Remove Regin virus (Removal Instructions) - Jan 2020 update

removal by Linas Kiguolis - -   Also known as Regin malware, Backdoor.Regin | Type: Backdoors

Regin virus Removal Guide

What is Regin virus?

Regin malware is a Trojan developed by National Security Agency to gather intelligence information on targeted Windows machines

Regin virusRegin is a sophisticated APT that is capable of taking control over the host machine on all levels

Regin virus is a multi-stage malware program designed to open a backdoor[1] on the infected system in order to steal and deliver various information. It is an extremely sophisticated, multi-modular threat that is capable of taking over the host machines and the connected networks, and performing such actions like taking screenshots, controlling the mouse, stealing MS exchange emails, keylogging, controlling GSM networks, stealing files, etc. Regin was named by various security researchers as one of the most advanced Trojans that surpass such sophisticated threats like Turla.

Name Regin
Also known as QWERTY, Prax
Type Backdoor, remote access Trojan (RAT), Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)
Functionality Takes screenshots, seals files, monitors traffic, reads emails, performs keylogging activities, etc.
Attacked countries Algeria, Afghanistan, Belgium, Brazil, Fiji, Germany, Iran, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Syria
Developer Some secret documents published by Edward Snowden in 2013 hinted that the malware is developed and utilized by National Security Agency (NSA)
Symptoms Regin is extremely stealthy malware that does not leave much footprints, and only sophisticated security solutions can detect it
Removal Use reputable anti-malware software that can detect and delete all the malicious modules and components of Regin virus – scan your machine in Safe Mode with Networking

Seemingly developed by the National Security Agency as early as 2003, Regin was first discovered by Kaspersky, Symantec and The Intercept security researchers in 2014, although some sames were noticed on Virus Total in 2011. Because the malware is deemed to be used by the NSA, as well as its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to gather intelligence from foreign targets in Afghanistan, Russia, India, Germany, and other countries, multiple research networks called the malware the “NSA's secret weapon,”[2] although no definite proof was provided. Regin malware was also defined by researchers as an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT).[3]

Regin malware connection to the NSA was indicated by German magazine Der Spiegel, and its claims were based on secret documents that were uncovered thanks to the informer Edward Snowden. One of such documents from 2010 mentions cyberattacks that were performed against a EU diplomats, although Regin virus name was never mentioned.

Symantec researchers claimed that Regin virus is one of the most advanced customizable cyberthreats ever created:[4]

Backdoor.Regin is an extremely complex back door Trojan that enables stealthy surveillance activities. It can be customized with a wide range of different capabilities, which can be deployed depending on the target. It is a multi-staged, modular threat, meaning that it has a number of components, each depending on each other to perform attack operations.

One of the recent high-profile Regin malware incidents dates to October/November 2018, when it was spotted attacking Yandex development and research servers. Kaspersky researchers claim that the attacks were observed in the following countries and targeted government, financial, research, and similar institutions:

  • Algeria
  • Afghanistan
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Fiji
  • Germany
  • Iran
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Kiribati
  • Malaysia
  • Pakistan
  • Russia
  • Syria

Nevertheless, Regin virus can also be used by cybercriminals in order to exfoliate data; thus, anyone could get infected with this malware. Consequently, users might face severe ramifications, such as money loss, infiltration of other malware, or even identity theft. Those infected should immediately perform Regin removal with advanced security programs like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

After you remove Regin malware from your machine, you should also remediate Windows OS files that might have been affected during the attack. For that, we highly recommend using ReimageIntego, as it can save you from reinstalling the OS completely.

Regin malwareRegin malware is malware that was designed by the NSA to gather intelligence information from foreign institutions

Malware infection routine and avoidance tips

Just like trojans, rogue anti-spyware, and other malware, Regin trojan uses stealth techniques to infiltrate its targets. Nevertheless, because the malware is extremely sophisticated and used for international intelligence gathering, it is highly likely that it is deployed with the help of targeted attacks. The virus uses multi-stage infection methods to avoid detection during infiltration. Nevertheless, the most advanced anti-malware software should be able to detect and remove malware from the computer.

Security experts also recommend practice the following precautionary measures in order to avoid Advanced Persistent Treats in the future:

  • Use next-gen anti-malware software that uses machine learning and other advanced malware detection technologies;
  • Only provide administrator-level privileges to applications that are secure and trusted;
  • Secure all the accounts and RDP connections with comprehensive passwords or use a password manager;
  • Do not open email attachments that contain file types common used in malware distribution, such as .vbs, .exe, .bat, .scr, .doc, and others;
  • Turn off file sharing feature;
  • Update all the applications as well as the operating system as require – do not postpone the updates;
  • Enable firewall that would block all the network intrusions;
  • Do not launch software executables unless that have been checked by anti-malware software or tools like Virus Total.

Remove Regin virus from your system

If you want to protect your confidential data and prevent the loss of your bank logins, credit card details, passwords and similar information, you should waste no time and remove Regin malware. The easiest way to do that is by running a full system scan with powerful, up-to-date security programs like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. Additionally, we also recommend accessing Safe Mode with Networking in order to bypass the functionality of Regin virus – we provide the instructions on how to do that below.

We don't recommend using manual Regin malware removal, as the threat is extremely sophisticated, and revering changes that it makes to the infected machines is almost impossible without using advanced automatic tools. Keep in mind that getting rid of data-stealing malware is crucial, as the longer it stays on your system, the more information it can exfoliate, and more damage can be done to your computer, as well as personal safety.

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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.

Getting rid of Regin virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

In case Regin is tampering with your anti-malware software it is advisable accessing Safe Mode with networking and performing a full system scan from there.

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.
    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.
    Reboot
  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.
    Startup

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
    Downloads
    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):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

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

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

How to prevent from getting backdoors

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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References