Avoid installation of Masad information stealer

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

What kind of malware 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

Masad malware overview

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 Summary:
Name Masad malware
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.
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Stealer-type malware examples

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).

Cyber criminals often proliferate malware through emails: they send messages with files attached that, if opened, install malicious software. Typically, they attach PDF or Microsoft Office documents, executable files (.exe), ZIP, RAR and other archive files, JavaScript files, etc.

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:

masad stealer download website

Another hacker forum used to promote Masad stealer:

Hacker forum used to promote Masad stealer (2023-10-18)

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.

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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:

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

My computer is infected with Masad malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?

Most malicious programs can be removed without resorting to formatting.

What are the biggest issues that Masad malware can cause?

Dangers associated with an infection depend on the malware's abilities and the cyber criminals' goals. Masad is designed to steal sensitive information from compromised devices. Typically, such infections can result in severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

What is the purpose of Masad malware?

Most malware infections are motivated by financial gain. However, cyber criminals can also use malicious software to amuse themselves, carry out personal vendettas, disrupt processes (e.g., sites, services, companies, etc.), and even launch politically/geopolitically motivated attacks.

How did Masad malware infiltrate my computer?

Malware is primarily spread through drive-by downloads, online scams, spam emails/messages, malvertising, dubious download channels (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.), illegal software activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Some malicious programs can self-proliferate via local networks and removable storage devices.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and remove practically all known malware infections. It must be emphasized that since high-end malicious programs usually hide deep within systems – running a complete system scan is paramount.

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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.

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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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