How to uninatall ZLoader malware from the operating system

Also Known As: DELoader/Terdot virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

ZLoader virus removal guide

What is ZLoader?

ZLoader (also known as DELoader and Terdot) is a malicious program distributed through malicious web pages that display a fake error notification (e.g., "The 'Roboto Condensed' font was not found"). Research shows that ZLoader infects systems with another malicious program, a banking Trojan called Zeus. We strongly advise against opening files downloaded from web pages that display this error message, or similar.

ZLoader malware-distributing malicious MS Excel document

When the malicious website is visited, it displays an error message stating that the web page cannot be loaded properly due to a missing font called "Roboto Condensed". It encourages visitors to fix this error by downloading and installing the font through "Mozilla Font Pack" or "Chrome Font Pack" (depending on which browser was used to open the malicious page). Depending on the browser, the page downloads "Chrome_Font.zip" or "Mozilla_Font.zip", which contain the "Chrome_Font.js" or "Mozilla_Font.js" JavaScript files respectively - these download and install ZLoader (a.k.a. DELoader and Terdot). As mentioned, this malware is used to distribute Zeus, a banking Trojan capable of recording keystrokes and stealing online banking credentials such as logins, passwords. Typically, cyber criminals misuse this information to steal banking accounts and make fraudulent transactions, purchases, and so on. Victims will then experience financial loss. Unfortunately, websites that display "The 'Roboto Condensed' font was not found" error can be used to proliferate other malicious programs like Nymaim, Ursnif as well. Typically, websites that display fake virus, error and other warnings are opened through other untrustworthy websites, deceptive ads or potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) that are installed on the browser and/or operating system. If you believe your computer is infected with ZLoader or other malware, eliminate it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name DELoader/Terdot virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.5954394), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/TrojanDownloader.Agent.DGM), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Sennoma.anq), Full List (VirusTotal)
Payload Zeus banking Trojan.
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 Malicious websites, 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)

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More examples of malicious programs that are designed to steal sensitive information (including banking credentials) include Mispadu, Bolik and Casbaneiro. Typically, they are distributed by disguising them as legitimate programs or files. When installed, however, they can cause serious problems such as installation of other malware, financial and data loss, problems with browsing safety, online privacy, and so on.

How did ZLoader infiltrate my computer?

As mentioned, cyber criminals proliferate ZLoader through a malicious web page that tricks people into downloading and opening a file (font), which will supposedly allow them to browse the page further. Cyber criminals often proliferate malware through untrustworthy web pages, third party downloaders, free file hosting pages, Peet-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent client, eMule) and other dubious file or software download channels/tools. They also distribute malicious programs through spam campaigns, Trojans, fake software updaters and software 'cracking' (activation) tools. Using spam campaigns, they send emails that contain malicious attachments or website links that download malicious files. They attach executables (.exe), PDF documents, archive files such as ZIP, RAR, Microsoft Office document or JavaScript files. If recipients open the attachments, they cause installation of malicious programs. Trojans are malicious programs that cause chain infections - once installed, they install additional malware. Fake software updating tools usually infect systems by installing malware rather than updates/fixes or by exploiting bugs/flaws of installed software that is out of date. Software 'cracking' tools supposedly bypass activation of paid, licensed software, however, cyber criminals use them to infect computers with malware. People who use 'cracks' thus risk installing malicious software onto the operating system.

How to avoid installation of malware

Software and files should not be downloaded through third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks or the other tools mentioned above. Use only official, trustworthy websites and direct download links. Attachments or web links within irrelevant emails and received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened. Keep installed software up do date using tools provided by official software developers. Avoid third party updaters. The same applies to activation of licensed software - it is illegal to use 'cracking' tools to activate software. Keep operating systems safe by regularly scanning them for threats with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. 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.

Screenshot of a pop-up on the "The 'Roboto Condensed' font was not found" scam web page (Mozilla Firefox):

zloader malware scam page encouraging to download a font on mozilla

Screenshot of a second pop-up on this page:

zloader malware scam page encouraging to download a font on mozilla second page

Screenshot of the first pop-up on the same scam page (Google Chrome):

zloader malware malicious page offers to download a font that installs ZLoader

Screenshot of the second pop-up on this scam page:

 zloader malware malicious page offers to download a font that installs ZLoader

Examples of malicious Microsoft Word documents designed to spread ZLoader malware:

Malicious Word document distributing ZLoader malware Malicious doc used to inject ZLoader malware Malicious Word document injecting ZLoader malware into the system

Examples of malicious Microsoft Excel documents designed to spread ZLoader malware:

ZLoader malware-injecting MS Excel file Malicious MS Excel file that injects ZLoader malware into the system Malicious Excel document injecting ZLoader malware into the system Malicious Excel document (doc_2020-05-25_1092617.xls) spreading ZLoader malware. ZLoader malware-distributing malicious MS Excel document (Statement.25420.xls) ZLoader malware-distributing malicious MS Excel document ZLoader malware-spreading Excel document (Sord_90743.xls) ZLoader malware-spreading MS Excel document (_(_80780_)__ORYGINA__1_3.xlsm) ZLoader malware-spreading MS Excel document (order_93711.xls) Excel file designed to inject Zloader malware into the system (2020-06-23) Excel file designed to inject Zloader malware into the system (2020-06-23) Excel file designed to inject Zloader malware into the system (2020-08-13) Excel file designed to inject Zloader malware into the system (2020-09-30) Malicious Excel file designed to spread ZLoader malware (2021-02-02)

A porn website (pornislife[.]online) promoting ZLoader malware as Java plug-in:

ZLoader malware promoting website - pornislife.online

Example of a spam email used to spread ZLoader malware via attached malicious MS Excel document:

Spam email spreading ZLoader malware (2021-01-25)

Text presented within:

Subject: Contract data#211925


Information regarding invoice #124351. Please review all documentation attached to this e-mail - if you'll have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact us.


Contract data#134512

Screenshot of the attached MS Excel document:

Malicious MS Excel document spreading ZLoader malware (2021-01-25)

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:
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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.

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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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
DELoader/Terdot virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of DELoader/Terdot virus on your mobile device.
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