NetBus Trojan Removal Instructions — Restore Your Computer From Infections

NetBus Trojan Removal Instructions — Restore Your Computer From Infections

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The NetBus Trojan is a dangerous threat which is used to infect multiple devices at once. It is a popular weapon that has seen many modifications since its first inception. Our article provides an overview of the virus operations and it also may be helpful in attempting to remove the virus.

Threat Summary

NameNetBus Trojan
Short DescriptionThe NetBus Trojan is a utility malware that is designed to silently infiltrate computer systems, active infections will spy on the victim users.
SymptomsThe victims may not experience any apparent symptoms of infection.
Distribution MethodFreeware Installations, Bundled Packages, Scripts and others.
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NetBus Trojan – Distribution Methods

The Netbus Trojan is a common malicious infection that is based on older source code. This is one of the most famous threats dating back to a first release in 1998. The first versions were created as a prank however later versions were developed as a fully-featured Trojan. As such it can be distributed using various tactics.

Trojan file are most often distributed as single executable files, a common technique is to rely on hacker-controlled download portals. They use hijacked web elements from legitimate vendor sites and Internet portals, domain names and any associated security certificates. Alternative locations include any file sharing networks such as BitTorrent. They are often used to spread illegal and pirate content.

The Netbus Trojan files can also be spread via email SPAM messages, like the sites they contain social engineering tactics. They are used to coerce the victim users into interacting with a malicious element. The emails contain a Trojan either as a direct attachment or links in the body contents. They are designed with hijacked elements from popular Internet sites and services.

The Netbus Trojan infections can also be spread in various infected payloads. There are two main types available:

  • Infected Documents — The target users will be shown documents of various types (rich text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and databases). When they are opened a prompt will appear asking them to enable the built-in macros. If this is done the Trojan infection will be established.
  • Infected Installers — The criminals behind the threat may use any form of application installers to bundle the NetBus Trojan code. Popular choices are installers of user applications, plug-ins, updates and etc. They lead to a so-called transparent delivery — the users will have no idea that they are installing a virus onto their systems.

In other cases a browser hjacker delivery method may be preferred. It makes use of malicious plugins made for the most popular web browsers — they are usually uploaded to the relevant plugin repositories or third-party (fake) download sites. What makes users infect themselves with them is the fact that they are presented with fake user reviews and developer credentials. The offered descriptions of the plugin promises to add new functions or enhance already existing ones. Upon their installation it is common to modify the browser settings which will redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled page. Following this the virus infection will be performed.

The virus files are installed on the victim computers using file names such as the following: Patch.exe, Setup.exe, Msconfig.exe and etc. When they are distributed in archives or combined with other files the NetBus Trojan files can mask as legitimate installers, application launchers or system utilities.

NetBus Trojan – Detailed Description

The Netbus Trojan has many different iterations, most of them compact in size. The common forms follow a predesignated behavior pattern. It starts the infection by modifying the Windows Registry creating explicit strings for itself. This makes the operating system to execute it every time the computer boots. Newer versions of it add a stealth protection module which also scans for the presence of security services and software that can interfere with its correct execution. This includes all anti-virus software, virtual machine hosts and sandbox environments.

Prior to the deployment of the Trojan engine it is able to activate a data harvesting engine. Most of the common threats have the ability to extract information that can be grouped into two main types:

  • Private User Data — It consists of information about the victim users themselves and is hijacked with the purpose of being used for identity theft and financial abuse. Typical strings that are hijacked include the user’s name, address, phone number, location, interests and any stored account credentials.
  • Device Information — The Trojan engine can extract information about the compromised devices that can be used to create detailed statistics about the infections. This includes certain operating system parameters, installed hardware components and user-set settings.

As the threat is a common Trojan horse it establishes a secure connection with a hacker-controlled server. It can be used to constantly spy on the victims in real-time, take over control of their computers and deploy other threats.

Common interactions include also device manipulations, some of them may be pranks — opening and closing the CD-ROM, writing files to removable devices and etc. Take over of the mouse and inserting keystrokes is also a common tactic in these type of infections.

When using various blackmail tactics the hackers operators behind the NetBus Trojan can manipulate the infected devices by displaying photos, message boxes and etc. What’s more important is that the virus code can automatically access all keystrokes entered by the users, as well as modify them. Using the built-in screenshot and surveillance tools the hackers can automatically hijack the credentials entered into services and login pages. If downloading sensitive files they can be automatically stolen along with any other data that is stored on the local computers.

Prank controls of the infected hosts include the starting and operation of installed applications or services. When spying on the victim users the controllers can play music/video clips, overtake control of the mouse, disable keys and manipulating the volume controls. Such behavior also allows the criminals to set up scripts that can automatically monitor for the execution of certain behavior, when it is detected certain actions will start.

Network operations are also part of the later versions of the NetBus Trojan engine. It will scan the local network for other machines and attempt to launch infections against them. This can happen through several methods:

  • Penetration Testing — Using a set of built-in exploits the network engine can attempt to infiltrate the target devices.
  • File Upload — If any open network shares are found the Trojan executable files will be copied to them.
  • Hacker-operated Network Infections — When the criminals have overtaken control of the target machines they can manually use the command prompt and other operating system tools to carry out network infections.

From the hacker’s side a graphical user interface (GUI) is being used to control the infected machines. It allows them to scan a network range which can detect multiple infiltrated device signatures.

Remove NetBus Trojan

If your computer system got infected with the NetBus Trojan, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the Trojan and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.


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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