StormKitty virus removal guide
What is StormKitty?
StormKitty is stealer, clipper and a keylogger written in C# programming language, cyber criminals can use it to steal a variety of sensitive information that could be misused for malicious purposes (to generate revenue). Research shows that StormKitty does not get detected by a number of antivirus programs. Therefore, it is very likely that most users who have StormKitty installed on a computer are not aware of that.
Research shows that StormKitty can be used to collect information such as system information (e.g., operating system version, CPU, GPU, RAM, list of running processes), passwords, credit card details, cookies, history, autofill data, bookmarks from Chromium-based browsers, cookies, history, bookmarks from Firefox-based browsers, passwords from Internet Explorer and Edge browsers, saved wifi networks, Steam, Uplay, Battle.Net, Skype, Telegram and Minecraft sessions, certain data from ProtonVPN, OpenVPN, NordVPN clients. Furthermore, it can be used to extract data from cryptocurrency wallets, Outlook and Pidgin accounts, steal Discord tokens, Filezilla hosts, access documents, images, source codes, databases, files on connected USB device, detect banking and cryptocurrency services in browsers, make desktop screenshots and access user's webcam. As mentioned in the introduction, StormKitty can be used as a keylogger and clipper. It is designed to log keystrokes (keyboard input) when users use messaging applications and banking websites. Its clipping feature allows it to automatically replace cryptocurrency wallet addresses saved in the clipboard to other addresses. It is worthwhile to mention that StormKitty starts webcam capture when users enter pornography-related keywords in the active browser windows, therefore, it is very likely that cyber criminals use this feature for sextortion. Being tricked into installing StormKitty may result in a variety of serious issues, for example, monetary loss, identity theft, loss of access to various personal accounts. Therefore, if there is any reason to believe that this software is installed on the operating system, then it should be uninstalled immediately.
|Threat Type||Password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.MSILPerseus.228898), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/PSW.Agent.RXP), Kaspersky (Trojan-PSW.Win32.Coins.ymg), Full List (VirusTotal)|
|Malicious Process Name(s)||Neko (its name may vary)|
|Symptoms||Programs like StormKitty 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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
More examples of programs that cyber criminals use with a purpose to steal sensitive, personal information are DarkStealer, Taurus, XTMEM. Typically, they misuse collected data to make fraudulent purchases, transactions, sell it to third parties (other cyber criminals), etc. Instructions on how to uninstall malicious programs from computers are provided below.
How did StormKitty infiltrate my computer?
How to avoid installation of malware?
Emails that contain website links and/or some attachments and are received from unknown, questionable addresses should not be trusted. It is common that such emails are sent by cyber criminals who attempt to trick recipients into infect computers with malware through files or links in them. Therefore, email contents should be opened only when there is no reason to suspect that it may be not safe. Software and files should be downloaded from official pages and through direct links. Third party downloaders or installers, unofficial websites and other sources that are mentioned in the previous paragraph can be (and often are) used as tools to distribute malicious files. All installed software must be activated and/or updated with tools or implemented functions provided by its official developers. Third party, unofficial updaters ant activation tools can be designed to install malware. Moreover, it is not legal to activate software with third party tools. Additioanally, it is advised to regularly scan a computer with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
StormKitty's process running in Task Manager as "Neko" (its name may vary):
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:
- What is StormKitty?
- STEP 1. Manual removal of StormKitty malware.
- STEP 2. Check if your computer is clean.
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:
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:
Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:
Restart 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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.
In 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.
Check 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".
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.
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.