What is wscript.exe? Should I remove it?

wscript.exe – an executable which might hide malware if not located in C:\Windows\System32 or C:\Windows

Wscript.exe, also known as Windows Script Host, appears to be a Microsoft Windows-based process which can occasionally be misused for malicious purposes. Talking about the official version of this file it is responsible for launching VBScript and JScript components which has been available since the Windows 95 version release. It does not cause any harm to the Windows operating system and is necessary for its work quality. However, various bad actors find ways to misuse executables and hide Trojan horses or other types of malware inside them. Nevertheless, there are reports that wscript.exe virus has been used for distributing a worm, known as VBS_VBSWG.AQ.

Wscript.exe is a safe and necessary file once it is located in one of these two directories: C:\Windows\System32 and C:\Windows. Furthermore, the most popular sizes of these executables on Windows 10, 8, 7 and XP are up to 141,824 bytes and 148,992 bytes. Any other executables with the same name which include different properties might be malicious.

Name Wscript.exe
Type System file
Location The original version should be in C:\Windows\System32 or C:\Windows
Size Can be 141,824 bytes and 148,992 bytes
Purpose To run VBScript and JScript components
Active since Has been created since Windows 95 release
Misused by However, the executable can be misused for hiding trojans and worms such as VBS_VBSWG.AQ
Investigation Use FortectIntego to check if the file is malicious or safe

It is known that hackers sometimes use the name of wscript.exe to distribute a worm called “VBS_VBSWG.AQ”. This threat has first approached in 2002 and has been targeting English-speaking Windows users. This dangerous worm appears throughout suspicious email messages (via Microsoft Outlook) pretending to send “Shakiras Pictures” that are clipped as an attachment (ShakiraPics.jpg.vbs, 7,995 bytes).

Wscript.exe malware which distributes this worm uses the official name of the original file to reach the targeted system. If a virus is hiding behind this executable, the malicious registry is included in this directory: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\. Here are other names of this worm:

  • Shakira, I-WORM.LEE.

There are many negative reports of wscript.exe file. Users find it denying access to the local disk, changing the MSIE homepage, preventing the system from shutting down, etc. As you can see this executable can be misused in different types of ways. Some criminals often hide Trojan horse behind .exe files.

Mostly, users do not pay much attention to executables, unless they start bothering and interrupting successful computing work. If a Trojan virus is distributed via wscript.exe, there might be no particular signs of infection at first. However, high CPU usage, two similar processes running, software crashes, unrecognizable files installed, might be the symptoms of a Trojan horse attacking the system.

We recommend removing wscript.exe if it is a malicious file that has been distributing on your system lately. If you are not sure about its legitimacy, you can always use reliable computer software to scan the system and search for malware traces. For example, FortectIntego might also find out that this file's name is being misused by a trojan or a worm.

Wscript.exe removal is very important if malware is hiding behind this process. Trojans and other viruses can relate in personal data loss, system and software corruption, modification of entries, etc. Cybercriminals might get remote access to your computer through these types of programs and use your machine, for example, for cryptocurrency mining.

Malware distribution and avoiding tactics

Malware such as trojans, worms, cryptominers, ransomware, and other threats can be brought to the system in different ways. However, the most common method to plant malware onto a specific machine is by distributing it via email spam. For more details, the malicious payload comes as a suspicious attachment or hyperlink.

Mostly, executables or other types of files/documents are used for malware spreading. You have to carefully run a check through your received emails and investigate all attachments for possible malicious traces before opening them. This can be done even better with the help of a reliable antimalware/antivirus program.

Furthermore, do not leave any outdated software on your computer. Especially, perform all recommended updates for your operating system and antivirus software so that malware will be less capable of bypassing your security barrier. Additionally, avoid visiting questionable software-downloading, gambling, movie-watching, or adult-themed websites where trojans and similar threats can be injected into hyperlinks and ads.

Removal possibilities for wscript.exe malware

If this file is a legitimate Windows component and your antivirus does not find anything suspicious about it, do not remove it from the system as some crucial functions might start failing. However, if your antimalware detects this executable as a virus-based file, you need to perform the wscript.exe removal right away.

You should not try to remove wscript.exe virus by manual technique as more harm might be done to your system and its components. First, locate all damage that the malware might have done by using reputable tools such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, or Malwarebytes. Then, opt for the automatical elimination technique also by launching trustworthy software.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.
About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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