How to prevent installation of Clipsa

Also Known As: Clipsa stealer
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is Clipsa?

Clipsa is a malicious program categorized as a password stealer. Cyber criminals use it to steal various cryptocurrencies, administrator credentials from poorly-secured WordPress websites, replace cryptocurrency addresses saved on the victim's clipboard, and to mine cryptocurrency.

Some versions of Clipsa are also designed to install the XMRig cryptocurrency miner. These programs use system resources to mine cryptocurrency.

Clipsa malware

Clipsa steals cryptocurrency by using information stored on the clipboard of an infected system. It simply replaces cryptocurrency wallet addresses that are saved on the clipboard with others that are owned by the people who spread the Clipsa password stealer. In this way, users end up inadvertently transferring cryptocurrency to cyber criminals.

A cryptowallet address is simply a long string of random digits and characters and can thus go unnoticed if it has been changed. Additionally, this malware can steal wallet.dat files and install a cryptocurrency miner such as XMRig. If installed, programs of this type use the computer CPU and/or GPU to solve mathematical problems. I.e., to mine cryptocurrency.

Computers that are infected with these miners work more slowly or do not respond at all. Having a miner installed on the operating system might also cause hardware to overheat, unexpected system crashes, and other problems. Typically, infected computers consume more power, which leads to increased electricity bills.

Clipsa can also be used to steal credentials from unsecured WordPress pages. To achieve this, it performs brute-force attacks: it attempts to 'guess' the user's password to hijack a particular website. After gaining this information, criminals can easily alter hijacked website content or simply delete/shutdown the system, thereby causing serious issues.

In summary, Clipso can lead to serious privacy issues and cause financial loss. If you believe that your system is infected with this malware, it should be removed/uninstalled immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Clipsa stealer
Threat Type Password-stealing virus, cryptocurrency stealer and miner.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.31885691), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/VB.SRK), Kaspersky (Trojan-Banker.Win32.ClipBanker.gg), Full List (VirusTotal)
Payload Cryptocurrency miner (XMRig)
Symptoms Password stealers 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 installation setups of codec packs, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks', fake software updaters.
Damage Stolen passwords of unsecured WordPress administrator accounts, loss of cryptocurrency, installation of cryptocurrency miner.
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 many examples of malware designed to steal information, which is used to generate revenue. These include Qulab, Osiris, and Proton Bot Loader. Typically, these programs infiltrate systems without users' knowledge.

How did Clipsa infiltrate my computer?

Research shows that cyber criminals proliferate Clipsa through the installation set-ups of codec packs for media players. These set-ups are distributed through dubious file download sources such as Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial pages, file hosting pages, freeware download pages, and so on.

Additionally, cyber criminals proliferate malicious programs through spam campaigns, trojans, software 'cracking' tools and fake updaters. Using spam campaigns, they send emails that contain malicious attachments. For example, Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript or executable files such as .exe, archive files such as ZIP, RAR, PDF documents, and so on.

The main goal of these spam campaigns is to trick people into opening the attached file, which usually causes installation of a malicious program. Trojans are malicious programs that cause download and installation of other malware, however, they can only do this if they are already installed on the operating system.

Software 'cracking' tools supposedly bypass activation of paid software, however, these tools download and install malicious programs. Fake updaters (updating tools) infect systems by downloading and installing malware rather than updates/fixes, or by exploiting bugs/flaws of installed and outdated software.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not download files or programs from unofficial web pages or other sources mentioned above. They should be downloaded from official websites and using direct download links. Emails that include attachments and are received from unknown/suspicious addresses should not be trusted. Attached files cannot do any harm if they remain unopened.

Update installed software properly: use tools and implemented functions designed by official software developers. The same applies to software activation. Note, 'cracking' tools are illegal and often cause serious damage (they are used to proliferate malware).

Have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and enabled at all times. Scan systems with these tools regularly. 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 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 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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