How to remove NeedleDropper from the operating system

Also Known As: NeedleDropper malware dropper
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What kind of malware is NeedleDropper?

NeedleDropper is a malware variant designed to drop malicious payloads (inject malware). It is advertised and sold on hacking forums. NeedleDropper is a self-extracting archive that contains files used for malware execution. Threat actors have been observed distributing this malware via email.

NeedleDropper malware

More about NeedleDropper

Basically, NeedleDropper is a malicious program designed to deliver other malware. As mentioned in the introduction, it can be purchased from various hacker forums. It is monetized using the malware-as-a-service model. Cybercriminals who purchase malware like NeedleDropper use it to drop their payloads.

Threat actors may use NeedleDropper to drop ransomware, crypto-mining malware, clippers, information stealers, and other types of malware. Ransomware is malware that encrypts files. It is used to extort money from victims. It is rarely possible to decrypt files without purchasing decryption tools from cybercriminals behind ransomware attacks.

Crypto-mining malware uses computer hardware to mine cryptocurrency. Cybercriminals use malware of this type to make money at the expense of their victims. Having a computer infected with such malware results in higher electricity consumption. Also, it can cause issues such as data loss, slow computer performance, etc.

Information stealers target cryptocurrency wallets, credit card details, ID card information, login credentials, and other sensitive information. Malware of this type can use different methods to extract sensitive information. One of them is keystroke logging (recording keyboard input).

Clippers are malicious programs that detect crypto wallet addresses copied to the clipboard and replace them with addresses owned by threat actors. The purpose of clippers is to lure victims into transferring crypto to cybercriminals instead of intended recipients.

Threat Summary:
Name NeedleDropper malware dropper
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names (Malicious Excel Document) Avast (OLE:CVE-2017-11882-B [Expl]), Combo Cleaner (Exploit.MathType-Obfs.Gen), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Exploit.CVE-2017-11882.F), Kaspersky (HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.CVE-2018-0802.gen), Microsoft (Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882.PDP!MTB), Full List (VirusTotal)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.63509973), ESET-NOD32 (Multiple Detections), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Agent.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Casdet!rfn), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Droppers often 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.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
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.

More about droppers

Malware droppers are distributed in various ways, for instance, by disguising them as legitimate programs. It is common for malware droppers to be capable of avoiding detection by virus scanners. Also, droppers can be persistent - they can be configured to re-execute themselves even after the removal. Examples of droppers are TeamBot, Muldrop, and NullMixer.

How did NeedleDropper infiltrate my computer?

It is known that NeedleDropper is delivered via emails containing malicious MS Excel documents. Those documents inject NeedleDropper/start the infection chain after enabling macros commands (after enabling editing). Also, NeedleDropper is often shared via Discord or via OneDrive links.

Cybercriminals also use P2P networks, third-party downloaders, free file hosting sites, websites hosting cracked software, and similar channels to distribute malware. Their goal is to trick users into downloading and executing malware by themselves.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Download programs and files from official pages and stores only. Do not trust advertisements on shady websites. Always examine emails before opening attachments or links. Especially when emails are sent from unknown addresses and (or) do not concern you. Keep the operating system and installed software updated.

Scan your computer for threats on a regular basis. Use reputed antivirus software for protection against 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.

Email used to deliver NeedleDropper:

NeedleDropper malware email used to deliver malware

Text in this email:

Subject:  Zam. 8/2022 ZK 1572_PG-PL_2022

Dzień dobry,
Otrzymałam dziś poniższego maila. Zwykle zapytania ofertowe otrzymujemy w postaci plików pdf lub word.  
Zapaliło mi się więc światełko z powodu zapytania w formie pliku excel, czy to aby nie spam.
Będę wdzięczna za sprawdzenie.

Agnieszka Kuśmierz

Zakład Ocen Środowiskowych, Ochrony Przyrody i Krajobrazu

Malicious attachment distributing NeedleDropper:

Malicious attachment distributing NeedleDropper 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:

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

More often than not, malware can be detected and removed with antivirus software (it can be achieved without formatting the storage device).

What are the biggest issues that malware can cause?

Cyberciminals can use malware to steal identities, online accounts, and money, inject other malware, mine cryptocurrency, add computers to botnets, encrypt files, etc. It depends on the type of malware (and its capabilities).

What is the purpose of NeedleDropper?

As its name suggests, NeedleDropper is a malware dropper. It is used to execute malicious payloads (infect computers with other malware).

How did NeedleDropper malware infiltrate my computer?

Threat actors have been observed using emails to distribute NeedleDropper. They send emails containing malicious MS Excel files that inject NeedleDropper after enabling macros commands. Threat actors also use Discord and OneDrive links to lure users into executing NeedleDropper.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate almost all known malware. Keep in mind that high-end malware can hide deep in the system. For this reason, running a full system scan is a must to eliminate such malware.

▼ Show Discussion

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk logo

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
NeedleDropper malware dropper QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of NeedleDropper malware dropper on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

Download Combo Cleaner

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

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.