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How to remove DiamondFox malware

Also Known As: DiamondFox malware-as-a-service
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is DiamondFox?

DiamondFox is highly modular malware offered as malware-as-a-service, and is for sale on various hacker forums. Therefore, cyber criminals who are willing to use DiamondFox do not necessarily require any technical knowledge to perform their attacks.

Once purchased, this malware can be used to log keystrokes, steal credentials (e.g., usernames, email addresses, passwords), hijack cryptocurrency wallets, perform distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and to carry out other malicious tasks.

DiamondFox allows cyber criminals to choose which plug-ins to keep activated and see infection statistics in real-time.

DiamondFox malware

DiamondFox's loader module is executed first. It has three purposes: to bypass UAC (User Account Control) to allow execution with administrator rights, disable and then to remove the installed antivirus software (and check if the loader is executed using a virtual machine), and hide the DiamondFox's user interface.

Once these three steps have finished, the loader module runs the main module of the DiamondFox malware. The main module contains the internal logic of the DiamondFox infrastructure and is responsible for execution of its plugins.

DiamondFox has more than 15 modules, which can be used to steal credentials from FileZilla FTP clients, passwords from email clients (such as Outlook Express, Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Windows Mail, Yahoo! Mail, Thunderbird and several others), browser passwords (from Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Yandex Browser), passwords from Remote Desktop Connection, Instant Messaging clients (such as Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ Lite, AOL Instant Messenger, Trillian, Miranda, Pidgin, PaltalkScene, and Digsby), and VNC and RDP tools (such as Windows RDP, TightVNC, UltraVNC).

DiamondFox also has modules, which can be used to launch DDoS attacks on specified servers, send spam, capture screenshots, log keystrokes (record keyboard input), change the homepage in Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers, spread messages delivered by a Command and Control server via Facebook and Twitter, scrap RAM, collect information about running processes and installed software, terminate processes, execute shell commands, start and stop Remote Desktop sessions, steal cryptocurrency wallets, replace BTC wallet addresses saved in the system clipboard, and spread DiamondFox to the removable devices that are connected to the infected computer.

Additionally, DiamondFox is capable of adding itself to the registry and copying itself to the Startup Special folder, spoofing the content of the %WINDIR%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file, and uploading files from the infected computers.

Every DiamondFox bot has a Command and Control (C&C) server, which collects stolen information (and files), sends commands, gathers infection statistics, and can be used to download additional plugins.

Threat Summary:
Name DiamondFox malware-as-a-service
Threat Type Password-stealing virus, spyware, keylogger, DDoS attack launcher
Detection Names Avast (Other:Malware-gen [Trj]), AVF (Other:Malware-gen [Trj]), ESET-NOD32 (JS/Agent.CF), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Downloader.Script.Generic), Microsoft (TrojanDownloader:Win32/Nemucod!ml), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms DiamondFox is 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 Combo Cleaner.
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To summarize, DiamondFox is a powerful tool that can be used for a range of purposes. Victims attacked by DiamondFox are likely to have computers infected with other malware (e.g., ransomware), their identities stolen, lose access to various personal accounts, suffer monetary, data loss, encounter online privacy issues, and experience other serious problems.

Note that the author of DiamondFox provides its customers (other cyber criminals) with free updates and support.

How did DiamondFox infiltrate my computer?

Ransomware and other malware infections are commonly spread through malspam campaigns, untrusted file/software download sources, fake (third party) software updating tools, Trojans and unofficial software activation tools.

Using malspam, criminals send emails that have a malicious file attached, or include a website link designed to download a malicious file. Their main goal is to trick recipients into executing the file, which then infects the computer with malware. Cyber criminals usually attach a Microsoft Office document, archive file (ZIP, RAR), PDF document, executable file (.exe) or JavaScript file, and wait until recipients open it.

Note that malicious MS Office documents can install malware only when users enable editing/content (macros commands). If the documents are opened with MS Office versions prior to 2010, however, the documents install malicious software automatically, since these older versions do not include "Protected View" mode.

Examples of untrusted file and software download sources are Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients), free file hosting websites, freeware download sites, and unofficial web pages. These are used to distribute malicious files by disguising them as legitimate and regular. When users download and open (execute) the files, however, they inadvertently install malware.

Fake software updating tools cause damage by installing malware rather than updates/fixes for installed software, or by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software. Trojans are malicious programs that can cause chain infections by installing other software of this kind. Note that malware can only be distributed in this way if Trojans are already installed on computers.

Unofficial activation ('cracking') tools are illegal programs that supposedly activate licensed software free of charge and bypass activation, however, they often install other malicious programs instead.

How to avoid installation of malware

To avoid infecting the system with malware spread through spam mail, you are strongly advised not to open suspicious or irrelevant emails, especially those with any attachments or links present in them. Use official and verified download channels.

Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers, since illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters commonly proliferate malicious software.

To ensure device integrity and user safety, it is paramount to have reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed and kept updated. Furthermore, use these programs to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats.

Do not trust irrelevant emails that contain attachments or website links, especially if received from unknown, suspicious addresses.

Fake update tools infect systems by installing malicious programs rather than updates/fixes for installed software, or by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software that is installed on the computer.

Further encryption of any unaffected files can be prevented by uninstalling the ransomware, however, already compromised files remain encrypted even after removal of the rogue software and can only be recovered from a backup.

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.

Login page DiamondFox panel:

diamondfox malware login website

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. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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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.

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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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