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GhostMiner Virus – How to Fully Remove It from Your PC

This article has been created in order to explain what is the GhostMiner Trojan and how to remove this malware completely from your computer.

Update September 2019.

The GhostMiner virus is a stealth Trojan that can infect computer networks and infiltrate both end users and enterprise targets. It takes advantage of the available computer resources in order to generate income for the operators.

Threat Summary

Name GhostMiner
Type Trojan Horse/CryptoCurrency Miner
Short Description Silently infects your computer after which begins to mine for cryptocurrencies via a fake executable process..
Symptoms A very high resource usage and unusual operating system interaction.
Distribution Method Malicious web links, Malicious Files, Malicious E-Mails
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss GhostMiner.

GhostMiner – Update September 2019

Trend Micro researchers recently observed that GhostMiner is weaponizing Windows management instrumentation (WMI) objects to achieve fileless persistence, payload mechanisms, and AV-evasion capabilities. This new GhostMiner variant was also observed to modify infected host files that are heavily used by Mykings, PowerGhost, PCASTLE and BULEHERO, Trend Micro said.

GhostMiner was deploned in Monero mining operations. However, the latest infection mechanisms of the malware haven’t been revealed yet. Ealier GhostMiner versions were observed to have used multiple vulnerabilities in MSSQL, phpMyAdmin, and Oracle’s WebLogic to locate susceptible servers.

GhostMiner – How Does It Infect

The GhostMiner Trojan can be distributed using various strategies. Depending on the active hacker campaign the criminals behind it may choose a single strategy or launch several ones at once.

The GhostMiner virus files can be spread as executables files via email messages. The most common method is to insert them as hyperlinks in the body contents. In order to coerce the intended targets into falling victim to the virus the hackers may use various social engineering tricks. For example the message may be pose as an update notification or a software issue alert that asks the users to install an update or application. In related cases the strains can also be accompanied by direct attachments. Related cases include the following:

  • Infected Documents — The GhostMiner virus can be embedded as a script in hacker-modified documents. They can be of different types such as presentations, rich text documents and spreadsheets. The infection begins if the users agree to the notification prompt asking them to run the built-in scripts (macros). If this is done the malware is downloaded from a remote site and executed on the local computer.
  • Hacker-modified Setup Files — The hackers the threat take legitimate installers of famous software with the intent to scam the intended targets. In the most common case the victim applications are free or trial versions of system utilities, creative apps or computer games.

The GhostMiner malware files can also be spread on hacker-controlled sites. They usually take the legitimate graphics and text from famous portals and create copies of them. Familiar sounding domains are often used to scam the computer users into thinking that they have accessed the vendor’s site or a legitimate download sites. This practice can also be seen on file sharing networks such as BitTorrent.

Another method used by the hackers to distribute the GhostMiner virus is the use of browser hijackers. They represent malware browser plugins that seek to redirect the victim users to a specific hacker-controlled site. They are usually made compatible with the most popular browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari and Microsoft Edge. After they have changed several important default settings (default homepage, search engine and new tabs page) they can deliver the GhostMiner virus to the infected hosts.

Miner instances can also be acquired from web scripts. Examples include all sorts of banners, ads and pop-ups that may also inject themselves to legitimate sites via various ad networks.

GhostMiner – More Information and Analysis

The GhostMiner virus is a dangerous cryptocurrency Trojan that has recently been spotted in a worldwide attack. According to the security researchers that analyzed the case the threat is labeled as “critical”. The threat has been found to be able to spread on a global scale using a “fileless” infiltration.

Such viruses have the main goal of infecting the target computers with resource-intensive code that performs complex calculations. As a result the criminal operators generate profit based on the work done. The actual infiltration happens using a several step process that can be further modified according to the individual targets and the relevant attack campaign. The attack begins with the initial infection phase that relies on several PowerShell evasion frameworks. They bypass the usual operating system protection and may also act against common security software: anti-virus programs, sandbox or debug environments and virual machine hosts. The module is designed to bypass or entirely remove the threat. In certain cases the malware may choose to delete itself if it finds that it cannot infect the target computer in a stealth way.

