How to eliminate MyKings botnet?

Also Known As: MyKings botnet
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What type of threat is MyKings?

MyKings is the name of a botnet leveraging EternalBlue vulnerability in the Windows operating system. It is known that this botnet spreads Trojans, cryptocurrency miners, and possibly other malware. Once the system is infected, MyKings attempts to spread to other devices using the vulnerability mentioned before.

MyKings malware

MyKings botnet in detail

Research shows that cybercriminals behind MyKings botnet target mainly countries in Asia. The main payloads delivered by this botnet are various Monero crypto miners and Forshare Trojan used to ensure those miners are running. The main point of MyKings botnet is to spread Monero miners on as many computers as possible.

Cryptocurrency-mining malware can affect system performance and cause system crashes that may cause loss of unsaved data. Also, infected computers used to mine cryptocurrency use more power. Thus, their users receive higher electricity bills. Another problem that may occur due to having a computer infected with a miner is hardware overheat.

Threat Summary:
Name MyKings botnet
Threat Type Botnet
Detection Names Avast (MBR:Mykings-A [Boot]), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Graftor.499274), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Agent.ZTX), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.DiskWriter.btk), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Occamy.C), Full List (VirusTotal)
Malicious Process Name(s) HxTsr (its name may vary)
Payload Monero miners, other computer infections
Symptoms A computer works slower, the operating system crashes
Distribution methods Threat actors behind MyKings leverage the EternalBlue exploit
Damage The victim's computer added to a botnet used to mine cryptocurrency, additional computer infections
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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MyKings botnet in general

The MyKings is a botnet used to spread Monero cryptominers. Threat actors may use it to spread other malware as well, for example, ransomware, Remote Access Trojans. Not long ago, cybercriminals behind MyKings started using a bootkit to avoid detection and establish persistence.

How did MyKings infiltrate my computer?

Typically, cybercriminals distribute malware using emails (malicious attachments or links in them), other malicious programs called Trojans, software cracking tools or installers for pirated software, unreliable sources for downloading files, fake updaters.

Their goal is to trick users into downloading and executing/opening a malicious file or using a tool that has malware hidden in it (like a software cracking tool or a fake updater). Trojans can serve different purposes. One of them is to execute malware/inject malicious payload.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Download software from reliable sources (such as official pages) and use direct download links. Avoid opening files or links in irrelevant emails sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. Always use tools designed only by official developers to update or activate the installed software. Scan the operating system for threats regularly.

It is recommended to use a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite. Installed security software should always be up to date. 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.

Malicious process belonging to MyKings botnet running in Task Manager as HxTsr (its name may vary):

mykings malware hxtsr malicious process running in task manager

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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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 MyKings malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?

It is not necessary to format storage device. Malware like MyKings can be removed without formatting.

What are the biggest issues that malware can cause?

It depends on the type of malware. Malware can be the reason behind decreased computer performance, further infections, monetary and (or) data loss, and other problems.

What is the purpose of a malware?

In most cases, cybercriminals use malware to steal personal information, encrypt files, distribute other malware, add a computer to a botnet. Either way, malware is used to generate revenue. In this case, cybercriminals use MyKings to spread Monero cryptocurrency miners to use infected computers as miners.

How did a malware infiltrate my computer?

Threat actors use phishing and other social engineering techniques (for example, malicious emails, fake system warning messages), drive-by downloads, Peer-to-Peer networks, and unofficial software download websites to deliver malware. Certain types of malware can self-spread through the local network and removable storage devices like external hard drives and USB flash drives. Cybercriminals try to infect computers and add them to the MyKings botnet using Windows vulnerabilities.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of detecting and eliminating almost all known malware infections. It is important to mention that high-end/sophisticated malware can hide deep in the system. Therefore, a computer must be scanned using a full 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.

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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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