Emotet: Banking Trojan
Trojan | 05/16/2018

Emotet- A Self Propagating Banking Trojan

About: Emotet virus, a banking Trojan is designed to spread malware and collect victims' credentials. It takes advantage of weak admin passwords and system vulnerabilities that it uses to distribute itself on the computer network.

| Trojan | Emotet- A Self Propagating Banking Trojan

What is Emotet Virus?

Emotet is a banking Trojan that can steal financial information by eavesdropping on your network traffic.  Its goal is to steal user sensitive data.  Emotet is commonly spread by email, both using infected attachments sometimes disguised as an invoice or PDF attachment, as well as by embedded URLs in the email that download this Trojan.

Once Emotet has infected a host, the malicious file that is part of the malware is able to intercept the outgoing network traffic via a web browser leading to the stealing of sensitive data to access the victim’s bank account(s).

How is this software injected in the system?

Source of this Trojan may vary with the changing ways it is deployed.

  1. The virus is usually delivered via spam email messages. The hackers pretend to be reputed companies or financial institutions to deceive recipients and send out links and attachments files that pose as notifications or invoices or payment vouchers. Once they are opened by the victims the infection occurs.
  2. Some of the newer versions of Emotet automatically execute when web browsers are opened. All network traffic is logged and sent to the hacker operator. Even secured network connections are not save with this mechanism.
  3. Microsoft office payloads in another way of infiltrating this banking Trojan in the system. Popular forms devised to inject the software include rich text documents, presentations, archives, spreadsheets and databases. Once they are opened scripts automatically start to download and execute code downloaded from remote servers. In some instances a notification prompt can be displayed that asks the users to give permission for this to happen.
  4. Plugging in infected USB drive is one more way with which this malware can enter and infect the PC.

Payload:

In order to run itself on Windows start-up, Trojan Emotet will make a copy of itself under system files. Then, registry entry is created to call the file on each Windows boot-up. Thus, it is recommended to reboot your computer to Safe Mode and after that download anti- malware system. With this you will be able to run a full system scan and eliminate the malware.

Threats posed by the Emotet Trojan:

Emotet being is “polymorphic” in nature— meaning its code can change as it goes — it can evade virus protection and firewalls and infect systems with incredible speed as a result the malware can bypass various antivirus softwares when scanned.

The virus can capture PIN number and other credentials when user visits a banking website and send the gathered data from the infected computer to the attackers.

It is therefore necessary to act quickly and remove the Virus from the system since every second counts in case of Emotet.

The user should make extensive settings modifications to the Windows registry and other critical components of the operating system to protect the system from the attack of this noxious system infection.

Threat Summary

Name: Emotet

Browsers Affected: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari.

Targeted Operating System: Windows and MAC

Category: Trojan

Symptoms: Emotet operates silently in the background. However, Microsoft Security Software may alert you on the presence of this trojan.

Presence of these files confirms presence of Trojan:

System%\{string 1}{string 2}.exe;

%AppDataLocal%\Microsoft\Windows\{string 1}{string 2}.exe.

c:\documents and settings\administrator\application data\7989841.bat

How to Remove Emotet from your computer system?

Step A: 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.

Windows XP

  1. 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”.Windows XP start menu image
  2. In the window that will be displayed, click the option “Switch to classic view”.Control panel switch to classic view
  3. This will display all the options/icons available to you. From the displayed icons, click on the icon that reads “Add or Remove Programs”.Windows XP add or remove a program
  4. Select the “Uninstall a program” option from the “Programs” category. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.Uninstall a malicious program
  5. Select the programs related to Emotet and click on the Uninstall button.Windows XP confirmation window

Windows 7/Vista

  1. Right click on the “Start” button located at the lower left corner of the screen. From the Start menu, click on “Control Panel”.Windows 7 start menu
  2. The “Control Panel” Window will be displayed on the screen. Click on “Uninstall a Program” option from the “Programs” category.Uninstall a program from windows 7
  3. The “Programs and Features” window will be displayed on the screen. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.
  4. Scroll though the list of programs and select the programs related to Emotet and then click on the “Uninstall” button.uninstall a program in Windows 7

Windows 8/10

  1. 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”.Windows 10 start menu
  2. The “Control Panel” window will be displayed. From this window select “Uninstall a program” option form the “Programs” category.Control panel
  3. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.select programs and features option
  4. Select the programs related to Emotet and click on the “Uninstall” button.uninstall a program in windows 8
  5. In the confirmation box, click on the box that reads “OK” to save changes.

Step B: Show hidden files and folders.

