How to remove the SchwarzeSonne trojan from your operating system?

Also Known As: SchwarzeSonne malware
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

SchwarzeSonne virus removal guide

What is the SchwarzeSonne trojan?

SchwarzeSonne is a piece of malicious software, classified as a trojan. This type of malware can have a wide variety of heinous functionalities. SchwarzeSonne specifically can steal system and user information, as well as be potentially used to cause chain infections (i.e. download/install additional malicious programs). This trojan is deemed to be highly dangerous and poses a threat to device and user safety.

SchwarzeSonne malware detections on VirusTotal

SchwarzeSonne trojan can extract and exfiltrate information relating to the infected machine, such as: device name, operating system version, user name, and so on. In addition, this malicious program has keylogging abilities. In other words, it can record key strokes. This functionality is typically used to steal sensitive/personal information and log-in credentials (i.e. IDs, usernames and passwords) of various accounts. Platforms/Accounts of interest include (but are not limited to): email, social networking, social media, messenger, data storage and transferring, e-commerce, online money transferring, digital wallet, banking, and so on. To elaborate on how they could be abused, communication accounts (e.g. email, social media/networking, messaging, etc.) can be used to ask contacts/friends for loans and/or to spread malware (by sharing virulent files) - under the guise of the account's genuine owner. Additionally, should particularly vulnerable/compromising content be found on any of the hijacked accounts, it can be held for ransom - under threat of publication and/or sale to the victim's competitors. Accounts that deal with finances (e.g. banking, online money transferring, cryptowallets and other e-wallets, etc.) as well as ones that store financial information (e.g. e-commerce, paid-for platforms, etc.) - can be used to make fraudulent monetary transactions and/or to make online purchases. Furthermore, this trojan has certain backdoor features and allows cyber criminals some level of remote control over the compromised device. The former could be used to cause chain infections, e.g. to infect the system with ransomware (which encrypts data and/or locks the screen for ransom purposes), cryptominers (which use system resources to mine cryptocurrency) and various other types of trojans. In summary, SchwarzeSonne infections can lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft. If it is suspected/known that the SchwarzeSonne trojan (or other malware) has already infected the system - an anti-virus must be used to remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name SchwarzeSonne malware
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:BackDoor-ACX [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.Agent.CYMN), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/SchwarzeSonne.AX), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), Microsoft (Backdoor:Win32/Fynloski), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms 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)

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BazarLoaderIceRATFakeMBAM and Jupyter are some examples of other trojans that can cause chain infections, and SnakePhoenix404 Keylogger, Matiex - of ones with keylogging abilities, respectively. As previously mentioned, malicious programs can have a broad range of functionalities and these functions can be in different combinations. Regardless of how malware operates - it always poses a threat to device integrity and user privacy. The sole purpose of malicious software is to generate profit for the cyber criminals using it.

How did SchwarzeSonne infiltrate my computer?

Malware is primarily distributed via spam campaigns, illegal activation tools ("cracks"), illegitimate updaters and untrustworthy download sources. Spam campaigns are mass-scale operations, during which thousands of scam emails are sent. These letters are usually presented as "important", "official", "urgent", and so on. This deceptive mail contains download links of infectious files and/or the files are simply attached to the emails. Virulent files can be in a variety of formats (e.g. archives, executables, Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc.) and when they are opened - the infection process is triggered. Illegal software activation ("cracking") tools can download/install malware, instead of activating the licensed product. Fake updaters cause infections by abusing weaknesses of outdated products and/or by installing malicious programs, rather than the updates. Dubious download channels, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - can offer malware for downloading, disguised as or bundled with ordinary content.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid malware spread through spam mail, it is strongly advised against opening suspicious/irrelevant emails - especially, any links or attachments present in them. It is highly recommended to only use official and verified download sources. It is just as important to always activate and update products with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. Since illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters are commonly employed to proliferate malicious programs. To ensure device and user safety, it is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. This software is to be used to perform regular system scans and to remove detected threats and issues. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes 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. 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.

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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.

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SchwarzeSonne malware QR code
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