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Remove Virtumonde (Virus Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Trojans

Virtumonde is a Trojan that is designed to make users install rogue anti-spyware programs by showing fake alerts

VirtumondeVirtumonde is a Trojan that is capable of installing other malware on the system

Virtumonde, otherwise known as Vundo, is a multi-functional Trojan with worm-like features that was developed in the late 2000s. The malware mainly spreads via contaminated spam email attachments or through a web browser or plugin, such as Java, exploits – these techniques ensured the large size of infections across the globe. Once inside the system, malware changes several Windows functions to be able to operate as intended, and users begin to experience Virtumonde virus infection symptoms immediately.

Over the years, Virtumonde Trojan was tweaked and improved, although its primary function was to show users malicious and fake pop-ups that advertised rogue anti-malware programs such as WinFixer, AntiSpywareMaster, SysProtect, and many others. Once installed, these malware apps would cause an array of additional problems to victims, deteriorating the user experience and system functions even further. Later, Trojan.vundo was also used to perform DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service)[1] attacks and proliferate other malware such as rootkits and ransomware.

Name Virtumonde
Aliases Vundo, Virtumondo, Trojan.vundo, Troj.vundo, Trojan:Win32/Vundo
Type Trojan with worm-like capabilities
Functions The malware can be employed to perform a variety of functions on the host machine, including other malware proliferation, fake alert display that promotes malicious software, DDoS functionality, etc.
Promoted rogue software WinFixer, AntiSpywareMaster, SysProtect, WinAntiSpyware, AntiSpywareExpert, Desktop Defender 2010, XPAntiVirus, and many others
Symptoms  Intrusive pop-up alerts about allegedly infected/damaged system, inability to update Windows, inaccessible websites, system freezes/crashes, disabled anti-virus software, fake blue screen of death warnings, etc.
Risks Vundo can render the system vulnerable to malware, so users might be infected with other infections over time. Consequently, users might have their financial or other sensitive information stolen. Also, due to a variety of processes that the malware initiates, users might not be able to use their computers normally, constantly experiencing system crashes and lags
Related Virtumonde.dll, slmnvnk.dll, 
Removal  Perform a full system scan with the help of reputable anti-malware software, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
System fix The infection might completely destroy some Windows system files. In order to avoid OS reinstallation process, we suggest using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to fix virus damage and remediate the computer, bringing it back to a pre-infection state

Rogue anti-spyware tools were extremely widespread during the 2000s, mainly because of a lack of regulations related to internet and application safety. As a result, thousands of malicious apps that were presented as legitimate security tools were developed and distributed in various deceptive ways, including the Vundo Trojan.

Users infected with Virtumonde would see pop-ups, alerts, and other misleading notifications about their allegedly infected/damaged computers every time they open the web browser, no matter if it is Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. The notifications often claim that malware Win32/Virtumonde was found on their computers and that they need to download the recommended tool for its termination.

While the messages claiming that the computer is infected with malware, the reason for these to appear is the Virtumonde infection. The virus may use several different malware names (fake or real) in order to make users believe that they need to download advertised software. In installed, these rogue tools will compromise the PC further, which might complicate the Virtumonde removal even further.

Another danger of Virtumonde promoted programs (besides being non-functional and harmful) is that users will be constantly asked to purchase a “full” version to delete malware on the system. Those who agree to proceed with the payment might be handing their credit card information directly to cybercriminals, which might result in financial losses and even identity fraud/theft. Thus, if you have been seeing these misleading Trojan.Vundo alerts, do not download, install, or pay for anything.

Virtumonde virusVirtumonde is a type of malware that uses Browser Helper Objects and other functions in order to display users fake notifications about computer security

Besides showing users false-positives and other malicious messages, Virtumonde virus might also display the following (visible) symptoms:

  • Changed desktop wallpaper and screensaver – fake errors and BSODs shown instead;
  • Websites fail to load or do that very slowly;
  • Some Windows functions disabled, such as the Task Manager, Registry Editor, etc.;
  • Explorer.exe crashes;
  • Deleted network connections;
  • Blue screen of Death (BSOD)[2] errors and system shutdowns, etc.

