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Betabot virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Julie Splinters - -   Also known as Betabot trojan | Type: Trojans

BetaBot – a trojan with an enhanced list of features

BetaBot virus
BetaBot is a dangerous trojan with many different features

Questions about Betabot virus

Betabot is a malicious trojan that shifted its functionality throughout the years. It was first spotted in March 2013 with an already impressive list of capabilities – remote connection, information grabbing, distributing ransomware, as well as disabling anti-malware software on the machine. The latest attacks of the malware were spotted by security researchers[1] using a 17-year old vulnerability in Windows software. The virus is available to purchase for as little as $120 on the black market, so many crooks are in a hurry to make use of it.

Name Betabot
Type Trojan
First spotted March 2013
Capabilities Stealing sensitive data, distributing ransomware, disabling anti-mawlare software, etc.
Distribution Fake links, spam emails, etc.
Elimination Automatic – download and install Reimage or Malwarebytes and perform full system scan

The Betabot virus is typically distributed through fake links in messaging apps, such as Skype or Facebook Messanger, as well as socially engineered emails. Malware starts its attack by showing users a bogus pop-up window, which may look legitimate, as it goes by the name of User Account Control pretending to be from Microsoft. Fortunately, users became suspicious of such behavior. Thus, hackers addressed this problem by creating another fake Windows pop-up – Critical Disk Error.

It informs users that the system has detected multiple corrupted files, giving two options to choose from: 

  • Restore files
  • Restore Files and check disk for errors

Regardless of which option is picked, the User Account Control window pops up next, justifying the action mentioned above. As soon as the victim allows the malicious program to gain administrative rights, it makes several changes to the system, including Windows registry[2] modification, to be able to deny access to security websites and proper function of anti-malware software, as well as steal user's sensitive data, including banking information.

It may be quite tricky to remove Betabot because of the reasons mentioned above. Nevertheless, it is almost impossible to accomplish without the help of security software, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security. The worst part is that the malware should be spotted first, and that is quite a challenge in itself.

Trojan.Betabot may show no symptoms, but, as is typical with trojan horses, they may show some signs:

  • Blue Screen of Death[3] error messages (stop errors);
  • Non-responsive or crashing programs;
  • Various other error messages;
  • New files created without permission;
  • Some files and folders deleted without permission;
  • Slow computer performance, etc.

However, as we already mentioned, the malware may show no signs at all. That is why it is vital to be wary when using the internet and have security software with real-time protection function on at all times. If you are not sure if your system is infected, run anti-malware software in Safe Mode with Networking which would take care of safe BetaBot removal from your system. 

BetaBot trojan
The malware attack is executed in a sophisticated multi-stage way

Risk factors you need to know about BetaBot

The Betabot virus has earned its world fame by running its cyber campaign by stealing bank account passwords. After quietly invading the system, it spies on a user and continuously transfers the confidential data to a remote server. It also employs Neutrino exploit kit to continue the misdeeds. Likewise, victims suffer substantial financial losses.

In 2016 hackers struck again by enhancing the malware's capabilities. It joined forces with Cerber virus – dangerous ransomware[4] that locks up user's files and demands the ransom to be paid for the decryption key. Nevertheless, security experts never recommend contacting cybercriminals and instead return their data by using back-ups, official Cerber decryptor, or using third-party software. Summing up, the hackers were able to encrypt the data they targetted in the first place. So now their revenues will double as in both cases they obtain the wanted information.

In June 2018, malware came back once again. It used Windows Word document trying to exploit a vulnerability which first appeared in 2000 in the Microsoft Equation Editor (EQNEDT32.EXE) component. Microsoft only discovered it in 2017 and patched the same year. The vulnerability allows hackers in inject ab OLE file into a specially crafted RTF file, which allows remote access to the PC.

All the embedded objects try to camouflage as legitimate Intel software files to avoid any suspicion:

  • Inteldriverupd1.sct
  • Task.bat
  • Decoy.doc
  • exe.exe
  • 2nd.bat

Inteldriverupd1.sct uses Windows Script Component to create a new object which runs task.bat and then checks for the block.txt file in the temp folder. It then creates one if it is not detected, and then deletes itself. Then, the 2nd.bat launches the main .exe file and modifies registry entries to hide its tracks. During the process, malware connects to hxxp://goog[.]com/newbuild/t.php?stats=send&thread=0 server and then shows Decoy.doc after execution.

At the last stage, the Betabot virus copies itself to the Start menu. It also uses Command and Control server to communicate with attackers (onedriveservice[.]com), as well as redirects users to suspicious realms, most likely to earn extra revenue.

Learn to avoid malicious programs

Trojan horses are the sneaky type of viruses that are usually deployed using clever social engineering attacks. There are various methods malware can be distributed, but the most prevalent ones are these:

  • Spam emails. Smartly written emails may sometimes trick even computer-savvy individuals. Thus, it is extremely important to notice a phishing email sign, and never open attachments;
  • Phishing messages on social networks and other communication programs. Quite often, hackers simply drop a link, claiming that it is a video or a photo of the targeted individual (as in case of the Facebook virus). Remember, these links can even come from your friend list, as their accounts may be hacked or infected. 
  • Malicious websites. Avoid file-sharing sites and other suspicious domains. Do not download pirated software, and refrain from visiting porn, gambling, online dating and similar sites.

You should never trust notifications that pop up out of nowhere. Remember, they can be designed just as legit messages. As soon as you allow the admin rights, it will be too late, however. 

Security researchers[5] recommend always patching your software and operating system on time, as well as employ a robust security tool that can prevent malicious infections.

Betabot removal guide using two methods

A trojan is undoubtedly not an ordinary computer virus. Since it operates in such insidious ways, you should not take it too lightly. That is why remove Betabot virus right away. For that purpose, scan the system with Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security. These applications will help you get rid of the malware entirely. 

Researchers recommend to download an anti-malware software on a healthy computer and insert it into a USB stick. Use the stick on the infected computer only after you enter Safe Mode with Networking, as explained below. This way, you can guarantee full BetaBot removal. After this is done, do not forget to format the USE stick to prevent accidental contamination.

When the virus infiltrates the system, you might not expect that it comes with a back-up – the ransomware. In that case, if you hesitate to perform Betabot removal, the file-encrypting malware might encrypt the files. If your personal files were encrypted by Cerber, we recommend using official decryptor that can be downloaded here. Finishing on a positive note, remember that proper cyber protection and your cautiousness work as a perfect combination decreasing the risk of getting infected by the cyber threat.

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To remove Betabot virus, follow these steps:

Remove Betabot using Safe Mode with Networking

To safely eliminate Betabot, you should enter Safe Mode with Networking:

  • 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 Betabot

    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 Betabot removal.

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

Remove Betabot using System Restore

You can also try using System Restore to delete the virus:

  • 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 Betabot. 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 Betabot removal is performed successfully.

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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