Guide to Remove Zeus Malware from system-
Zeus Malware, also known as Zeus Trojan Virus is nasty software that is currently being used by hackers at an alarming rate to steal confidential & financial information from the infected systems.
Spam campaigns & drive-by downloads (software bundling) are known to be the prime distribution techniques of Zeus Virus. However, it is suspected to be using multiple vectors to spread its infection.
According to the cyber-security analysts, Zeus Malware (or Zbot Trojan) bears resemblance with several Trojan Horses such as Terdot, Coinminer, Emotet and Ursnif.
Millions of victims of Zeus Trojan Malware are looking for viable solution to get rid of this malicious infection. Refer to the comprehensive mentioned below to learn the threats caused by Zeus Malware & ways to prevent its infection.
Threat Summary of Zeus Malware-
||It infects your system with the motive to give remote access to hackers & steal sensitive & banking information.
||Privacy Breach, Data Theft, Unauthorized System files Deletion, Sudden System Crash
||Download Removal Tool
Understanding Zeus Malware –
Zeus Malware first surfaced to the lime-night in 2007. Specifically designed to steal confidential information from the systems, it was considered as the most thriving malware back then. This devastating Banking Trojan managed to infect as many as millions of PCs around the globe & generated huge illicit profit.
It was one of the first-ever developed Banking Trojans that were used to gather people’s banking details & credentials. However, glad tidings came to the cyber-world in year 2011 when the malware was disabled as its source code was leaked.
Nevertheless, the comeback of Zeus Trojan Malware was observed this year when it was seeing involved in various scams on internet. The hackers misused the success of Zeus Malware & included its names in their fake warning about malware attack.
Such fake scams warn user about the attack of YahLover.worm & other similar virus. The pop-up asks the victims to contact the Technical Support team from Microsoft on a given number. The analysis reveals that dialing the given numbers actually make the victims reach the hackers.
Victims must avoid calling on the given numbers as the hackers (disguising as the tech support team) can swindle you & scare you into various treacherous situations such as:
- Install unreliable/questionable software
- Make payment for irrelevant software
- Give hackers Remote access to your computer
- Gather your personal information
Threat Behavior of Zeus Malware:
The hackers behind this vicious Banking Trojan are using spam e-mail campaigns & software bundling (drive-by downloads) to distribute the infection.
Once installed, it is capable of carrying out a plethora of malicious activities on the infected system.
Following the successful attack, it immediately creates a botnet (network of corrupted machines), contact C&C Server & hands over the access of the machine to the hackers. Surprisingly, this botnet allows the malware owner to gather sensitive information of the computer users at an extensive scale.
Using remote access to the infected systems, the hackers can download files, shut down & reboot system, delete the system files & install Ransomware, adware & Spyware on it.
Secondly, Zeus Malware acts as a Banking Trojan. Here’s what it can do on the infected machine:
- Steals Banking Credentials
- Monitors your visited websites
- Gathers your key-logs
- Harvests key-strokes used to log in to Banking website.
Research reveals that several variants of this malware are capable of infecting mobile devices & trying to get around two-factor authentication.
While Zeus Malware is known for impacting Windows OS Based systems only, some newer versions have been found on Symbian & BlackBerry devices too.
Here is a list of some common symptoms that you may observe if Zeus Malware is in your system.
- Numerous Crashes & Blue Screen of Death
- Increased number of Pop-up ads & promotional links while browsing
- Firewall & Anti-virus installed in your system may stop working
- Unauthorized & sudden system shutdown & reboot
- Deletion of system/user files without your consent.
Unlike other viruses, the longer the Zeus Trojan sticks around, the worse the damage it can cause to the system.
Therefore, as soon as such symptoms are observed while working on system, you must instantly strive to remove Zeus virus. Else, this virus can steal all your sensitive & confidential information.
Beware of Fake Zeus Scams
Various Zeus Scams that are spreading on the internet at an alarming rate are:
- Windows Detected Zeus Virus
- You Have a Zeus Virus
- Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus
- Security Update Error 0x Authentication Required
- Your System has detected Zeus Virus
Please note that these alerts are not true. Therefore, computer users are advised not to fall in to the trap of these fake scams, rather use a reliable anti-virus & run a scan of your system for best recovery.
While the original malware has been neutralized, the Trojan & its components live on. These are being used to develop new & emerging malware.
Distribution Techniques of Zeus Malware-
The cyber-criminals behind Zeus Banking Trojan use various strategies for malware distribution which include –
- Software Bundling: Software bundling is the process in which a malicious program is distributed with other free software, to get an unnoticed entry into your computer system. When a user installs a free application, the malicious programs gains a front door entry with the free application, the user has downloaded. Thus, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the installation screens while installing these free applications.
- Infected Storage Devices: Your system can also get infected by using removable media such as USB hard drives and jump drives without scanning them with an anti-virus.
- Spam Emails – Spamming is the most economic and common method used for the distribution of such malware. The targeted users get genuine looking emails which contain .doc, .txt, and other similar attachments. These attachments can be named as anything which can grab the user’s attention and triggers him/her to open the attachment. As soon as the user opens this attachment, the malware infects the user’s computer system.
- Malicious Websites or Malevolent Advertisements: The malicious websites are the ones which are created just for promoting the malware infections. Such websites include but are not limited to porn sites, torrent sites and other free downloading platforms. By visiting such websites, the adware infects the user’s computer without permission. Fake advertisements and updates like Flash player and windows updates which ask the user to update to the latest version are a few examples. When the users click on such links, their computer system gets infected. That is why, it is highly recommended to resist clicking on such links. Also avoid clicking on advertisements offering free stuff such as Win an iPhones, cars or free overseas trips etc.
How to remove infection Zeus Malware from the system-
STEP A: Start 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:
Windows 7/ Vista/ XP
- Click on Windows icon present in the lower left corner of the computer screen.
- Select and click Restart.
- When the screen goes blank, Keep tapping F8 Key until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- With the help of arrow keys on keyboard, Select Safe Mode with Networking option from the list and press the Enter Key. The system will then restart to Safe Mode with Networking.
5 Once the system restarts, click on the username and enter the password (if any) to log in.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
STEP B: Remove Zeus Malware from 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: Delete the suspicious file from registry key
- Press Windows Button and R key simultaneously to initiate the “Run Box”.
- Type “Regedit” in 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 Zeus Malware and click Ok in the search box.
- Select and delete suspicious entries.
How to prevent Zeus Malware from infecting your system-
- 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 anti-virus protection/internet security in your PC like BULL GUARD & Vipre 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.