How to remove the Conteban trojan from your system

Also Known As: Trojan-Win32/Conteban
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What kind of malware is Conteban?

Conteban is a Trojan, a malicious program also known as Trojan-Win32/Conteban. The exact purpose of this malware is unknown, however, most Trojans operate as 'backdoors'. I.e., cyber criminals use them to gain access to the victim's system and remotely control it.

Programs of this type are often used to infect computers with other malware, for example, ransomware. They can also be used to steal confidential, sensitive information relating to banking, and other personal accounts. Having a computer infected with a Trojan can cause serious problems and, for this reason, Conteban should be removed immediately.


More about Conteban malware

In most cases, cyber criminals proliferate Trojans to generate revenue in various fraudulent ways. Malware of this type often proliferates other malicious software, thereby causing chain infections. If Conteban is one of these Trojans, it might infect the system with high-risk malware such as ransomware.

Ransomware encrypts victims' data and blocks access to it unless ransoms are paid. In most cases, victims cannot access or use their files unless they are decrypted with a specific tool and/or key that can only be provided by the cyber criminals who designed the program.

To obtain the tools, victims are forced to pay ransoms. Note that ransomware is just one example of a program that can be installed on systems through a Trojan. Furthermore, Trojans can be designed to operate as information stealers. In most cases they target sensitive data such as banking information, credentials (logins, passwords) of various accounts, and so on.

Stolen details and accounts could be misused to make fraudulent purchases, transactions, proliferate malware, trick other people into sending money and/or infecting their systems with malware, and so on. These and other actions could be performed by a 'backdoor Trojan', which allows cyber criminals to control the infected system remotely.

They could run/execute various commands, take screenshots, log keystrokes, record clipboard data, restart/shutdown computers, and so on.

As mentioned, it is unknown which type of Trojan Conteban is, however, it must be removed from the infected operating system immediately. Note that some antivirus engines identify harmless files as malicious (these detections are called 'false positives') and there are cases where harmless files might be identified as Conteban.

Threat Summary:
Name Trojan-Win32/Conteban
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:PUP-gen [PUP]), BitDefender (Trojan.Agent.EHMB), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Toolbar.Linkury.BO Potentially Unwanted), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.Win32.Linkury.vho), Full List (VirusTotal)
Payload The payload of this Trojan could be anything - it could infect systems with various forms of malware.
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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Similarities with other Trojans

CryptBot, Socelars and CStealer are examples of some other malicious programs categorized as Trojans.

Most programs of this type cause further infections (install other malware), steal sensitive information, and so on. In many cases, people who have computers infected with Trojan-type software become victims of identity theft, experience financial/data loss, problems with browsing safety, privacy, and so on.

How did Conteban infiltrate my computer?

Malware (including Trojans) can be spread by sending emails that contain malicious attachments or website links that download malicious files. They infect systems when recipients open/execute them. Cyber criminals usually attach files such as Microsoft Office, PDF documents, archive files (RAR, ZIP and others), executable files such as .exe, JavaScript and other files.

It is also possible to proliferate malicious programs through fake, unofficial software updaters. If used, these install malware rather than updates/fixes, or they exploit bugs/flaws of outdated software installed on the operating system.

Files and software downloaded using Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule), free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, third party downloaders or other similar channels, could lead to installation of malware.

Files or programs that are available for download on these channels might be disguised as legitimate, however, once downloaded and opened, they can infect systems with malicious software. Computer can be infected with malware through software 'cracking', unofficial activation tools.

Typically, people use them to bypass paid activation of licensed software, however, these tools are often designed to download and install malicious programs (including Trojans) instead.

How to avoid installation of malware

Do not to open attachments or web links included in irrelevant emails that are sent unknown/suspicious addresses. Use only official and trustworthy sources to download or install software. None of the sources mentioned above can be trusted. Software should be updated and activated through implemented functions and tools that are provided by the official software developers.

Various unofficial activation ('cracking') tools are illegal and can proliferate and install malware.

Scan the system with reputable antivirus or and anti-spyware software. Remove any detected threats immediately. Always keep this 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:
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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 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 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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

This malware can be removed by following our guide provided above. The removal process does not include the formatting of the storage device.

What are the biggest issues that malware can cause?

Cybercriminals can use it to encrypt files, steal identities, sensitive information, and personal accounts, inject other malware, add a computer to a botnet, launch DDoS attacks, etc.

What is the purpose of Conteban malware?

It is unknown what is the exact purpose of Conteban. It is likely to be used to distribute other malware or steal sensitive information.

How did a malware infiltrate my computer?

In most cases, computers get infected via malicious drive-by downloads or files downloaded via Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks,  unofficial websites, and similar sources. It is also common that malware is distributed via email (malicious links or attachments sent via email) and fake installers for cracked software.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Combo Cleaner will detect and remove malware. It can detect almost all known malware. When computers are infected with high-end malware, they must be scanned using a full scan. Running a quick scan is not enough to detect such malware since it can hide deep in the operating system.

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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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