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How to remove the Kuukostealer malware from your operating system?

Also Known As: Kuukostealer virus
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is Kuukostealer?

Kuukostealer is a malicious program written in the Python programming language. The primary functionality of this malware is extraction of personal and vulnerable information from infected systems.

Kuukostealer malware detections on VirusTotal

Kuukostealer overview

Kuukostealer has keylogging abilities. In other words, it records keystrokes. Typically, cyber criminals target the following typed information: personally identifiable details, online account log-in credentials (usernames/passwords), and finance-related data (e.g., banking account details, credit card numbers, etc.).

To elaborate, stolen accounts can be used to make pleas for loans under the guise of the genuine owner, proliferate malware (by sharing malicious files and links), make fraudulent transactions, unauthorized online purchases, and so forth. In summary, Kuukostealer infections can lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Kuukostealer virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMalware), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Bulz.650979), Fortinet (W32/PossibleThreat), Malwarebytes (Malware.AI.3185607802), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.B!ml), 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)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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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.

Malware in general

MarsSHurk Steal, and FickerStealer are a few examples of data-stealing malware. Malicious software can have a variety of harmful functionalities, e.g., causing chain infections, encrypting data (ransomware), generating cryptocurrency (cryptominers), extracting information from browsers and other apps, etc.

How did Kuukostealer infiltrate my computer?

Malware is proliferated via untrustworthy download sources, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders.

Illegal activation tools ("cracks") and fake updates are also used for distribution. "Cracking" tools can cause infections instead of activating licensed products. Fraudulent updaters infect systems by exploiting outdated software weaknesses and/or by installing malicious programs.

Spam campaigns are used to spread malware as well. The scam emails sent through these campaigns can have infectious files attached to and/or linked inside them. These files can be in various formats, e.g., PDF and Microsoft Office documents, archives, executables, JavaScript, etc. When the files are opened - the infection chain is triggered.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is advised to download only from official and verified channels. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated using tools provided by legitimate developers. Dubious and irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially any attachments or links found in them.

It is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats. 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.

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.

Quick menu:

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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