A Trojan Horse such as the newly reported StealthWorker Malware can cause a lot of issues to your computer if it finds a way to sneak inside of it. This type of malware is a tool for criminal deeds such as theft of sensitive information, system destruction, corruption of files, espionage and many other harmful effects and that’s why, if you have even a slight suspicion that StealthWorker might be hiding inside your machine, you should take immediate actions to detect and remove the potential threat. The worst thing is that the effects of its attack, in most cases, won’t be revealed immediately. For instance, if the Trojan has been programmed to secretly collect personal data (such as passwords, login credentials, banking details, etc.) and to send it to remote criminal servers, you may come to know about the infection only after those details have been used for criminal deeds such as identity theft, banking fraud or unauthorized access to your profiles. In other cases, the harmful effects of the malware may come quicker as the infection may be directly aimed at corrupting your existing files or taking control over the OS and the installed software. Either way, your focus should be on safely removing the infection and all of its related malicious code before it manages to complete its agenda. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task because StealthWorker and its siblings are some of the most advanced and the most stealthy computer threats. It is nearly impossible to detect and fully eliminate them without the help of reliable antivirus software or a professional malware-removal tool because they tend to hide deep in the system and can mimic many regular processes in order to confuse the users. For this reason, we do not recommend that inexperienced users experiment with removing this malware on their own. Instead, we suggest they strictly follow the steps of a manual removal guide, such as the one below and/or use a professional scanner that can handle the elimination process automatically.
As most of the Trojans, StealthWorker typically spreads via low-quality websites, different page-redirect links, fake ads, malicious email messages and attachments, as well as via many other seemingly-harmless carriers. Security experts warn that the chances of bumping into this threat are quite high if you are not careful whit where you click or if you tend to visit insecure web locations. Unfortunately, you may not know it when you get contaminated because StealthWorker can quietly operate in the background of the system and perform the commands of its criminal creators without showing any particular symptoms. For this reason, it is really important to have a reliable antivirus program which can detect the danger and help you take the necessary steps to handle it on time. There is absolutely no point in waiting for some particular symptoms from the Trojan Horse and thus delaying its removal because it may be too late to save your system when the malware has completed its criminal agenda.
|Danger Level||High (Trojans are often used as a backdoor for Ransomware)|
|Symptoms||It is typical for the Trojans to hide their traces and not to show symptoms in order to prevent their deteciton.|
|Distribution Method||Spam, infected emails and malicious attachments, cracked software, torrents, pirated content, illegal websites, fake ads.|
Remove StealthWorker 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.
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 StealthWorker 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.