How to remove the Stink stealer-type malware

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

What kind of malware is Stink?

Stink is a malicious program written in the Python programming language. It is classed as a stealer. This malware is designed to extract and exfiltrate vulnerable information from devices.

Stink malware detections on VirusTotal

Stink malware overview

Stink is a stealer-type malware. Typically, programs within this class target sensitive system information, log-in credentials (usernames/passwords), personally identifiable details, and finance-related data.

Malware of this kind can extract information from various applications, e.g., browsers, email clients, messengers, cryptocurrency wallets, VPN (Virtual Private Network) clients, FTP (File Transfer Protocol) clients, gaming-related software, and others.

Stealers can possess other capabilities; they may also operate as file grabbers (steal files), keyloggers (record keyboard input), spyware (take screenshots, live-stream the desktop, record audio/video via microphones/cameras, etc.), clippers (replace clipboard content), and so on.

To summarize, the presence of software like Stink on devices can lead to severe privacy issues, significant financial losses, and identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Stink malware
Threat Type Trojan, stealer, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names Avast (Win64:SpywareX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Tedy.572099), ESET-NOD32 (Python/Spy.Agent.QU), Kaspersky (Trojan-PSW.Win32.Coins.agxx), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Acll), 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 written about thousands of malicious programs; BraodozEusLedger wallet stealerWaveStealer, and Ghostly are merely a few of our newest articles on stealers. Data-targeting malware can seek incredibly specific details or a broad range of information. These capabilities are also prevalent in other types of malicious software.

Yet regardless of what (if any) data that malware steals – its presence on a system threatens device integrity and user safety. Hence, all threats must be eliminated immediately upon detection.

How did Stink infiltrate my computer?

The exact techniques used to proliferate the Stink stealer are currently unknown. Generally, malware is spread by relying on phishing and social engineering techniques. This software is usually presented as or bundled with ordinary content.

Malicious files come in various formats, e.g., archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), documents (PDF, Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth. The infection chain is initiated once a virulent file is opened.

The most widespread malware distribution methods include: loader/backdoor-type trojans, drive-by (stealthy/deceptive) downloads, online scams, malicious attachments/links in spam (e.g., emails, DMs/PMs, social media posts, etc.), malvertising, dubious download channels (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal program activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates.

Some malicious programs can even self-spread via local networks and removable storage devices (e.g., external hard drives, USB flash drives, etc.).

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is essential to be vigilant while browsing since fake and dangerous online content typically appears genuine and innocuous. We recommend exercising caution with incoming emails and other messages. Attachments or links found in suspicious mail must not be opened, as they can be harmful/infectious.

Furthermore, all downloads must be performed from official and trustworthy channels. Another recommendation is to activate and update software using legitimate functions/tools, as those obtained from third-parties can contain malware.

We strongly advise having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security programs must be used to run regular system scans and to remove threats/issues. 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:
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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 Stink malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?

No, malware removal rarely requires such drastic measures.

What are the biggest issues that Stink malware can cause?

The dangers associated with an infection depend on the malicious program's capabilities and the attackers' modus operandi. Stink is designed to steal sensitive information from infected devices. Infections of this kind are linked with the following threats – severe privacy issues, significant financial losses, and identity theft.

What is the purpose of Stink malware?

The most common motivation behind malware attacks is profit. However, cyber criminals can also use malicious software to amuse themselves, carry out personal vendettas, disrupt processes (e.g., websites, services, companies, organizations, etc.), and launch politically/geopolitically motivated attacks.

How did Stink malware infiltrate my computer?

Malware is primarily spread via trojans, drive-by downloads, spam emails/messages, untrustworthy download sources (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.), online scams, malvertising, fake updates, and illegal program activation ("cracking") tools. What is more, some malicious programs can self-proliferate through local networks and removable storage devices.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan computers and eliminate all kinds of threats. It is capable of detecting and removing most of the known malware infections. Note that since high-end malicious software typically hides deep within systems – performing a complete system scan is crucial.

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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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