How to remove the Words malware from your operating system

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

What is Words malware?

Words is the name of a malicious program, which our research team found while inspecting fake "cracked" software download sites. The Words malware is capable of force-opening untrustworthy and hazardous websites, and it might have other harmful abilities as well.

It is noteworthy that this program attempts to avoid user detection by using the Microsoft Word icon and the process name "words" on the Task Manager.

Words malware install folder

Words malware overview

After installing Words on our test machine, we learned that it force-opens various webpages. Typically, software with such capabilities causes redirects to sites promoting questionable content (gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.), online scams (phishing, fake: virus and outdated software alerts, lotteries, reward programs, giveaways, etc.), unwanted and hazardous applications, and even malware.

It is not unlikely for Words to have additional malicious functionalities. Malware is often multifunctional, and the developers commonly add features to it.

The most common functions include: installing other malware (chain infections), spying (e.g., keylogging, recording audio and video via microphones and webcams, etc.), encrypting data and/or locking the device's screen (ransomware), abusing system resources to generate cryptocurrency (cryptominers), exfiltrating files and data from systems and installed apps, replacing information copied into the clipboard, and so forth.

Furthermore, the installer that carried Words was also bundled with other unwanted software. Therefore, users may also experience adware, browser hijacker, and other infections.

In summary, Words infections may lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. If you suspect that Words has infiltrated your system, we advise using an anti-virus to remove it without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Words virus
Threat Type Malware, Unwanted redirects, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus
Detection Names (malicious installer) Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), Combo Cleaner (Dropped:Trojan.GenericKD.49007540), ESET-NOD32 (Multiple Detections), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Agent.xapfll), Microsoft (Trojan:MSIL/RedLineStealer.AH!MTB), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (Words) Avast (Win32:AdwareX-gen [Adw]), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Bulz.543135), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Adware.CsdiMonetize.B), Kaspersky (Trojan-Downloader.MSIL.CSDI.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Conteban.A!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Rogue Process Name words
Symptoms Unprompted redirects to suspicious and potentially malicious sites.
Distribution Methods 'Cracked' software installers, infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering.
Damage Decreased computer performance, serious privacy issues, possible additional malware 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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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Malware examples

We have extensive experience researching malware infections - we've analyzed thousands of malicious programs. Dllhost.exe malware3Ex2BJT2aiqDJKPAFeuWMbB4T6MhML384pBurmilla Stealer - are merely a few examples of our newest finds.

Malware can have a broad range of functionalities, which can be in different combinations. However, regardless of how malicious software operates - its presence on a system endangers device/user safety. Therefore, all threats must be eliminated immediately upon detection.

How did Words install on my computer?

We obtained Words from a fake "cracked" software download website. However, this program is likely spread using other methods as well.

The most popular malware proliferation techniques include: malicious attachments and links in spam emails/messages, drive-by (stealthy and deceptive) downloads, untrustworthy download channels (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal program activation ("cracking") tools, online scams, and fake updates.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We highly recommend downloading only from official and verified sources. Furthermore, all programs must be activated and updated with tools provided by legitimate developers.

We advise exercising caution with incoming mail. The attachments and links found in suspect/irrelevant emails and messages - must not be opened, as that can result in a malware infection.

It is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus installed and updated. Security software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats. If your computer is already infected with Words, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this malware.

Screenshot of Words malware's installation setup:

Official Words malware installer

Screenshot of Words malware's process on Windows Task Manager ("words" process name):

Words malware process on Task Manager (words - process name)

Screenshot of the fake "cracked" software download website used to promote Words malware:

Fake cracked software website promoting Words malware

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

Words malware removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.

Windows 10 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

macOS (OSX) users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Words malware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling potentially unwanted applications, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove adware from Internet browsers:

At time of research, Words malware did not install any browser plug-ins on Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, however, it was bundled with adware. Therefore, you are advised to remove all potentially unwanted browser add-ons from your Internet browsers.

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing Words  ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.

Removing Words ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the words virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Words ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing Words ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with words virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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

No, Words' removal does not require such drastic measures.

What are the biggest issues that Words malware can cause?

The dangers posed by a malicious program depend on its capabilities and the cyber criminals' modus operandi. Words is designed to force-open deceptive and malicious websites, which can cause severe problems. Generally, malware infections can result in serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

What is the purpose of Words malware?

The primary use of malware is to generate revenue for the attackers. However, malicious programs can also be used to amuse the cyber criminals, disrupt processes (e.g., websites, services, companies, organizations, etc.), carry out personal vendettas, and launch politically/geopolitically motivated attacks.

How did Words malware infiltrate my computer?

Words has been notably distributed through fake "cracked" program download websites. The most widely used malware distribution methods include: drive-by downloads, spam emails and messages, online scams, unofficial and freeware download sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, fake updates, and illegal software activation tools ("cracks"). Some malicious programs are also capable of self-spreading through 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 is designed to scan systems and detect as well as eliminate malware infections. It is capable of removing most of the known malicious software infections. However, it has to be stressed that performing a full system scan is essential - since high-end malware 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.

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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