received from suspicious or unknown email addresses. Typically, these emails are irrelevant and disguised as 'important'. The best way to deal with them is to ignore them and leave files and links within them unopened. Download software and files from official websites and use direct download links. Third party downloaders, unofficial websites, various Peer-to-Peeer networks should not be trusted. Downloading files or programs via these sources might lead to computer infections. Keep installed programs and operating systems up-to-date, however, use implemented functions or tools created by official developers only. Do not activate installed programs with 'cracking' tools, since this is illegal and they are often designed to distribute malicious programs (infect computers with malware). Have a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware suite installed and enabled at all times. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Screenshot of an email that contains a malicious attachment, which is used to spread Dridex:

email and attachment that are used to spread Dridex

Screenshot of another spam email used to spread Dridex malware:

Spam email used to spread Dridex malware - February 21, 2020

Text presented within this email:

Subject: Invoice Due #7300980

Good morning,

Attached is the invoice for the work completed at your property. Payment should be remitted to the invoice below. We appreciate your business.

For security reason the invoice is password protected: 159

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Jess Tiffani RSW, CCAC, ICADC, CEC
Pegasus Recovery Solutions
m: 250.514.1083
f: 250.294.6850
a: 270 - 2950 Douglas St, Victoria BC, V8T 4N4
w: www[.]pegasusrecoverysolutions[.]com
e: Jess.Tiffani@pegasusrecoverysolutions.com

Screenshot of the malicious attachment (Microsoft Word document):

Malicious MS Word document used to spread Dridex malware - February 21, 2020

Update April 22, 2020 - Crooks have recently started yet another spam campaign disguising as UPS delivery company. They send deceptive emails encouraging recipients to open a malicious document which is presented as an invoice. Once opened, the document executes a number of commands in order to inject Dridex malware into the system.

Screenshot of the malicious MS Excel document ("sample20200420-01.xls"):

Dridex malware-distributing malicious MS Excel document

Update April 28, 2020 - Crooks have recently started a Fedex-related email spam campaign to promote Dridex malware.

Screenshot of the aforementioned spam email:

Fedex-related email spam campaign spreading Dridex malware

Text presented within:

Subject: FedEx Billing - Invoice Ready for Payment

You have a FedEx invoice ready for payment.
Your invoice is ready for payment
Dear Customer
Your account has a new invoice(s) from FedEx ready for payment.
Invoice number: Invoice amount:
9-053-76763 180.82

Thank you for your business,

Screenshot of the malicious attachment - Microsoft Excel document ("4 224 99898.xls"):

Malicious MS Excel document spreading Dridex trojan

Another malicious MS Excel document ("3867768142337.xls") designed to inject Dridex malware into the system:

Dridex trojan-spreading MS Excel document - 3867768142337.xls

Examples of other invoice/payment/bill-relating spam emails that spread Dridex malware by delivering links that lead to malicious websites/files:

Spam email spreading Dridex malware (sample 1) Spam email spreading Dridex malware (sample 2) Spam email spreading Dridex malware (sample 3) Spam email spreading Dridex malware (sample 4) Spam email spreading Dridex malware (sample 5) Spam email spreading Dridex malware (sample 6) Spam email spreading Dridex malware (sample 7) Spam email spreading Dridex malware (sample 8)

Screenshot of yet another spam campaign used to spread Dridex malware:

Email spam campaign spreading Dridex malware (2020-05-21)

Text presented within:

Subject: Invoice 00058077

We appreciate your prompt attention and payment of this invoice at your earliest convenience.

The invoice is attached.

 Invoice Due Date: 05/20/2020
 Invoice Total Amount: $1,339.00

Best Regards

Billing and Payments 888.433.8686
Sales 1.888.790.3664

Screenshot of the malicious MS Excel attachment ("Invoice_00588844_1037775437942.xlsm") which injects Dridex into the system:

Malicious Microsoft Excel document (Invoice_00588844_1037775437942.xlsm) used to inject Dridex malware into the system

Another malicious MS Excel document used to spread Dridex malware:

Dridex malware-distributing MS Excel document (2020-06-10)

Example of a DHL-themed spam email used to distribute Dridex malware:

DHL-themed spam email used to spread Dridex malware

Text presented within:

Subject: DHL Shipment Successful, Pickup Failure: Waybill 3232603305


Dear Customer,

Thank you for using DHL

This email contains the following attachments:

1 set of DHL Transport Label and Waybill Document.
1 shipment receipt.
1 customs invoice (only if requested).

What do I print?

A. If  you are sending documents please print all pages of the Transport Label and the Waybill Document. Attach the Transport Label to your shipment and give the Waybill Document to the courier.
B. If you are sending non-documents please attach:

All pages of the Transport Label (provide Waybill Document to the courier separately).
Two copies of the customs document.

If you have a shipment with multiple pieces the attached will include a Transport Label for each piece. Please ensure that all other documentation is attached to piece '1' (listed on the label).

CONFIDENTIALITY REMINDER: This e-mail message, together with any attachments, is for the exclusive and confidential use of the addressee(s) and may contain legally privileged information. Any unauthorized review,use, disclosure or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply -email and destroy all copies of the original message from your end.

Screenshot of a malicious MS Excel document (which injects Dridex into the system) attached to this email:

Malicious Excel document used to inject Dridex malware into the system

Example of yet another spam email used to spread Driex malware via attached MS Excel document:

Spam email used to spread Dridex malware (2020-07-02)

Text presented within:

Subject: Past Due Invoice No. #851344
Good Morning!

We received payment for invoice #921809, however due to a credit, there was a $95.00 overpayment and also there is 1 open invoice #182710 in the amount of $206.00 that we could apply this overage to IF payment has NOT yet been submitted. If it has, we will issue a refund.

Please let me know how you would like to proceed.


Accounting Analyst| Cammi Xylina
Phone: (980) 238-2305
Email: kalyn@theevictionteam.com
Website: www.TheEvictionTeam.com

Screenshot of the attached document:

Malicious MS Excel document (858920.xlsm) distributing Dridex malware

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 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 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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Dridex 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 Dridex virus on your mobile device.
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