How to remove NullMixer malware from your operating system

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

What is NullMixer?

NullMixer is a malicious program designed to cause chain infections and, as such, is classified as a dropper. This program has been observed infiltrating a wide variety of malware into infected devices, ranging from information-stealers to loaders. It is noteworthy that NullMixer is actively spread through "cracked" software download websites.

NullMixer malware detections on VirusTotal

NullMixer malware overview

The NullMixer dropper is designed to inject systems with malware. It has been noted infecting machines with various banking trojans, spyware, stealers, loaders, backdoors, and other malware.

NullMixer's infections can include (but are not limited to) the following malicious programs: Legion Loader, G-Cleaner, Smoke Loader, Vidar Stealer, RedLine Stealer, DanaBot, ColdStealer, PseudoManuscrypt, Raccoon Stealer, and Socelars.

The distribution method used for NullMixer is especially noteworthy. This malware has been observed being actively proliferated via sites offering "cracked" software and illegal activation ("cracking") tool downloads. Victims find these malicious websites by entering a relevant search query (e.g., "crack software") into a legitimate search engine, and they appear as the topmost results.

After accessing such a webpage and pressing download (or any analogous option), users experience a redirection chain that lands on a malignant webpage. It urges them to download the desired content in a password-protected archive file. Once it is extracted and executed, NullMixer's installation begins.

To summarize, the presence of NullMixer on a device can result in multiple severe system infections. The potential threats depend on the abilities of the injected programs. Generally, malware can cause diminished system performance or failure, data loss, hardware damage, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

If you believe that your device is infected with NullMixer or other malware, we strongly recommend using an anti-virus to run a full system scan and remove all detected threats without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name NullMixer virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:AceCrypter-L [Cryp]), Combo Cleaner (Dropped:Trojan.Agent.FSOA), ESET-NOD32 (Multiple Detections), Kaspersky (Backdoor.Win32.Agent.myugrq), Microsoft (Ransom:Win32/StopCrypt.PAT!MTB), 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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Similar malware examples

TeamBotGootLoaderModernLoader, and Saitama are just a few examples of malicious programs that can cause chain infections, which we have analyzed recently.

Malware often has multiple capabilities, and the functionalities can be in varied combinations. However, regardless of how this software operates - its presence on a system endangers device integrity and user safety. Therefore, it is paramount to eliminate all threats immediately upon detection.

How did NullMixer infiltrate my computer?

As detailed previously, NullMixer is most commonly spread via pirated software download websites. These sites tend to appear as the top results generated by genuine search engines when users search for "crack software", "cracking tools", and similar.

After entering these pages, visitors can experience several redirects that end with a file-sharing site urging them to download a password-protected archive file. Following the file's extraction and execution - NullMixer's infection chain is jumpstarted.

It is pertinent to mention that malware is often spread using several techniques. This software is typically proliferated by employing phishing and social engineering tactics. Malware is commonly disguised as or bundled with regular programs/media.

Virulent files can be archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc. When a malicious file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - the malware download/installation processes are initiated.

The most widely used distribution methods include: drive-by (stealthy/deceptive) downloads, illegal software activation ("cracking") tools and pirated programs, untrustworthy download sources (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), online scams, malicious attachments and links in spam emails and messages, malvertising, and fake updates.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We highly recommend downloading only from official and verified channels. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated using functions/tools provided by genuine developers, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updaters can contain malware.

We advise caution when browsing since illegitimate and malicious content usually looks ordinary and harmless. Another recommendation is to be vigilant with incoming mail. The attachments and links present in suspect/irrelevant emails and messages must not be opened as they can be malicious and cause system infections.

It is essential for device/user safety to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. Security software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected 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.

Screenshot of malicious software "crack" websites appearing as the top results on Google:

Malicious crack websites as top results on a search engine

Appearance of a software "crack" website spreading malware (GIF):

Software crack website spreading malware appearance (GIF)

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:
▼ 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.

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

Most malicious programs can be removed without formatting.

What are the biggest issues that NullMixer malware can cause?

What threats malware poses depend on its abilities and the attackers' goals. NullMixer is a malware dropper - it is designed to inject additional malicious programs into systems. Hence, NullMixer infections pose particularly varied threats. In general, malware can cause decreased system performance or failure, data loss, severe privacy issues, hardware damage, financial losses, and identity theft.

What is the purpose of NullMixer malware?

Typically, malicious software is used for profit. However, cyber criminals can also use it for their own amusement or to carry out personal vendettas, disrupt processes (e.g., websites, services, companies, etc.), and even launch politically/geopolitically motivated attacks.

How did NullMixer malware infiltrate my computer?

NullMixer has been notably proliferated through websites offering "cracked" (pirated) software downloads. Victims often entered these sites when searching related queries on legitimate search engines - since they appeared as the topmost search results. However, it is likely that this program is spread using other methods as well.

The most common malware distribution techniques include: drive-by downloads, spam emails, online scams, dubious download sources (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.), illegal program activation ("cracking") tools, fake updates, and malvertising. Furthermore, some malicious programs can self-proliferate via 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 is capable of detecting and eliminating nearly all known malware infections. It must be stressed that running a full system scan is crucial - since high-end malicious programs tend to hide 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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