Malicious File Extensions List - Used by Malware (Update April 2020)
THREAT REMOVAL

Most Popular Windows File Types Used by Malware (Updated)

SIDENOTE: This post was originally published in October 2018. But we gave it update in April 2020

This article will help you understand which are the most used malicious files to infect Windows computers to date and will give you tips to increase your malware protection.

Antivirus institutes, like AV-TEST register approximately 400 000 new malware software per day. And these are new samples, but if we combine data from the already discovered malware, the situation becomes quite massive and makes for an extremely dangerous landscape. This is why, users should be aware of the methods used to infect their computers, without them noticing and how to protect themselves against such malicious practices.

Only the latest and most popular Stop DJVU Ransomware release new file extensions almost every week. Here are some of the latest ones:

.shadow, .djvu, .djvur, .djvuu, .udjvu, .uudjvu, .djvuq, .djvus, .djvur, .djvut, .pdff, .tro, .tfude, .tfudet, .tfudeq, .rumba, .adobe, .adobee, .blower, .promos, .promoz, .promorad, .promock, .promok, .promorad2, .kroput, .kroput1, .pulsar1, .kropun1, .charck, .klope, .kropun, .charcl, .doples, .luces, .luceq, .chech, .proden, .drume, .tronas, .trosak, .grovas, .grovat, .roland, .refols, .raldug, .etols, .guvara, .browec, .norvas, .moresa, .vorasto, .hrosas, .kiratos, .todarius, .hofos, .roldat, .dutan, .sarut, .fedasot, .berost, .forasom, .fordan, .codnat, .codnat1, .bufas, .dotmap, .radman, .ferosas, .rectot, .skymap, .mogera, .rezuc, .stone, .redmat, .lanset, .davda, .poret, .pidom, .pidon, .heroset, .boston, .muslat, .gerosan, .vesad, .horon, .neras, .truke, .dalle, .lotep, .nusar, .litar, .besub, .cezor, .lokas, .godes, .budak, .vusad, .herad, .berosuce, .gehad, .gusau, .madek, .darus, .tocue, .lapoi, .todar, .dodoc, .bopador, .novasof, .ntuseg, .ndarod, .access, .format, .nelasod, .mogranos, .cosakos, .nvetud, .lotej, .kovasoh, .prandel, .zatrov, .masok, .brusaf, .londec, .krusop, .mtogas, .nasoh, .nacro, .pedro, .nuksus, .vesrato, .masodas, .cetori, .stare, .carote, .gero, .hese, .seto, .peta, .moka, .kvag, .karl, .nesa, .noos, .kuub, .reco, .bora

These methods vary, but there is one particular bottleneck which is their weakness – they all use the same Windows-based file types for their infection to succeed. In this article we will show you the most often used file types to infect computers with malware while remaining undetected.

2019 Edition: Windows File Types Used by Malware

Which Are the Most Popular File Extensions Used to Infect?

There are many executable types of files, scripts, program files that can be manipulated and even malicious shortcuts. The most chosen ones by the cyber-criminals however are the ones that are particularly easier to obfuscate from antivirus programs and load the payload of their malware while remaining undetected.

.EXE Executable Files

Being the most often associated files with malware, the executable files are notorious for being spread as malicious e-mail attachments. However, since this method has become more and more outdated, since most e-mail providers block these attachments, the executable files are often spread as fake setups, updates or other types of seemingly legitimate programs with the malicious code built-in. They are also archived to further avoid antivirus detection. However, the executable files are crucial when it comes to configuring what activities the malware will do. This is because they have numerous functions that perform the actual malicious activities after the infection has been completed. This is why, they are associated with the primary payload of different malware more often than being used as an actual infection file. But nonetheless, do not count that an .exe may not be malicious, just because of that.

.DOC, .DOCX, .DOCM and Other Microsoft Office Files

This particular type of files have lately become a very effective method to infect victims. The primary reason for that is the usage of malicious

macros that are embedded within the documents themselves. This makes slipping past any antivirus software and e-mail attachment protection software like a walk in the park, if the right obfuscated code is used. However, the tricky part of infecting victims via these methods is to get them to click on the “Enable Content” button and the cyber-crooks, like the ones behind the ZeuS Trojan, usually use instructions within the document, like the image below:

.HTA, .HTML and .HTM Application Files

These particular types of files have lately become notorious to be associated with multiple ransomware variants. The most famous of them is called

Cerber Ransomware and this virus has been classified as the most effective malware against the latest Windows 10 OS, primarily because of the exploit kit associated with the infection method via those files. The files themselves are HTML web applications that usually lead to a foreign host, from which the payload of the malware is downloaded onto the computer of the victim.

.JS and .JAR Files

These type of malicious files are notorious for containing malicious JavaScript code which causes the actual infection. Usually JavaScript infections can also be caused by automatically downloading those files without knowing as a result of having clicked on a malicious URL. The .JS files are used for quite some time now, but gained popularity recently in associated with ransomware viruses, like

Locky Ransomware, which so far remains as the crypto virus that has inflicted the most damage on computer systems for all times.

