Zeus Trojan. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Trojans
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Zeus Trojan reigns at the top position of the most dangerous malware list

Fake Zeus detection alert

Zeus Trojan, also known as Zbot Trojan, is a powerful and silently operating trojan horse [1] which uses its malicious functionalities to steal sensitive, personally identifiable information and banking credentials.

This virus was one of the first malware variants developed for taking over people's banking details, so it is not surprising that there are hundreds of sources claiming that almost every banking Trojan has a part of Zeus virus in them. In fact, by altering the configuration files in the Trojan’s toolkit, this virus can be customized to gather virtually any information that the cyber criminals desire to collect.

Beware that this virus has already infected tens of millions of computers and has helped the hackers to steal hundreds of millions of dollars[2]. It was believed that the original Zeus trojan owner canceled the malicious operations by publishing its source code online in 2011[3]. However, when a malware source code gets leaked, it simply accelerates development of customized versions of it.

No surprise that security experts keep reporting about its infiltration cases, so make sure you have a reliable anti-spyware installed on your machine if you want to protect your banking data and other sensitive information. 2-Spyware team suggests using Reimage software. The are multiple ways through which Zeus Trojan can gather information. The experts agree on two most prominent ones:

  • The FTP, POP3 or Internet Explorer passwords are automatically gathered from a Protected Storage (PStore) once the virus infects the computer.
  • Zeus also monitors the websites you are visiting and, once in a while, adds extra fields to the fill-in forms, requiring the users to enter additional information which is not actually present in the original website. For instance, in these additional fields you may be asked to provide information about your day of birth or a telephone number, instead of the originally requested username and password.

Apart from these functions, Zeus Trojan can also contact command-and-control server which allows it to carry out other malicious activities on the infected computers. It can downloading files, shut down and reboot your device, also, delete the system files, which may cause your operating system to crash. As a result, the virus victim may have to be forced to the full operating system reinstall.

Zeus name used by technical support scammers to scare computer users

As malware researchers and analysts, we have noticed a new tendency in the world of cyber crime. Scammers keep advertising fake tech support services by infecting victim's device with scareware that displays pop-ups via user's default web browser. Therefore, if your browser suddenly launches a suspicious URL that triggers a pop-up saying “Windows detected ZEUS virus” or “Zeus has been detected and put in quarantine,” most likely it is a lie that you should not believe in.

The only software that can determine whether your PC is compromised by Zeus or not is a decent anti-malware software, and definitely not your browser. Scammers use the name of Zeus because it is an infamous malware example and quite a lot users have heard about it at least once in their lives. Another obvious sign of a scam is a tech support number on the pop-up that warns you about imaginary Zeus virus.

Reportedly, malware that advertises fake tech support service presents such numbers: 1-800-014-8826, 1-844-324-6233, 1-844-680-1071 and hundreds of others. Do not call these scammers! Most likely there is no Zeus virus on the system, and nobody is collecting your personal data, so just run the anti-malware program to delete this scareware. Frauds want to scare you and convince you to call them for “help.”

Based on reports from victims, we can say that these scammers ask them to purchase useless programs, services, or even provide personal information or remote access to the computer. Do not share any of these details with scammers because they are definitely going to use it for malevolent purposes! You can read more about tech support scammers here.

Versions of malware related to Zeus Trojan

Zeus virus. The malicious program is called either a virus or a Trojan. After infecting the system, it remains on the computer and silently monitors your online activities, steals system information, banking details and more. Its keylogging capabilities allow to record every key stroke and send it to attacker's database. This way, the malware can eventually find out all passwords used by the victim, including all credit card codes. There is no doubt that attackers can use such data for malevolent purposes and loss of financial information lead to disastrous consequences. Unfortunately, such malware operates silently, and it is unlikely that you will spot it on your system without having a strong anti-malware software.

Zbot. Zbot is another name for Zeus Trojan that is used by many security experts. If your security software detects Zbot in your system, it means that you have been infected with a serious malware that silently tracks your activities, records passwords and other sensitive information. You must remove Zbot immediately and change all your passwords as soon as possible!

