How to remove Kwampirs

Also Known As: Kwampirs remote access trojan
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Kwampirs virus removal guide

What is Kwampirs?

Kwampirs is a Remote Access Trojan (RAT), a type of malware that allows cyber criminals to control infected devices remotely. Once a RAT is connected to a computer, cyber criminals can access stored files, download malware, acquire login credentials and other personal information, and so on. Research shows that cyber criminals behind Kwampirs target companies and organizations in various industries and attempt to access data that can be used to generate revenue.

Kwampirs malware

It is likely that Kwampirs has few useful features (if any) and is used simply to record and modify information on infected systems. Therefore, cyber criminals responsible Kwampirs might be targeting sensitive information, important documents, and other data. Since Kwampirs is used to attack organizations and companies, cyber criminals might be capable of compromising data associated with many people. They might be able to access databases containing login credentials, credit card details, email addresses, telephone numbers, and other personal data. Stolen information could be sold to third parties and/or misused to make fraudulent purchases and transactions, steal identities and accounts (banking, email, social media, etc.), spread spam campaigns, and so on. Kwampirs operates stealthily, and therefore companies/organizations with infected systems may not know be aware for a significant period.

Threat Summary:
Name Kwampirs remote access trojan
Threat Type Remote Access Trojan.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.Kwampirs.C), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Agent.YVC), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Bedep.az), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms This Remote Access Trojan is 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)

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Other examples of RATs are BlackNET, Milum and PlugX. Generally, cyber criminals use these programs to infect computers with malicious programs such as ransomware, Trojans and/or access information that can be misused to generate revenue in various ways. Systems infected with RATs put users at risk of identity theft, financial, data loss, problems relating to online privacy, and other serious issues. Therefore, remove all programs of this type immediately.

How did Kwampirs infiltrate my computer?

Research shows that the Kwampirs RAT is installed through copies of legitimate software - cyber criminals distribute this malicious program by compromising networks of software developers. Other examples of ways RATs and other malware are distributed are spam email campaigns, fake software updaters, untrusted third party software download channels and unofficial software activation tools. Cyber criminals commonly send emails that contain malicious attachments or website links designed to download malicious files. If recipients open the attachments/files, they cause installation of malicious software. Examples of files that they usually attach to their emails are Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, archive files, executable files (.exe) and so on. Fake software updaters can infect systems by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software and by installing malware rather than the updates/fixes. Untrusted software download channels such as eMule, torrent clients (and other Peer-to-Peer networks), free file hosting and freeware download websites, third party downloaders, unofficial pages, etc., can be used to host malicious files. Therefore, users who open files downloaded through these channels risk executing a rogue file, which then infects the operating system with a malicious program. Trojans can be designed to cause chain infections. Once installed, they infect computers with other malicious software. Unofficial activation tools that supposedly activate licensed software free of charge often install malware instead. These tools operate in a similar manner to the aforementioned third party updaters.

How to avoid installation of malware

Irrelevant emails that contain attachments, web links and are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be trusted. Do not open these emails or the contents without being sure that it is safe to do so. Note that cyber criminals tend to disguise their emails as important or official. Software should not be downloaded or installed through third party downloaders, installers, unofficial pages or the other channels mentioned above. Files and programs should be downloaded from official websites and via direct links. All installed software must be activated and updated with tools designed by official developers. Third party, unofficial tools can install malware. Furthermore, it is illegal to activate licensed programs with unofficial, 'cracking' tools. Operating systems should be regularly scanned for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite. Keep this software up to date. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

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:
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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 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:

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 Malwarebytes 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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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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