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Remove Gmail virus (Virus Removal Guide) - updated Mar 2019

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Malware

Gmail virus – a term used to describe malware that gets into your system via the Gmail service

Gmail virus

Questions about Gmail virus

Gmail virus is a broad term that combines phishing attempts, scams, hoaxes and malware that can compromise victims' computers severely. Typically, the most dangerous factors are the obfuscated attachments that come in various formats, such as .doc, .zip, .html, or even .pdf. Once malicious macros are enabled, or the user is redirected to the server that hosts malware, the infection happens instantaneously. However, Gmail virus can be prevented when using extreme caution, in combination with Google's efforts to stop such dangerous attacks. For example, the industry giant introduced a feature that scans files for viruses inside the email. However, users reported that they receive a message “Gmail virus scanners are temporarily unavailable,” which usually arises when the internet connection is too slow.[1] When that fails, however, users reported that they got infected with a so-called  Gmail Filter Virus – a threat that turns the infected  host into a spam bot machine. Thus, users who recently spotted weird activities on their PCs after opening a Gmail spam message, it is highly likely that Gmail virus was installed on the device.

Name Gmail virus 
Similar to WhatsApp virus, Yahoo Powered, Chrome virus
Category Malware, adware, scam
Spreads via Infected email attachments, fake emails
Main dangers The loss of personal information, infiltration of malware
Symptoms System slow downs, crashes, redirects to fake websites, annoying ads
Elimination Run a full system scan with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego and remove detected elements

Gmail virus is closely related to Google Mail which is still considered as one of the best email service providers with more than 1.5 billion monthly active users (as of October 2018).[2] There is no wonder why cyber criminals target this virtual communication platform – there are hundreds of thousands of potential victims here.

The attackers target Google Mail users by sending them malicious file attachments in the form of .zip, .js or .word files. However, this email service provider has banned .JS[3] file attachments, preventing the attackers from infecting computers with Gmail viruses easily.

This, however, did not lower the number of ransomware victims anyhow – the attackers continued sending malware in other formats and didn’t even worry about this new restriction too much. They can simply pack the .JS file into a .ZIP now and bypass this restriction with ease.

Scammers can also compromise your account with Gmail virus by sending you fake Google Docs links. In May 2018, security experts noticed a new phishing attack[4] which was used to send thousands of fake messages to potential victims asking them to check the Google Docs file.

Gmail virus screenshotGmail virus is a term that covers various types of malware and phishing attacks that target Gmail users. Such malicious content often arrives in a form of deceptive attachments or URLs added to legitimate-looking emails.

Clicking on the link redirected the victim to the Google security page asking to provide a permission for a virus in Gmail to manage one’s email account. Consequently, the virus used victim’s account to distribute itself to victim’s contacts. Such and similar scams are widespread, so make sure you are very careful with emails that you receive from people you don't really know.

Another technique, used by hackers, was compelling and, no surprise, efficient. The attackers distributed deceptive emails containing a fake Gmail attachment. The deceit lies in the message body. The email attachment looks real, although it is simply a well-designed and precisely-placed image with a hidden URL[5].

Clicking on it takes the victim to a phishing website that looks like a legit Gmail login page. Of course, after entering the login details, the victim’s account gets hacked. 

It is a must to remove email virus from your computer as soon as you accidentally download it from your email account. If you are lucky, you might prevent it from causing damage to your system or infringing your privacy. For a successful Gmail  virus removal, we recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego software.

Gmail service failed to scan the attachment can result in Gmail Filter virus infection

As previously mentioned, some users encounter the problem when getting email attachments in their spam box or even inbox – “Gmail virus scanners are temporarily unavailable.” The error typically indicates a problem with internet connection speed – the online scanners simply can't connect, and Gmail virus scanner becomes unavailable.

Due to that reason, users proceed to open a (malicious) attachment. Unfortunately, that can result in a Gmail Filter Virus infection. The threat uses a sophisticated scheme to infect victims, modify Gmail Filter settings and then hide its tracks by deleting the malicious message altogether. Finally, it will send the copies of the infected emails to everybody on the address book automatically. This means that the infected host might not even know that these actions are performed using his or her Gmail account.

Gmail Filter virusGmail Filter virus is one of Gmail virus variants. It changes the way Filter settings are set in order to send our spam to users in the address book.

Therefore, you should make sure you scan your device for malware using reputable security applications like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. Gmail Filter virus can hardly be noticed, so a scan with anti-malware is recommended.

