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Emotet. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Trojans

Emotet virus – a dangerous banking trojan that can install Dridex and Qakbot malware to the affected machines

Emotet is a dangerous banking trojan

Emotet virus is a banking Trojan that is known at least since 2014. This malicious program is used for stealing personal information and installing other malware to the affected machines. Typically, it spreads via phishing emails with malicious URL that leads to document with corrupted macro commands. When a user opens this document or enables macros, malware payload is dropped and executed on the system.

Summary of the Trojan
Name Emotet
Type Banking trojan, network worm
Release date 2014
Mostly affected countries Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the United States[1]
Danger level High. Spreads via networks and affects all connected computers, steals banking information and might install other malware to the system
AV detection Mal/Emotet-E, Troj/Inject-CRI, Troj/Agent-AWUQ, Troj/Wonton-ABA, Mal/Generic-S, C2/Generic-B, Mal/Emotet-*, HPmal/Emotet-A, HPmal/Emotet-B, Troj/EmotMem-A, Mal/EncPk-ACW
Distribution method Malicious spam emails that contain links to URLs that download malicious macro documents
Elimination To uninstall Emotet, install Reimage and run a full system scan

Emotet takes advantage of weak admin passwords and system vulnerabilities that it uses to distribute itself on the computer network. This advanced cyber threat is used for dropping malware on the targeted computers in order to steal financial and banking information.

On the affected machine Emotet virus tries to get admin privileges. If it fails to do that, then it runs itself through other system processes. It also makes various changes to the system in order to boot with system startup, collect system information, encrypt it and send to its Command & Control server.

Major security programs identify this cyber threat as:

  • Mal/Emotet-E
  • Troj/Inject-CRI
  • Troj/Agent-AWUQ
  • Troj/Wonton-ABA
  • Mal/Generic-S
  • C2/Generic-B
  • Mal/Emotet-*
  • HPmal/Emotet-A
  • HPmal/Emotet-B
  • Troj/EmotMem-A
  • Mal/EncPk-ACW

Despite the fact, the trojan can be detected, Emotet removal is quite complicated due to its specific functionality. The worm is designed to avoid detection. For instance, malware might hide itself under processes with ransom or legitimate-looking names, for instance, wingroup.exe or servicelog.exe.

Emotet banking trojan

Emotet-related files are usually placed in the following directories:

  • C:\Windows\
  • C:\windows\system32\
  • C:\Windows\Syswow64\
  • C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Temp\

However, we do not recommend checking these locations and deleting malicious files manually. It is not an effective way to remove Emotet virus from the device. The worm spreads via network, so it can re-install itself again.

For this reason, it’s important that all computers connected to the affected network have a powerful antivirus installed. Only powerful malware removal tools can terminate this cyber threat entirely. We highly recommend using Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes for proper trojan elimination.

It is important to uninstall Emotet immediately because malware is capable of bringing other cyber infections to the system. Security specialists from Viruss.lv[2] report that this banking worm can bring Dridex[3] or Qakbot[4] viruses to the affected systems too.

Infiltration and operation peculiarities of the banking Trojan

Authors of this malware have been spreading this malware via malicious spam emails. The phishing email arrives as a spam invoice e-mail or notification to make a payment to lure gullible computer users into opening the malicious link attached to the letter.

Emotet spam emails

The link redirects to the specific URL address which triggers a download of an infected document that includes malicious macro command. This macro embedded in the document prompts cmd.exe and PowerShell to download malware payload from the malicious website.

The list of discovered URL links used to distribute Emotet banking trojan:

  • hxxp://vanguardatlantic[.]com/Invoice-number-7121315833-issue/;
  • hxxp://abbeykurtz[.]com/VZZQNZJIZD9113942;
  • hxxp://charly-bass[.]de/Copy-Invoice-0954/;
  • hxxp://aplacetogrowtherapy[.]com/CNNKIAPGEP3572621.

Emotet infected document

After the installation the copies of the malware are stored in the following folders:

  • System%\{string 1}{string 2}.exe;
  • %AppDataLocal%\Microsoft\Windows\{string 1}{string 2}.exe.

Besides, IT analysts say that the malicious program deletes the Alternate Data Stream (also known as Zone identifier)[5] which determines the source of the file you attempt to download from Internet Explorer. Thus, it is almost impossible to detect trojan by yourself.

Shortly after, the trojan circumvents the system by registering as system service and modifies Windows Registry entries to enable an autostart mechanism. In other terms, Emotet virus sets itself to launch every time you turn on your computer.

Instructions on how to eliminate Emotet from the machines

As mentioned above, this malicious virus can infect other computers connected to the network. If you delay Emotet removal, you risk not only your own safety but other’s as well. Be aware that this is a very dangerous program that is programmed to hide its presence and traces. Trying to get rid of it by yourself might lead to irreversible damage to your system.

We advise you to remove Emotet virus as soon as possible by employing a robust anti-malware program, like Reimage or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner. However, this banking trojan might block the installation of the security software. Thus, you have to reboot your computer to Safe Mode and download it afterward. Shortly after, you will be able to run a full system scan and eliminate the malware. 

Keep in mind that you have to uninstall Emotet from all computers that are connected to the same affected network. If you run a system scan a couple of times and you still find malicious components, it means that some of the machines are still connected. So, trojan removal is a complex task and requires cleaning all connected machines immediately.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Emotet, follow these steps:

Remove Emotet using Safe Mode with Networking

Emotet trojan might be programmed to block the installation of a powerful security software. Thus, follow the instructions below to reboot your computer to 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 Emotet

    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 Emotet removal.

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

Remove Emotet using System Restore

If you are still not able to get rid of the banking trojan, try to Command Prompt method. Steps provided below will guide you through the process:

  • 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 Emotet. 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 Emotet removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Emotet and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References

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