Virtumonde Trojan also possesses several persistence functions as well. In order to prevent users from detecting and eliminating the malware easily, it greatly weakens and disables certain built-in Windows defenses. For example, it prevents users from downloading the latest security updates, and might sometimes disable legitimate anti-malware software altogether. Also, some versions prevent users from visiting security-related websites (this is typically achieved by modifying Windows “hosts” file).

The newest versions of malware also incorporate rootkit[3] functionality, which makes it very difficult to remove Virtumonde from the infected computers. Essentially, this feature allows threat actors to execute commands remotely, download malware updates, and change system configuration files with admin-level privileges. Generally, detecting and removing rootkits is very difficult, hence not all security software can accomplish that.

For this reason, a specific rootkit removal software might be required to eliminate this version of Vundo malware. There are plenty of tools available for this particular function – they use behavior-based and memory dump analysis techniques, as well as signature scanning.

Nevertheless, versions of Virtumonde without rootkit functionality can be eliminated relatively easily with the most up-to-date, modern security software. We recommend using tools like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes, although there are plenty of others you could choose from based on your personal preferences.

In many cases, users infected with Vundo virus are forced to reinstall Windows, as, even after malware removal, they still experience system crashes, lags, BSODs, and similar. This is because anti-malware software is not capable of fixing some damaged system files. For that purpose, we recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego – it can replace malware-affected system components with working Windows files.

Update your software on time and watch out for suspicious emails with attachments

While Troj.vundo is an old malware, it does not mean that it is not present in cyberspace. Despite the overall awareness and security is increasing among computer users, there are millions of vulnerable devices that are not protected by anti-malware software or/and are running unsupported Windows versions. These machines are perfect targets for old malware like Virtumonde, so it is important to take precautionary measures in order to avoid it.

Virtumonde TrojanVirtumonde is capable not only promoting rogue-anti spyware, but is also very difficult to eliminate due to its rootkit capabilities

The first step into a secure computer is ensuring that it is running a supported operating system (i.e., Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1), which is constantly being patched with the latest security updates. Additionally, all the installed applications, browsers, and plugins (especially Java and Flash, as these often suffer from vulnerabilities and are abused by hackers) should be set to an automatic update function. The operating system should also be protected by a high-end anti-malware software that is capable of stopping old and new threats at all times.

Another very important security measure is avoiding spam emails that carry macro-embedded attachments. While previously, users were simply sent executable files that would install malware directly, nowadays, more advanced methods are used, and the infection can be triggered by PDF, .doc, and similar files. In most cases, body text claims that there is an urgency to open the attachment (it can be presented as a bill, tax refund form, application, etc.); the attackers also often use well-known company names, such as Amazon, UPS, JPMorgan Chase, and similar.

Remove Virtumonde from your machine and fix Windows system files

Since the virus is a multi-functional and can heavily modify Windows system configuration settings and files, Virtumonde removal can be a very difficult task. Nonetheless, there are several different versions of the malware – older variants are likely to lack the advanced functionality, such as rootkit capabilities. Besides, anti-malware makers are now employing advanced techniques for malware detection and termination, so it is highly likely that you would be able to remove Vundo by performing a full system scan with security software.

If you encounter difficulties with Virtumonde virus termination, you should access Safe Mode with Networking, as explained below, and perform a full system scan. Also, you could try System Restore if the malware did not disable it during the infection process. As previously mentioned, you might have to use an anti-rootkit application that is specifically developed to find malware like Virtumonde.

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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 Virtumonde, follow these steps:

Remove Virtumonde using Safe Mode with Networking

To access Safe Mode with networking, follow these steps:

  • 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 Virtumonde

    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 Virtumonde removal.

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

Remove Virtumonde using System Restore

If System Restore was not disabled by Vundo Trojan, you could use it to eliminate the 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 Virtumonde. 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 Virtumonde removal is performed successfully.

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

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. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

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 server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

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. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various circumstances, malware is also one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. Potentially unwanted programs may clear files that keep the application from running smoothly.

More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, or images get locked. 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

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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