How to remove ArkeiStealer from the computer

Also Known As: Arkei Stealer
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What kind of malware is ArkeiStealer?

ArkeiStealer (also known as Arkei Stealer) is a type of malware that steals sensitive, confidential information, which cyber criminals can then use to generate revenue. Research shows that ArkeiStealer is capable of stealing login credentials and cryptocurrency wallet keys.

Through accessing such information, cyber criminals can cause significant financial loss and other problems. Therefore, if there is a reason to suspect that ArkeiStealer is installed on the computer, remove it immediately.

ArkeiStealer malware

More about the ArkeiStealer malware

Cryptocurrency wallets store public and private keys, which can be used monitor balances, send money and perform other operations. ArkeiStealer can be used to steal private keys and misuse them to make fraudulent transactions. Unfortunately, there is no way to reclaim lost money (cryptocurrency) or reverse the transactions.

Furthermore, this malware is capable of stealing login credentials, and therefore cyber criminals can use it to hijack email, social networking, online payment and other accounts.

In most cases, cyber criminals use hijacked accounts to make fraudulent transactions and purchases, deceive other people into making transactions, steal identities, spread malware (such as ransomware, Trojan-type programs) and perform other malicious actions.

ArkeiStealer can be the reason behind serious online privacy issues, significant financial loss, identity theft, etc. Therefore, it must be eliminated from infected operating systems immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Arkei Stealer
Threat Type Password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Script:SNH-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.33529475), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Injector.Autoit.FDO), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Chapak.ejrj), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Most information stealers 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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Information stealers in general

There are many malicious programs that are designed to steal sensitive information. Some more examples include PoulightStealer, RedLineStealer and CStealer. Typically, they are designed to target data that contains confidential details.

Victims who have their operating systems infected with this malware can suffer financial loss, become victims of identity theft, experience problems related to privacy, and other issues.

How did ArkeiStealer infiltrate my computer?

Malicious programs are usually proliferated through spam email campaigns, untrusted file and software download channels, fake software updating tools, Trojans and unofficial activation ('cracking') tools. Cyber criminals attempt to spread malicious software by sending emails that contain malicious attachments.

They usually send emails with malicious Microsoft Office documents, archive files (ZIP, RAR), PDF documents, executable files (.exe) or JavaScript files. They seek to deceive recipients into opening/executing a malicious file, which installs malware when opened.

Note that their emails can contain website links that download malicious files as well. Examples of dubious file/software download channels are Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients), free file hosting websites, freeware download sites, unofficial web pages, and other similar channels.

These channels are used to distribute malicious files that are disguised as harmless and regular. When users download and open them, however, they infect their computers with malware. Fake software updating tools cause damage when they install malware rather than updates/fixes or, they exploit bugs/flaws of outdated software that is installed on the operating system.

A Trojan is a type of malware that can cause chain infections and install other software of this kind, however, it can only spread other malware when it is already installed on the operating system. Software 'cracking' tools supposedly activate licensed programs free of charge (bypass activation), they often install malicious software instead.

How to avoid installation of malware

All software should be downloaded from official pages and via direct links. Other channels that are mentioned in paragraph above can proliferate malicious programs and should thus be avoided. The same applies to third party installers.

Operating systems and other installed software must be updated with implemented functions and tools that are designed by official developers. Third party, unofficial activation ('cracking') tools can infect computers with malware. Furthermore, software activation through such tools are illegal.

Do not open attachments and website links in irrelevant emails that are received from suspicious, unknown addresses - such emails are often sent by cyber criminals who seek to proliferate high-risk malware. They disguise their emails as important, official, etc.

Computers should be regularly scanned for threats with up to date, 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.

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 ArkeiStealer malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?

No, you do not have to format the infected storage device to eliminate malware like ArkeiStealer. It can be removed by following the steps described in our removal guide, which is provided above.

What are the biggest issues that malware can cause?

Most common and biggest problems that malware causes are identity theft, data encryption, financial losses, additional computer infections, poor computer performance, and loss of access to personal accounts.

What is the purpose of ArkeiStealer malware?

ArkeiStealer can steal private keys stored in cryptocurrency wallets. Those keys can be misused to make fraudulent transactions. Also, it can steal login credentials (for example, usernames, email addresses, passwords).

How did a malware infiltrate my computer?

Most cybercriminals use emails and cracked software distribution pages to trick users into downloading and executing malware. Their emails contain malicious attachments or links. Also, they use fake installers, torrent sites, P2P networks, various deceptive pages, and similar ways to distribute their malware. Their goal is to trick users into executing malware by themselves.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner will eliminate malware from your computer. It can detect almost all known malware. Usually, high-end malware hides deep in the system. Therefore, running a full system scan is required to detect (and remove) it.

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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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