Avoid installation of Masad information stealer
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Masad?
Masad Stealer is malicious software that, once installed, allows cyber criminals to steal various information/data. Its basic version is free, however, cyber criminals can purchase a 'full version' with more features for $85. Masad Stealer is available for download on hacking forums.
Having a computer infected with this malware can lead to serious problems. Therefore, if there is any reason to believe that Masad Stealer might be installed on your system, remove it immediately.
Masad malware is mainly used to steal information stored on browsers (including passwords), cryptocurrency wallet data, and various files.
It can also be used to record system information, lists of installed software and running processes, and to take screenshots of the Desktop, steal Steam files, Discord and Telegram data, and FileZilla files. Masad is capable of stealing browser data, including autofill entries.
In summary, cyber criminals can use this malware to steal logins, passwords of various accounts and credit card information, and then make fraudulent transactions, purchases, proliferate malware through the victim's email or social networking accounts, and so on.
Furthermore, it can be used to replace cryptocurrency wallets that are saved on the clipboard with those used by cyber criminals. In this way, victims might inadvertently transfer cryptocurrency to cyber criminals by pasting replaced wallet addresses.
In addition, cyber criminals can use Masad to steal files stored on the victim's Desktop. For example, they could steal text files that might contain personal details (logins, passwords, banking information, and so on). Stolen Steam files can be used to steal Steam accounts and make purchases through them.
As a channel to exfiltrate data stolen with Masad Stealer, cyber criminals use Telegram - all stolen details are sent to them through Telegram, which they use as a Command and Control channel. In summary, this malware can be used to steal a wide range of sensitive data.
Typically, victims who have computers infected with this malware experience financial loss, problems with privacy, identity theft, and other serious issues.
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Detection Names||Avast (Script:SNH-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Trojan.Heur.AutoIT.17), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Packed.AutoIt.UL), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-PSW.Win32.Masqulab.b), Full List (VirusTotal)|
|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 passwords and banking information, identity theft, the 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.
Other examples of information-stealing malware include Krypton, Laturo, and Qulab.
Typically, cyber criminals use this malware so steal as much sensitive information as possible and them misuse it to generate revenue in various ways. People often download and install software of this type unintentionally and are unaware of its presence until they start to experience various problems.
How did Masad infiltrate my computer?
Research shows that Masad is distributed by disguising it as legitimate tool/software. To proliferate it, cyber criminals might use various unofficial websites, third party installers (or downloaders), Peer-to-Peer networks, free file hosting or freeware download web pages, and so on.
People who open files downloaded from these channels risk installing malware such as Masad. It can also be proliferated through various unofficial activation and/or 'cracking' tools (which supposedly activate installed software free of charge).
Furthermore, malware can be distributed through unofficial updating tools that install malicious programs rather than updating any software, or they exploit bugs/flaws of software already installed on the operating system.
How to avoid installation of malware
Avoid using third party software downloaders/installers, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks, and other such tools to download files or programs. They should be downloaded from official web pages and via direct links. Update installed software using implemented functions or tools provided by official software developers.
Attachments or web links presented in irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially when they are sent from unknown/suspicious email addresses. Software 'cracking' tools are illegal and often cause computer infections - they should not be used.
To protect systems from malware attacks, regularly scan them with reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software and ensure that it is 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.
List of data targeted by Masad Stealer:
- Cryptocurrency Wallets
- Desktop files
- Desktop screenshots
- Discord/Telegram data
- FileZilla files
- Installed software and processes
- PC and system information
- Passwords saved in the web browser
- Steam files
- Web browser autofill data
- Web browser cookies
- Web browser data related to credit cards
Screenshot of Masad advertised on hacking forums:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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:
How to remove malware manually
Manual malware removal is a complicated task - it is usually 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:
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:
Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:
Restart 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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.
In 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.
Check 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".
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.
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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