How to uninstall the Xenon malware?

Also Known As: Xenon information stealer
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Xenon stealer removal guide

What is Xenon?

Xenon is the name of an information stealer that can be purchased from hacker forums for $150 or $80 (depending on the subscription plan). This type of malware resides in an infected device, collects data and sends it to the attacker. It is common that victims are not aware of its presence until particular symptoms are clearly visible (like monetary loss, loss of access to personal accounts, etc.).

Xenon malware

Xenon steals passwords, cookies, browser history, download history, autofill data from most popular Chromium-based browsers, and from some Gecko-based browsers. Also, it steals clipboard data, Telegram and Discord sessions, Outlook, Pidgin, Psi, Psi +, and FileZilla data, system information (like IP addresses, geolocations), data from NordVPN, OpenVPN and ProtonVPN clients, grabs files from specified directories using a mask. Also, Xenon functions as a clipper - it replaces cryptocurrency wallet addresses of victims with ones belonging to the attackers. Research shows that this stealer targets Armory, Atomic wallet, Bitcoin core, Bytecoin, Dash core, Electrum, Ethereum, Exodus, Jaxx, Litecoin Core, Monero and Zcash crypto wallets. Additionally, Xenon logs keystrokes - it records keyboard input (functions as a keystroke logger) and takes screenshots.

Threat Summary:
Name Xenon information stealer
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, clipper, keylogger.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:RATX-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Heur.Variadic.A.116.1), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Kryptik.YIT), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-PSW.MSIL.Agensla.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:MSIL/CryptInject.PK!MTB), Full List (VirusTotal)
Malicious Process Name(s) Cacheman Installer (its name may vary)
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, monetary loss, compromised personal online accounts
Malware Removal (Windows)

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To summarize, victims of the Xenon attack may lose access to a variety of personal accounts (like email, social media), suffer monetary loss, become victims of identity theft, have their personal information leaked, online privacy violated, and encounter other serious problems. Therefore, users who have this or any other stealer installed on the operating system should remove it as soon as possible. More examples of information stealers are FickerStealer, Covid, MoistStealer, Anubis.

How did Xenon infiltrate my computer?

Most of the times users infect computers with malware like Xenon through malspam emails, unofficial software activation or updating tools, or unreliable file and software download channels. Malspam emails are emails that recipients receive from cyber criminals and they contain malicious attachments or download links for malicious files. Cyber criminals send such emails with a purpose to trick recipients into downloading and opening a malicious file that, once opened, would install malware. Examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are malicious Microsoft Office documents, executable files (like .exe), JavaScript files, PDF documents, archive files (like ZIP, RAR).

Users who use various unofficial, third party activation tools to activate licensed software risk to infect their computers as well. Quite often such tools are only disguised as tools that bypass software activation and are designed to install malware instead. The same applies to third party software updating tools: such tools either install malware instead of updating, fixing installed software, or exploit bugs, flaws of installed software that is out of date. One one popular way to trick users into infecting their computers is by using unreliable file, software download sources. For example, third party downloaders, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), freeware download sites, free file hosting pages. Users infect systems when they download and open malicious files. To trick users into downloading those files cyber criminals disguise them as regular, legitimate.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Files attached to irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened, neither should be website links in such emails. Software (and files) should be downloaded only from reliable, official pages and via direct links. If installed software or the operating system needs to be updated, then it should be done by using tools and/or functions that are provided by its official developers. Third party, unofficial tools should never be used, also, it is not legal to use such tools to activate any licensed software, or use installers for pirated software. Additionally, the operating system should be scanned for viruses and other threats regularly ant it is advisable to use a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software for that. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Xenon is for sale on hacker forum (GIF):

xenon stealer for sale on hacker forum 1

Xenon is for sale on hacker forum (GIF):

xenon stealer for sale on hacker forum 2

Xenon running in Task Manager as "Cacheman Installer" (its name may vary):

xenon stealer cacheman installer malicious 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

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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.

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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
Xenon information stealer QR code
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