The security experts state that before its signatures were identified none of the major anti-virus vendors were able to pick up the infections using the routine heuristics real-time scan. The reason for this is the fact that the infection happens in memory only — no file interactions are done.

The captured samples have been found to begin the attacks with an information gathering module. It generates a profile of the victim computers based on the acquired data: hardware components and installed software. The researchers uncovered that some of the samples acquired from the search for the presence of the following servers and tools: Oracle WebLogic, MSSQL and phpMyAdmin. This likely means that the malware directed mainly against enterprise networks rather than individual users. It appears that one of the main goals of the threat is to compromise the Oracle WebLogic application. This is done using the reported CVE-2017-10271 advisory. It reads the following:

Vulnerability in the Oracle WebLogic Server component of Oracle Fusion Middleware (subcomponent: WLS Security). Supported versions that are affected are,, and Easily exploitable vulnerability allows unauthenticated attacker with network access via T3 to compromise Oracle WebLogic Server. Successful attacks of this vulnerability can result in takeover of Oracle WebLogic Server. CVSS 3.0 Base Score 7.5 (Availability impacts). CVSS Vector: (CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:N/I:N/A:H).

The performed network analysis on the GhostMiner virus reveals that the virus engine constantly probes the IP address of the target machine which leads to the creation of numerous TCP connections until a vulnerability is identified. In order to avoid the port scan detection the hackers encode the bogus messages using Base64. It has been found that malware HTTP request that reference popular web services are used to fool the administrators. A frequent listing is the popular Chinese QQ Internet service. This lead is attributed to the notion that the hacker or criminal collective behind GhostMiner may be from China. e

After the virus has infiltrated the target system it runs a computer audit which seeks to find if there are any other miners installed. If such are found they are entirely removed from the targets.

The GhostMiner virus has the ability to create numerous processes and spawn its own threads using various privilege levels, including administrative ones. As a result it can be used for other criminal activity including the following:

  • Data Theft — An information gathering module can be used to generate a profile of the victims. The extracted strings can directly expose the users identity by collecting data such as the victims name, address, phone number, passwords and account credentials.
  • Additional Malware Delivery — The virus can be used to deliver other malware.
  • System Changes — The GhostMiner virus can lead to dangerous system modifications including Windows Registry changes, a removal of the possibility to enter into boot recovery and etc.

Remove GhostMiner Effectively from Windows

In order to fully get rid of this cryptocurrency miner Trojan, we advise you to follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They are made so that they help you to isolate and then delete the GhostMiner Trojan either manually or automatically. If manual removal represents difficulty for you, experts always advise to perform the removal automatically by running an anti-malware scan via specific software on your PC. Such anti-malware program aims to make sure that the GhostMiner is fully gone and your Windows OS stays safe against any future malware infections.

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Preparation before removing GhostMiner.

Before starting the actual removal process, we recommend that you do the following preparation steps.

  • Make sure you have these instructions always open and in front of your eyes.
  • Do a backup of all of your files, even if they could be damaged. You should back up your data with a cloud backup solution and insure your files against any type of loss, even from the most severe threats.
  • Be patient as this could take a while.
  • Scan for Malware
  • Fix Registries
  • Remove Virus Files

Step 1: Scan for GhostMiner with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.

It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.

2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter 5 Scan Step 1

3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter 5 Scan Step 2

4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter 5 Scan Step 3

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Step 2: Clean any registries, created by GhostMiner on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by GhostMiner there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
Remove Virus Trojan Step 6

2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.
Remove Virus Trojan Step 7

3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Remove Virus Trojan Step 8 Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

Step 3: Find virus files created by GhostMiner on your PC.

1.For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

For Newer Windows Operating Systems

1: On your keyboard press + R and write explorer.exe in the Run text box and then click on the Ok button.

