What is Dridex?
Automating tasks using Macros from Microsoft Office is the trend setter in increasing the overall productivity. With the ease in designs and programs, achieving difficult conclusions has been made possible by simple key combination. Cyber criminals have also exploited the opportunity to use Macro for satisfying their malicious intentions.
Dridex is a banking Trojan that leverages macros from Microsoft Office to infect the computer system. Attacker are targeting online banking users’ account information through such sophisticated phishing attacks, which paves way to banking thefts.
Dridex disguises itself as an email attachment with either Microsoft word or excel file. It activates when this spam e-mail attachment is opened. Enabling the macro feature of Microsoft Office, which is disabled by default causes this malware to steal banking credentials and then attempt to generate fraudulent financial transactions.
How does it work?
Dridex is a banking Trojan that can steal financial information by eavesdropping on your network traffic. Its goal is to steal user sensitive data.
The Dridex loader contains a configuration file that has botnet network and C&C details. All the stolen information on the system is sent to the C&C server. The cyber criminals use this information to access victim’s bank account.
How did the Trojan get into the system?
Like other trojans, Dridex gains entry through source programs carrying a trojan payload that you unknowingly install. Common sources of such programs are:
- Email Attachments
- Peer- to peer- software sharing
- Malicious websites designed specifically to inject Trojan.
- Mounting infected external drives
- Accidental click on suspicious adds
- Free illegitimate Software download links
Why is Dridex Dangerous?
Once infiltrated this harmful infection collects banking details used by cyber attackers to access bank accounts and transfer funds to their own accounts.
Continuous evolution and Highly sophisticated design makes Dridex dangerous as each improvement is a step forward in evading the User Account Control system (UAC Settings).
The virus can also escape antivirus detection by hiding its main command-and-control (C&C) servers behind proxy layers, making the detection difficult.
Symptoms of the Trojan
The primary symptoms of this banking Trojan are:
- Network Sluggishness: As the trojan attempts to access your network to download other malicious programs, you may experience slow network (Internet) speed.
- Registry modifications: You may notice unusual computer behavior, as the Trojan-Dridex attempts to add new registry entries and modify existing ones
- Slowing down System performance: You might also experience your computer performing slowly due to the malicious programs downloaded by this noxious system infection.
- Customized browser settings: Trojan-Dridex can modify your browser proxy-related settings. As a result, unwanted websites keep getting loaded through pop-ups or directly in the active browser window.
- Name: Dridex
- Browsers Affected: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox
- Targeted Operating System: Windows
- Symptoms: Invisible macros created after opening infected email attachment, Registry modification, customized browser settings, unnatural network activities, occasional sluggishness of the infected device.
How to Remove Dridex from your computer system?
Step A: Reboot your system to safe mode with networking
To restart the system to Safe Mode with Networking, if already switched ON then follow the below steps:
Step B: Remove Dridex from the Task Manager
- Launch the Task Manager Window by pressing Ctrl+ Shift+ Escape simultaneously. (The task manager window may vary depending on the OS ) OR bring the mouse cursor on the Task Bar (which is present at the bottom of the computer screen), right click on the empty space and click on Task Manager.
Task Manager window for Windows 10
Task Manager window for Windows 7
2 Right Click on the Suspicious File and select Open file Location.
3 In the File Location Screen that appears, Right click on the File and click on Delete, to delete the File permanently from the location.
- Open Task Manager window again by following the steps mentioned above.
- Click on the Startup tab.
- Select the suspicious entry and click on the Disable button present at the bottom right corner of the window
- Open Task Manager window again by following the steps mentioned above.
- Click on Services tab.
- Right click on the suspicious entry and click on Stop.
Step C: Remove the malware from the system configuration Settings
- Type “Msconfig” in search box / Run Box, select it and press Enter.
- Click on “Services” Tab and click on “Hide all Microsoft services”.
- Select Dridex from the list of remaining services and disable it by removing the tick mark from the checkbox and click on Apply button.
- Click on the next tab – “Startup”.
- Find any blank or suspicious entry or the entry with Dridex mentioned and remove the check mark.
- Click on Apply button and then click on OK.
- Click on the next tab – “Startup”.
- Take the mouse cursor to ‘Open task Manager‘ link and click on it. This opens the Task Manager window.
- Find any blank or suspicious entry or the entry with Dridex mentioned and click on it.
- Then click on Disable button.
Step D: Delete the suspicious file from the Registry Key
- Type “Regedit” in search box / Run Box, select it and press Enter.
- An authorization dialog box will appear, then you just have to click “Yes”. (The dialog box appearance may vary depending on OS used. For Windows 10 the the dialog box looks like the first screenshot and for windows 7 it appears like the second screenshot)
- In the registry editor, take the backup of the current registry settings before making any changes in case you want to revert to old settings later. For this, Click on File option in the menu and select Export. Save the entry at a known location.
