How to eliminate Matanbuchus malware from the operating system?

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

What is Matanbuchus?

Matanbuchus is a loader-type malicious program offered by its developers as Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS). This piece of software is designed to cause chain infections.

Since it is used as a MaaS, both the malware it infiltrates into systems, and the attack reasons can vary - depending on the cyber criminals operating it. Matanbuchus has been observed being used in attacks against US universities and high schools, as well as a Belgian high-tech organization.

Matanbuchus malware detections on VirusTotal

Matanbuchus malware overview

Matanbuchus is designed to infect systems with additional malware. Before initiating a chain infection, this malicious program checks relevant device data to ensure the infection's success.

Theoretically, loader malware can inject any malicious program into a system. For example, it could be trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.

"Trojan" is a broad term that defines a wide variety of malicious software. To provide some examples, there are Remote Access Trojans (RATs) that can enable remote access/control over compromised machines. Information-stealing malware also falls within the trojan category; these programs can extract data and files from systems or installed applications, some target specific information like online banking details.

Spyware is also a type of trojan; it can take screenshots or record keystrokes (keylogging), desktop, audio/video via microphones and cameras, and so on. Backdoor trojans operate in a similar manner to loader malware.

Ransomware is designed to encrypt data and/or lock the device's screen (screenlockers) - to demand ransoms for the decryption/ access recovery. Cryptominers abuse system resources (potentially to the point of permanent system failure or hardware damage) - to generate cryptocurrency. Furthermore, malicious software can have different abilities in varied combinations.

To summarize, Matanbuchus infections might lead to decreased system performance or failure, data loss, device damage, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. If it is suspected that Matanbuchus has infiltrated the system - an anti-virus must be used to remove it without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Matanbuchus virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Graftor.928390), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HJPA), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Agentb.klom), Microsoft (Trojan:MSIL/Cryptor), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (malicious Excel file) Avast (VBS:Malware-gen), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.DOC.Agent.AXW), ESET-NOD32 (DOC/TrojanDownloader.Agent.DPA), Microsoft (TrojanDownloader:O97M/EncDoc.SME!MT), 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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Loader malware examples

ServHelperMosaicLoaderHimeraLoader, and Nyan Worm are some examples of malicious programs capable of causing chain infections. Since this type of malware can infect devices with a host of different harmful software - the threats posed by it can be numerous.

Regardless of how malware operates, its sole goal is to generate revenue at victims' expense. Therefore, it is crucial to eliminate all threats and issues immediately upon detection.

How did Matanbuchus infiltrate my computer?

Matanbuchus has been observed being spread via email spam campaigns, which is a widely used malware-proliferation technique. These emails can have infectious files (e.g., Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives, executables, JavaScript, etc.) as attachments or download links.

Virulent files trigger malicious software download/installation - upon being opened. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands.

Pre-2010 Microsoft Office versions do so the moment a document is opened. Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents this; instead, users can manually enable macros (i.e., editing/content). It must be stressed that infectious documents often contain messages that trick users into allowing macro commands, and this has been observed in Matanbuchus' distribution.

Malware is also commonly spread through untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.

Illegal software activation ("cracking") tools and fake updates are used as well. "Cracks" can cause infections rather than activate licensed products. Fraudulent updaters infect systems by exploiting outdated programs and/or by installing malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

The attachments and links found in suspicious/irrelevant emails must not be opened/clicked, as that can lead to a malware infection. It is advised to always download from official and verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools provided by legitimate developers.

It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove threats/issues. 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.

Screenshot of a malicious attachment used to distribute Matanbuchus:

Malicious attachment distributing Matanbuchus malware

Screenshot of a hacker forum used to promote Matanbuchus malware:

Forum promoting Matanbuchus 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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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 Matanbuchus malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?

No, formatting is unnecessary for Matanbuchus' removal.

What are the biggest issues that Matanbuchus malware can cause?

Since Matanbuchus is designed to infect systems with other malware, its threats are incredibly varied. In general, such infections can result in diminished system performance or failure, hardware damage, permanent data loss, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

What is the purpose of Matanbuchus malware?

While typically malware is only used to generate revenue, other aims are possible. For example, malicious software can be used for political/geopolitical motivations, personal reasons (i.e., targeting specific victims), disruption of certain processes (e.g., websites, services, companies, etc.), or simply for the cyber criminals' amusement.

How did Matanbuchus malware infiltrate my computer?

Malware is spread using phishing and social engineering tactics. For example, malicious programs are distributed via drive-by downloads, spam mail, online scams, illegal software activation tools ("cracks"), fake updates, unofficial and freeware download sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc. Some malware is capable of self-spreading 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. It is noteworthy that sophisticated malicious software typically hides deep within systems; hence, running a complete system scan is a must.

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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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