What is PIA_NW.exe? Should I remove it?

by Olivia Morelli - -

PIA_NW.exe file triggers more questions than gives answers

PIA_NW.exe functions as the executable file attributed to The NWJS Community. There is not enough information what kind of company it is associated with.

According to users, you might encounter this file while using the Popcorn Time app[1]. It is the app which grants users the ability to watch movies. During its existence, it earned the significant reputation among users.

However, the end of 2016 was crucial to the app and the company promoting it. Ransomware villains exploited the app for their malicious intentions. They let loose Popcorn Time malware which has extremely insidious feature – the developers would give the decryption key only if a victim infected two of their friends’ computers with the ransomware. The company issued an article disclaiming any relation to the infection.[2]

Alternatively, this file might be associated with the legitimate app Private Internet Access[3]. On the other hand, some security tools tend to detect Nwjs as a suspicious file[4], though VirusTotal service does not flag PIA_NW.exe as potentially malicious.

In short, though the file is not malevolent, its distribution method and lack of information about The NWJS Community should remind users to be vigilant. The file is not crucial to Windows system operation, so you might want to remove PIA_NW.exe.

Terminate PIA_NW.exe

You can locate the file in the Task Manager. If you have Private Internet Access installed, the process will renew at every startup. Otherwise, try determining the relation of the file with a program or service. In the Task Manager, right-click on the PIA_NW.exe and choose “Open file location.”

If the program or service is unknown to you, scan the system with malware elimination tool. Finally, if the file is draining CPU resources, inspect your browser extensions as well system apps. Behind the file, a crypto-coiner miner might hide. In that case, an anti-virus or malware elimination tool such as Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware will help you delete it and finish PIA_NW.exe removal.

verdict - status of the file:
diagnosis required
Advice: If your computer seems sluggish, or you are suffering from unwanted advertisements and redirects to unknown websites, we highly recommend you to scan it with reputable anti-spyware program. Do some FREE scan tests and check the system for unwanted applications that might be responsible for these problems.
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About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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