How to get rid of GoBotKR trojan?

Also Known As: GoBot2 malware
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

GoBotKR virus removal guide

What is GoBotKR?

GoBotKR is a high-risk trojan-type infection that entered the scene in May, 2018. It is basically an updated version of another trojan called GoBot2, which is written in Go programming language. GoBotKR is designed to open a backdoor for cyber criminals to access and remotely control the infected machine. Research results show that this malware is distributed using torrent websites. What's interesting, however, is that it targets mainly South Korean users. Presence of such infection can lead to a variety of issues and eliminating it is a must.

GoBotKR malware

As mentioned above, GoBotKR is designed to open a backdoor which allows crooks to control the compromised machine. Research results show that cyber criminals mainly use compromised machines for DDoS attacks (by connecting them to a botnet), as well as to seed torrents and to spread this malware even further. As mentioned above, GoBotKR targets mainly South Korean users (80% of detections were located in South Korea). Additionally, most of the malicious executables are disguised as Korean TV shows/movies and, in some cases, games, and are proliferated using Korean torrent websites. Now GoBotKR uses a variety of evasion techniques in order to assure a successful infiltration. The torrent usually consists of three files: 1) malicious executable, which usually comes in .PMA (archive) or .DLL format; 2) .LNK file which has the exact same name as the game executable/video file, and; 3) the actual torrent content. The torrent's structure (or rather file placement) is the tricky part. The initial directory contains the aforementioned malicious executable, .LNK file and a directory (which is usually hidden). If user manages to go to the hidden directory and open the video/game from there, then nothing will happen. Yet most of users do not pay attention and end up opening the .LNK file (which, as mentioned above, is disguised as the movie/game itself). The .LNK file then automatically runs disguised executable and infects the system. Additionally, .LNK file opens the actual video or game as well, just to prevent user from getting suspicious. Once infiltrated, GoBotKR does a number of things. Firstly, it checks various system information (IP address, CPU/GPU model, network configuration, etc.) and sends it to a remote Command & Control (C&C) server. This is being done to decide for which DDoS attacks should each machine be used. Moreover, GoBotKR checks the list of running processes and searches for ones that are included in its blacklist. These processes belong to various anti-virus/anti-spyware suites and, if at least one is detected, GoBotKR instantly terminates and deletes itself. If machine's IP address suggests that it belongs to one of organizations (e.g., Kaspersky, ESET-NOD32, etc.) in GoBotKR's blacklist, then it terminates/deletes itself as well. We should also mention that GoBotKR is designed to run two processes. The second process (a so-called "watchdog") simply monitors the first one (which operates as malware) and makes sure that it would always run. If the first process is terminated, the watchdog instantly relaunches it.

Now when it comes to GoBotKR's behavior regarding the system, it is a rather dangerous malware. Although its main purpose is to connect infected machines to a botnet and to seed torrents, it is also capable of performing a number of other malicious actions, such as accessing various URLs, modifying web browsers' options, execute files/commands/scripts, enable and disable Windows Task Manager/Command Prompt/Registry editors, and many others (full list below). Therefore, its presence may be fatal. Cyber criminals can easily inject computers with additional high-risk viruses, such as ransomware or data-stealing trojans. Ransomware infections are designed to compromise stored files (typically, to encrypt them) and blackmail victims by offering a paid recovery (in most cases it is impossible to restore data manually). Data-stealing trojans usually targets bank, social network, email, and other personal accounts. They steal victim's contacts, logins/passwords, and other sensitive data, and store it in a remote server. Cyber criminals later use stolen information to generate revenue (money transferring, online purchases, etc.) Therefore, presence of ransomware and trojan infections may eventually lead to huge financial/data losses, identity theft, and a variety of other issues. It is also worth mentioning that the user itself typically has no idea that his/hers system is connected to a botnet. The malicious processes are concealed and it is virtually impossible to tell their presence without carefully analyzing the system. When performing a DDoS attack, however, system should slow down significantly. Crooks basically use infected machines to send queries to remote servers/websites in order to make them crash. The infected machine's resources (especially network) is highly loaded, what makes it less efficient when performing other tasks. In other words, performance of a machine that is connected to a botnet significantly decreases.

