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How to remove Lightning Stealer

Also Known As: Lightning information stealer
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What kind of malware is Lightning Stealer?

Lightning Stealer is a piece of malware discovered by 3xp0rt. This stealer targets Steam, Telegram, Discord, and cryptocurrency wallet data, passwords, and cookies. It has its administration panel created to manage data logs. Lightning Stealer is sold for 300 rubles for a week, 500 rubles for a month, or 3000 rubles for six months.

Lightning Stealer malware

More about Lightning Stealer

It seems that Lightning Stealer steals data from the specified messaging clients (Telegram and Discord), cryptocurrency wallets, Steam accounts. Targeted information includes passwords and browser cookies. Cybercriminals can use stolen information to steal personal accounts, identities, and other data that would allow them to make fraudulent purchases, transactions, etc.

In most cases, cybercriminals behind information stealers use stolen data by themselves or sell it to third parties (on a dark web). Either way, users who have their computers infected with such malware usually lose money, access to various accounts, and (or) become victims of identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Lightning information stealer
Threat Type Information stealer
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.39289438), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Spy.Agent.DCF), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Spy.MSIL.Stealer.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Tiggre!rfn), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Information stealers 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 other information, identity theft, monetary loss
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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Information stealers in general

More examples of information stealers Ginzo Stealer, BlackGuard Stealer, Gomorrah Stealer. Typically, malware of this type is used to obtain account login credentials (usernames, email addresses, passwords), social security numbers, credit card details, and other sensitive information. Different stealers can use different techniques to extract data.

How did Lightning Stealer infiltrate my computer?

Cybercriminals distribute malware using emails, fake software cracking tools (or installers for cracked software), unreliable sources for downloading files and programs, fake updaters. Their goal is to trick users into executing malware (malicious files) by themselves.

Typically, threat actors using emails to deliver malware pretend to be legitimate companies or other entities. They send emails containing malicious attachments or website links. Examples of untrustworthy sources for downloading programs (or files) are P2P networks, shady websites, third-party downloaders, free file hosting pages.

Cybercriminals seek to trick users into opening/executing malicious Microsoft Office, PDF documents, JavaScript files, executables, files extracted from ZIP, RAR, etc.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Download files and programs from official, legitimate websites. Always use direct download links. Do not open/execute downloads from unreliable sources and links or attachments received from unknown addresses. Especially when such emails are not relevant.

Also, use tools provided by the official developers to update and activate installed programs. Keep those programs up to date and scan a computer for threats regularly. 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.

Administration panel of the Lightning Stealer malware:

lightning stealer malware admin panel

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:
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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 Lightning Stealer malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?

The Lightning Stealer can be removed from the operating system without formatting the storage device. It can be achieved by following the steps provided above.

What are the biggest issues that malware can cause?

Identity theft, financial losses, data encryption, decreased computer performance, additional computer infections, problems related to online privacy, browsing safety. It depends on the type of malware.

What is the purpose of Lightning Stealer malware?

This information stealer can extract information from Discord, Telegram, Steam clients. It can also steal passwords, cookies, data from cryptocurrency wallets. Cybercriminals can use it to steal accounts, money, identities.

How did a malware infiltrate my computer?

Threat actors often use phishing and other social engineering techniques to distribute malware. For example, they use malicious emails,  websites displaying fake system warning messages. In other cases, malware infects computers through drive-by downloads, files downloaded from P2P networks, third-party downloaders, and other unreliable sources.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and remove almost all known malware. It is important to know that high-end malware can hide deep in the operating system making it difficult to detect. Thus, computers infected with such malware 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.

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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