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How to uninstall Hunter stealer from the operating system?

Also Known As: Hunter information stealer
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is Hunter?

Hunter is information stealer, a type of malware that is designed to gather sensitive information from the compromised system and send it to attackers. This particular stealer not only collects data but also has additional capabilities. It is available for sale on a hacker forum where it can be purchased either for 700 rubles or 4000 rubles (depending on the subscription plan).

It is known that Hunter is written using C++ programming language and attackers receive information collected by it via Telegram.

Hunter malware

Hunter collects passwords, cookies and autofill data from browsers, data from Steam clients, Discord and Telegram session data, desktop files, IP address, geolocation and is capable of capturing screenshots of the desktop.

It means that cyber criminals behind Hunter could use it to steal personal accounts, identities, and data that could be misused to make fraudulent purchases, transactions, impersonate victims, send malspam (deliver Hunter or other malware via email to other users), and for other malicious purposes.

Also, cyber criminals may monetize stolen accounts and/or information by selling it to third parties (other cyber criminals) as well. As mentioned in the first paragraph, attackers receive data stolen by Hunter via Telegram. It is worthwhile to mention that it is not required for Telegram to be installed on victim's computer so that Hunter would be able to send data to attackers through it.

Threat Summary:
Name Hunter information stealer
Threat Type Trojan, information stealer, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Zusy.329313), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/PSW.Agent.OKX), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Spy.Win32.Stealer.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Ymacco.AA82), Full List (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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In conclusion, information stealers target sensitive information that cyber criminals could monetize in one or another way (e.g., to use stolen accounts to make fraudulent purchases). Although, there are stealers that include additional features and function as keystroke loggers, clippers, be capable of accessing victim's webcam, microphone, etc.

More examples of information stealers are Xenon, RedLine Stealer, StormKitty, Babax.

How did Hunter infiltrate my computer?

Most of the times users infect computers with malware via malspam campaigns, fake software updating tools, Trojans, untrustworthy software download sources or software 'cracking' (unofficial activation) tools. Malspam emails are emails that contain malicious attachments (or web links that are designed to download malicious files).

Some examples of malicious files that can be attached to such emails are Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, archives (like ZIP, RAR), PDF documents, executable files (.exe files).

They cause installation of malware when recipients open them. Fake (unofficial) software updating tools cause damage by installing malicious programs instead of updates, fixes for the installed ones, or by exploiting bugs, flaws of outdated programs that are installed on computers.

Trojans are malicious programs that be used to spread malware by designing them to install other software of this kind after their installation. It means that Trojans can distribute other malware only when they are installed on computers.

Third party downloaders, free file hosting, freeware download websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule, and so on) and other unreliable download sources are used to proliferate via malicious files. Typically, cyber criminals disguise those files as harmless, legitimate.

When users download and execute (open) them, it results in installation of malware. Software 'cracking' tools are tools that supposed to illegally activate licensed software. However, it is very common that such tools do not function as their users expect them to and install some malicious software.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It installed software or operating system needs to be updated or activated, then it should be done by using implemented functions or tools that are provided by its official developers.

Third party, unofficial should never be used neither to update or activate any software, also, it is not legal to use such tools for software activation (neither it is legal to use installers for pirated software). Files (attachments) and links in irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened.

It is common that by opening them recipients infect their computers. All files and programs should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites. Unofficial websites, various third party downloaders, installers, etc., are not trustworthy sources.

Additionally, the operating system should be scanned for threats regularly, it is advisable to use reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite for that If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

GIF image showing Hunter being for sale on hacker forum:

hunter stealer for sale on hacker forum

Another GIF image showing Hunter being for sale on hacker forum:

hunter stealer for sale on hacker forum 2

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner 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 Combo Cleaner. 7 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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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