Threat Summary:
Name GoBot2 malware
Threat Type Trojan, Backdoor, Botnet, Spyware
Detection Names Avast (Win64:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.41004506), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win64/GoBot2.F), McAfee (Artemis!EAD0547AD299), Full List (VirusTotal)
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.
Removal

To eliminate GoBot2 malware our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

There are dozens of trojan-type infections that share similarities with GoBotKR. The list of examples includes (but it is not limited to) Qakbot, DanaBot, Emotet, Hancitor, FormBook, and TrickBot. The behavior of these infections might slightly differ. However, all of them pose huge threat to user's privacy and/or computer safety. For this reason, trojan-type infections like GoBotKR should be eliminated immediately.

How did GoBotKR infiltrate my computer?

As mentioned before, GoBotKR is promoted using various Korean websites. Using peer-to-peer (P2P networks) to spread malware is a common method. Crooks present malicious executables as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into manual download/installation of malware. The same goes for other unofficial software download sources, such as freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, and similar. Trojan infections are also likely to be proliferated using email spam campaigns, other trojans (chain infections), and fake software updaters/cracks. Spam campaigns allow cyber criminals to send hundreds of thousands of deceptive emails consisting of malicious attachments (links/files) and deceptive messages encouraging recipients to open. It is also likely for these attachments to be presented as sone important documents - by doing so crooks create the impression of legitimacy and increase the chance of tricking recipients. Trojans (as explained above) stealthily infiltrate computers with the intention to inject additional malware. Fake updaters infect computers by exploiting outdated software's bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than actual updates. Last but not least are fake cracks which infect computers instead of granting access to paid software features.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To begin with, users should know that the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and reckless behavior. Caution is the key to its safety, which is why paying attention when browsing the Internet, as well as downloading, installing, and updating software is a must. Alway handle email attachments with care. If the file/link is irrelevant or the sender looks suspicious then do not open anything. Download programs only from official sources, preferably using direct download links. Keep installed applications (and operating system) up-to-date. To achieve this, however, use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Moreover, always keep in mind that software piracy is a cyber crime. Moreover, the risk of infections is extremely high. Therefore, cracking installed applications should never be considered. Lastly, be sure to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running at all times. Software of this type will help you detect and eliminate malware before the system is harmed. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

List of GoBotKr malware's features:

  • Access an URL address
  • Change Internet Explorer homepage option
  • Change desktop wallpaper
  • Enable and disable Windows Command Prompt
  • Enable and disable Windows Task Manager
  • Enable and disable Windows registry editors
  • Execute a DDoS attack on a specified target
  • Execute files/commands/scripts
  • Hide a process window
  • Inject itself to connected removable devices, and setup a AutoRun function
  • Inject itself to public folders of cloud storage services (OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive)
  • Log off/shut down/reboot the system
  • Modify Windows Firewall options and hosts file, open a port
  • Run a reverse proxy server
  • Run an HTTP server
  • Seed torrents
  • Terminate a process
  • Update/terminate/uninstall itself

List of anti-virus process names (substrings) checked by GoBotKR malware:

  • 360  (360 Total Security)
  • Avast  (Avast)
  • Avira (Avira)
  • BitDefender (BitDefender)
  • ByteFence (ByteFence)
  • Ksde (Kaspersky)
  • McUICnt (McAfee)
  • RwVnSvc (AhnLab Anti-Ransomware Tool)
  • V3Clinic (AhnLab, V3 Internet Security)
  • V3Lite (AhnLab, V3 Internet Security)
  • avp (Kaspersky)
  • kavsvc (Kaspersky)
  • kwsprotect (Kingsoft Internet Security)
  • kxe (Kingsoft Antivirus)

Instant automatic removal of GoBot2 malware: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of GoBot2 malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task, usually it's better to let antivirus or anti-malware programs do it automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using  Spyhunter 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's an example of a suspicious program running on 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 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 Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down it full path and name. Note that some malware hides their process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage it's very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate he suspicious program you want to remove right click your mouse over it's name and choose "Delete"

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware won't 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 file 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 help remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills, it's recommended to leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it's better to avoid getting infected that try to remove malware afterwards. To keep your computer safe be sure to install latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure your computer is free of malware infections we recommend scanning it with Spyhunter 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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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
GoBot2 malware QR code
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