The Metamorfo Trojan is a newly discovered banking virus that can hijack account credentials and directly manipulate the browsers. Our removal guide features a detailed explanation of the banking Trojan’s mechanisms of operation, as well as instructions on restoring the infected computers from the infections.
|Type||Trojan Horse Virus|
|Short Description||Silently infects the target machines and modifies key applications and system services.|
|Symptoms||The user may not experience any signs of infiltration.|
|Distribution Method||Malicious web links, Malicious Files, Malicious E-Mails|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Metamorfo.|
February 2020 New Metamofo Trojan Attacks
The Metamorfo Trojan has resurfaced once again in an active campaign which is focused against users that are using online banking services. The aim of the Trojan is to harvest personal information, including credentials for banks and payment card data. So far campaigns carrying it have been launched in countries around the world, examples are The USA, Peru, Canada, Chile, Spain, Brazil, Mexico and Ecuador.
The chosen method of infection is once again phishing emails — the criminals may send out fake notifications or other types of content that the users might expect. The victims will receive informtion that they have received an invoice and manipulate the victims into downloading and running a ZIP archive. If it is run the built-in macros will execute an executable file.
One of the first modules which are run after the infection has started will be the security bypass — it will look for any running processes of security applications and engines and actively shut them down. This is done in order not to raise any alarm about the infection. The infection is done through an AutoIt script — a popular language used for automating tasks and primarily used in Microsoft Windows computers. An important operation is the disabling of auto-complete forms in web browsers. This is done in order to run a keylogger which will acquire the entered data and send them to the hacker operators behind the ransomware.
According to the available research a total of 32 keywords are monitored by the main engine for potential useful information. As soon as one of them is detected by the Trojan component it will be sent to the hackers via a secure connection.
Metamorfo – How Does It Infect
Security experts signal that a new threat known as the Metamorfo Trojan is infecting computer users in Brazil. According to the reports the primary distribution method is the use of SPAM email messages. Usually they contain social engineering elements that coerce the recipients into installing the dangerous threat. In most cases it can be either hyperlinked in the body contents or attached directly to the messages. They are also the most common carriers for viral payloads, two of the most popular types are the following:
- Infected Software Installers — The dangerous code is embedded in applications that are used by many users. Examples include office and productivity applications, creativity suites, system utilities and others.
- Infected Documents — Using the same strategy the hackers can integrate the code in documents of different types: rich text documents, spreadsheets or presentations. The code is activated through interaction with the built-in macros (scripts). When the files are opened a notification prompt appears that asks the targets to enable the scripts. If this is done the infection would follow.
The analysis shows that the hackers have devised a non-traditional scenario by crafting a malicious HTML attachment. It is designed to look like an electronic funds transfer notification. When the victim users interact with the scripts they will be redirected to a payload that may be hosted on various hosting sites or cloud service platforms: GitHub, Onedrive, Dropbox, MEGA, Google Drive and others. The security analyis shows that a shortener service is used in order to hide the redirecet URL. The payload itself is contained in a ZIP archive file and contains a single executable file. When it is started the Metamorfo Trojan infection follows.
Metamorfo – More Information and Analysis
The Metamorfo Trojan itself is composed of four elements:
- car.dat — A randomly generated name given to Windows tool.
- i4.dt — A VBS script that downloads the same zip file.
- id — An ID that is generated for each individual host.
- cryptui.dll — The malicious Trojan itself.
The Metamorfo Trojan infection process follows a multi-stage infection pattern. The first module that is launched by the main malicious engine is the data harvesting component. It can be configured to hijack two main types of information:
- Sensitive Data — It can be used to directly expose the victim’s identity by gathering strings that are related to them. Example strings include the victim’s name, address, telephone number, interests, location, account credentials or passwords.
- Campaign Metrics — The harvested information is used to optimize the attack campaigns. Example hijacked strings include hardware components information and certain operating system set values.
