How to eliminate SpyAgent malware from the operating system?

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

What is SpyAgent?

SpyAgent is a malicious program known to abuse legitimate Remote Access Tools (RATs) to gain access and control over infected machines. This malware has also been observed injecting devices with various Remote Access Trojans and data-stealers. SpyAgent has been actively proliferated via malicious cryptocurrency-themed websites.

SpyAgent malware detections on VirusTotal

SpyAgent malware overview

SpyAgent can abuse the vulnerabilities of specific genuine Remote Access Tools (e.g., TeamViewer, Safib Assistant, etc.) to obtain the device's ID. It then sets the RAT password to a fixed one - thereby only requiring the ID to establish remote access/control.

This malware is capable of causing chain infections, and it has been confirmed to inject the following Remote Access Trojans and stealers into systems: Remcos, NanoCore, njRat, AsyncRAT, RedLine, Ducky, Cypress, and AZORult. Both legitimate remote access tools and malicious ones can allow close to user-level control over a device. Trojans of this type are infamous for the variety and abundance of their harmful functionalities.

At the time of research, the goal behind SpyAgent's infections was obtaining victims' cryptowallets or stealthily redirecting outgoing cryptocurrency transactions (via clippers - clipboard replacers that change copied wallet address to those in the criminals' possession).

However, the potential threats posed by this malware are far broader. To summarize, this malicious program can lead to multiple system infections, hardware damage, data loss, severe privacy issues, significant financial losses, and identity theft. Therefore, it is crucial to use an anti-virus and remove SpyAgent infections without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name SpyAgent virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.37793652), ESET-NOD32 (NSIS/Injector.ANO), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Spy.Win32.TheRat.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Script/Phonzy.A!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Payload Remcos, NanoCore, njRat, AsyncRAT, RedLine, Ducky, Cypress, AZORult
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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Malware in general

ServHelperRustyBuerDarkLoader, and MosaicLoader are a few examples of programs capable of causing chain infections. In general, malicious software can have a wide variety of functionalities that can be in different combinations.

Common malware types/abilities include: additional malicious software injection, file/data extraction from systems and installed applications, remote access/control creation, data encryption and/or screen locking for ransom purposes (ransomware), spying (e.g., keylogging, audio/video recording of the desktop or via microphones/cameras, etc.), system resource abuse to mine cryptocurrency (cryptominers), and so on.

Regardless of how malware operates, it poses serious threats to device integrity and user safety. Hence, it is crucial to eliminate all threats and issues immediately upon detection.

How did SpyAgent infiltrate my computer?

SpyAgent has been pushed via cryptocurrency-related sites (primarily Russian-language ones), under the guise of cryptocurrency wallets, miners, and similar software. Through these malicious websites, victims typically download and install the malware themselves - while believing that they are allowing an entirely different product into their devices.

The pages themselves were promoted using various techniques, e.g., endorsement through "earn cryptocurrency" advertisements and websites, fake or compromised social media accounts (e.g., Twitter), and possibly through search engine generated results as well.

Overall, malware is spread employing phishing and social engineering tactics: drive-by downloads, online scams, spam mail, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, unofficial and freeware sites, illegal activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updates - are prevalent.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is strongly advised to exercise caution when browsing and to only download from official/verified channels. Furthermore, all programs must be activated and updated using genuine tools obtained from official sources.

Suspicious and irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially the attachments/links found in the letters - as they can cause system infections.

It is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to perform regular system scans and to remove 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.

Screenshots of malicious websites used to proliferate SpyAgent malware:

SpyAgent malware promoting website 1 SpyAgent malware promoting website 2 SpyAgent malware promoting website 3 SpyAgent malware promoting website 4 SpyAgent malware promoting website 5 SpyAgent malware promoting website 6 SpyAgent malware promoting website 7

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

No, SpyAgent can be removed without formatting.

What are the biggest issues that SpyAgent malware can cause?

While SpyAgent malware has been observed targeting cryptowallets and cryptocurrency transactions, it can be used for a broad range of malicious activities. In general, the threats posed by malware include - diminished system performance or failure, hardware damage, permanent data loss, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

What is the purpose of SpyAgent malware?

Typically malware is released for the sole purpose of generating revenue. However, other possible reasons include: political or geopolitical motivations, harming specific victims (personal grudges), cyber criminals' amusement, disruption of certain processes (e.g., websites, services, companies, etc.), and others.

How did SpyAgent malware infiltrate my computer?

SpyAgent has been actively distributed via cryptocurrency-related websites. Other popular malware distribution methods are: drive-by downloads, spam mail, unofficial and freeware download sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, online scams, illegal software activation tools ("cracks"), fake updates, and so forth. Some malicious programs can self-proliferate through local networks and removable storage devices (e.g., USB flash drives, external hard drives, etc.).

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate most of the known malware infections. However, performing a full system scan is crucial - since high-end malicious software typically hides deep within systems.

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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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