GameOver Zeus (Removal Guide) - Aug 2017 update

GameOver Zeus Removal Guide

What is GameOver Zeus?

GameOver Zeus is used for stealing financial data and spreading CryptoLocker ransomware

The illustration of GameOver Zeus

GameOver Zeus is a Trojan that is based on Zeus trojan that has first emerged in 2006. Then the name of this variant was given because of one of its filenames – gameover2.php. Malware is used to get remote access to the computer and steal private information, such as banking logins, passwords, and other financial data.

The Trojan is known for almost a decade and has alternative names – GameOver Trojan, GOZ,[1] and P2PZeuS. However, authorities also know who is standing behind this cyber threat – the Russian[2] hacker Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev known as Slavik.

However, the success of malware is based not only on Slavik’s work. He created a group of 50 cyber criminals that are called “Business Club.”

In October 2013 GameOver Zeus has been started actively spreading and infecting systems with ransomware virus that is known as Cryptolocker. As soon as it is installed, it encrypts all important files that are stored on a computer and then demands payment for decrypting them.

The GameOver Zeus Trojan itself spreads via Cutwail botnet[3] and uses encrypted peer-to-peer communication with Command and Control server. During its lifetime, it has been mostly used for stealing money from banks and banking data.

Therefore, getting infected with malware might end up with financial and personal information loss. If you suspected that your PC might be infected with Trojan, you should scan your device with FortectIntego and remove GameOver Zeus from the PC.

However, you may need to take extra steps for GameOver Zeus removal if it brought ransomware to your PC. The detailed explanation about its elimination you can find at the end of this article.

The picture of GameOver Zeus TrojanGameOver Zeus is a dangerous banking Trojan that has evolved from Zeus malware.

Attempts to take down the dangerous Trojan

Security researchers are trying to take down the GameOver Zeus virus since 2011.[4] FBI, the U.S. and European security investigators and authorities launched several attacks against hacker’s networks. However, all the attempts failed.

In January 2013, researchers were close to taking down the malware. However, months of their work were not enough because they overlooked a critical component. As a result, the hacker updated its malicious network and took back control over its program.

In 2015, FBI put a $3 million bounty on Slavik’s head.[5] It’s the highest reward that has been offered for the cyber criminal in the United States. However, in 2017 he is still enjoying his life outside the jail.[6]

Distribution methods of the GameOver Trojan

GameOver Zeus virus has been actively spread using phishing and spam campaigns. In most of the cases, dangerous emails look like important messages from well-known organizations, such as FDIC, IRS, MySpace, Facebook, Microsoft, Federal Reserve Bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), etc.

Typically they include a link that redirects to the malicious website. When users get there, the Trojan is installed on the system.

Therefore, in order to avoid infiltration of a dangerous banking trojan, you should always inspect the email carefully:

  • check the information about the sender;
  • make sure that the email does not lack credentials;
  • look up for grammar and spelling mistakes.

If you still cannot decide should you trust the email or not, you can always call the organization or log in to the account directly by opening a new browser’s tab. Then you can be sure if criminals tried to attack you or not.

Instructions for GameOver Zeus removal

To remove GameOver Zeus from the PC, you have to obtain reputable security software, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. After the installation, update your preferred tool and run a full system scan. The program should eliminate malware automatically.

After GameOver Zeus removal, we highly recommend changing all of your passwords in order to protect your money and sensitive information from the attackers.

If this Trojan has already infected your PC with Cryptolocker, try to follow these steps:

  1. Reboot you infected PC to “Safe mode with command prompt” by following instructions below to disable virus (this should be working with all versions of this threat)
  2. Run Regedit
  3. Search for WinLogon Entries and write down all the files that are not explorer.exe or blank. Replace them with explorer.exe.
  4. Search the registry for these files you have written down and delete the registry keys referencing the files.
  5. Reboot and run a full system scan with updated security software.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
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.

Getting rid of GameOver Zeus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

In order to disable the virus, follow these steps:

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove GameOver Zeus using System Restore

  • 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 GameOver Zeus. 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 FortectIntego and make sure that GameOver Zeus removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove GameOver Zeus from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

If your files are encrypted by GameOver Zeus, you can use several methods to restore them:

Try Data Recovery Pro

If GameOver Zeus brought Cryptolocker to your PC, you should try this tool to get back at least some of the files.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by GameOver Zeus ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Take advantage of Windows Previous Versions feature

If System Restore has been enabled before malware attack, follow these steps to copy individual files:

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

Cryptolocker decryption software

Researchers have created several tools that might help to recover files encrypted by this malware. You can find download links and the explanation how to use them here.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from GameOver Zeus and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting trojans

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.


Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 


About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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