Further updates to it can lead to the use of a stealth protection module. It can be used to protect the virus instance from any applications that can interfere with the virus’s execution. Examples include anti-virus programs, sandbox environments and virtual machine hosts. This module is also responsible for supressing any system monitoring application and services including the following:
- Msconfig.exe (System Configuration Utility)
- TASKMGR.exe (Task Manager)
- Regedit.exe (Windows Registry Editor)
- CCleaner64.exe (CCleaner Application Instance)
The threat is configured in a stealth manner, attempting to mask itself. It is configured to leave small file prints which is a common sign of regular system services. When Metamorfo Trojan has been deployed properly to the system and its virus engine started it will commence with the built-in instructions. The Trojan will start to hook up to the operating system and the user-installed software looking for any signs of Internet banking services or exchange platforms. This means that the developers behind the threat have devised code that is made compatible with the most popular browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge. Having access to them allows the criminal operators to read and write stored data such as the following: cookies, history, bookmarks, settings and stored account credentials.
The virus is then set up as a persistent threat which means that it will automatically start every time the computer boots. The Trojan can remove the possibility to enter into the boot recovery menu to disallow users from attempting to manually remove it. To make things worse the engine can also delete Shadow Volume Copies of data that is deemed important to the victims. This means that the only way it can be restored is to use a quality data recovery tool, refer to our instructions for further guidance.
The malicious engine can make various changes to the Windows Registry. When they affect any user-installed applications the users may be unable to launch certain functions and services. If the operating system is impacted overall system performance can suffer.
A surveillance module is activated which starts to record the victim users’s actions and records screenshots in the JPEG format which are saved to a predefined location.
One of the most important functions of the Metamorfo Trojan is the network connection. It is used to connect to a predefined hacker-controlled server. There have been several versions that feature different addresses, so far the following have been identified:
The analysts were able to collect some of the commands that are being used by the hacker operators:
- OK — Retrieves a list of the installed banking software.
- PING — It is being sent from the command and control servers to keep the connection alive. A PONG response is expected.
- dellLemb — Deletes the predefined registry entries.
- EXECPROGRAM — Executes a target program on the compromised host.
- EXITEWINDOWS — Exits the current operation.
- NOVOLEMBRETE — Creates a predefined registry entry that stores preset data.
As the analysis has looked over the collected samples the experts discovered that there are certain advanced stealth features built into the later strains. In them the Metamorfo Trojan includes a legitimate product made by Microsoft along with corrupted DLL files that are loaded into the system memory. It is used to hijack critical services, using the granted access an expanded data harvesting operation can be initiated.
The Metamorfo Trojan can scan the compromised computer for any banking software. It is then compared with a downloaded list from the hacker-controlled servers. Whenever an compatible application or a browser event is detected the Trojan can automatically hijack the entered credentials.
Impacted services by the Metamorfo Trojan are both online banking solutions and (crypto)currency exchanges. In addition to stealing the account credentials some versions of the malware can be customized to modify any transactions forms and replace the recipients address without the user noticing. This means that as a result of their action funds will be automatically hijacked.
At the moment there are several signatures that are being used to label the threat. The following identifiers are associated with the collected samples:
- Spyware ( 005259ba1 )
Remove Metamorfo 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 Metamorfo 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 Metamorfo is fully gone and your Windows OS stays safe against any future malware infections.
- Guide 1: How to Remove Metamorfo from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Metamorfo from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Metamorfo from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Metamorfo from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Metamorfo from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Metamorfo from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Metamorfo from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove Metamorfo from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Metamorfo
Step 2: Uninstall Metamorfo 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Metamorfo on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Metamorfo there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Metamorfo from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Metamorfo and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- 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 Metamorfo 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:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
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.
Remove Metamorfo 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.
Erase Metamorfo 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.
Uninstall Metamorfo 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.
Remove Metamorfo 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".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Metamorfo will be removed.
Eliminate Metamorfo 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.