How to uninstall Soltern malware

Also Known As: Soltern worm
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Soltern virus removal guide

What is Soltern?

Soltern is a computer worm, a type of malware that copies itself for installation on other computers - it uses already infected systems as hosts to scan and infect the other machines. Typically, worms such as Soltern use computer networks, email services, instant messaging apps, and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks to proliferate. Soltern does not infect files, however, it might install other malware.

Soltern malware

It is possible that Soltern might be used to infect computers with ransomware, Trojans (e.g, Remote Administration Trojans), cryptocurrency miners or other malware. Victims of ransomware attacks cannot access their files, since malware of this type encrypts them with a strong encryption algorithm. Typically, only the cyber criminals behind the ransomware have valid decryption tools/keys that can recover compromised files. Soltern might also be designed to distribute a RAT. When a computer is infected with a Remote Administration Trojan, the cyber criminal behind it can control the victim's device remotely. Usually software of this type allows cyber criminals to access files, steal login credentials (and other personal information), download and execute various files, take screenshots, access webcams and microphones, and perform other malicious actions. Furthermore, Soltern can be used to distribute and install a cryptocurrency miner. These programs use computer resources (GPU, CPU) to mine cryptocurrency. I.e., to solve complex mathematical problems. The main purpose of of these miners is to use other computers to generate revenue. Commonly, computers infected with cryptocurrency miners operate more slowly (or do not respond at all), consume more electricity. This software might also cause unexpected system crashes and shutdowns that can lead to permanent loss of unsaved data. In summary, Soltern can be the reason behind of installation of malicious software that can cause issues such as data/monetary loss, loss of sensitive information and files, issues relating to online privacy and browsing safety, identity theft, and other serious problems. Therefore, if there is a reason to suspect that Soltern is using a computer to spread itself on other machines, eliminate it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Soltern worm
Threat Type Worm
Detection Names ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/GenKryptik.CMKB), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Boht.akq), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml), Symantec (ML.Attribute.HighConfidence), Full List (VirusTotal).
Payload This worm could carry various payloads.
Symptoms Worms 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, data theft, overloaded shared network.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Note that not all worms carry payloads. In some cases, their main purpose is to multiply and deplete system resources (such as hard drive space or bandwidth). Note that this malware can modify certain system settings to automatically run on each system startup.

How did Soltern infiltrate my computer?

There are a number of ways computers are infected with worms or other types of malware. In most cases, systems become infected with malicious programs through spam campaigns, dubious file, software download channels, Trojans, fake, and unofficial software updaters or activators. Malware is installed through malspam campaigns when recipients open malicious attachments or files downloaded through malicious links that are included in emails sent by cyber criminals. Some examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are malicious Microsoft Office, PDF documents, JavaScript files, archives such as ZIP, RAR and executable files (.exe). Untrusted software and file download channels such as unofficial or freeware download websites, free file hosting pages, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., eMule, torrent clients) can also be used to proliferate malicious software, which is installed when users download the malicious files and execute them. Note that these files are often disguised as regular and legitimate. Trojans are malicious programs that can cause chain infections (installation of additional malware), however, this only happens when the computer is already infected with a Trojan. Fake/unofficial software updaters infect systems by installing malware rather than updates/fixes or by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software that is installed on the computer. Unofficial activators ('cracking' tools) are illegal programs that supposedly bypass activation of licensed software, however, they often cause installation of malicious software instead.

How to avoid installation of malware

You are strongly advised to ignore irrelevant emails that contain attachments or web links, especially if the emails are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Do not download or install software via third party downloaders/installers, Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial sites, or the channels mentioned above. Use official websites and direct links. Update and activate installed software only with tools or implemented functions that are designed by official software developers. It is illegal to activate any licensed programs with 'cracking' tools. Regularly scan the system with reputable anti-spyware or antivirus 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 computer 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.

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
Soltern worm 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 Soltern worm on your mobile device.
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