How to remove Neshta malicious software from the system?

Also Known As: Neshta virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Neshta virus removal guide

What is Neshta?

Neshta is a malicious software that is designed to infect executable (.exe) system files and use them to collect system information. It might target removable storage devices and network shares too. Neshta sends collected information to a web server that is controlled by cyber criminals. Research shows that this malware was mainly used to attack companies that specialize in finances, consumer goods, energy. Also, it was used to attack manufacturing industry. Either way, Neshta should be removed from the operating systems as soon as possible.

Neshta malware

As we mentioned in the introduction, Neshta infects Windows system executable files, it attaches a malicious code to them. Also, it names itself as "svchost.com", Neshta's victims can find this process running in Task Manager and its executable file in "C:\Windows\". This malware modifies Windows registry so this process would start running every time an infected executable (.exe) file is launched. In other words, Neshta creates a persistence mechanism. It is worth mentioning that it does not target .exe files that contain "%SystemRoot%", "%Temp%" or "\PROGRA~1\" in their path. Additionally, this malware drops two other files, "directx.sys" and "tmp5023.tmp", it puts the first one in "%SystemRoot%\" and the second one in "%Temp%\" directories. The "directx.sys" file is a text file which contains the path of the last infected file to launch. This text file gets updated each time an infected file is launched. Neshta uses infected files to collect various system information related to the operating system, hardware and installed software. Collected data is then sent to a remote server and crooks can easily use it to generate revenue in malicious ways, thereby causing a variety of privacy issues.

Threat Summary:
Name Neshta virus
Threat Type Spyware, system information stealer.
Detection Names (svchost[.]com executable) Avast (Win32:Crypt-SKC [Trj]), BitDefender (Win32.Neshta.A), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Neshta.A), Kaspersky (Virus.Win32.Neshta.a), Full List (VirusTotal)
Malicious Process Name(s) svchost.com.exe
Symptoms Malicious programs like Neshta 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', unreliable download sources.
Damage Stolen system information.
Removal

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

Cyber criminals distribute this malware through other malware or infected files that people download from unreliable download sources. Examples of malicious programs that are designed to spread other software of this kind are Tortoiseshell, Torpig and Nymeria. Typically, people who have their computers infected with such programs are unaware of that.

How did Neshta infiltrate my computer?

Usually malware is being distributed through spam campaigns, Trojans, unofficial software updating, activation tools and unreliable software download channels. To proliferate malicious programs through spam campaigns, cyber criminals send people emails that contain malicious files/attachments (or web links that lead to them). Typically, these attachments are Microsoft Office documents, archive files (like RAR, ZIP), PDF documents, executable files (like .exe), JavaScript files, etc. If opened, those files install malware. Trojans are malicious programs that, if installed, cause chain infections - most of them are designed to spread other programs of this kind. However, it happens only when people have their computers infected with some Trojan. Fake software updating tools can be used to spread malicious software too. These tools do that by installing malicious programs instead of updates, fixes or by exploiting bugs, flaws of outdated software that is installed on user's operating system. Software 'cracking' tools are programs that supposed to bypass activation of some paid software. However, quite often these tools install malicious programs instead. One more commonly used way to spread malware are various unreliable download sources. For example, free file hosting, freeware download websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule, and so on), unofficial websites, etc. Typically, cyber criminals upload malicious files and disguise them as legitimate. People who open files downloaded from there often cause installation of some high-risk malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is not safe to open attachments or web links that are presented in various irrelevant emails, especially if they are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. Such emails (and files in them) should not be trusted/opened. Furthermore, we advise to download all software using direct downloads links and trustworthy, official websites. All other tools (examples are mentioned in the paragraph above) should not be trusted. Also, it is important to update installed software (and operating system) using tools or implemented functions that are designed by official software developers. Other tools should not be used. The same applies to third party activation ('cracking') tools - it is not legal to use them and quite often they infect computers with malware. We also recommend to have a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software installed and scan a computer 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.

Neshta edits Windows registry (edits "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\exefile\shell\open\command" key by setting the value to "%SystemRoot%\svchost.com "%1" %*"):

Neshta malware edits Windows registry in Registry Editor

Instant automatic removal of Neshta virus: 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 Neshta virus. 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
Neshta virus QR code
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Platform: Windows

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