Removal instructions for the Editbot stealer-type malware

Also Known As: Editbot malware
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What kind of malware is Editbot?

Editbot is a piece of malicious software capable of extracting vulnerable information from infected devices. Targeted data includes browsing information, Internet cookies, log-in credentials, and other sensitive details.

This stealer is written in the Python programming language. Editbot has been noted being spread via spam messages sent on social media.

Editbot malware detections on VirusTotal

Editbot malware overview

The Editbot stealer infiltrates systems in multi-stage attacks. The known chain is initiated by a downloaded RAR archive (potentially obtained from social media spam) that contains a batch (BAT) and JSON files. Only the former features in the infection process – it establishes a connection to GitLab.

From the open-source repository, a ZIP archive and a BAT file are downloaded. The ZIP contains the Editbot malware, and the batch file executes it. All the commands are executed using PowerShell scripts.

Following successful infiltration, this stealer starts gathering relevant device information, such as geolocation data (e.g., IP address, country name and code, city, etc.), system details, username, running processes, and so on.

Editbot seeks to extract information from the following browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Brave Browser, Chromium, and Cốc Cốc (CocCoc). From browsers, this stealer aims to obtain browsing histories, Internet cookies, log-in credentials (usernames/passwords), and other sensitive data. The gathered information is then sent to the attackers via Telegram.

This malicious program specifically targets the log-in credentials for social networking and social media accounts. These platforms are commonly used by cyber criminals to steal the owners' identities and ask the contacts/friends/followers for loans or donations, promote scams, and proliferate malware by sharing malicious files/links.

It must be mentioned that malware developers often improve upon their creations and methodologies; therefore, potential future variants of Editbot could have a broader target list or additional/different functionalities.

In summary, the presence of software like the Editbot stealer on devices may lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Editbot malware
Threat Type Trojan, stealer, password-stealing virus, spyware.
Detection Names ALYac (Trojan.PSW.Python), ESET-NOD32 (Python/PSW.Stealer.FR), Ikarus (Trojan.Python.Psw), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-PSW.Python.Agent.gen), Tencent (Win32.Trojan-QQPass.QQRob.Sgil), 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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Stealer-type malware examples

We have analyzed thousands of malware samples; MrAnonVareAnsiety, and Laze are just a few examples of stealers we have researched recently.

Malicious software can have a wide variety of capabilities that can be in different combinations; it is not limited to its classification. Yet regardless of how malware operates – its presence on a system endangers device integrity and user safety. Hence, all threats must be eliminated immediately upon detection.

How did Editbot infiltrate my computer?

Editbot has been observed being distributed using social engineering techniques, specifically via spam messages. The social media PMs/DMs were crafted to entice users into interacting with scam groups, accounts, or pages.

One of the campaigns targeted Italian-speaking users through social media messages regarding the return of defective products. This spam included malicious attachments.

However, other proliferation methods are not unlikely. Aside from spam emails/messages, malware is commonly spread via drive-by (stealthy/deceptive) downloads, online scams, malvertising, untrustworthy download sources (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal software activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updates.

Furthermore, some malicious programs can self-proliferate through local networks and removable storage devices (e.g., external hard drives, USB flash drives, etc.).

Malware is typically disguised as or bundled with ordinary software/media. Infectious files can be archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), documents (Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, PDF, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth. When a virulent file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection chain is triggered.

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 legitimate functions/tools, as those acquired from third-parties can contain malware.

Another recommendation is to treat incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages with caution. Attachments or links found in dubious mail must not be opened, as they can be virulent. Since fake and malicious online content usually appears legitimate and harmless – we strongly advise being careful while browsing.

It is paramount 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 scams 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 a social media spam message used to proliferate Editbot (image source – BUTAC):

Social media spam message spreading the Editbot stealer 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:
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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 Editbot malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?

Malware removal rarely necessitates formatting.

What are the biggest issues that Editbot malware can cause?

Threats posed by a malware infection depend on the software's capabilities and the cyber criminals' modus operandi. Editbot is a stealer that extracts sensitive data from devices (particularly log-in credentials). Infections of this kind can result in serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

What is the purpose of Editbot malware?

While how malware operates can differ drastically, it is predominantly used to generate revenue. However, attackers can also use malicious programs to amuse themselves, realize personal grudges, disrupt processes (e.g., sites, services, companies, organizations, etc.), engage in hacktivism, and launch politically/geopolitically motivated attacks.

How did Editbot malware infiltrate my computer?

Editbot has been noted being spread via malicious attachments in spam DMs/PMs on social media platforms. However, other proliferation techniques are not unlikely.

Aside from spam, malware is widely proliferated through drive-by downloads, untrustworthy download sources (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.), illegal software activation tools ("cracks"), fake updaters, online scams, and malvertising. What is more, some malicious programs can self-proliferate via local networks and removable storage devices.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan systems and eliminate threats. It is capable of detecting and eliminating practically all known malware infections. It must be stressed that performing a complete system scan is crucial since sophisticated malicious programs usually 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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