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 on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Metamorfo in 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.
- Guide 8: Disable Metamorfo Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
About the Metamorfo Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Metamorfo 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 Metamorfo?
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 Metamorfo threat is backed with VirusTotal https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/upload.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1.Browser Redirect – What Is It?
2.Adware Is Malicious, and It Uses Advanced Techniques to Infect
3.The Thin Red Line Between Potentially Unwanted Programs and Malware
4.The Pay-Per-Install Affiliate Business – Making Millions out of Adware
5.Malicious Firefox Extensions Installed by 455,000 Users Blocked Updates
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:
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.
Step 4: Scan for Metamorfo with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.
2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.
3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.
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.
Video Removal Guide for Metamorfo (Windows).
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:
2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:
3.In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Metamorfo:
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 Metamorfo. 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 Metamorfo. 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 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:
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 Metamorfo. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.
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 Metamorfo files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Metamorfo, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Video Removal Guide for Metamorfo (Mac)
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.
Remove Push Notifications caused by Metamorfo from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings.
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".
What is Metamorfo?
The Metamorfo threat is adware or browser redirect virus. It may slow your computer down siginficantly 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 Metamorfo?
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 has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #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 reccomend 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 Metamorfo?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most adware or unwanted program threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them from your browser and computer. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter is one of the reccomended anti-malware apps, that can scan your computer for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps and eliminate them quickly. This saves time when compared to doing the removal manually.
How to secure my passwords and other data from Metamorfo?
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 e-mail 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 activiites 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 reccomendations, 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.
More tips you can find on our website, where you can also ask any questions and comment underneath the articles about your computer problems. We will try to respond as fast as possible.