What is inetinfo.exe? Should I remove it?

by Alice Woods - -
inetinfo.exe

Inetinfo.exe is a legitimate file related to Microsoft Internet Information Services 

Inetinfo.exe is an executable file that belongs to Microsoft Corporation[1] and is mainly used for debugging purposes. This software acts as a web server for various purposes, such as sending e-mail, hosting websites, etc. It also is responsible for proxy and web server services. This file belongs to Microsoft, but, unfortunately, malicious actors often use names of legitimate executable files to disguise their programs which are malicious. So, if you discovered inetinfo.exe on your system and it seems to you suspicious, you should double check this file. However, do not terminate Inetinfo.exe without any research because it is an important system component required for the stable and secure computer's work.

Name Inetinfo.exe
Type System file
Developer Microsoft Corporation
Full name Internet Information Services
Distribution Comes with software. If malicious, it is distributed via spam emails
Elimination Download Reimage to find out if Inetinfo.exe is malicious or not

Inetinfo.exe is a part of Windows operating system which should be located in %SystemRoot%\System32. If you find this file working in the background on your Task Manager, you may automatically call it the virus. However, there is nothing malicious about it. You can scan your system with anti-malware tools to make sure that this executable is not related to any malware.

Malicious actors can use common executable[2] file names to disguise their products and hide the malicious activity for a while since these files are usually found as working in the background. If the data is malicious it can be used to initiate the following malevolent actions:

  • run malicious programs or processes;
  • steal users data;
  • send information to a remote server;
  • collect keystrokes;
  • infect system with more harmful malware.

In most cases, executable files like Inetinfo.exe are essential components of the system, and they are not harmful at all. However, there is a possibility that you may find this process as running in the background on your Task Manager. If you find this particular file, there do not rush to the conclusion that it is malicious.

According to security experts[3], hackers have 'borrowed' the name of this file for hiding such viruses as Generic PUP.z, Backdoor.Agent.AAAA, Rontokbro, ParDrop and other threats. In this case, this file is used for launching these viruses, loading their malicious components and running a destructive payload.

If you think that you need to remove Inetinfo.exe, firstly check the location of this file. Essential system files should be located in C:\Program Files folder of Windows operating system. Files placed in the different folder than this can be malicious and disguising malware.

Various antivirus programs detect this file as safe, but this might be falsely positive. If you find multiple processes with the same name that affect the usage of your device's CPU or other resources, scan your system with reputable antivirus tool to determine the purpose of it. If you need to perform Inetinfo.exe removal, use the same or alternative program. After the successful virus termination, you should use PC repair tools like Reimage to fix possible virus damage.

Malicious actors use multiple methods to spread dangerous files

The executable files are responsible for essential processes. However, cybercriminals use the names of these files to hide their malware on the system. The most common method of spreading malicious files is deceptive emails with infected file attachments.

Spam emails can contain harmful content. Crooks disguise the malicious file in a document attached to the email and calls it “Invoice” or “order info” to lure people into opening the document on the computer. The minute user download and open this Word or Excel document malicious payload planted on the system.

The well-known company names are misused as the senders' address to make the email safe-looking. Do not open such emails if you are not using the service or company or it looks suspicious. There is no reason for the company to send you an invoice if you are not getting anything from them. Opening any suspicious attachment on your device may lead to more severe system damage.

Proceed with Inetinfo.exe termination if the file is malicious

To determine if this file is dangerous or just corrupted, you need to scan your device using an antivirus tool. Choose a reputable program and perform a full system scan that shows if you need to remove Inetinfo.exe or not. There is a possibility that you need to update your drivers or software instead.

Since executable files can be infected there is a possibility of virus damage that you need to repair after successful Inetinfo.exe removal. You can do that with tools like Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes safely. Scan the system thoroughly again to make sure that your computer is virus-free and safe to use again.

 

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is a recommended tool to scan your system for possible threats and crappy software. The trial version of the product will find harmful applications in your system.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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