Windows 7

  1. Left click on the Organize button on the Windows Explorer. A drop down menu will appear.
    Folder and search options in windows 7
  2. On this menu left click on the option that reads “Folder and search options” as shown above. A folder options dialogue box will appear.
  3. On the View tab under the Advanced settings, Check the option that reads “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” and uncheck the option that reads “Hide protected operating system files“.
    Windows view tab advanced settings
  4. Click on the “OK” button to save your changes. This will make all the hidden files and folders visible to you.

Windows 8 and 10

  1. On the file explorer toolbar, click on the View
    windows 8 file explorer toolbar
  2. In the Show/hide section, Click on the “Hidden items” checkbox.
  3. Click on the options button.Windows explorer options button
  4. Under folder options, click on the “View” tab.
    Windows 8 - hide protected operating file system option
  5. Uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files” option.
  6. Click the “OK” button to save your changes.

Step C: Remove the malicious browser extension

Google Chrome

  1. Open Google Chrome and click on the three vertical dots (Google chrome menu icon ) i.e.Menu option which are located at the upper right corner of the Chrome Window.
  2. 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.google chrome menu options
  3. 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”.enable chrome developer mode
  4. 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”copy the extension folder name in Chrome
  5. 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.delete the malicious extension from Chrome
  6. Make sure that you have made the hidden files and folders visible.
  7. 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.show hidden files and folder
  8. Close and reopen the browser. It is also advisable to restart your computer once done.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox, click on three horizontal lines (Mozilla icon ) at the top right corner of the Firefox Window and select the Add-ons option.Mozilla Firefox menu
  2. On the Add-ons manger page, select and click on the Extensions tab as shown below.FireFox manage Add-ons
  3. Find the extensions related to Emotet and click on the remove button.
  4. 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.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer, Click on the Gear icon (IE menu icon ) which is at the top right corner of the Internet Explorer Window.
  2. From the newly appeared dropdown menu, click on the option that reads Manage Add-ons.Internet explorer settings menu
  3. A new window will appear on the screen. On this window choose the option that reads Toolbar and Extensions. Under the Show option, select the option that reads “All add-ons”. This option will allow you to see all the browser extensions. Mozilla-manage add-ons toolbars and extensions page
  4. Select the Extension related to Emotet and click on the Disable button which is at the bottom right of the computer screen.

IE toolbar and extensions in Manage add-ons

Apple's Safari

  1. On your Mac Desktop, click on the option that reads “Safari”.
  2. A drop down menu will appear as shown below. From this menu chose the option that reads “Preferences”.Safari menu extension options
  3. The Preferences window will appear on the screen, where the list of all your safari extensions will be shown.Safari extensions window
  4. On the list displayed at the left side of the screen, select the Extension you want to uninstall.
  5. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid of the extension.uninstall a program from Safari

