Removal instructions for DotRunpeX malware

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

What kind of malware is DotRunpeX?

DotRunpeX is the name of an injector-type malware. This program is written in .NET and has been around since at least 2022. There are multiple variants of DotRunpeX. This malware serves as an integral part of infection chains and is typically delivered in the second stage of the process. The purpose of this program is to inject additional malware into devices.

DotRunpeX malware detections on VirusTotal

DotRunpeX malware overview

DotRunpeX is usually introduced in the second stage of an infection. Various first-stage loaders have been observed in use to deliver DotRunpeX. It is pertinent to mention that multiple prolific methods were noted in the distribution of said loaders (more information below).

There are several iterations of the DotRunpeX malware, but all of them employ sophisticated evasion and anti-analysis techniques. The latest versions are well-obfuscated, can detect whether they are run on a virtual machine or in a sandbox environment, and disable anti-virus software.

DotRunpeX is designed to inject high-risk malware into compromised devices. Most of the known infections delivered RATs (Remote Access Trojans), information-stealing malware, and loaders (full list). However, this program could potentially be used to spread other malicious software, such as ransomware or cryptocurrency miners.

It is noteworthy that malware developers often improve upon their creations, and – at the time of writing – DotRunpeX is still actively under development. Hence, future variants of this program could use different techniques and/or have additional functionalities.

The threats posed by an infection depend on the malware's capabilities and the attackers' goals. Generally, malware infections can result in diminished system performance or failure, data loss, hardware damage, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

If you suspect that your device is infected with DotRunpeX (or other malware) – perform a full system scan with an anti-virus and remove the threats without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name DotRunpeX virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Win64:RATX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Cerbu.154794), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Injector.WFC), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), Microsoft (Backdoor:MSIL/AveMariaRAT.B!MTB), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Payload (Full list)
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 samples

We have analyzed countless malware samples; BeepNeedleDropperTruebotMuldropNullMixer – are just examples of loaders/injectors.

Malware can be incredibly versatile and have numerous functions and purposes, ranging from causing chain system infections to stealing data. However, regardless of how malicious software operates – its presence on a system endangers device and user safety. Therefore, all threats must be eliminated immediately upon detection.

How did DotRunpeX infiltrate my computer?

Malware is proliferated using phishing and social engineering techniques, and DotRunpeX is not an exception. It has been observed being distributed via spam emails in the form of malicious attachments.

To elaborate on spam mail, these deceptive messages can have virulent files attached to or linked inside them. The files can be documents (e.g., Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, PDF, etc.), archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth. When a malicious file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection chain is triggered.

Additionally, DotRunpeX was noted being proliferated via fake websites that mimic those of legitimate software, including Galaxy Swapper, AnyDesk, OBS Studio, Onion Browser, Brave Wallet, MSI Afterburner, LastPass, and others.

Some of these malicious websites were promoted by abusing Google Ads; hence, when a victim searched for a related query – the topmost results included the malware-spreading site. Alternatively, malicious pages are commonly accessed via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, sites using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, and installed adware.

DotRunpeX has also been spread through trojanized software uploaded to GitLab. Malware builders infected with DotRunpeX were detected as well.

The most widespread distribution methods include: drive-by (stealthy/deceptive) downloads, online scams, malvertising, spam mail, untrustworthy download channels (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal software activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updates.

Furthermore, some malicious programs are capable of self-proliferating via local networks and removable storage devices (e.g., external hard drives, USB flash drives, etc.).

How to avoid installation of malware?

We strongly recommend researching software and downloading it only from official/verified channels. Furthermore, all programs must be activated and updated using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updaters can contain malware.

Another recommendation is to exercise caution while browsing since fraudulent and malicious online content usually appears harmless. We advise approaching incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages with care. The attachments and links found in suspicious/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be infectious.

It is paramount 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.

Full list of malware observed being injected by DotRunpeX malware:

Screenshot of a spam email used to distribute DotRunpeX malware:

DotRunpeX malware spreading spam email

Text presented in this spam email:

Subject: Transaction Advice 502833272391_RPY - 29/10/2022

Nasabah Yang Terhormat,

Bersama ini kami lampirkan nota transaksi Trade OCBC NISP - 502833272391_RPY dari KALIEN untuk tanggal 29/10/2022.

Demikian kami sampaikan jika ada pertanyaan lebih lanjut, silakan menghubungi Tanya OCBC NISP 1500999 atau +62 21 26506300 (dari Luar Negeri) dan pilih Layanan Business Banking (menu 2). Besar harapan kami agar Bank OCBC NISP tetap menjadi pilihan utama Anda dalam melakukan transaksi perbankan.

Terima kasih atas kepercayaan Anda dalam menggunakan layanan kami.

*Email ini tidak memerlukan balasan

Dear Valued Customer,


Please find attached OCBC NISP Trade transaction receipt - 502833272391_RPY of Client dated 29/10/2022.

Please be informed and should there any questions, please contact Tanya OCBC NISP 1500999 or +62 21 26506300 (Overseas) and select Business Banking Services (Menu 2). We hope that OCBC NISP Bank are still your first choice in banking.

Thank you for your trust in using our service.

*This email does not require a reply

Screenshot of Google Ads promoting a fake Galaxy Swapper website used to distribute DotRunpeX malware:

DotRunpeX malware spreading fake website promoted via Google Ads

Screenshot of the fake Galaxy Swapper website that distributed DotRunpeX malware:

DotRunpeX malware spreading fake Galaxy Swapper download website

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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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 DotRunpeX 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 DotRunpeX malware can cause?

What dangers an infection poses depends on the malware's functionalities and the cyber criminals' modus operandi. DotRunpeX is designed to inject malware into devices and has been observed infecting systems with stealers, RATs (Remote Access Trojans), and loaders (full list). Generally, malware infections can result in diminished system performance, data loss, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

What is the purpose of DotRunpeX malware?

In most cases, malware is used to generate revenue. However, cyber criminals can also use this software to amuse themselves, carry out personal vendettas, disrupt processes (e.g., websites, services, companies, etc.), and even launch politically/geopolitically motivated attacks.

How did DotRunpeX malware infiltrate my computer?

DotRunpeX has been noted being spread via malicious attachments in spam mail, fake websites disguised as those of legitimate software (promoted through Google Ads), and trojanized programs on GitLab.

Malware is mainly proliferated via spam mail, malvertising, online scams, dubious download sources (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.), illegal software activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updates. What is more, some malicious programs can self-proliferate 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 is designed to detect and remove threats. It can eliminate practically all known malware infections. Keep in mind that running a complete system scan is essential – since high-end malicious software usually 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.

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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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