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Taskeng.exe Description and Virus Removal

Name Taskeng.exe
Type Malware infection disguised as a Windows Process.
Short Description May steal information, download other malware on the computer and disable PC denfenses.
Symptoms Runs taskeng.exe with a different file size and from a different location than the original System32 folder in Windows. May use up higher CPU percentage than the usual.
Distribution Method Via infected emails, dangerous redirects infected flash drives, etc.
Detection tool Download Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected By Taskeng.exe

taskengA lot of complaints have arisen recently regarding a suspicious process running in the Windows Task Manager, going by the name Taskeng.exe. It is also familiar as Task Scheduler Engine – a Windows program to set a task to run automatically at specified moments or times. However, it is also a good target for malware writers. Different viruses have been detected to use the same process name to evade anti-malware detections. The usual behavior of the process does not include any windows popping up on the desktop or high amount of CPU usage. This is why experts advise scanning your computer with an anti-malware program in case you detect any out of the ordinary activities connected with the process.

Taskeng.exe Virus – How Was I Infected?

In case you see a weird black command prompt window that starts and closes on system startup with the name Taskeng.exe or the process uses up unusually high percentage of your CPU to run, you may have been infected with malware.

One way to get infected is by clicking on or being redirected to malicious web links that may have been from online advertisements on third-party sites or administered by unwanted programs (PUPs) on your computer. Some websites that contain malicious code perform a drive-by download on your computer and insert the malware directly in it without any permissions what so ever.

However, there is also the possibility you may have downloaded malware disguised as a java or flash player update or any other software, believing it is legitimate. Sometimes malware hides on downloader programs for other software. One example is if you are looking for a particular video to download online and instead you have downloaded a file that says something like ‘video_downloader.exe’ that may, in fact, be the malware. This is why experts always advise not to be in a rush when you are looking for something online and always to check the sources. In case you cannot identify a malicious site, it will help to have an online security extension in your browser, like Virus Total or Avast, for example.

Another way to become a victim of this virus is via social media. A lot of social media bots spam fake status updates from your friends’ names (in case they are infected) or directly send out messages to users.

More to it than this virus may be executed as a result of a man in the middle attack (MITM) directly on your computer in case other users had access to it.

The most often reported cases of virus infections, however are the ones with documents, mostly Microsoft Office ones that are combined with the malware in them. They come in spam or spoof mail attachments that rope the user into opening the file. Fortunately, a good way to prevent this is to use an email program, such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird on your computer that filters out spam mail.

More about the Taskeng.exe Virus

As mentioned before, malware creators prefer processes that are familiar to Windows to make their malware seem legitimate. Taskeng.exe is just one of the processes that are used by the following malware infections:

Worm:Win32/Silly_P2P.H(Detected by Microsoft)
VirTool:Win32/Injector.gen!AD(Detected by Microsoft)
WORM_IRCBOT.TX(Detected by TrendMicro)

How to Detect If Taskeng.exe Is a Virus?

Originally the process is located in C:\Windows\System32 folder and it is critical to the OS. It is reported to be minor problem-causing. The size of the original file depends on your OS. For Windows XP, se7en and 8 it is 192 KB or 166,400 bytes. It is not a program that you are meant to see anywhere on your PC and Microsoft developed it. According to file.net you should make sure to observe these symptoms that reveal it as non-genuine:

  • A location other than in the System32 folder.
  • File sizes of 55KB, 13KB, 433KB, 705KB, 532KB or other than the above mentioned.
  • No description of the process.
  • Loaded on startup

Cyber-crooks have become very smart in both developing viruses as well as methods of infection of users. Both home users and enterprises should beware and always apply the following advises to the PCs in their networks:

