Severity scale:  
  (98/100)

Panda Banker. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Trojans

Panda Banker Trojan switches its target to Japanese institutions

Panda Banker Trojan

Questions about Panda Banker

Panda Banker is a Trojan horse, which has been released in 2016. It's based on the Zeus Trojan, which has been treated as one of the most hazardous infections since 2007. Following the leak of its source code,[1] hackers started developing new strains of Zeus, and Panda Banker is one of them. It targets financial institutions in Italy, Canada, Australia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Latin America. The 78%[2] of institutions targeted are US and Canada banks, cryptocurrency websites, global social media providers, payroll, and tech providers. Disguised under malicious Microsoft Word attachments, Panda Banker injects a code that performs region-specific man-in-the-browser attacks and starts acquiring the most sensitive data. 

Name Panda Banker
Also known as Zeus Panda, BandaBot
Classification Banking Trojan
Relation It's a strain of Zeus Trojan
Countries targeted Italy, Canada, Australia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Latin America
Distribution Spam email attachments, exploit kits (Rig, Seamless), CVE-2014-1761 and CVE-2012-0158  vulnerabilities, phishing websites, etc. 
Removal There's no other way to get rid of a Trojan as to scan the system with a powerful anti-virus. In this case, we recommend using Reimage.

Panda and Zeus are practically identical. The only difference between the two is that Panda mainly targets banks in UK and Australia. Other traits are more or less similar. Usually, Panda Banker spreads through malicious Word documents which come attached to the spam emails and becomes activated with the Word Macros function. The researchers report that the highest risk of being infected with this virus is attributed to the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Specifically, Panda Banker virus exploits the CVE-2014-1761 and CVE-2012-0158[3] vulnerabilities to activate itself. Also, it is not uncommon for the virus to use deceptive social engineering techniques to trick people into enabling Word Macros support themselves.

Once the virus infiltrates the computer it starts tracking the user’s data. Its initial interests are the computer owner’s username, installed antivirus and firewall software information, OS platform, computer name, local time and similar characteristics. The gathered data is then transferred to the C&C (command and control) server where a unique client is created helping to distinguish infected device from other computer bots. At this point, it is practically impossible to spot that the virus has already infiltrated the system. However, a sophisticated antivirus software, such as Reimage should be able to detect and remove the virus from your computer, as long as you keep it updated to its latest version.

While the infected computer owners continue using their computers as usual, the Panda Banker trojan starts inserting malicious code into the banking websites. You should be careful if you have any accounts in the Bank of Scotland, Halifax UK, Lloyds Bank, Santander Bank or TSB. Once the code is injected, the trojan is then able to collect the user’s banking credentials and, eventually, breaking into the user’s accounts. If you notice any suspicious processes running on your computer or, worse, considerable sums of money disappearing from your bank account, you should immediately scan your system with antivirus software and ensure a complete Panda Banker removal.

The activity of Panda Banking Trojan

Initially detected in 2016, Panda Banker has been delivered by three different exploits known as Angler, Nuclear, and Neutrino. According to Proofpoint researchers, these exploits were necessary for criminals to find out target users in Australia and the United Kingdom.[4] The virus used to target banks in particular. 

In 2017, experts noticed a shift from banking institutions to holiday shoppers. To harvest banking credentials, Panda Banker injects code into region-specific banking sites, including payment sites, casinos, travel sites, video-streaming sites, retailers, and similar. In 2017, the virus hit thousands of people in the period, which included Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas. 

The injects of Zeus Panda found in 2017 were configured to steal a variety of information, including credit card number, address, phone number, DOB, SSN, and security question-related information. 

Most of the victims were tricked by a fake email attachment called resume.doc, with the subject line  “Application submitted from Gumtree Jobs by [First Last Names] for Field Sales Consultant – Status: Emailed.” This malicious email refers to a job application, which is popular in UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. 

The latest strain of Panda Banker, known as version 2.6.6, has been observed at the end of March 2018.[5] According to experts, the Trojan has switched its target from Canada and the United States to Japan. It's the first time in Zeus Panda, also dubbed as PandaBot, to be targeting Japanese financial institutions. 

Although the virus itself hasn't been modified remarkably, it has no ICO overlap with the previous PandaBanker attacks, and the target moved to Japan. These two facts make it stand out from the earlier attacks. The latest attack is closely related to hillaryzell[.]xyz address, which is registered to a Petrom Vladim using an email yalapinziw@mail.ru. 

Panda Banker virus

Based on the analysis initiated by Netscout, the C2 server returned 27 injects, 17 of which were embedded into Japanese banking websites. The current version is mainly distributed via Rig, Seamless, and Vokut Exploit Kits.

Banking Trojans are distributed via EK and spam email attachments

As already has been pointed out in this article, this particular version of Zeus is typically distributed via infected spam email attachments. According to experts, the Trojan takes advantage of the CVE-2014-1761 and CVE-2012-0158 vulnerabilities or renders Rig, Seamless or Vokut Exploit Kits (EK)[6] to infect targeted PCs or servers.

Most of the victims were infected with this Trojan right after opening an infected email attachment. The most widely spread Panda payload is known as resume.doc file, which spreads attached to emails with the subject line “Application submitted from Gumtree Jobs by [First Last Names] for Field Sales Consultant – Status: Emailed.”

Alternatively, it may be disguised under Gert.exe executable file atached to spam email messages. If the potential victim executes the file, the trojan is downloaded from 78.128.92[.]31/gert.exe. 

Having in mind the activity of such and similar trojans, both home users and institutions should reconsider system's protection. One of the prerequisites when trying to stay safe from banking trojans is a reputable anti-virus program. It's important to keep it up-to-date and check if Real-Time protection feature is enabled. Besides, you should always update the OS. Outdated OS is more vulnerable to cyber attacks initiated via exploit kits.[7] 

Tips on Panda Banker virus removal

For less experienced computer users, even the thought of having to deal with malicious, money-stealing viruses on their own is highly intimidating. Luckily, there's a multiplicity of anti-virus vendors worldwide offering advanced security tools that are not only capable of protecting the system from infections and removal of the existing ones. Most of them now has a PC's optimization feature, which is extremely useful after a cyber attack. 

Therefore, NoVirus.uk[8] cybersecurity team stresses the importance of obtaining a reliable antivirus suite is the best option to remove Panda Banker trojan from the infected computer. We recommend such acknowledged virus-fighting utilities as Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

As this trojan runs in the system unnoticed, it is advisable to run regular scans with the obtained antivirus utility. If any trouble arises when removing the virus automatically, or the trojan tries to terminate the system scan, you can try disconnecting your computer from the network, which should diminish the virus functionalities on your computer.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Panda Banker you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
do it now!
Download
Reimage (remover) Happiness
Guarantee
Download
Reimage (remover) Happiness
Guarantee
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with OS X
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Panda Banker. 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.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
Press mentions on Reimage

To remove Panda Banker, follow these steps:

Remove Panda Banker using Safe Mode with Networking

If you cannot perform Panda Banker removal because your anti-virus gets blocked each time you try to launch it, follow these steps to restart the system into Safe Mode with Networking. One there, update your anti-virus and run a full system scan:

  • 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 Panda Banker

    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 Panda Banker removal.

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

Remove Panda Banker using System Restore

If the previous method did not help to get rid of a trojan, here's what you may try:

  • 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 Panda Banker. 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 Panda Banker removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Panda Banker and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

If this free removal guide helped you and you are satisfied with our service, please consider making a donation to keep this service alive. Even a smallest amount will be appreciated.

Contact Jake Doevan
About the company Esolutions

References