The KMSPico Malware is a hacking tool which is advertised as an activator for Microsoft Windows and Office. It is widely distributed over fake download sites and file-sharing networks like BitTorrent under many names and versions. As soon as it is installed it can lead to many malicious actions including data theft, Trojan operations and more.
|Type||Malware, Scam Hacking Program|
|Short Description||Poses as a tool that will activate Microsoft and Windows products.|
|Symptoms||The victims may notice performance issues and can get infected with other malware.|
|Distribution Method||Mainly via download sites and file sharing networks.|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss KMSPico Malware.|
KMSPico — June 2019 Update
A recent security report indicates that KMSPico malware can also be spread via popular ransomware releases. Some of the newest versions of this threat have been found to be found within new application installers which are uploaded to hacker-controlled sites and portals. The campaigns can even present the virus in ad campaigns, banners and on social networks using fake or hacked profiles. This is done in order to maximize the reach to the intended victims.
The recent campaigns involve the inclusion of the virus code of both the ransomware and the KMSPico malware in application installers. What’s more dangerous is that the popular STOP Ransomware samples have been found to spread it.
These STOP ransomware especially in their later iterations can also be accompanied by other “lucrative” data such as the following:
- Iliegal Applications and Games Cracks
- Game Mods and Add-Ons
KMSPico – How Did I Get It
The KMSPico malware can be spread using a variety of different tactics. There are many variants of it which are spread using various collectives. Our security research shows that there are many versions using the KMSPico name and alternatives as well. This allows the criminal collectives to launch a multitude of attacks bearing different versions of the malware.
One of the main techniques is the coordination of phishing email messages which coerce the victims to interact with the included content. They are designed to appear as legitimate notifications sent from well-known services and companies. The KMSPico malware files can be either attached or inserted as text links.
Hacker-made sites that pose as legitimate download portals, search engines and software product pages will scam the users into downloading and running the application. They are generally hosted on domains that sound similar to popular sources and may include self-signed security certificates.
To increase the number of infected victims the criminals can also place the KMSPico malware in payload carriers such as macro-infected documents and malware application bundles. They are widely downloaded from the Internet by end users and may be found on file-sharing sites as well like BitTorrent.
Such infections can also be spread via browser hijackers which are dangerous web browser extensions that are usually uploaded to the repositories of the most popular browsers.
KMSPico – What Does It Do
The KMSPico malware is advertised as a hacking tool which will is used to activate unlicensed versionf of the Microsoft Windows operating system and Office software. It is widely available under several names — both using various “editions” and version numbers.
Such malware can execute many different tactics depending on the exact attack campaign. Most of them are used in order to serve as payload carriers for other threats. Popular options are the following:
- Trojan Clients — The made infections will create a persistent and secure connection to a hacker-controlled server which allows the hackers to take over control of the infected machines, steal their files and deploy other malware.
- Data Theft — The KMSPico malware may include an information harvesting ability which is capable of acquiring data that ca directly expose the identity of the victim users.
- Machine Identification — Many similar threats are programmed to extract the list of installed hardware components ,specific operating system environment values and user settngs which are then processed by a special algorithm that will ouput an unique infection ID that is to be assigned to each different computer.
- Windows Registry Changes — The KMSPico malware can create entries for itself in the Windows Registry which can make its removal more difficult. If it edits existing values then serious performance issues can arise. Data loss and errors are a common side effect of this operation.
- Boot Menu Options Modification — Some KMSPico malware versions can modify the boot options in order to automatically start themselves when the computer is powered on. By disabling access to these options manual user removal guides can become worthless.
- Data Removal — The engine can be configured to locate and delete files such as system backups, restore files and shadow volume copies. This makes recovery much more difficult and in this case the use of a data recovery solution needs to be used.
Any future KMSPico variants can include other malicious actions as per the hacker’s instructions.
How to Remove KMSPico
In order to fully remove KMSPico from your computer system, we recommend that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. If the first two manual removal steps do not seem to work and you still see KMSPico or programs, related to it, we suggest what most security experts advise – to download and run a scan of your comptuer with a reputable anti-malware program. Downloading this software will not only save you some time, but will remove all of KMSPico files and programs related to it and will protect your computer against such intrusive apps and malware in the future.
What Is KMSPico Malware?
The KMSPico Malware threat is adware or browser redirect virus.
It may slow your computer down significantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your device.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your computer to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your OS.
What Are the Symptoms of KMSPico Malware?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also unwanted apps in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your computer may become slow and have poor performance in general.
Symptom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Task Manager.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts recommend that you check your computer for viruses.
What Types of Unwanted Programs Are There?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently affect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Browser hijackers.
- Fake optimizers.
What to Do If I Have a "virus" like KMSPico Malware?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your email passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activities with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these recommendations, your network and all devices will become significantly more secure against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
How Does KMSPico Malware Work?
Once installed, KMSPico Malware can collect data about your web browsing habits, such as the websites you visit and the search terms you use. This data is then used to target you with ads or to sell your information to third parties.
KMSPico Malware can also download other malicious software onto your computer, such as viruses and spyware, which can be used to steal your personal information and show risky ads, that may redirect to virus sites or scams.
Is KMSPico Malware Malware?
The truth is that PUPs (adware, browser hijackers) are not viruses, but may be just as dangerous since they may show you and redirect you to malware websites and scam pages.
Many security experts classify potentially unwanted programs as malware. This is because of the unwanted effects that PUPs can cause, such as displaying intrusive ads and collecting user data without the user’s knowledge or consent.
About the KMSPico Malware Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this KMSPico Malware how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific, adware-related problem, and restore your browser and computer system.
How did we conduct the research on KMSPico Malware?
Please note that our research is based on independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware, adware, and browser hijacker definitions.
Furthermore, the research behind the KMSPico Malware threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.