Remove Virus Trojan Step 9

2: Click on your PC from the quick access bar. This is usually an icon with a monitor and its name is either “My Computer”, “My PC” or “This PC” or whatever you have named it.

Remove Virus Trojan Step 10

3: Navigate to the search box in the top-right of your PC's screen and type “fileextension:” and after which type the file extension. If you are looking for malicious executables, an example may be "fileextension:exe". After doing that, leave a space and type the file name you believe the malware has created. Here is how it may appear if your file has been found:

file extension malicious

N.B. We recommend to wait for the green loading bar in the navigation box to fill up in case the PC is looking for the file and hasn't found it yet.

2.For Windows XP, Vista, and 7.

For Older Windows Operating Systems

In older Windows OS's the conventional approach should be the effective one:

1: Click on the Start Menu icon (usually on your bottom-left) and then choose the Search preference.

Remove Virus Trojan

2: After the search window appears, choose More Advanced Options from the search assistant box. Another way is by clicking on All Files and Folders.

Remove Virus Trojan Step 11

3: After that type the name of the file you are looking for and click on the Search button. This might take some time after which results will appear. If you have found the malicious file, you may copy or open its location by right-clicking on it.

Now you should be able to discover any file on Windows as long as it is on your hard drive and is not concealed via special software.

GhostMiner FAQ

What Does GhostMiner Trojan Do?

The GhostMiner Trojan is a malicious computer program designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system.

It can be used to steal sensitive data, gain control over a system, or launch other malicious activities.

What Damage Can GhostMiner Trojan Cause?

The GhostMiner Trojan is a malicious type of malware that can cause significant damage to computers, networks and data.

It can be used to steal information, take control of systems, and spread other malicious viruses and malware.

Is GhostMiner Trojan a Harmful Virus?

Yes, it is. A Trojan is a type of malicious software that is used to gain unauthorized access to a person's device or system. It can damage files, delete data, and even steal confidential information.

Can Trojans Steal Passwords?

Yes, Trojans, like GhostMiner, can steal passwords. These malicious programs are designed to gain access to a user's computer, spy on victims and steal sensitive information such as banking details and passwords.

Can GhostMiner Trojan Hide Itself?

Yes, it can. A Trojan can use various techniques to mask itself, including rootkits, encryption, and obfuscation, to hide from security scanners and evade detection.

Can a Trojan be Removed by Factory Reset?

Yes, a Trojan can be removed by factory resetting your device. This is because it will restore the device to its original state, eliminating any malicious software that may have been installed.

Can GhostMiner Trojan Infect WiFi?

Yes, it is possible for a Trojan to infect WiFi networks. When a user connects to the infected network, the Trojan can spread to other connected devices and can access sensitive information on the network.

Can Trojans Be Deleted?

Yes, Trojans can be deleted. This is typically done by running a powerful anti-virus or anti-malware program that is designed to detect and remove malicious files. In some cases, manual deletion of the Trojan may also be necessary.

Can Trojans Steal Files?

Yes, Trojans can steal files if they are installed on a computer. This is done by allowing the malware author or user to gain access to the computer and then steal the files stored on it.

Which Anti-Malware Can Remove Trojans?

Anti-malware programs such as SpyHunter are capable of scanning for and removing Trojans from your computer. It is important to keep your anti-malware up to date and regularly scan your system for any malicious software.

Can Trojans Infect USB?

Yes, Trojans can infect USB devices. USB Trojans typically spread through malicious files downloaded from the internet or shared via email, allowing the hacker to gain access to a user's confidential data.

About the GhostMiner Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this GhostMiner how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific trojan problem.

How did we conduct the research on GhostMiner?

Please note that our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware definitions, including the various types of trojans (backdoor, downloader, infostealer, ransom, etc.)

Furthermore, the research behind the GhostMiner threat is backed with VirusTotal.

To better understand the threat posed by trojans, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.

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