How to eliminate Heodo malware?

Also Known As: Heodo virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Heodo virus removal guide

What is Heodo?

Heodo is the name of a malicious program which is another version of Emotet. Cyber criminals behind Heodo may use it to perform many malicious tasks. For example, they could use it as a tool to download and execute (install) additional malware, steal various personal, sensitive information, and other tasks. Either way, if Heodo is installed on the operating system, then it must be removed from it as soon as possible.

Heodo malware

Cyber criminals could use Heodo to install other malicious software like ransomware, Remote Access Trojan (RAT), cryptocurrency miner, and other software that could help them to generate revenue. Ransomware is a type of software that is designed to encrypt (lock) files so that victims could not use, access them without having to decrypt them. In most the only people who can help victims to decrypt files are cyber criminals who designed ransomware. In other words, cyber criminals behind ransomware-type programs usually are the only ones who have tools that can decrypt files encrypted by their ransomware. Remote Access Trojan is a type of software that allows cyber criminals take control over the infected computers and perform various tasks. In most cases RATs are used to infect systems with other malware (e.g., ransomware) and/or record keystrokes that could contain banking-related information, passwords, private conversations, etc. Additionally, cyber criminals can use RATs to access webcam or microphone. Cryptocurrency miners are programs that use computer hardware (like CPU, GPU) to solve mathematical problems. Cyber criminals attempt to infect computers with such programs so they could use them as tools to mine cryptocurrency. Typically, computers that have such software installed on them consume more electricity and operate slower or do not respond at all. Also, cryptocurrency miners can cause unexpected shutdowns, system crashes hardware overheat, and other issues. As mentioned in the first paragraph, Heodo could be used as information stealer as well. Cyber criminals could be using to steal logins, passwords, credit card details, and other confidential details that could be misused to hijack various accounts, make fraudulent purchases, transactions, etc.

Threat Summary:
Name Heodo virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Payload Heodo could be used to infect systems with a variety 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.

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Victims of Heodo attack may suffer financial, data loss, get computers infected with other malware, become victims of identity theft, experience problems with online privacy, and other issues. Therefore, if there is any reason to believe that a computer is infected with Heodo (or any other malware), then this malicious software should be uninstalled/removed from it immediately. Some examples of other malicious programs that can be used to steal information, spread other malware and/or perform other malicious tasks are RedLineStealer, Vobfus and Mozart.

How did Heodo infiltrate my computer?

Research shows that cyber criminals attempt to trick users into installing Heodo on their computers through spam campaigns. They send emails that contain a malicious Microsoft Word document which, if opened, asks for a permission to enable content/editing (macros commands). If allowed, this malicious documents installs Heodo. It is worthwhile to mention that Microsoft Office 2010 and older versions do not include Protected View mode, which means malicious documents infect computers without asking any permissions. More examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are PDF documents, executable files (like .exe), archive files (like ZIP, RAR) and JavaScript files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Software (and files) should be downloaded only from official, trustworthy websites and via direct links. Other channels like third party downloaders (and installers), unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (such as torrent clients, eMule, etc.), freeware download and free file hosting pages, and other similar channels should not be used neither to download or install any software. Attachments and links in irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened. It should be done only if there is no reason to think that it may be not safe. Installed software must be updated and activated with tools that are designed by official software developers. Other tools can be used to distribute malware. It is worthwhile to mention that it is not legal to use 'cracking' tools (unofficial activators) to activate any licensed software (bypass its activation). One more way to keep computers safe is to regularly scan them for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. Also, software of this type should be kept 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.

Malicious attachments (Microsoft Office documents) used to inject Heodo into the system:

Heodo malware-injecting Microsoft Word document (sample 1) Heodo malware-injecting Microsoft Word document (sample 2) Heodo malware-injecting Microsoft Word document (sample 3)

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:
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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 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 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.

QR Code
Heodo 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 Heodo virus on your mobile device.
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