How to uninstall Taurus stealer from a computer?

Also Known As: Taurus Project stealer
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Taurus virus removal guide

What is Taurus?

Taurus (also known as Taurus Project) is the name of a stealer created by a team of cyber criminals called Predator The Thief team. This information stealing malware is being sold on hacker forums for $100. It is capable of accessing (stealing) sensitive information from certain browsers, cryptocurrency wallets, FTP, email clients, various apps and collect details about victims computer. Therefore, it is quite powerful malware that should be eliminated from infected computers as soon as possible.

Taurus malware

Taurus seller claims that this malware can steal passwords, cookies, autofill forms, history from most Chromium-based and Gecko-based browsers. Also, it can steal data from cold cryptocurrency wallets like Bitcoin, Monero, Liberty, Dash Core, LiteCoin, Electrum, Multibit, Ethereum, Jaxx, Bytecoin, Atomic, Exodus, FTP clients like FileZilla, WinFtp, WinSCP, email clients like Foxmail and Outlook. Moreover, Taurus can steal data (session files) from applications such as Discord, Steam, Telegram, Authy, NordVPN, collect Battle.net account data, Skype conversations, data from Jabber, Psi, Psi + clients. By being able to steal such data cyber criminals behind Taurus may sell all collected data to other cyber criminals, steal various accounts, identities, make fraudulent transactions, purchases, etc. Furthermore, Taurus can collect system information such as IP address, computer, processor, motherboard name, username, keyboard layout, list of installed software, and other details. Also, this malware can be used to make desktop screenshots, upload and execute various files. It means that victims may infect computers with additional malware (like some Trojan, ransomware, or other malicious software). To sum up, victims of Taurus stealer could become victims of identity theft, lose access to various account, experience serious online privacy issues, suffer monetary, data loss, have their computers infected with other malware and other problems. Therefore, if there is any reason to suspect that Taurus is installed on the operating system, then this malware should be eliminated from it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Taurus Project stealer
Threat Type Password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:CrypterX-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.33720333), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Spy.Agent.PYJ), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Zudochka.ejq), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Information stealers like Taurus 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)

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Some more examples of malware that is designed to steal various information are AnarchyGrabber, Sorano and Oski. In most cases programs of this type target information that could be misused to generate revenue. Most common problems that victims experience are monetary, data loss, identity theft. It is worthwhile to mention that at the time of the research Taurus was not working on computers in Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.

How did Taurus infiltrate my computer?

Usually, various malware is distributed by using the following methods: through spam campaigns, Trojans, unreliable software download channels, software 'cracking' tools and fake updaters. One of the most common ways to spread malware is to send emails that contain malicious attachments (or web links that are designed to download malicious files). Some examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are Microsoft Office documents, archive files (like ZIP, RAR), executable files (like .exe), PDF documents or JavaScript files. When opened/executed, those malicious files infect computers with a certain malware (in this case it would be Taurus). Trojans are malicious programs that can infect computers only if they are installed on them. When installed, they open backdoor for other malware. In other words, Trojans can be  designed to cause chain infections. Examples of untrustworthy software download channels are free file hosting, freeware download websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, third party downloaders, and other channels of this kind. Cyber criminals use them as tools to host, distribute malicious files. Users who open files that were downloaded through such channels cause installation of malware. Software 'cracking'/unofficial activation tools are programs that supposed to activate licensed software for free (bypass its activation). Nevertheless, it is common that  install some malware instead. Fake, unofficial software updaters cause damage by exploiting vulnerabilities of outdated software that is installed on victims operating system or by installing malicious software instead of updates, fixes.

How to avoid installation of malware?

If an email is received from suspicious, unknown address, it is irrelevant and contains some attachment (and/or website link), then it should be carefully analyzed. It is common that such emails are sent by cyber criminals. Therefore, files and links included in emails should not be opened if there is  any reason to suspect that it may lead to installation of some malware. All software should be downloaded from official web pages and via direct download links. Peer-to-Peer networks, third party downloaders, unofficial pages, third party installers, etc., should not be trusted and could be used to proliferate malicious files, programs. Installed software must be updated and activated (if necessary) through implemented functions and/or tools that are provided by official developers. It is worthwhile to mention that it is illegal to activate licensed software with third party, unofficial tools. And finally, a computer should be scanned for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite regularly. Such software should be always 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.

Screenshot of Taurus being for sale on hacker forum:

taurus stealer for sale on hacker forum

Screenshots of Taurus administration panel:

Taurus Stealer admin panel - Dashboard Taurus Stealer admin panel - Log List Taurus Stealer admin panel - Grabber Taurus Stealer admin panel - Loader Taurus Stealer admin panel - Nestcape Taurus Stealer admin panel - Settings

Update May 19, 2020 - Cyber criminals have recently released an updated version of Taurus Stealer. The malware control panel has been re-designed. Moreover, it has been implemented with several features (e.g., log download, log filtering, etc.) that significantly eases the usage.

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.

QR Code
Taurus Project stealer QR code
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