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OceanLotus Malware – How to Remove It

What Is OceanLotus Trojan (Trojan.MacOS.OceanLotus)?

OceanLotus Trojan image

OceanLotus Trojan, detected as Trojan.MacOS.OceanLotus on Mac devices, is an advanced computer malware that is used to install other threats to the compromised machines. What is known about it is that it is not a single Trojan, but a collection of hacking tools that are automated in a bundle to attack computer victims. The detected instances are primarily spread by imitating McAfee scanner files, this is done by injecting themselves in the scanner services.

Functionality-wise, it can lead to substantial damage to the affected computers. For this reason each individual infection may lead to different actions. Furthermore, different hacking groups can reconfigure the Trojan to execute actions depending on their intended goals.

OceanLotus Trojan Summary

Name OceanLotus Malware, also known as Trojan.MacOS.OceanLotus
Type Trojan Horse
Short Description May steal different files from your computer and may infect it with more malware.
Symptoms The trojan may remain hidden on your system.
Distribution Method Bundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


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OceanLotus Trojan – Overview

The OceanLotus Trojan is a newly discovered threat which is used mainly as a payload delivery device. This is a collection of several tools that are used together in a complex attack scenario. According to the released reports the group has invested in the development of the tools and the way the intrusions are organized.

The latest update of the Trojan is its capability to target macOS users. Its latest detection, Trojan.MacOS.OceanLotus, concerns macOS machines. The macOS backdoor provides attackers with access to steal confidential information.

Regardless of the OS targeted, the malware can be spread using a variety of tactics. Our security research shows that there are many versions using the OceanLotus name. 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 OceanLotus 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 OceanLotus Trojan 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.

The OceanLotus Trojan is focused on infecting target networks and being used in targeted attack campaign. This means that the criminal collective behind it have been used in campaigns against both corporate businesses and government agencies in Asia: Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. What is known about these particular attacks is that they are orchestrated by a very experienced hacking group. One of the common infiltration techniques is to coordinate phishing strategies — the hackers will send out bulk messages that impersonate well-known services or companies and urge the recipients into interacting with the shown contents. In most cases the e-mails will link to or attach a document file that will have infected macros. When the file is opened in the relevant office program a prompt will appear asking the victims to enable the scripts. If this is done the infection will begin.

The other popular technique which is used by the criminals is the so-called “watering hole infiltration”. This is done by intruding onto often visited sites nd replacing legitimate content with script installation of the OceanLotus Trojan.

The distribution of the threat is done by imitating the legitimate McAfee scanner files by injecting itself to a legitimate “On Demand Scanner” process. This means that the hackers will need to devise a way to deliver the necessary data. It is distributed in a package containing the hookup files and the payloads in a secure and encrypted form. The noteworthy feature is that steganography is used, a technique used to hide data within other data. As soon as the the initial intrusion is made a sequence of payload delivery which make use of benign-looking files which the process interacts with. Using decryption of the data a series of steps are done in order to provide the final payload. An interesting note is that one of the payloads inside the files is a mange image.

The second main payload has been found to have several versions, dropping files that have file names that may appear as legitimate applications and services. It will also launch a security bypass module which aims to identify and remove security software that can interfere with the proper malware delivery. The next step is to launch a modified version of the Remy backdoor. It will establish a secure connection to a predefined hacker-controlled server allowing the operators to take over control of the machines, steal user data and deploy other threats.

The associated DLL files are obfuscated in order to make it very difficult to detect that such an operation is being carried out. At least two different communications were observed during the intrusion attack. Various other threats can be loaded to the compromised machines such as the following:

  • Ransomware — These are dangerous crypto viruses that aim to process sensitive user data according to a built-in list of target file type extensions. A preset extension can be added to the processed data.
  • Trojans — Other Trojan threats can be deployed to the compromised machines. They allow the hackers to take over control of the systems and manipulate them into performing various tasks.
  • Cryptocurrency Miners — They are scripts that are designed to retrieve and run a sequence of performance demanding mathematical tasks. Whenever one of them is completed cryptocurrency will be awarded to the operators.

Every infection can result in different behavior outcome as every machine can have different conditions.

Steps to Remove OceanLotus Trojan

In order to remove this malware from your computer we strongly recommend that you follow the removal guide that is shown below. It contains the necessary steps to detect and get rid of this software but we warn you that you need to have some malware removal experience. For maximum effectiveness of the removal we strongly recommend that you download and install an advanced anti malware software. Scanning your computer with such program will automatically detect this malware and unwanted software and make sure that it is fully erased from your machine. Furthermore having this software means that your computer will stay as protected as possible from such threats in the future.