- From the Menu, Click Edit and Select Find.
- Enter Dridex and click Ok in the search box.
- Select and delete suspicious enteries.
Step E: Remove the malicious program from Control Panel
Note: Before we begin, try to remember how the extension got downloaded on your computer system. Generally, these programs come bundled with free applications that we download off the internet. It is a good practice to locate and uninstall such programs while removing the Browser Hijacker/ Extensions.
- Click on the “Start” button on the bottom left corner of your screen. A Start menu will be displayed as shown below. From this menu select the option that reads “Control Panel”.
- In the window that will be displayed, click the option “Switch to classic view”.
- This will display all the options/icons available to you. From the displayed icons, click on the icon that reads “Add or Remove Programs”.
- Select the “Uninstall a program” option from the “Programs” category. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.
- Select the programs related to Dridex and click on the Uninstall button.
- Right click on the “Start” button located at the lower left corner of the screen. From the Start menu, click on “Control Panel”.
- The “Control Panel” Window will be displayed on the screen. Click on “Uninstall a Program” option from the “Programs” category.
- The “Programs and Features” window will be displayed on the screen. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.
- Scroll though the list of programs and select the programs related to Dridex and then click on the “Uninstall” button.
- Right click on the “Windows logo” on the lower left side of the computer screen. From the drop down menu, select and click on “Control Panel”.
- The “Control Panel” window will be displayed. From this window select “Uninstall a program” option form the “Programs” category.
- A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.
- Select the programs related to Dridex and click on the “Uninstall” button.
- In the confirmation box, click on the box that reads “OK” to save changes.
Step F: Remove the malicious browser extension
- Open Google Chrome and click on the three vertical dots ( ) i.e.Menu option which are located at the upper right corner of the Chrome Window.
- Find and click on More tools from the drop down menu that is displayed & select Extensions or you can open a Chrome window and type “chrome://extensions” in the address bar.
- Check the developer mode option which is located opposite to extensions heading on the top of the Chrome window. By enabling the developer mode, additional details and option related to all the installed extensions will be displayed. One of the details that will be displayed is the ID. ID is the folder name created by the extension at the location “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”.
- Locate the extension you want to uninstall or delete. Copy and paste the folder name opposite to the ID Tag of that extension into a notepad file. In this case the folder name is “XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”
- Now, uncheck the enabled option next to the extension in question. Make sure you also click the trash icon to delete the extension from the browser. It is important to note that even after uninstalling and deleting the extensions from the browser, the extension might not uninstall properly. Thus, it is a good practice to make sure that we have deleted the folder as mentioned in step 3.
- Make sure that you have made the hidden files and folders visible.
- Open My Computer and go to “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”. Now, look for folder with the name as specified in Step 4 i.e. “XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”. Delete the folder if present.
- Close and reopen the browser. It is also advisable to restart your computer once done.
- Open Mozilla Firefox, click on three horizontal lines ( ) at the top right corner of the Firefox Window and select the Add-ons option.
- On the Add-ons manger page, select and click on the Extensions tab as shown below.
- Find the extensions related to Dridex and click on the remove button.
- In addition, try to remember how the extension got downloaded on your computer system. If this extension was bundled with some other software, then make sure to delete that as well.
- On your Mac Desktop, click on the option that reads “Safari”.
- A drop down menu will appear as shown below. From this menu chose the option that reads “Preferences”.
- The Preferences window will appear on the screen, where the list of all your safari extensions will be shown.
- On the list displayed at the left side of the screen, select the Extension you want to uninstall.
- Click on the Uninstall button to get rid of the extension.
Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected –
- Keeping the Operating System Updated- In order to remain protected and avoid such infections, it is recommended to keep your Operating System updated by enabling the automatic update on your system. The systems with outdated or older versions of Operating System become an easy target for the attackers.
- Resist clicking on spam emails – One of the major techniques used for malware distribution is forwarding spam emails to the user. The system gets infected as soon as the user clicks on the attachment. These mails appear to be genuine, so be aware and resist falling for these tricks.
- Keep an eye on third party installations- It is quite important that you take due care while installing any third party applications for they are major source of such infections. Such malware programs come bundled with the free applications thereby requiring the user to remain cautious.
- Regular periodical backup- In order to keep your data and files safe, it is recommended to take regular back up of all your data and files either on an external drive or cloud.
- Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet security in your PC like 360 Total Security and Avira so that it remains safe.
- Enable the Ad Blocker/Popup Blocker in your browser- Enabling the popup blocker/ ad blocker in your chosen browser will help you to stay protected from annoying adware.