How to avoid installation of trojanized Tor browser?

Also Known As: Malicious Tor Browser
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Trojanized Tor browser virus removal guide

What is trojanized Tor browser?

Tor is the name of a legitimate web browser which allows users to browse the web with as much privacy as possible. However, there is a trojanized version of it that is designed by cyber criminals and used to steal cryptocurrency. This malicious version is based on an official Tor browser 7.5, which means it is very similar to the original one. Cyber criminals spread it using two unofficial download pages: torpoect[.]org and tor-browser[.]org. People who install Tor that is downloaded from these pages actually install a trojanized version. We strongly recommend not to use this version and uninstall it immediately.

Trojanized Tor browser malware

The address of official Tor download page is torproject[.]org which is very similar to the download page (torpoect[.]org) of the trojanized version. When visited, this website informs people that their Tor browser is out-of-date, even when it is not. This page leads to tor-browser[.]org. Both torpoect[.]org and tor-browser[.]org pages claim that they distribute official Tor browser with interface in Russian language. Research shows that these websites were promoted on various Russian forums related to Internet privacy, Darknet markets, cryptocurrencies, etc. This trojanized version is designed to prevent users from updating it because, updating trojanized version to a never ibe would update it to a legitimate version of Tor and crooks would no longer be able to abuse it. Trojanized Tor browser is designed to inject different content scripts on every visited website, it does it through a Command & Control (C&C) server. These scripts can modify visited website's content and be used to steal content in forms, hide original content, add new content, display fake messages, and so on. It is known that cyber criminals use Trojanized browser mainly to steal cryptocurrency by changing wallet addresses with the ones that belong to them. As a result, users end up inadvertently transferring cryptocurrency to cyber criminals. To sum up, most of the people who use this trojanized version to make cryptocurrency transactions experience financial loss by sending cryptocurrency to cyber criminals. It is known that at the time of research developers of this trojanized version had already stolen over $40,000 in Bitcoins.

Threat Summary:
Name Malicious Tor Browser
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names DrWeb (JS.Stealer.21), GData (Script.Trojan.FakeTor.B), ESET-NOD32 (JS/Agent.OBW), Kaspersky (Trojan.Script.Agent.bi), Full List (VirusTotal)
Payload Trojanized browser injects a script that can modify content on visited websites.
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 Unofficial Tor download websites, infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.
Damage Loss of cryptocurrency.
Removal

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

There are many programs that are designed to look like official ones and used for various malicious purposes. One way or another, most cyber criminals use them with a purpose to generate revenue in one or several ways. Typically, they steal personal details (including logins, passwords), use them to spread other malware (Trojans, ransomware, etc.), and perform other actions that cause victims problems related to privacy, browsing safety, finances, data loss, and so on.

How did trojanized Tor browser infiltrate my computer?

This trojanized Tor browser is distributed through torproject[.]org and tor-browser[.]org websites that are promoted on various Russian forums. It is never a good idea to download software from unofficial websites, using Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, third party downloaders, and other sources of this kind. Cyber criminals often use these sources/tools to distribute malicious software. They present it as legitimate, official and so on. Once a malicious file is downloaded and opened, it infects computer with some high-risk malware. In this case users install a trojanized Tor web browser. Other ways to spread malicious programs are using spam campaigns, Trojans, unofficial software updating tools and activation tools. Quite often cyber criminals spread malware by sending malicious files through emails. In most cases they attach Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, JavaScript files, archives like ZIP, RAR, executable files like .exe, and so on. Malware gets installed when recipients download and open those files. Trojans are malicious programs that cause damage only when they are already installed. Once installed, programs of this type usually install other malware. Fake updaters usually infect systems by installing malicious software instead of updating installed programs or by exploiting bugs, flaws of outdated software that is installed on a computer. Unofficial activation tools are programs that supposed to activate paid (licensed) software for free. However, very often tools of this type do not activate any software and simply install malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

The best way to download files or/and programs is to use only official websites and direct download links. None of the other sources that we mentioned above can be trusted. Emails that are received from unknown/suspicious addresses, especially if they contain some attachment, should not be trusted as well. We advise agains opening attachments that are presented in such emails without being sure it is safe. Moreover, we advise to update all installed software using implemented functions or tools that are provided by official software developers. Other (unofficial) updaters can be used to spread malware. The same applies to software activations, they should not be done using unofficial ('cracking') tools. These tools are not legal and often lead to installation of malicious software. One more important thing is to have a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware suite installed and scan the operating system with it regularly. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Another download page (tor-browser[.]org) of trojanized Tor browser:

tor-browser.org website that is used to promote Trojanized Tor browser

Installer of the trojanized Tor browser:

installer of the trojanized Tor web browser

Instant automatic removal of Malicious Tor Browser: 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 Malicious Tor Browser. 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 is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this 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 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 1Download 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 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
Malicious Tor Browser QR code
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Platform: Windows

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