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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Preparation before removing OceanLotus Malware.

Before starting the actual removal process, we recommend that you do the following preparation steps.

  • Make sure you have these instructions always open and in front of your eyes.
  • Do a backup of all of your files, even if they could be damaged. You should back up your data with a cloud backup solution and insure your files against any type of loss, even from the most severe threats.
  • Be patient as this could take a while.
  • Scan for Malware
  • Fix Registries
  • Remove Virus Files

Step 1: Scan for OceanLotus Malware 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.

SpyHunter 5 Scan Step 1

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

SpyHunter 5 Scan Step 2

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 Scan Step 3

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

Step 2: Clean any registries, created by OceanLotus Malware 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 OceanLotus Malware there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
Remove Virus Trojan Step 6

2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.
Remove Virus Trojan Step 7

3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Remove Virus Trojan Step 8 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.

Step 3: Find virus files created by OceanLotus Malware on your PC.

1.For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

For Newer Windows Operating Systems

1: On your keyboard press + R and write explorer.exe in the Run text box and then click on the Ok button.

Remove Virus Trojan Step 9

2: Click on your PC from the quick access bar. This is usually an icon with a monitor and its name is either “My Computer”, “My PC” or “This PC” or whatever you have named it.

Remove Virus Trojan Step 10

3: Navigate to the search box in the top-right of your PC's screen and type “fileextension:” and after which type the file extension. If you are looking for malicious executables, an example may be "fileextension:exe". After doing that, leave a space and type the file name you believe the malware has created. Here is how it may appear if your file has been found:

file extension malicious

N.B. We recommend to wait for the green loading bar in the navigation box to fill up in case the PC is looking for the file and hasn't found it yet.

2.For Windows XP, Vista, and 7.

For Older Windows Operating Systems

In older Windows OS's the conventional approach should be the effective one:

1: Click on the Start Menu icon (usually on your bottom-left) and then choose the Search preference.

Remove Virus Trojan

2: After the search window appears, choose More Advanced Options from the search assistant box. Another way is by clicking on All Files and Folders.

Remove Virus Trojan Step 11

3: After that type the name of the file you are looking for and click on the Search button. This might take some time after which results will appear. If you have found the malicious file, you may copy or open its location by right-clicking on it.

Now you should be able to discover any file on Windows as long as it is on your hard drive and is not concealed via special software.

OceanLotus Malware FAQ

What Does OceanLotus Malware Trojan Do?

The OceanLotus Malware Trojan is a malicious computer program designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system.

It can be used to steal sensitive data, gain control over a system, or launch other malicious activities.

Can Trojans Steal Passwords?

Yes, Trojans, like OceanLotus Malware, can steal passwords. These malicious programs are designed to gain access to a user's computer, spy on victims and steal sensitive information such as banking details and passwords.

Can OceanLotus Malware Trojan Hide Itself?

Yes, it can. A Trojan can use various techniques to mask itself, including rootkits, encryption, and obfuscation, to hide from security scanners and evade detection.

Can a Trojan be Removed by Factory Reset?

Yes, a Trojan can be removed by factory resetting your device. This is because it will restore the device to its original state, eliminating any malicious software that may have been installed. Bear in mind, that there are more sophisticated Trojans, that leave backdoors and reinfect even after factory reset.

Can OceanLotus Malware Trojan Infect WiFi?

Yes, it is possible for a Trojan to infect WiFi networks. When a user connects to the infected network, the Trojan can spread to other connected devices and can access sensitive information on the network.

Can Trojans Be Deleted?

Yes, Trojans can be deleted. This is typically done by running a powerful anti-virus or anti-malware program that is designed to detect and remove malicious files. In some cases, manual deletion of the Trojan may also be necessary.

Can Trojans Steal Files?

Yes, Trojans can steal files if they are installed on a computer. This is done by allowing the malware author or user to gain access to the computer and then steal the files stored on it.

Which Anti-Malware Can Remove Trojans?

Anti-malware programs such as SpyHunter are capable of scanning for and removing Trojans from your computer. It is important to keep your anti-malware up to date and regularly scan your system for any malicious software.

Can Trojans Infect USB?

Yes, Trojans can infect USB devices. USB Trojans typically spread through malicious files downloaded from the internet or shared via email, allowing the hacker to gain access to a user's confidential data.

About the OceanLotus Malware Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this OceanLotus 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 trojan problem.

How did we conduct the research on OceanLotus Malware?

Please note that our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware definitions, including the various types of trojans (backdoor, downloader, infostealer, ransom, etc.)

Furthermore, the research behind the OceanLotus Malware threat is backed with VirusTotal.

To better understand the threat posed by trojans, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.

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