How to remove Twin Flower from your computer

Also Known As: Twin Flower virus
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is Twin Flower?

Twin Flower is a malware campaign used to spread files designed to install a malicious music downloader, which downloads files without users' permission and collects browser cookies. Files distributed through the Twin Flower campaign can do further damage by injecting malicious code into systems.

Therefore, if files relating to the Twin Flower campaign are present on the operating system, they should be removed immediately.

Twin Flower malware

Research shows that some downloaded files that are part of the Twin Flower campaign relate to a malicious music downloader, which downloads audio files without users' permission. It downloads music files and also adds the "%System%\cmd.exe /c "%User Temp%\RarSFX0\start.bat" and %User Temp%\RarSFX0\[malware name] processes to the operating system.

This music downloader connects to various addresses to download .mp3 files and related images, and to extort file details, saving them in the "My Music" folder. Although it primarily connects to pages relating to audio downloads, it also connects to various potentially malicious sites.

Furthermore, the Twin Flower campaign includes files designed to connect to various video-related pages. The main purpose of this is to improve their search engine rankings, boost their view count and generate advertising revenue. The aforementioned files might also cause further damage by leading to download and injection of potentially malicious code.

Therefore, users might end having their computers infected with ransomwareTrojan-type programs, or other malware.

Research shows that files from the Twin Flower campaign can steal data (browser cookies) associated with a number of websites relating to technology, entertainment, health, and other pages, and then send the data to a page controlled by the cyber criminals behind this campaign.

Research shows that files from campaigns that are responsible for downloading other files do not operate if there are certain processes running on the infected operating system. The list of these processes is provided below.

Threat Summary:
Name Twin Flower virus
Threat Type Malicious file downloader.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Ursu.746549), GData (Gen:Variant.Ursu.746549), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:Downloader.Win32.Snojan.gpvu), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Files from Twin Flower campaign 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 Installation of other malware, stolen cookies, unwanted downloads.
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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In summary, Twin Flower is used to spread files that download other files, steal cookies and increases page views for various websites. It might also inject malicious code that can cause installation of high-risk malware.

To avoid possible problems caused through the Twin Flower campaign, we recommend that you scan the operating system with antivirus software and check if it detects any malicious files relating to this campaign.

How did Twin Flower infiltrate my computer?

It is very likely that Twin Flower is distributed through spam campaigns (emails), untrusted software download channels, fake software updating tools, unofficial software activation ('cracking') programs and Trojans. Cyber criminals commonly send emails that contain malicious attachments and attempt to trick recipients into opening/executing them.

If opened, the files install malware. Typically, they attach Microsoft Office documents, executable files (.exe), JavaScript files, archives such as ZIP, RAR or PDF documents. Note that, rather than attaching files, cyber criminals might send emails that contain website links designed to download malicious files.

Malicious software is also spread through dubious file/software download channels. For example, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule and other tools of this type), unofficial pages, free file hosting or freeware download websites and third party downloaders.

Cyber criminals use these methods to distribute malicious files. People who use these channels risk downloading files that, if opened, infect their computers with malware. Fake software updating tools infect systems by installing malicious programs rather than updating or fixing installed software.

They can also infect systems by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software. Software 'cracking' tools supposedly illegally activate licensed software free of charge, however, these tools often install malicious software. In summary, rather than bypassing activation, users often infect their computers with high-risk malware.

Trojans are malicious program that can cause additional damage. When installed, they cause chain infections by installing other malicious software.

How to avoid installation of malware

Software and files should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites and via direct links. Other channels (such as those mentioned above) should not be trusted or used. Attachments and web links in irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened.

Commonly, these emails are sent cyber criminals. Installed programs and operating systems must be updated and activated with tools or implemented functions provided by official software developers. Unofficial, third party tools are often used to distribute malware.

Furthermore, it is illegal to activate licensed software with 'cracking' tools (unofficial programs). Keep operating systems safe by regularly scanning them for threats with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. It is important to keep software of this type up to date.

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.

Twin Flower files do not download other files if any of these system processes are running:

  • chkencap.exe
  • dbg.exe
  • fiddler.exe
  • HipsDaemon
  • hookme.exe
  • httpanalyze
  • networktrafficview.exe
  • sniff.exe
  • softice.exe
  • tcpmon
  • windgb.exe
  • wireshark.exe
  • wsockexpert

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.

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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.

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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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