Severity scale:  
  (63/100)

NetSupport Manager. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Remote Administration Tools

NetSupport Manager is a legitimate remote management tool that can be used as a RAT by cybercriminals

NetSupport Manager RAT
NetSupport Manager is a RAT malware that uses multi-stage infection and obfuscation techniques

NetSupport Manager is a cross-platform commercial application that was developed by NetSupport Limited. Initially, it used as a Remote Administration Tool[1] for admins to access clients' computers remotely. However, just like many other RATs, this application can also be misused by bad actors to gain illegal access to victims' machines. NetSupport Manager would allow hackers to remotely control the affected device, i.e., install additional malware, harvest banking details or account credentials, gain access to the camera, take screenshots, and much more. The malicious version of the app is being spread with the help of fake updates, such as Flash Player, Chrome or Firefox.

Name NetSupport Manager
Type Remote Administration Tool (RAT)
Developer NetSupport Limited
Related files Update.js
Distribution Fake updates, The HoeflerText font wasn’t found scam
Risk factors Loss of valuable information, other malware infection, identity theft, data loss, etc.
Symptoms Usually no symptoms
Termination Download an install reputable security software that can detect the malicious payload
Recovery To fully recover from the infection and fix virus damage, scan your device with Reimage

Additionally, some versions are found being distributed with the help of the infamous HoeflerText Pop-up scam, which was also involved in GandCrab ransomware campaigns. In this article, we will explain how to remove NetSupport Manager virus safely and how to avoid consequences related to the infection. In the detailed research study by FireEye experts,[2] it was reported that NetSupport Manager malware is mostly infecting users from the USA, Netherlands, and Germany, although other countries might be affected as well.

To get infected with NetSupport Manager RAT, users need to visit a compromised website (redirects might be caused by adware) which prompts them to update Chrome, or something else. If agreed, victims will execute a JavaScript file which is usually hosted on Dropbox, sends technical information, and downloads the malicious payload. The initial malicious JS file uses a variety of obfuscation techniques, which might prevent anti-malware programs from detecting the threat before it is downloaded and populated.

After downloading the payload, NetSupport Manager establishes a contact with a C&C server[3] controlled by hackers. At this point, the malware sends the current date set on the system – and information that is sent encrypted. Next, the virus will collect a variety of information, such as:

  • User name
  • Computer name
  • OS version
  • Details of anti-malware software installed
  • MAC address
  • Process list, etc.

The remote server responds with a download of another JS file – Update.js, which will download and execute the final payload. The malware then utilizes PowerShell commands to download a password-protected 7zip file, which contains a NetSupport Manager. Additionally, the malware also creates a NetSupport client on the system for the remote access feature to be available.

In addition to establishing NetSupport Manager RAT, the malicious payload also modifies Windows registry, disables Windows Error Reporting function, adds an exception in the firewall, and hides a variety of files on the system. Unfortunately, but the latter means that system files are infected as well, so even after NetSupport Manager removal, the OS might experience a variety of malfunctions. For that reason, we suggest you download and install Reimage to recover from malware infection.

Be aware that NetSupport Manager virus might not let you terminate it due to the interference with security software. In such a case, enter Safe Mode and then thoroughly scan your device using reputable security software, such as Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes.

Fake updates might deliver the worst kind of infections on your device

Fake updates are among one of the most prominent malware delivery methods used in the wild. Adobe Flash Player updates are one of those which you should be especially worried about, as this outdated plugin is not only known to have a variety of security flaws,[4] but is also used by criminals to initiate fake updates.

Therefore, you should always make sure that the update prompt is legitimate. To avoid any type of confusion, experts recommend setting automatic mode for updates. Alternatively, downloading new patches from the official websites only is a good idea as well. In general, do not trust any update prompts that come from your browser on various sites (always check the URL bar – you will most likely see some dodgy domain name).

To improve the overall security of your device, you should keep the security application running at all times, apply system updates, avoid spam email attachments or links, and most certainly stay away from software cracks or keygens.

Terminate NetSupport Manager RAT from your device using powerful anti-malware software

You should even attempt manual NetSupport Manager removal, as the malicious payload performs a variety of changes within the system, and only trained IT professionals can revert the damages without any automated tools. Such a task should always be left for anti-malware applications that are specifically designed to detect and terminate parasites like NetSupport Manager.

If you do not have a security application installed yet, download Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes, or another tool (be aware that AV vendors use different databases for malware detection, so not all engines might be able to detect the threat). Before you remove NetSupport Manager virus, you should access the Safe Mode environment which would temporarily stop the malicious tasks from running.

After that, you should make sure you reset and change passwords on all your accounts, as hackers might be able to access it due to stolen data from your PC.

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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 NetSupport Manager, follow these steps:

Remove NetSupport Manager using Safe Mode with Networking

To remove NetSupport Manager RAT from your machine, you should enter Safe Mode with Networking. This way, you stop the malware from tampering with your security software:

  • 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 NetSupport Manager

    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 NetSupport Manager removal.

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

Remove NetSupport Manager using System Restore

System Restore might also be used as an option to terminate NetSupport Manager infection

  • 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 NetSupport Manager. 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 NetSupport Manager removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from NetSupport Manager 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