How to eliminate the ServHelper malware from your operating system?

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

What is ServHelper?

ServHelper is a malicious backdoor program. Malware of this type is designed to open a "backdoor" for other malicious software. These programs can be used to infect systems with trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, and other malware. Therefore, the threats posed by ServHelper and programs akin to it - are extensive.

ServHelper malware detections on VirusTotal

ServHelper malware overview

There are two variants of ServHelper. One is designed to cause chain infections, while the other has remote control features. The latter is capable of establishing remote desktop access, which can be used to control user accounts and browser profiles.

To elaborate on ServHelper's abilities of downloading/installing additional malware - such functions can be employed to infect devices with all sorts of malicious programs.

The term "trojan" encompasses programs with a wide variety of harmful functionalities, e.g., enabling remote access and control over machines (RATs - Remote Access Trojans); downloading files; extracting data from the system, installed browsers, and applications; spying - recording keystrokes, and audio/video via microphones and cameras, taking screenshots; and so on.

Ransomware is designed to encrypt data and/or lock the device's screen to demand ransoms for the decryption/ access recovery. Cryptominers abuse system resources (potentially to the point of complete system failure or permanent hardware damage) - to mine cryptocurrency.

To summarize, ServHelper may cause multiple system infections, hardware damage, permanent data loss, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name ServHelper virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), Kaspersky (UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic), Malwarebytes (Trojan.Dropper), McAfee (Artemis!66A4AE359E43), Sangfor Engine Zero (Trojan.Script.Wacatac.B), 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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Backdoor malware examples

MosaicLoaderRustyBuerOstap, and Spectre are a few examples of malicious programs with backdoor functionalities. However, malware often has additional functionalities. Regardless of how this software operates, it endangers device and user safety. Therefore, it is crucial to use anti-virus software and immediately eliminate all detected threats.

How did ServHelper infiltrate my computer?

ServHelper has been observed being actively distributed via websites that promote illegal activation tools ("cracks"). "Cracking" tools can cause infections instead of activating licensed software.

In fact, malware is commonly spread through dubious download sources, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders. Fraudulent updates are used in distribution as well. These updaters infect systems by exploiting outdated program flaws and/or by installing malicious software.

Malware is also proliferated via spam campaigns. Spam emails are typically disguised as legitimate, and they can contain infectious files as attachments or download links. These files can be in various formats, e.g., Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives, executables, JavaScript, etc. When the files are opened - the infection chain is triggered.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Suspicious and irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially any attachments or links found in them - as they are sources of potential infections. It is recommended to only use official and verified download channels. Furthermore, all programs must be activated and updated with tools provided by legitimate developers.

It is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. This software has to be used to perform 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 IT 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:
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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:

Malware process running in the Task Manager

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:

Autoruns application appearance

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.

Run Windows 7 or Windows XP in 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.

Run Windows 8 in 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.

Run Windows 10 in 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 archive and run Autoruns.exe application

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.

Refresh Autoruns application results

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".

Delete malware in Autoruns

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.

Search for malware and delete it

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

My computer is infected with ServHelper malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?

ServHelper malware can be removed without such drastic measures as formatting.

What are the biggest issues that ServHelper malware can cause?

The threats posed by malware depend on the malicious program's functionalities and cyber criminals' modus operandi. Since ServHelper is designed to cause chain infections, in theory, it could infect a device with any type of malicious program. The usual threats posed by malware include (but are not limited to): decreased system performance, hardware damage, permanent data loss, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

What is the purpose of ServHelper malware?

The typical goal of malware is to generate revenue; however, other aims are possible. For example, malicious software can be released for the cyber criminals' amusement, personal motivations against the victim(s), disruption of specific processes (e.g., of websites, services, enterprises, etc.), political or geopolitical reasons, and so on.

How did ServHelper malware infiltrate my computer?

Malware is spread using social engineering and various dubious techniques, e.g., drive-by downloads, spam emails, illegal software activation ("cracking") tools, fake updates, untrustworthy download channels (unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), online scams, and so on. Some malicious programs can self-proliferate via local networks and removable storage devices (e.g., external hard drives, USB flash drives, etc.).

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate almost all known malware infections. It is noteworthy that sophisticated malware tends to hide deep in the system. Therefore, it is crucial to perform a full system scan.

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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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