GameOver Zeus. Another malicious Trojan horse that is based on components of Zeus virus. According to reports, this malicious software is distributed using Cutwaii botnet. The Trojan employs encrypted peer-to-peer communication scheme to communicate between its noted and C&C servers. The deceptive malware was used for distribution of the infamous CryptoLocker ransomware. The activity of GameOverZeus was suspended in June 2014, once the communication between the Trojan and the C&C servers was intercepted and shut down. A year later, FBI announced a $3 million reward for information about Russian hacker Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bohachev[4]. The hacker hasn't been caught yet.

“Windows Detected ZEUS Virus” Tech support scam. This scam operation relies on phishing websites that display deceptive information for whoever enters them. Usually, the victim experiences redirections to such fraudulent websites after being infected with certain adware or tech support scam malware. The deceptive website typically plays an audio message, displays a warning and urges to call support at 0800-014-8826 because “Windows Detected ZEUS Virus” on the system. Such web pages display the warning despite if the computer is infected with the indicated malware or not. Scammers working behind this scam seek to swindle money from computer users by convincing them to buy bogus security software or asking to provide sensitive information.

“You Have A ZEUS Virus” Tech support scam. It is another scam that urges victims to call tech support scammers at 1-844-859-0337 and possibly other similar numbers. Once such malicious program compromises victim's system, it starts causing redirects to bogus websites that show various alerts. Typically, “You Have A ZEUS Virus” scam aims to convince the victim to call fraudsters immediately by stating that the entire hard drive will be deleted if the victim closes the web page that displays the warning. There is no logic there, and victims should close such site immediately to begin malware removal using reputable anti-malware tools. This virus is very similar to “Your Computer Has Been Infected With Virus” malware.

“Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam. This malicious virus triggers redirects to fake websites that are designed to look like Windows Blue Screen of Death; these websites contain Windows logos and display a list of information that will be stolen by the Zeus virus if the victim won't contact technical support immediately. There are hundreds of sites that display such deceptive warnings and suggest calling +1-844-313-7003 and other numbers for “help.” If such alerts started bothering you, perform a system check using anti-malware software to delete the tech support malware. Most likely there is no Zeus virus in the system, and the malicious program is simply trying to put you in touch with fraudsters.

Distribution techniques

Zeus Trojan is actively spread via misleading emails[5] that report about undelivered items. Beware that they look very trustworthy and present themselves as Fedex, Royal Mail and other reputable courier companies. If you received such mail, be sure to ignore it and never click on the link, which leads to the infiltration of Zeus Trojan. However, this malware is known to be distributed using a variety of techniques, including drive-by downloads.

In addition, we also recommend avoiding illegal websites, unlicensed programs and misleading messages on social networks[6] because they may also be involved in the distribution of this Trojan. As soon as it enters the system, it modifies its settings and starts initiating dangerous activities. For avoiding the loss of your credit card details and money, you should waste no time and remove the virus from the system.

Remove Zeus Trojan from compromised computer

If you want to remove Zeus Trojan from your computer, you should scan your system with Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. Be sure to use updated versions in order to be sure that these anti-malwares will not miss this trojan horse. It is also beneficial to disconnect your computer from the network when uninstalling viruses.

This strategy may help to the tame the processes this malicious virus may be executing on your computer and result in a quicker and more thorough Zeus Trojan removal.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Zeus Trojan. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

Note: Manual assistance required means that one or all of removers were unable to remove parasite without some manual intervention, please read manual removal instructions below.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Zeus Trojan manual removal:

Kill processes:
sdra64.exe

Manual Zeus Trojan Removal Guide:

Remove Zeus Trojan using Safe Mode with Networking

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

One way to stop Zeus Trojan malicious processes is to run your device in Safe Mode. Below our experts explain how to enable Safe Mode properly. Do not forget to scan your device afterward.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove Zeus Trojan

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Zeus Trojan removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove Zeus Trojan using System Restore

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Another method that will facilitate the removal process is provided in the step-by-step tutorial below:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Zeus Trojan. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that Zeus Trojan removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Zeus Trojan and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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  • PlaySkool

    This isn't “a harmless trojan, which is able to perform annoying actions only”, it's a powerful bank info stealing botnet.

  • Alex

    I have spy hunter, but I still have Zeus Trojan, what should I do?

  • Pam

    Is the hard drive virus and Zeus virus the same thing??