Avoid getting virus from your email inbox

We want to provide some general tips to avoid getting your account hacked or compromised. Some of these tips will help you to prevent ransomware attack, too. We also recommend you to check this guide on how to identify an email with a virus.

  • If you are a user of this email service provider, be careful and do not trust suspicious messages that urge you to reset your Gmail password, upgrade your account or do something that requires entering your login details. This is a common trick used by frauds that seek to lure you into phishing websites with fake login forms. If you entered your login details in these websites, your account would be compromised instantly.
  • Fraudsters have some favorite scamming techniques. Usually, they are the most active during certain yearly events, such as Black Friday or Tax season. They compose convincing emails asking the victim to open the attached file or link, offering to view “important documents/invoices/special offers/discount codes.” Unfortunately, these attachments/links are just a disguise that hides malicious content.
  • In general, the main rule is to never open or interact with emails sent by strangers. You should always inspect the sender’s email address and check whether it looks legitimate or not. If it doesn’t, do not even consider opening the attached files or links. In fact, you shouldn’t click on the message body as well!

Frequently asked questions about Gmail malware

Below, we provide the list of most common Gmail virus forms that bother computer users. We have inserted actual user complaints about the virus. These are the common problems that people run into. We have answered these questions – we hope that they will help you to avoid or survive Gmail virus attack.

Question: Someone is sending emails from my email address. My friends say that I sent spam although I didn’t!
Answer: There are two scenarios in your situation. Your account might be compromised, but if you cannot find any of the messages in your Sent folder, it can mean that someone has spoofed your account. It means that your friends receive emails from someone who is forging the sender and making your email appear as the sender address or a reply-to address. We recommend you to perform Gmail Security Checkup to secure your account.

Question: My Gmail account was hacked, and I can no longer sign into it. How can I recover my account?
Answer: Dear visitor, the first thing that you want to do if your email account was hacked is to change your password. Second, fill out Google Account Recovery form.

Try to think of ways how your account was hacked. You may have provided your login details in a phishing website that looked like email login page, although it is also possible that your computer was compromised by a keylogger or a data-stealing Trojan that provided your logins and passwords to attackers. In such case, perform a thorough system check with anti-malware like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Question: I opened a malicious file attachment that I opened via Gmail. As a result, my computer was infected with ransomware. I am disappointed – does this mean that Gmail virus’ filters do not work?
Answer: Dear visitor, Gmail virus’ filters are powerful; however, cyber criminals always find ways to bypass them – even if it is hard, it is possible to do so. For this reason, you can never feel too protected while exploring email messages, even if you are using the best email service in the world. Always stay careful and do not fall for cyber criminals’ tricks.

Distribution of Gmail virus

There are several common distribution techniques[6] that criminals use to distribute viruses via email. Usually, they pretend to be sending some legitimate files, such as receipts, invoices, subpoenas, reports, resumes, shipping information, or other documents that do not raise suspicions at all.

However, these documents often contain a Macros script that requires only one click on “Enable content” button to execute itself. As a consequence, the script downloads the malware to victim’s computer and automatically launches it.

Fraudsters also like to send malicious URLs to victims, asking to visit them for a specific purpose. It can look like a link to reset your password, view a document or a Dropbox file. Of course, clicking on such link and interacting with content behind it is what allows malware to infiltrate your computer.

Your email account can be compromised and used to send out spam if you use an unprotected computer that is vulnerable to malware attacks. An unprotected computer can be easily contaminated with Trojans, keyloggers, or other data-stealing viruses. The chance to compromise your computer increases if you tend to download illegal software from the Internet. Such software packs are one of the main sources of malware.

Remove Gmail virus from the system

If you infected your computer after opening an email attachment, your number one task is to remove Gmail virus as soon as it is possible. We strongly recommend using Safe Mode with Networking and a reliable anti-malware combination for malware removal if you cannot launch your anti-spyware. Otherwise, Gmail virus removal might be disrupted.

In case your computer hasn’t been compromised, but you lost access to your account, get in touch with the email service provider and follow their directions to recover your account.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage 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 Reimage, 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.

To remove Gmail virus, follow these steps:

Remove Gmail using Safe Mode with Networking

The provided steps will help you to get rid of Gmail virus with the help of 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 Gmail

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Gmail removal.

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

Remove Gmail using System Restore

To get rid of email virus with the help of System Restore, use the following guide:

  • 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 Gmail. 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 Reimage Cleaner Intego and make sure that Gmail removal is performed successfully.

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

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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