A dangerous malware which the security experts have called Gracewire Backdoor has recently been detected in the web space. As per the latest analysis, this malware operates as a Trojan horse and puts any infected computer into a great danger. Trojans, in general, are very invasive malicious programs and the issues they can cause, in many cases, are unpredictable. That’s why, if you have any suspicion that your PC has been infected by this malware, you should not lose time but scan your system with the professional Gracewire removal tool on this page (or a similar reputed antimalware tool) or use the instructions in the Removal Guide below to locate and remove the harmful piece of software immediately. Catching and eliminating this threat on time is crucial for the safety of your system and for this reason, in the next lines, we will carefully explain you the dangers, the infection methods and tricks that Gracewire typically uses so that you can deal with it in the best possible way.
Specifics of Gracewire Malware
Among all the known online threats, the Trojan horses are among the most popular and the most commonly encountered. Their versatile and stealthy nature are among the factors that make these viruses so widespread and so dangerous and below we will tell you more about the specific features of a typical Trojan Horse infection.
The main infection method which threats like Gracewire normally use is disguise. Just like the infamous Trojan horse from the Greek mythology, these nasty malicious scripts usually try to mislead their victims about their real nature and purpose and tend to appear seemingly harmless. Trojans could come to you in the form of attachments, links, ads, pop-ups, images, audios, videos and what not. It is oftentimes really difficult to tell which of these commonly encountered and frequently used types of content are carriers of a Trojan script and which are not. That’s why, the contamination normally happens without the users’ knowledge, not to mention that there are hardly any symptoms of the infection. N many cases, only trusted antivirus software may help you detect the hidden malware, but for that, you have to run regular scans of the system and keep your virus definitions updated.
Remove Gracewire Backdoor Malware
Note: Before you go any further, we advise you to bookmark this page or have it open on a separate device such as your smartphone or another PC. Some of the steps might require you to exit your browser on this PC.
2: Task Manager
Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to enter the Task Manager. Go to the Tab labeled Processes (Details for Win 8/10). Carefully look through the list of processes that are currently active on you PC.
If any of them seems shady, consumes too much RAM/CPU or has some strange description or no description at all, right-click on it, select Open File Location and delete everything there.
Also, even if you do not delete the files, be sure to stop the process by right-clicking on it and selecting End Process.
3: The Hosts file
Go to c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. Open the hosts file with notepad.
Find where it says Localhost and take a look below that.
If you see any IP addresses there (below Localhost) send them to us here, in the comments since they might be coming from the virus.
To remove parasite on your own, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. If you were to do this, you need to be extremely careful, because you may damage your system.
If you want to avoid the risk, we recommend downloading SpyHunter - a professional malware removal tool - to see whether it will find malicious programs on your PC.
4: Disable Startup programs
Re-open the Start Menu and type msconfig.
Click on the first search result. In the next window, go to the Startup tab. If you are on Win 10, it will send you to the Startup part of the task manager instead, as in the picture:
If you see any sketchy/shady looking entries in the list with an unknown manufacturer or a manufacturer name that looks suspicious , disable those programs and select OK.
5: Registry Editor
Press Windows key + R and in the resulting window type regedit.
Now, press Ctrl + F and type the name of the virus.
Delete everything that gets found. If you are not sure about whether to delete something, do not hesitate to ask us in the comments. Keep in mind that if you delete the wrong thing, you might cause all sorts of issues to your PC.
6: Deleting potentially malicious data
Type each of the following locations in the Windows search box and hit enter to open the locations:
Delete everything you see in Temp linked to Gracewire Malware. About the other folders, sort their contents by date and delete only the most recent entries. As always, if you are not sure about something, write to us in the comment section.
What harm can Gracewire cause if not removed from the computer on time?
The hackers who create Trojans like Gracewire are anonymous cyber criminals. They might use the malware virus for fraud, theft, espionage or other harmful activities, which may lead to serious system corruption or data privacy leakage. That’s why, if your machine is infected with Gracewire, various bad things may happen and the consequences of the attack may leave your computer totally useless.
We cannot really tell you with certainty what the intentions of the criminals that have attacked your PC are in your particular case but here are some of the possible harmful activities which such malware could perform:
- Theft of credentials – The Trojan horse on your computer may be set to secretly steal some sensitive data from the system or spy on your activities and extract your passwords, login credentials, banking details, credit or debit card information for the purpose of future fraud, blackmailing and theft. This malware can transfer any data which is kept on your machine directly to the servers of the criminals and can provide them with sensitive information which can later be exploited in numerous harmful ways.
- System corruption – All the software and data which is kept on the infected computer could be in danger if the Trojan horse is set to destroy it or make some modifications to it. This is a very common malicious act which leaves the victims without their files and with severely modified software. The crooks can delete, corrupt and modify any piece of data on your machine. They can also make changes to the Registry keys of the Operating System and run various malicious processes in the background in complete stealth.
- Virus distribution – Gracewire can heavily compromise the security of any machine, which it can be found on. The infection can allow remote access for third parties and hackers which can secretly insert other viruses into your system. Ransomware, Spyware, Worms and other Trojans can easily sneak through the vulnerabilities which such a threat can create and you won’t even know about them. For this reason, we stress the importance of detecting and removing Gracewire as soon as possible.
Is there reliable protection against Trojans?
The biggest challenge which the Trojan-based viruses pose to the users’ is their detection. As we already said above, these threats use different forms of disguise and are really difficult to distinguish from a normal and harmless-looking piece of content. That’s why, for your best protection against them, you should rely on professional security software. Of course, it goes without saying that you should avoid any sketchy and shady web locations which could be potential transmitters of threats such as Gracewire and also run regular scans with your antivirus.
|Danger Level||High (Trojans are often used as a backdoor for Ransomware)|
|Symptoms||This threat usually lacks any visible symptoms but sudden system errors, crashes and unusual software activities may indicate its presence.|
|Distribution Method||Spam email messages, infected software installers, fake ads, misleading links, compromised web pages and others.|
Daniel Sadakov has a degree in Information Technology and specializes in web and mobile cyber security. He harbors a strong detestation for anything and everything malicious and has committed his resources and time to battling all manners of web and mobile threats. He has founded MobileSecurityZone.com, a website dedicated to covering the top tech stories and providing useful tips for the everyday user, in an effort to reach and help more people.