How to remove KBOT from the operating system?

Also Known As: KBOT stealer
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

KBOT virus removal guide

What is KBOT?

KBOT is a malicious software that can steal various credentials like passwords, logins, cryptocurrency wallet data, lists of files and installed programs, banking-related and other personal information. It can cause its victims a variety of serious problems. Research shows that Kaspersky solutions detects this malware and its components as Kpot. If there is a reason to believe that KBOT (also known as KBOT stealer) is installed on the operating system, then it should be removed from it immediately.

KBOT malware

KBOT infects systems through Internet, local networks and/or external devices. When a system is already infected, then KBOT adds itself to the list of Startup items and the Task Scheduler. It means that it can run at every operating system startup and/or be launched at certain intervals. Also, KBOT is capable of hiding its activity by suspending antivirus-related DLL files and injecting malicious codes into various legitimate processes. Cyber criminals behind this malware communicate with it through a C2 (Command and Control) server and use it as a tool to gather details like computer name, operating system, list of users, installed antivirus (or other security) software, and run various commands. This malware can receive commands that can be used to delete and update files, update hosts.ini, worm.ini, injects.ini files, uninstall KBOT, load/install other malware, and perform other actions. It means that cyber criminals can use this malicious software to spread/install other software of this kind that could be used to steal credentials (passwords, logins), cryptocurrency wallet data, and other sensitive information. As a rule, cyber criminals use such details to generate revenue in various ways, mostly by making fraudulent purchases, transactions, selling them to third parties, and so on. Also, stolen information could be used to steal various accounts and trick other people into transferring money, installing KBOT or any other malware, and so on. To sum up, people who would have their systems infected with this malware may suffer financial loss, problems with privacy, browsing safety, become victims of identity theft, lose important files, and experience a variety of other serious problems. Therefore, if KBOT is already installed on the operating system, then it should be removed immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name KBOT stealer
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Win64:Malware-gen), AVG (Win64:Malware-gen), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win64/Bolik.L), Kaspersky (Virus.Win64.Kpot.a), Full List (VirusTotal)
Payload KBOT is capable of infecting systems with other malware and malicious modules.
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 Local networks, external drives, 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.
Removal

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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

More examples of malicious programs that are designed to steal various sensitive information and/or spread other software of this kind are Lampion, CryptBot and Conteban. In most cases cyber criminals attempt to infect systems with such malicious programs so they could misuse stolen information to generate revenue and/or infect computers with other malware (e.g., ransomware). In one way or another, programs like KBOT usually cause serious problems. Their installation should be avoided in all possible ways.

How did KBOT infiltrate my computer?

KBOT infects systems via Internet, local networks, or via infected external media (like USB, external hard drive, etc.). Either way, it can do that only if users launch some malicious file. Typically, malware/malicious files are proliferated through Trojans, spam campaigns, untrustworthy software download channels, software 'cracking' tools or and fake software updaters. Trojans are malicious programs that can cause damage only if they re already installed. If a system is infected with a Trojan, then it gets infected with other programs of this kind. Simply said, Trojans usually are designed to cause chain infections. Spam campaigns are used to proliferate malicious software via email attachments or web links that download malicious files. Typically, cyber criminals send emails that contain attachments such as Microsoft Office, PDF documents, executable files (like .exe), archive files like RAR, ZIP or JavaScript files, and hope that recipients will open them. When opened, those files install one or another malware. Various software download channels like Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), free file hosting websites, third party downloaders, freeware download pages, unofficial websites can be used to spread malicious programs too. Cyber criminals use such download tools, channels to host malicious files. They upload malicious files and wait until someone will download, and open/execute them. Once opened, those files install malicious software. Unofficial activation ('cracking') tools are programs that some people use to activate paid software for free. It is common that these tools are designed to infect computers with high-risk malware. Simply said, instead of bypassing activation they install malicious software. Unofficial software updating tools infect by installing malware instead of updates, fixes, or by exploiting bugs, flaws of installed software that is out-of-date.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Attachments ad/or web links that are included in irrelevant emails should not be trusted (opened). Especially if such emails are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. Programs and files should always be downloaded from official websites and via direct links. It is not safe to use any other sources for that. For example, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), free file hosting pages, third party downloaders, and other sources of this kind. Software must be updated through tools and/or functions that are designed by official developers. If installed software is not free (it needs to be activated), then it should be activated properly. It means that various 'cracking' (unofficial activation) tools should not be used for that. It is not legal to use them and it can lead to installation of various malicious programs. One more way to keep computers safe from malware is to regularly scan them with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite and always keep it up-to-date. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

KBOT Trojan detected as a threat in VirusTotal by a number of different virus detection engines:

kbot rojan detections on virustotal

Update March 31, 2020 - Crooks have recently started a new email spam campaign to spread KBOT trojan. They send various invoice-related emails encouraging users to open a link within. The link leads to a malicious website (which contains Coronavirus-related text) designed to automatically download a malicious Microsoft Word document which injects KBOT into the system.

Example of a spam email from this campaign:

Spam email used to spread KBOT trojan

Appearance of a malicious website ("gpreceipt.xyz/index1.php") which distributes a malicious Microsoft Word document ("gpay_Invoice.doc") attachment which injects KBOT into the system:

Malicious website used to distribute KBOT malware

Text presented within this site:

DOWNLOAD SUCCESFULL
Self-isolation if you or someone you live with has symptoms-Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Contents
Advice for everyone
Advice for people at high risk
Symptoms and what to do
Self-isolation if you or someone you live with has symptoms
More information
Self-isolation helps stop coronavirus spreading
Do not leave your home if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does.

This is called self-isolation.

If you are self-isolating, you must:

not leave your home for any reason, other than to exercise once a day – but stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people
not go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home
not have visitors, such as friends and family, in your home
You can use your garden, if you have one.

Information:
If you're not sure if you need to self-isolate
If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service to find out what to do.

How long to self-isolate
If you have symptoms
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you'll need to self-isolate for 7 days.

After 7 days:

if you do not have a high temperature, you do not need to self-isolate
if you still have a high temperature, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal
You do not need to self-isolate if you just have a cough after 7 days. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

If you live with someone who has symptoms
If you live with someone who has symptoms, you'll need to self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started. This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.

If more than 1 person at home has symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days from the day the first person started having symptoms.

If you get symptoms, self-isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms start, even if it means you're self-isolating for longer than 14 days.

If you do not get symptoms, you can stop self-isolating after 14 days.

After self-isolation
You still need to stay at home when you finish self-isolating, but you can go out for essential trips such as buying food.

Appearance of the distributed malicious Microsoft Word document ("gpay_Invoice.doc"):

Malicious MS Word document used to distribute KBOT malware

Instant automatic malware removal: 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 malware. 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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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
KBOT stealer 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 KBOT stealer on your mobile device.
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