Step D: Restore the Browser settings changed by Emotet

Google Chrome

  1. Open Google chrome and click on the three vertical dots (Chrome menu icon) located on the top right corner of the Chrome Window.Settings-Chrome
  2. From the Drop down menu that appears, click on the “Settings”. A new browser tab will open up, displaying all the settings.Settings-Chrome
  3. Now, we will make changes to the appearance section. Under the “Appearances” section, we will enable the “Show Home Button” option. You can select New Tab page or can add Google or any of your preferred browsers under the “Show Home Button” option.Appearance- Chrome
  4. After this, we will go to the “Search Engine “section.
  5. Here, make Google or any of your preferred browsers as your default browser in the drop-down menu under the option “Search engine used in the address bar”.Search Engine- Chrome
  6. After this click on Manage Search Engines. Now you can remove Other Search Engines that were added by the browser hijacker. Simply click the three vertical dots (Chrome menu icon) and select the option “Remove from list”. Other Search Engines-Chrome
  7. You can make Google or any other preferred browser as your Default Search Engine by clicking the three vertical dots (Chrome menu icon) and clicking on the “Make default” option.
    Manage Search Engines- Chrome
  8. At the end, we will go to the section “On Startup”. You can select the “Open the New Tab page” or can “Continue where you left off”.  If you want to open a specific page or set of pages, select the option “Open a specific page or set of pages”  and remove any pages added by the browser hijacker by clicking on the three vertical dots (Chrome menu icon ) and selecting “Remove”.On startup-Chrome
  9. Then, add Google or any of your desired URL in “Add a new page” option under the “Open a specific page or set of pages”.Add a New Page- Chrome
  10. This is a very important step and we would like you to pay very close attention here. This step has to be repeated with all the shortcuts to the browser that you can locate; like your desktop, start menu and the shortcut pinned to your taskbar. Right click on the shortcut and a context menu will appear. On this menu select the last option that reads Properties.
    Reset Chrome properties
  11. A Google Chrome Properties Dialogue box will appear as below. Replace whatever is there in the text box next to the label Target with the following: Make sure that inverted commas are included.“C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe”
    Chrome target location
  12. Click OK at the end to save the changes.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox and click on the three horizontal lines (Mozilla Firefox menu icon ) i.e. Open Menu located on the top right corner of the Firefox Window.
  2. From the drop down menu that is displayed, we have to right click on the (IE Gear icon Options to open the window.Firefox menu options
  3. Now, we will click Search, under the given options that are displayed in the left corner of the screen.
  4. You can choose Google or any of your preferred browsers as your default search engine to use in the address bar and search bar.Search-Firefox
  5. Then, you have to go to the (IE menu icon General and under “startup” section to make sure that Firefox is your default browser.
  6. At the end, we have to add Google or your preferred URL in the box given under Home Page.Startup-Firefox
  7. After this, you have to right click on the browser shortcuts that you can locate like your desktop, start menu and taskbar to which the application is pinned. A context menu will appear. On this menu select the last option that reads Properties.
    Properties in Mozilla Firefox
  8. A Firefox Properties Dialogue box will appear as below. Replace whatever is there in the text box next to the label Target with the following: Make sure that inverted commas are included.“C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe”
    Mozilla Firefox target location
  9. Click OK at the end to save the changes.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer and click on the gear icon (Internet Explorer gear icon )which is at the top right corner of the Internet Explorer Window.Manage Add-Ons -Internet Explorer
  2. From the Drop down menu that appears, click on the “Manage add-ons” A new browser tab will open up, displaying all the add-on types.Manage Add-Ons- Internet Explorer
  3. Now, we will click on the “Search Providers” option from the list of options displayed on the left hand side of the screen. Then we will click “Find more search providers” option given at the lower left corner of the Manage add-onsFind More Search providers-Internet Explorer
  4. This will open an Internet Explorer Gallery; from here you can add Google search or any of your preferred add-ons as your default browser.Internet Explorer Gallery
  5. Next, you are required to go to the “Manage add-ons” window and click on the “Search Providers” option under the Add-on Types.
  6. Here, you can enable Google Search or any of your preferred browsers as your default browser in the list of search providers.Search Providers- Internet Explorer
  7. At the end, we will click on the gear icon (IE gear icon )which is at the top right corner of the screen and select “Internet Options” from the drop-down menu.Internet Options- Internet Explorer
  8. A new window will open displaying the Internet options. In the “Internet Options” window, add Google or any of your desired URL under the Create Home Page option and click OK.Create Home Page- Internet Explorer
  9. After this, you have to right click on the browser shortcuts that you can locate like your desktop, start menu and taskbar to which the application is pinned.  A context menu will appear. On this menu select the last option that reads Properties.
    Settings for Internet Explorer
  10. An Internet Explorer Properties Dialogue box will appear as below. Replace whatever is there in the text box next to the label Target with the following: Make sure that inverted commas are included.“C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”Target column in Internet Explorer
  11. Click OK at the end to save the changes.

Step E: Remove the Trojan from the task Manager

  1. 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.

OR

  1. Open Task Manager window again by following the  steps mentioned above.
  2. Click on the Startup tab.
  3. Select the suspicious entry and click on the Disable button present at the bottom right corner of the window

OR

  1. Open Task Manager window again by following the  steps mentioned above.
  2. Click on Services tab.
  3. Right click on the suspicious entry and click on Stop.

Step F:  Delete the suspicious file from the Registry Key:

  1. Type “Regedit” in search box / Run Box, select it and press Enter.
  2. 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)
  3. 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.
  4. From the Menu, Click Edit and Select Find.
  5. Enter Emotet and click Ok in the search box.
  6. Select and delete suspicious  enteries.

Step G: Reboot your system to Safe Mode with Networking/ Safe Mode with Command Prompt

Windows 7

  1. Left click on the Organize button on the Windows Explorer. A drop down menu will appear.
    Folder and search options in windows 7
  2. On this menu left click on the option that reads “Folder and search options” as shown above. A folder options dialogue box will appear.
  3. On the View tab under the Advanced settings, Check the option that reads “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” and uncheck the option that reads “Hide protected operating system files“.
    Windows view tab advanced settings
  4. Click on the “OK” button to save your changes. This will make all the hidden files and folders visible to you.

Windows 10

  1. On the file explorer toolbar, click on the View
    windows 8 file explorer toolbar
  2. In the Show/hide section, Click on the “Hidden items” checkbox.
  3. Click on the options button.Windows explorer options button
  4. Under folder options, click on the “View” tab.
    Windows 8 - hide protected operating file system option
  5. Uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files” option.
  6. Click the “OK” button to save your changes.

Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected –

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet security in your PC like SurfRight B.V. and Avira so that it remains safe.
  6. 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.

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