GuLoader virus removal guide
What is GuLoader?
GuLoader is a malware downloader used by cyber criminals to proliferate various Remote Access Trojans (RATs) and other Trojan-type programs. They use GuLoader to infect computers with malicious programs that can be used to steal sensitive information, infect computers with other malware, and perform other actions to help cyber criminals generate revenue.
Research shows that GuLoader is used to proliferate various RATs and stealers (malicious programs that collect sensitive data). RAT programs give cyber criminals control over infected computers/operating systems and allow them to log keystrokes, download and execute various files, access webcams, microphones, take screenshots, monitor computing activity, manage (copy, rename, delete) files, and perform other actions. In most cases, cyber criminals attempt to steal credit card details, credentials (passwords, logins) of accounts, which can be used to make fraudulent purchases, transactions and generate revenue in other ways. RATs are commonly used to infect computers with other malware including ransomware. Furthermore, GuLoader is often used to infect computers with malicious programs that steal sensitive information. Cyber criminals behind information stealers usually target banking-related details, passwords, logins, data saved on clipboard, and other sensitive information. They attempt to infect operating systems with GuLoader to cause chain infections. I.e., infect computers with other malware that can help them to generate revenue. Victims of malware that is proliferated through GuLoader risk suffering monetary and/or data loss, becoming victims of identity theft, experiencing problems relating to online privacy, and other serious issues. Therefore, if GuLoader or its payload is already installed on the operating system, it should be eliminated immediately.
|Threat Type||Malware downloader|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.33531900), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Injector.EKYU), Kaspersky (Backdoor.MSIL.NanoBot.bbks), Full List (VirusTotal)|
|Payload||GuLoader can be used to infect systems with Agent Tesla, FormBook, LokiBot, NetWire, Remcos, Vidar and other malicious programs|
|Symptoms||Programs like GuLoader 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, data and/or monetary loss, problems with online privacy|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
Some examples of malicious programs that cyber criminals can spread via GuLoader are Agent Tesla, FormBook, LokiBot, NetWire, Remcos and Vidar. They might also use this downloader to infect systems with other malicious programs. Their main goal is to gain access to personal information and accounts, or perform other actions that enable them to generate revenue in fraudulent ways.
How did GuLoader infiltrate my computer?
How to avoid installation of malware
Website links and attachments that are presented in irrelevant emails should not be trusted, especially if the emails are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. If there is a reason to believe that an email is untrusted, the best option is to simply ignore it and leave its contents unopened. Software should be downloaded from official websites and via direct download links. Third party downloaders, installers, unofficial pages and other channels/tools should not be used. Installed software must be updated and activated only with tools/functions provided by official developers. Third party updaters and activators can install malware. Furthermore, it is illegal to bypass activation of licensed software with third party tools. Keep operating systems safe by scanning them for viruses and other threats regularly. These scans should be performed with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented within this email:
Subject: URGENT NEED: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services/COVID-19 Face Mask/ Forehead thermometers
Due to the wild spread of COVID-19 all over the United States, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is in urgent demand of Face mask and forehead thermometers for it's citizens.
I will like if your company can supply us with the attached products list.
Awaiting your urgent reply.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Another spam email used to spread GuLoader malware:
Screenshot of a malicious MS Excel document ("complete_3.xlsm") attached to this spam email:
Another spam email spreading an identical MS Excel document:
Examples of Die Post-themed spam emails distributing GuLoader malware (the attachment is a link leading to a malicious executable):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is GuLoader?
- STEP 1. Manual removal of GuLoader malware.
- STEP 2. Check if your computer is clean.
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 Malwarebytes 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:
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:
Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:
Restart 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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.
In 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.
Check 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".
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.
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 Malwarebytes for Windows.