THREAT REMOVAL

IceID Trojan – How to Remove It and Protect Your Network

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

The IceID Trojan is an advanced banking Trojan that is being used in large-scale attacks across the world. It is being operated by two experienced criminal groups, one of which is responsible for TrickBot. Active infections modify the target victim targets in such a way that it is impossible to remove the strains with the ordinary manual instructions. Refer to our removal instructions for a detailed instruction on recovering your PC.

Threat Summary

NameIceID Trojan
TypeTrojan Horse Virus
Short DescriptionSilently infects the target machines and modifies key applications and system services.
SymptomsThe user may not experience any signs of infiltration.
Distribution MethodMalicious web links, Malicious Files, Malicious E-Mails
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IcedID – How Does It Infect

The IceID Trojan is being distributed at computer users worldwide in targeted attacks. The security analysis reveals that the hacker-controlled campaigns are specifically customized in order to affect as many targets as possible. The first instances of the threat were spotted last year by security researchers when the first attacks happened.

The initial attacks make use of the Emotet payload downloader using bulk email messages that contain social engineering elements. As one of the primary strategies overall this has allowed the IceID to be bundled with other malicious threats. A distinct characteristic of the IceID Trojan attacks is that it appears that the current attack seem to be organized with the criminal collective behind TrickBot. The two groups are working together in order to infect as many hosts as possible. This is evident from the fact that the newer attacks seem to use shared infrastructure resources.

The email SPAM messages use advanced social engineering tactics to manipulate the users into thinking interacting with the IceID Trojan. A common tactic is the creation of counterfeit email messages that are customized with the legitimate text and graphics hijacked from real-world financial institutions or popular Internet services. The messages may be either personalized or contain no names and appear as being sent using an automated engine.

Email messages by themselves are also among the primary techniques for distributing infected payloads. There are two primary types:

  • Infected Documents — The criminals behind the IceID Trojan can embed virus code into documents such as rich text files, spreadsheets or presentations. Once they are opened by the victims a notification prompt will appear asking them to enable the built-in macros. When this is done the IceID Trojan infection will follow.
  • Software Installers — In a similar way the criminals can embed the dangerous scripts in popular applications. This is done by taking the legitimate installers from the official download sites and modifying them with the virus code. Popular examples are system utilities, creativity suites, productivity and office apps and etc.

Such payloads can also be found on hacker-controlled sites that pose as legitimate portals. They may use text and graphics (a classic form of social engineering) to attract potential users. In the last few years we have seen an increase in malware distribution through file sharing networks such as BitTorrent.

We expect to see other distribution tactics in future campaigns as an attempt to increase the infection ratio. Trojans can also attempt to infect target computers by exploiting vulnerabilities. This is done by using automated scripts and hacking platforms that are loaded with exploit code. They are launched in an automated manner and can impact many hosts at once.

The IceID Trojan has been found to include a sophisticated stealth protection engine. It scans the victim computer for signs of anti-virus software, virtual machine hosts and debug environments. When such are found the relevant real-time engines can be disabled or the application can be completely removed from the host system. Advanced banking Trojans can be configured into deleting themselves in order to evade detection.

IcedID — Behavior Analysis

The IceID Trojan has been found to include a sophisticated stealth protection engine. It scans the victim computer for signs of anti-virus software, virtual machine hosts and debug environments. When such are found the relevant real-time engines can be disabled or the application can be completely removed from the host system. Advanced banking Trojans can be configured into deleting themselves in order to evade detection.

Following the IceID Trojan installation the criminals can then launch a data harvesting module. The engine is programmed by the hackers in advance to search for specific strings. There are two primary categories:

  • Personal Data — Sensitive information about the victims and associated devices. In most cases the hijacked strings can be used to extract data that can directly expose the identity of the users. Example content includes their name, address, telephone number, location, interests, passwords and account credentials.
  • Campaign Metrics — The acquired data can also be used to optimize the attacks by creating a profile of the installed hardware components along with certain user-set values taken from the operating system.

Using code snippets taken from TrickBot the hackers behind the IceID Trojan is installed as a persistent threat. It will interact with the system in order to make it almost impossible to remove using manual methods. This is done by modifying the Windows Registry entries and certain operating system values. To make recovery more difficult the hackers disable the access to the boot recovery menu and other options. The IceID Trojan is made to execute every time the computer is booted and the victims have no way of evading this behavior.

The victim computers can have the associated Shadow Volume Copies of sensitive files removed. As a result the users will have to use a professional-grade data recovery software to recover the affected data. Our in-depth removal guide includes a product that is both easy to use and very effective in such cases.

As a banking Trojan it can hook both to the operating system services and the user-installed applications. The virus code is made compatible with the most popular web browsers as they are the most common tool to access the online banking services: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari and Microsoft Edge. The typical banking Trojan behavior is the following:

  1. IceID Trojan Infection — As soon as the virus file is loaded onto the target system the infection is started along with the complex behavior pattern.
  2. IceID Trojan Preparation — All preparatory actions are performed so that the main infection engine can inject itself to the target software.
  3. IceID Trojan Execution — The IceID Trojan starts to monitor the installed applications for signs of online banking use. When the victims enter their credentials to online banks they are automatically hijacked and sent to the hacker controllers.

To this date we have seen several different behavior types. The malicious code can directly harvest the account credentials, including any used two-factor authentication passcodes. Another strategy would be to manipulate the browsers into using other recipients addresses. This is done in a way that is practically invisible to the victims.

Once the online banking data has been harvested they are passed on to the hacker collective. The money is not directly transferred to the hackers but to rogue accounts that are specifically made using fake ID’s (money mules). The fraud accounts are usually made in the same financial institution and geographic location. This is a stealth action that doesn’t raise as many warning signs as international transactions.

Like other advanced banking bots it establishes a network connection with the hacker-controlled servers. It is used for various purposes, but the primary one is the information delivery of the harvested information and banking credentials. This connection is also used for deployment of additional threats. If configured properly its surveillance function can be enabled which allows the criminals to spy on the victims in real-time. They can also overtake control of the computers at any point during the Trojan’s activity. The infected hosts can be recruited into a large botnets that can in turn infect other networks. According to the released analysis the hackers use the XMPP protocol which is used by the Jabber messenger service. As a result it allows the hackers to download the recorded message, as well as receive real-time notifications when certain events have executed on the infected hosts. The security experts note that advanced Trojans also make use of advanced log parsers. They allow the hackers to execute smart algorithms that can extract additional information through behavior analysis.

The dangerous characteristic of active IceID Trojan infections is the fact that two experienced hacker collectives have joined forces. Active infections are very hard to remove as the IceID Trojan manipulates the victim system in a complex manner.

Remove IcedID Effectively from Windows

In order to fully get rid of this 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 IcedID 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 IcedID is fully gone and your Windows OS stays safe against any future malware infections.

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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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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove IceID Trojan from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove IceID Trojan

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall IceID Trojan and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by IceID Trojan 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 IceID Trojan there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


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


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
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.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for IceID Trojan 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.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


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

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


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-Free-Scan-Next-2018

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


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of IceID Trojan from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall IceID Trojan and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to IceID Trojan:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to IceID Trojan. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to IceID Trojan. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove IceID Trojan via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as IceID Trojan. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove IceID Trojan from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase IceID Trojan from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall IceID Trojan from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove IceID Trojan from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the IceID Trojan will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate IceID Trojan from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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