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Crypto-Loot virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Malware

Crypto-Loot is a Monero mining service that can diminish PC's performance severely

Crypto-Loot miner misuses PC's CPU resources

Crypto-Loot is a Monero[1] miner service which allows web masters to monetize from their visitors. By signing for the service, owners of various websites can inject a special JavaScript code into their websites which is needed to generate Monero cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, sometimes this code is injected behind their back and is used to rely on victims' CPU resources to gain coin fractions illegally. In this case, Crypto-Loot virus is abused and is considered to be malicious.

Name Crypto-Loot
Type of malware Malware
Sub-type Cryptocurrency miner
Digital currency obtained Monero
Distribution Freeware, fake websites, hacked legitimate websites
Symptoms Excessive CPU consumption, system's freezes, crashes, unresponsiveness
Similar malware Coinhive, CoinImp and CPU Miner
Related process Ctrl.js
Danger level Low (cannot damage the system immediately. However, long-term infection can lead to hardware failure and data loss)
Elimination Install Reimage and run a full system scan to recognize and immunize the Crypto-Loot miner

The increasing popularity and interest in digital currency and growing possibilities to pay for various services in crypto-currency, more and more people are falling into the crypto craze. Unfortunately, hackers are a number one participants in this game, so not surprisingly they are quick to misuse legal services, such as Crypto-Loot. Dieviren.de,[2] a group of experts from Germany that we collaborate with, warn that the script can be misused in several ways:

  • Hackers can inject the JavaScript code into legitimate websites without asking for the owner's permission.
  • Crypto-Loot can be bound to fake websites.[3] Hackers can create legitimate-looking websites and infect them with crypto-mining malware. Such websites may render multiple JavaScrips, one for mining Monero or another currency and the other for locking web browser's screen to prolong the visit time and maximize the profit.
  • Crooks can inject Crypto-Loot into legitimate apps and web browser's extensions. If the PC's user installs such application, the CPU and GPU resource consumption will continuously exceed 50%, thus severely diminishing PC's performance.

Alessandro Polidori, a software engineer, admits that the nature of crypto-currency mining is not malicious.[4] However, he disapproves of the stealthy usage of such services:

There's nothing intrinsically malicious with software harvesting spare CPU cycles for stuff; it's just that the code should not hog a machine's resources, and people should be made aware of it and given a chance to opt out. The technique has been used for ages – the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search of 1996 was the first example we could think of.

In any case, if the Crypto-Loot miner removal is not performed on time, it confronts with the website manager's terms and causes serious computer-related problems to website's visitors. Unlimited usage of PC's CPU and GPU resources can manifest in the abnormal PC's behavior:

  • CPU usage perpetually reaches 100%;
  • Apps become unresponsive;
  • The system randomly freezes;
  • The overheated cooling system may lead to complete system crash resulting in data loss;

Crypto-Loot virus is multi-platform utility compatible with Window, Linux, and iOS. Besides, it can run on desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. If you are a website's owner and seek to use it for monetization purposes legally, you can do that by signing to the service for free.

If, however, your antivirus software keeps reporting you about a stealthy attempt to install Monero miner on your PC, you should remove Crypto-Loot from the system to prevent PC's resources from leaking. For this purpose, you should use a professional anti-malware utility, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes.

Crypto-mining Trojans can spread by bundling

It's not illegal to mine digital currency on your website by using visitor's CPU during the web browsing session. Staying on the mining-inclinded domain from 5 minutes to 2 hours will not cause severe damage to the system.
However, JavaScript miners are often misused by cyber crooks to gain profit illegally. In this case, hackers can employ various stealthy strategies to make unsuspecting users visiting hacked web domains.

They can create fake websites and promote them with the help of browser hijackers. Once the victim clicks on a link to a malicious website, he or she is exposed to a doubtful website on a new tab URL, which usually locks the screen and reports a malicious activity, urges to install updates/apps to proceed with the browsing, and so on. That's a catch to maximize the collection of Monero fractions.

Legitimate websites can also be hacked for mining cryptocurrency. In this cases, the rights of both the domain's owner and its visitor's rights are violations by not letting them known about the usage of crypto-miner.

Last, but not least, people might notice a significant increment of CPU resource consumption after the installation of freeware. JacaScript code can be attached to freeware and shareware as a constituent part and activated once the freeware is installed.
Although developers of cryptocurrency miner services often claim that the service and related apps are committed by anti-virus tools and adblockers, reputable security tools are usually set to notify PCs' users about an attempt to install mining Trojans stealthily.

Crypto-Loot miner versions

Crypto-Loot service is similar to CoinhiveCoinImp and CPU Miner. All of them are considered to be legitimate services, but due to the high risk of being exploited for illegal purposes belong to the potentially unwanted program (PUP) category.
Crypto-Loot virus is not a unitary Trojan. It has a couple of versions, which can be distributed in the rotation. These are the following:

Cryptoloot.pro Miner Trojan. Regarding behavior, Cryptoloot.pro miner works just like its original version. The related script can be distributed via freeware bundling, disguised in fake website web domains or injected into legitimate websites. It is used for mining Monero coins via JavaScript library. The service is associated with the ctrl.js process, which can be found among processes on Task Manager. Cryptoloot.pro removal is highly recommended.

Crypto-Loot.com Miner Trojan. It's yet another altered version of the Crypto-Loot Trojan. Its removal is highly recommended to protect your PC from high CPU and GPU consumption. Its presence can also result in your web browser's CPU consumption reaching up to 100%. The miner is also related to the ctrl.js Monero library.

A guide on how to remove Crypto-Loot miner Trojan

Although cryptocurrency miners exhibit low danger level if compared to Spyware, Ransomware, Keylogger, and similar cyber threats, they are capable of evading detection and removal. The prolonged presence of miner poses a risk for your PC to run into severe software and hardware-related crashes.

Note that outdated or questionable anti-malware programs can miss Crypto-Loot miner virus unnoticed. Therefore, if you noticed that the system runs slower than it used to before and most of the apps became unresponsive, we would highly recommend you to open Task Manager and check what processes and programs are using too much CPU. If some of them, including the web browser, takes up more than 50% of CPU, there's a high risk of mining Trojan to be installed.

To remove Crypto-Loot from the system, you should run a full system scan with Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes anti-malware tools. That should be sufficient to eliminate misleading apps, crypto-miners, and related components.

[GI=method-1]If you cannot perform Crypto-Loot removal because it renders your anti-virus useless, boot your PC into Safe Mode with Networking and then try to perform a scan:[/GI]

[GI=method-2]If the previous method did not help to remove Crypto-Loot virus, try the following steps:[/GI]

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About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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