  • Make sure to use additional firewall protection. Downloading a second firewall (like ZoneAlarm, for example) is an excellent solution for any potential intrusions.
  • Make sure that your programs have less administrative power over what they read and write on your computer. Make them prompt you admin access before starting.
  • Use stronger passwords. Stronger passwords (preferably ones that are not words) are harder to crack by several methods, including brute forcing since it includes pass lists with relevant words.
  • Turn off AutoPlay. This protects your computer from malicious executable files on USB sticks or other external memory carriers that are immediately inserted into it.
  • Disable File Sharing – it is recommended if you need file sharing between your computer to password protect it to restrict the threat only to yourself if infected.
  • Switch off any remote services – this can be devastating for business networks since it can cause a lot of damage on a massive scale.
  • If you see a service or a process that is external and not Windows critical and is being exploited by hackers (Like Flash Player) disable it until there is an update that fixes the exploit.
  • Make sure always to update the critical security patches for your software and OS.
  • Configure your mail server to block out and delete suspicious file attachment containing emails.
  • If you have a compromised computer in your network, make sure to isolate immediately it by powering it off and disconnecting it by hand from the network.
  • Make sure to educate all of the users on the network never to open suspicious file attachments, show them examples.
  • Employ a virus-scanning extension in your browser that will scan all the downloaded files on your computer.
  • Turn off any non-needed wireless services, like Infrared ports or Bluetooth – hackers love to use them to exploit devices. In case you use Bluetooth, make sure that you monitor all of the unauthorized devices that prompt you to pair with them and decline and investigate any suspicious ones.
  • Employ a virus-scanning extension in your browser that will scan all the downloaded files on your computer.
  • Employ a powerful anti-malware solution to protect yourself from any future threats automatically.

Removing Taskeng.exe Related Virus

To completely be rid of this malicious threat in case you have identified it, make sure you isolate it from your PC firstly. This can happen by stopping any internet connection, stopping the process from Windows Task Manager and for best results, scanning your PC with anti-malware program. It is recommended to boot into Safe Mode to prevent all third-party applications from running and then scan the computer. You can do this by following this manual:

Step 1: Start Your PC in Safe Mode to Remove Taskeng.exe.

Removing Taskeng.exe from Windows XP, Vista, 7 systems:

1. Remove all CDs and DVDs, and then Restart your PC from the “Start” menu.
2. Select one of the two options provided below:

For PCs with a single operating system: Press “F8” repeatedly after the first boot screen shows up during the restart of your computer. In case the Windows logo appears on the screen, you have to repeat the same task again.

Capture

For PCs with multiple operating systems: Тhe arrow keys will help you select the operating system you prefer to start in Safe Mode. Press “F8” just as described for a single operating system.

safe-mode-windows

3. As the “Advanced Boot Options” screen appears, select the Safe Mode option you want using the arrow keys. As you make your selection, press “Enter“.

4. Log on to your computer using your administrator account

While your computer is in Safe Mode, the words “Safe Mode” will appear in all four corners of your screen.

Removing Taskeng.exe from Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 systems:

Substep 1:

Open the Start Menu
Windows-10-0 (1)

Substep 2:

Whilst holding down Shift button, click on Power and then click on Restart.

Substep 3:

After reboot, the aftermentioned menu will appear. From there you should choose Troubleshoot.
Windows-10-1-257x300

Substep 4:

You will see the Troubleshoot menu. From this menu you can choose Advanced Options.
Windows-10-2 (1)

Substep 5:

After the Advanced Options menu appears, click on Startup Settings.
Windows-10-3 (1)

Substep 6:

Click on Restart.
Windows-10-5 (1)

Substep 7:

A menu will appear upon reboot. You should choose Safe Mode by pressing its corresponding number and the machine will restart and boot into Safe Mode so you can scan for and remove Taskeng.exe.

Step 2: Remove Taskeng.exe automatically by downloading an advanced anti-malware program.

To clean your computer you should download an updated anti-malware program on a safe PC and then install it on the affected computer in offline mode. After that you should boot into safe mode and scan your computer to remove all Taskeng.exe associated objects.

NOTE! Substantial notification about the Taskeng.exe threat: Manual removal of Taskeng.exe requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

Vencislav Krustev

A network administrator and malware researcher at SensorsTechForum with passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cyber security. Strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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