How to protect computers from attack by the Forbix worm

Also Known As: Forbix malware
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What kind of malware is Forbix?

Forbix is a malicious program and classified as a 'worm'. It can infect available drives, protect itself against removal, update itself, perform a second stage payload, and communicate through a C2 server. Generally, worms are malicious programs that can replicate to spread to other computers.

They can be used to perform ransomware attacks, steal personal details such as passwords, or add infected computers to botnets. In summary, worms can be used for a number of malicious purposes.

Forbix malware

More about Forbix

If a worm is used to install a 'backdoor', it can allow cyber criminals to control a computer remotely (add it to a botnet), and use it to send spam or perform DoS attacks. The victim's computer could be used to send spam emails designed to trick other people into installing malicious software, visiting untrustworthy websites, and so on.

'DoS attacks' are effectively cyber attacks designed to make machines or networks inaccessible for a specific period of time. To perform these attacks, cyber criminals use infected computers that are added to a botnet. For example, other computers could be used to connect to a particular website to overload it and prevent access by other users.

Furthermore, worms can be used to proliferate malicious software such as ransomware. These programs encrypt files stored on computers and force victims to pay ransoms. Typically, people who have computers infected with ransomware experience data loss. This can also lead to monetary loss.

As we mentioned, Forbix can infect connected drives such as USBs. Therefore, it can spread to other computers when users insert/connect an infected drive. It can also update itself to a newer (potentially, more harmful) version. Forbix is difficult to remove - one of its capabilities is to protect itself from removal.

This worm can also be used to infect computers with cryptocurrency miners. These programs use victims' computer hardware to mine cryptocurrency. Generally, these processes cause high GPU and/or CPU usage, which results in higher electricity consumption and bills.

Cyber criminals who proliferate programs of this type seek to generate revenue at the victim's expense. Remove Forbix from your computer immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Forbix malware
Threat Type Worm
Detection Names Avast (VBS:AutoRun-DM [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.VBE.Agent.AK), ESET-NOD32 (VBS/Agent.NJS), Kaspersky (Trojan.VBS.Autorun.al), Full List (VirusTotal)
Payload Worms can be used to spread malware such as ransomware, information stealers, cryptocurrency miners, and so on.
Symptoms Worms 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.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Worms like Forbix in general

Another example of a 'worm'-type program is Retadup. Typically, worms spread on other computers. Their purpose is to infect as many systems as possible.

They are often used to infect computers with additional malware such as ransomware, malicious cryptocurrency miners, password stealers, and so on. Their payload can vary, however, installed worms mostly cause serious damage including data and financial loss.

How did Forbix infiltrate my computer?

Typically, cyber criminals proliferate malicious programs through spam campaigns, Trojans, untrustworthy software of file download channels, unofficial activation/'cracking' tools and fake software updating tools. Spam campaigns are used to proliferate malware through files attached to emails.

Cyber criminals send these emails to many people. Once opened, the attached files install a malicious program. Some examples of files that cyber criminals attach to such emails are MS Office or PDF documents, archive files such as ZIP, RAR, JavaScript files, executables such as .exe, etc.

Trojans are malicious programs that cause chain infections. To proliferate malware, however, a Trojan must already be installed on the system.

After installation, it starts installation of other malicious programs. Untrustworthy software download sources such as freeware download websites, free file hosting pages, various Peer-to-Peer networks such as eMule, torrents, and other similar sources can be used to proliferate malicious files/programs.

To spread malware through these, cyber criminals disguise malicious files as legitimate and harmless. If downloaded and opened, however, they infect computers with high-risk malware.

Unofficial software activation tools supposedly allow users to bypass paid activation of licensed software, however, people who use them often infect their computers with malicious programs (these tools distribute malware).

Fake software update tools usually infect systems by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software or by downloading, installing computer infections rather than updates, fixes, and so on.

How to avoid installation of malware

Irrelevant emails that contain attachments or web links and are received from unknown/suspicious addresses should not be trusted. Typically, cyber criminals disguise them as official, however, it is not safe to open these attachments or click the links.

Do not download or install software using third party downloaders/installers, or use any other dubious sources to download files or programs. The best way to achieve this is via official websites and direct download links. All installed software should be updated through tools or implemented functions provided by official software developers.

Do not use unofficial tools that supposedly activate licensed software. This is illegal and using 'cracking' tools often infects computers with unwanted, malicious software.

To avoid damage caused by malware, regularly scan systems with reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software. Additionally, it is important to keep such software up-to-date. 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

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 "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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the biggest issues that malware can cause?

Malware can be used to steal identities, personal accounts, money, inject additional malware, add computers to botnets, launch DDoS attacks, mine cryptocurrency, and more.

What is the purpose of Forbix malware?

Forbix is a worm - a type of malware that can inject other malware and perform other malicious activities. It may be used to infect computers with ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, Trojans, and other malicious software. More information about worms is provided in our article above.

How did a malware infiltrate my computer?

Worms can self-spread through removable storage devices (e.g., external hard drives, USB flash drives, and similar). Also, threat actors use phishing and other social engineering techniques (e.g., deceptive emails, fake system warning messages, etc.), drive-by downloads, P2P networks, unofficial websites, and similar ways to distribute malware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan the operating system and remove malware. It can detect almost all known malware infections. Computers infected with high-end malware must be scanned fully (using a full scan option). Otherwise, antivirus solutions will not detect malware that hides deep in the system.

▼ Show Discussion

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Forbix malware QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Forbix malware on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

Download Combo Cleaner

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.