How to eliminate Matiex keylogger?

Also Known As: Matiex keystroke logger
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Matiex virus removal guide

What is Matiex?

Matiex is then name of a keystroke logger which is capable of taking screenshots, record sound with a computer microphone and data saved in the system clipboard. Its users can receive logged data via Telegram, SMTP, FTP and Discord. Research shows that this keystroke logger can be purchased for $25, $60 or $99, its price depends on the subscription plan. As a rule, cyber criminals attempt to deceive users into installing such software on their computers so they could steal sensitive information that could be misused to generate revenue.

Matiex malware

A keylogger is a type of software that is often used by cyber criminals with a purpose to monitor and record each keystroke typed on infected computer's keyboard. In most cases cyber criminals seek to steal information such as logins, passwords (and other credentials), credit card details, and other personal, sensitive details. This particular keylogger can be used to take screenshots, access and use computer microphone and steal data saved on operating system's clipboard as well. Therefore, cyber criminals behind Matiex may misuse stolen information and/or other accesses data to steal identities, personal accounts, make fraudulent purchases, transactions, and for other malicious purposes. Additionally, Matiex is capable of generating fake message boxes (pop-ups) containing any text, also, it includes "self destruction" feature which allows this keylogger to uninstall itself at a certain designated time. If there is any reason to suspect that Matiex or any other malware of this type is installed on a computer, then it should be uninstalled immediately. Having a computer infected with a keylogger can be the reason behind serious issues like identity theft, monetary loss, loss access to personal, important online accounts, etc.

Threat Summary:
Name Matiex keystroke logger
Threat Type Keylogger, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (VBA:Downloader-GAK [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.34198436), ESET-NOD32 (VBA/TrojanDownloader.Agent.TVO), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Downloader.MSOffice.SLoad.gen), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Keyloggers 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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Hakops, Amadey and Cheetah are a couple of examples of other malicious programs that function as keyloggers. In most cases cyber criminals attempt to trick users into installing such software so that they could steal information that and misuse it to generate as much revenue as possible. There are many legitimate keyloggers too, although, in some cases cyber criminals use them to spy on their victims as well. In other words, legitimate keyloggers can be used for malicious purposes too.

How did Matiex infiltrate my computer?

Research shows that cyber criminals use malspam campaigns (emails) as a tool to deceive users into installing Matiex on their computers. To be more precise, they send emails that contain a malicious attachment (Microsoft Office Excel document). The aforementioned malicious document is capable of installing Matiex only if users open it and enable editing/content (macros commands). Although, malicious documents opened with Microsoft Office versions that were released before year 2010 infect computers without asking any permissions. Microsoft Office 2010 and newer versions include the "Protected View" mode which prevents malicious documents from installing malware automatically.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is strongly recommended to ignore irrelevant emails that contain attachments or web links. It is worthwhile to mention that users receive malspam campaigns from unknown, suspicious addresses. Also, such emails often are disguised as important, official, sent from legitimate companies, organizations. Furthermore, software should not be downloaded (or installed) via third party downloaders (or installers), Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial sites, unofficial pages, free file hosting sites, etc. Files and programs should be downloaded only from official websites and through direct links. It is also important to update and/or activate installed software only with tools or implemented functions that are designed by official software developers. It is not legal to activate any licensed programs with 'cracking' tools. And finally, any computer is safer if it is regularly scanned with a reputable anti-spyware or antivirus software. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Malicious email used to distribute Matiex:

matiex keylogger spreading email

Text in this email:

Subject: Invoice LPG81901- Confirm Bank Detail Ending with 692

 

TO:
Fm: ClassNK Finance Department (PIC: T.Maezawa/Mr.)Our
Ref. No.: 20FC0507TM08

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

We have been giving two different account by your agent, based on high rate of fraud
we are suspicious. We decided to contact you directly to confirm which of the account mention on Freight Invoice as attached is your and also we will appreciate if you call to verify this by phone  +81-3-5226-2052  handle  this emails as urgent

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Best regards,
S. HatogaiGeneralManager of Finance Department
**************************************************
NIPPON KAIJI KYOKAI (ClassNK)FINANCE DEPARTMENT4-7,
Kioi-Cho, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 102-8567,
JapanTEL: +81-3-5226-2052 FAX: +81-3-5226-2108
E--mail: fnd@classnk.or.jp
*************************************************

Malicious MS Excel document designed to install Matiex:

matiex keylogger malicious instructions

Screenshots of Matiex promotion page:

matiex keylogger download website matiex keylogger download website matiex keylogger download website matiex keylogger download website matiex keylogger download website matiex keylogger download website

Screenshots of Matiex administration panel:

matiex keylogger admin panel matiex keylogger admin panel

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
Matiex keystroke logger QR code
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