What is Vlc-updater.exe? Should I remove it?

by Linas Kiguolis - -
Vlc-updater.exe

VLC Updater is an update component that belongs to a popular media player

VLC Updater is a software component that users often installed bundled with VLC media player – it helps the program push the necessary updates on time. While keeping your software updated is one of the main security requirements when trying to protect the computer from malware, VLC Updater might sometimes be dangerous on itself, as cybercriminals might create malicious file copies like vlc-updater.exe.bak[1] to proliferate various malware such as Sality worm.

If the update component was acquired from a legitimate installation file and it does not cause any problems, there is no need to remove VLC Updater from the computer. However, under certain circumstances, the component might be malicious and allow the attackers to execute various commands on the host machine, push other malware, record keystrokes, and perform other malicious activities.

Name Vlc-updater.exe
Process name VLC Updater
Operating system Windows
Type An update component for VLC media player
Possible dangers The process that runs in the background might be malware in disguise. Those who do not have a VLC media player installed are at particular risk of being infected with malware such as Sality worm
Infiltration means The malicious version of VLC Updater can be download from unofficial (third-party) websites. Additionally, malware can use several other methods for propagation, such as spam email attachments/hyperlinks, exploits, poorly protected RDP connections, fake updates, etc.
Targeted country Germany
Elimination The removal of the component is only required if it is fake and should be performed by using reputable anti-malware software
Recovery & optimization Sality and similar malware perform various changes within the Windows registry and other parts of the system. To repair the damage done to the OS, scan your machine with Reimage Reimage Cleaner

In most of the cases, stealthy malware does not emit any symptoms, although users might notice strange system behavior in some cases, including:

  • Disabled anti-malware software
  • Slowdown of the computer operation
  • Software or Windows errors and crashes
  • High CPU/Memory usage, etc.

Therefore, VLC Updater virus removal might be a complicated task in some cases, especially if the AV software is disabled on the system. To avoid such consequences, users should load the system in Safe Mode with Networking – it will temporarily stop the operation of malware and allow the anti-virus to function properly.

However, the best way to check whether VLC Updater is a virus is by checking its location. The legitimate version of the file should be located in C:\Program Files (x86)\VLC Updater\ or C:\ProgramData\VLC Updater\ folders and the fake one usually resides in C:\WindowsC:\Windows\System32, or C:\Users\username folders. To check the location of VLC Updater, open the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), locate the process, right-click, and select Properties.

VLC Updater is generally a legitimate process, although it does come with some downfalls. Users reported that it started to pop-up each time they rebooted the PC or other times, its connections via the HTTP were marked as an exploit by security software. While the latter was a false-positive, it is important to mention that VLC Updater is not a mandatory component to keep the correlated software updated.

Updates can be applied via the media player itself, although it is not the best choice for users who fail to update their software on time. Therefore, it is best to keep VLC Updater running if you choose to use the VLC player, and it is not causing you any problems.

Malware infection is often initiated by users themselves

Unfortunately, but users are not very careful when it comes to cybersecurity. Most are willing to risk it by going to highly dangerous torrent websites and downloading illegal versions of programs or software cracks. These sites are also often infused with malicious ads that could inject malware automatically if no sufficient security patches are applied to the operating system. Therefore, visiting such sites is simply dangerous and is highly discouraged by various security experts.[2]

Besides malicious sites, malware is also often sent out as a malicious spam email attachment or is embedded within a hyperlink that starts a chain of HTTP connections and downloads the malicious payload. Thus, it is highly advised never opening attachments from unknown sources (especially those that ask to enable macro function – “Enable Content” feature) and not clicking on links within the email, even if they look legitimate.

Finally, it is important to protect the machine with a comprehensive security solution that would prevent threats from entering in real-time. Anti-malware software also has to be updated on a regular basis in order to be effective against the most recent threats.

VLC Updater virus removal guide

As we previously mentioned, the VLC Updater virus is not something that all VLC users encounter – the media player is a popular software used by millions worldwide without any security issues. However, malicious actors often abuse well-known names, such as Flash Player, Java, and others, to prevent any suspicions. If you happened to be infected, you should immediately remove VLC Updater from your computer to ensure no sensitive data can be leaked or other malware installed. For that, you should employ reputable anti-malware and perform a full system scan (access Safe Mode if the virus disabled your AV).

VLC Updater removal should not be performed if the file is legitimate, and VLC is used as the main media player, as software vulnerabilities[3] might render the application vulnerable to the attacks. If you are sure you can apply updates yourself, you can get rid of VLC Updater.

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What to do if failed?
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Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage Cleaner, try running Combo Cleaner.

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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