Removal instructions for the Gh0stBins remote access trojan

Also Known As: Gh0stBins remote access trojan
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What kind of malware is Gh0stBins?

Gh0stBins is the name of a sophisticated Remote Access Trojan (RAT) written in the C++ programming language. Malware classed as such is designed to enable remote access and control over compromised machines. RATs are highly versatile malicious tools capable of performing a variety of actions on infected systems.

There is some evidence linking Gh0stBins to an unspecified Chinese threat actor.

Gh0stBins malware detections on VirusTotal

Gh0stBins malware overview

Remote access trojans enable attackers to assume control over an infected device; some of these programs can allow for close to user-level interaction. RATs are multipurpose tools with a tendency for customization, in which case the exact functionalities and how the malware is applied vary between infections.

Gh0stBins is not an exception; it can execute various commands on machines and retrieve additional malicious modules and components for added functionality.

Following successful infiltration, this malware starts by collecting relevant device data, e.g., OS version, CPU, GPU, RAM, drives, device name, username, IP address, available cameras, etc.

The trojan can obtain malicious modules from its C&C (Command and Control) server and/or download this content from the Web. Some of the known modules used by Gh0stBins allow it to manage directories and files; typically, that includes creating, moving, copying, renaming, downloading, deleting, and otherwise modifying files.

Additionally, the malware gains the ability to control the victim's desktop remotely. Gh0stBins can also restart the system and shut it down.

The RAT has keylogging abilities that enable it to record keystrokes. Other spyware-type functionalities employed by Gh0stBins include recording audio via microphones and video through cameras.

Since this RAT can download/install malicious components, it could have additional/different capabilities. It is likewise worth mentioning that malware developers often improve upon their creations, which could also be the case with any potential future variants of Gh0stBins.

In summary, RAT-type malware infections may result in data loss, severe privacy issues, significant financial losses, and identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Gh0stBins remote access trojan
Threat Type Trojan, Remote Access Trojan (RAT), password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Win64:Trojan-gen), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.67489520), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win64/Packed.VMProtect.HH), Kaspersky (Backdoor.Win32.Androm.vhkv), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Malagent!MSR), 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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Remote access trojan examples

We have analyzed thousands of malware samples; DynamicRATSeroXenJSOutProx, and DarkVision are just a few of our latest articles on RATs.

Malicious software can have various functions in different combinations, which is especially true of remote access trojans. However, it must be stressed that regardless of how malware operates – its presence on a system endangers device and user safety. Therefore, it is paramount to eliminate all threats immediately upon detection.

How did Gh0stBins infiltrate my computer?

Exactly how Gh0stBins is proliferated is unknown. Generally, malware is spread using phishing and social engineering techniques. That includes disguising or bundling malicious software with regular programs/media.

Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), documents (Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, PDF, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth. Once such a file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection chain (i.e., malware download/installation) is jumpstarted.

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

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

How to avoid installation of malware?

We strongly recommend being vigilant when browsing since fraudulent and malicious online content typically appears legitimate and innocuous. Additionally, vigilance must be extended to incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages. We advise against opening attachments or links found in suspect mail since they can be infectious.

Another recommendation is to download only from official and verified channels. All programs must be activated and updated using legitimate functions/tools provided by genuine developers, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updaters can contain malware.

We must emphasize the importance of having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. Security software must be used to perform 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.

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 Gh0stBins 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 Gh0stBins malware can cause?

The threats posed by an infection depend on the malware's capabilities and the cyber criminals' modus operandi. Gh0stBins is a RAT – a type of malware that enables remote access/control over infected devices. RATs are notoriously versatile and highly customizable. In general, malware infections can lead to serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

What is the purpose of Gh0stBins malware?

Most malicious programs are used for profit. However, attackers can also use this software to amuse themselves or to disrupt critical processes (e.g., websites, services, companies, institutions, etc.). Additionally, cyber criminals may be motivated by personal grudges or political/geopolitical reasons.

How did Gh0stBins malware infiltrate my computer?

Malware is primarily spread via drive-by downloads, spam mail, dubious download channels (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.), illegal software activation tools ("cracks"), fake updates, online scams, and malvertising. Some malicious programs can even self-proliferate through local networks and removable storage devices.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan systems and eliminate all manner of threats. It is capable of removing nearly all known malware infections. Note that running a full system scan is essential 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.

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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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