How to uninstall the PyXie Remote Access Trojan?

Also Known As: PyXie Remote Administration Trojan
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

PyXie virus removal guide

What is PyXie?

PyXie is the name of a Remote Access Trojan (RAT). Typically, cyber criminals use RATs to remotely control infected computers and steal personal information, install additional malware, and/or for other malicious purposes. It is known that there are cyber criminals who use PyXie to deliver ransomware. Either way, if there is any reason to suspect that this RAT is already installed on the operating system, then it should be removed as soon as possible.

PyXie malware

Research shows that PyXie can be used as a tool to log keystrokes, steal credentials, cookies, clear logs, record video using victim's webcam, download and run executable files, collect the list of installed software, restart the infected computer, retrieve and clear LogMeIn credentials, download and execute Mimikatz (a tool that copies passwords from memory), and to perform some other actions. Therefore, cyber criminals can use PyXie to install ransomware, other Trojans, cryptocurrency miners, or other malicious, unwanted programs, steal sensitive information like login credentials (usernames, email addresses, passwords) for various accounts (banking, email, social media and other accounts), use webcam to record videos and then use that material to blackmail victims, and for other malicious purposes. Having a computer infected with PyXie could cause problems like monetary, data loss, identity theft, loss of access to a variety of personal accounts, issues related to online privacy, browsing safety, and other serious problems.

Threat Summary:
Name PyXie Remote Administration Trojan
Threat Type Remote Administration Trojan
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.32712342), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/PyXie.A), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Inject.ammbu), Full List (VirusTotal)
Malicious Process Name(s) Camera Settings UI Host (its name may vary)
Symptoms Remote Access Trojans 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.
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To summarize, when cyber criminals succeed in tricking users into installing Remote Administration Trojans like PyXie, they can use installed malware as tools to distribute (install) other malicious software, steal a variety or personal, sensitive information and/or for other malicious purposes that would help them to generate revenue in one or another way. More examples of RATs are Quaverse, GravityRAT and Abaddon.

How did PyXie infiltrate my computer?

In most cases malicious programs are distributed via malspam, Trojans, unreliable software download sources, fake software updating and unofficial activation tools. It is very common for cyber criminals to spread malware by sending emails that contain malicious files (attachments) or download links for malicious files. Either way, their main goal is to trick recipients into opening a malicious file. If opened, it installs malicious software. Some examples of files that cyber criminals send via malspam are Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, executable files (like .exe), archive files like RAR, ZIP and PDF documents. Trojans are malicious programs that, if already installed on the operating system, can cause chain infections. Simply said, after their installation they can install additional malware. Freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, unofficial websites, third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (such as eMule, torrent clients) are examples of download channels that can be used to spread malware via malicious files. Typically, cyber criminals disguise malicious files as regular, legitimate. Malware gets installed when users download and open them. Fake, unofficial software updating tools cause the same damage either by exploiting bugs, flaws of outdated software that is installed on user's computer, or by installing malicious software instead of updates, fixes for the installed one. Unofficial software activation ('cracking') tools operate quite similarly. Typically, it is common that they do not activate licensed software and simply install malware instead.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Installed programs should never be updated or activated with unofficial, third party tools. It is common that they are designed to distribute malware and it is not legal to use them to activate licensed software. The same applies to installers for pirated software. Programs have to be updated and activated with tools and/or functions that are designed by their official developers. Software and files should not be downloaded (or installed) through various third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks and other channels, tools that are mentioned in the paragraph above. They should be downloaded from trustworthy, official pages and via direct links. Irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses and contain attachments (and/or website links) should not be trusted. It is very common that such emails are used by cyber criminals as tools to proliferate malicious programs. Also, a computer should be scanned for malware and other threats regularly, it is advised to use an up-do-date and reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software for that. It is important to keep such software 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.

PyXie running in Task Manager as "Camera Settings UI Host" (its name may vary):

pyxie rat malicious camera settings ui host process in task manager

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
PyXie Remote Administration Trojan QR code
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