.VBS and .VB Script Files

The Windows Visual Basic script files are particularly dangerous because they have not only been associated with one or two viruses, but most of the big malware names in the past few years. Starting with both Cerber and Locky ransomware using .vbs files in their e-mail spam campaign, the .vbs files also saw some action in relation to notorious Trojan infections. The primary choice of these particular files to infect with is the speed of infection and the skills of the hacker to create code in Visual Basic environment. VBS is also a type of file that can be easily obfuscated and can pass as a legitimate e-mail message if it is in an archive.

.PDF Adobe Reader Files

The cyber-criminals have the tendency to avoid associating .PDF files with scripts and codes, primarily because they crash very often. However, how there seems to be a method which has become very notorious and widespread. It includes sending .PDF files as spam message attachments and these .PDF files conceal in them the malicious documents that actually contain the malicious macros. This “document inception” strategy so far has remained effective against inexperienced victims and is the main factor responsible for spreading a threat, known as

Jaff Ransomware.

What actually happens is that the victim opens the malicious .PDF file and it has the Microsoft Word document embedded within it. However, like the pictures above shows, the documents prompts the victim to extract the malicious .docm file, which in turn causes the infection. Very devious tactic, especially dangerous for the fast clickers.

.SFX Archive Files

When we discuss malicious files and malware infection, it important to mention the .SFX Self-Extracting archive files that were also used by major malware families to infect computers. The way they work is very similar to setup programs of Windows, primarily because these file types in particular archive the malicious payload of the virus and when they are executed, they can be manipulated to extract the payload automatically and quietly in the background. The more sophisticated .SFX files are even programmed by their code or the payload files they have extracted to be self-deleted after the operation is complete.

.BAT Batch Files

Even though these command-containing files are not met so often, they are one of the most widespread ones ever to be used, primarily because of the Windows Command Prompt and it’s impact on the computer. If properly manipulated, the batch files may insert administrative commands that can do a variety of malicious activities, varying from deleting files on your computer to connecting to third-party hosts and downloading malware directly on your computer.

.DLL Files

The DLL files are basically known as Dynamic Link Library files and they are often system files of Microsoft, but malware finds ways to slither its own, compromised version with malicious functions in the DLL file itself. This ultimately results in the malware starting to perform various different types of malicious activities, like delete Windows files, execute files as an administrator on the compromised computer and also perform different types of modifications in the Windows Registry Editor. This may result in DLL error messages to appear on your PC, but most viruses go through great extents to prevent those errors from being seen by the victim.

.TMP Temporary Files

TMP files are temporary files which hold data on your computer while you are using a program. In the malware world, the TMP files are basically used to hold information that is complementary to the infection itself. This information is related to the activities that the malware will perform and often it used with the main purpose of allowing the malware to collect information which is then relayed to thee cyber-criminals by the file itself being copied and sent without you even noticing. Removing the .TMP file may damage the activity of the malware, but most complicated viruses would not give the user permission to do that or create a backup copy which is used in a parallel way.

.PY Python Files

These types of files are most commonly used when ransomware viruses are in play, meaning that they are written in Python and their main goal may be to be modules that are used to encrypt the files on your computer(documents, videos, images) and make them unable to be opened again. The encrypted files of this ransomware virus are created with the aid of such python scrips which, provided the software, may use them for the file encryption. In addition to this, some malware was detect to be coded entirely I the Python language, meaning that the virus uses it for every aspect of it’s activity.

Custom Types of Files

These types of files may be created exclusively for the virus at hand and are used for different purposes but their main goal is to help the ransomware virus at hand to perform various different types of activities on the computer of the victim. The files may feature custom extensions which can be absolutely anything for example .virus .fun, etc.

What Other Malicious Files You May Encounter

Despite the fact that these files are not so often encountered, they can still be manipulated into infecting your computer and still infect computers presently. These are the other potentially malicious objects, you should scan before opening:

Programs:

.MSI Files – installer types of files which are used to situate different programs on the computer. They are often used as Setups for different programs, and can also slither the malware also in the form of a setup of a program you are trying to install.

.MSP Files – files that are also the installer type, however they are more oriented on patching currently installed software, meaning that the malware here may pose as a fake patch uploaded online.

.COM Files – similar to the .BAT files, these type of files are also used to insert commands. They were very popular back when Windows XP and older systems were widely used to spread old-school worms, viruses and other malicious software. However, they may still be used for malicious activity and infection.

.GADGET Files – these particular malicious files are used primarily with the Windows Desktop Gadget. So if you are using a Windows version that has those floating Gadgets on your desktop, you should look out for those files. When Windows Vista firstly introduced gadgets, many exploits led to infection of unpatched systems with Trojans and other viruses.

Script Files:

.CMD Files – also a Windows Command Prompt file that can insert malicious commands on your computer.

.VBE Files – Encrypted VBS files.

.JSE Files – Encrypted JavaScript files.

.PS1, .PS1XML, .PS2, .PS2XML, .PSC1, .PSC2 – The Windows PowerShell script files that when programmed can automatically run direct PowerShell commands on a Windows system, as long as they are ran with Administrative privileges. Particularly dangerous.

Malicious Shortcut Files:

.LNK Shortcuts – A shortcut used usually to link a program contained locally on the computer. However, with the right software and functions it can perform multiple malicious activities on the infected computer, like delete important files.

.INF Files – These text files are usually not of a dangerous character, but they may also be utilized to launch an app. And if this app is malicious, this makes them dangerous as well.

.SCF Files – These type of files are used to interfere with Windows Explorer and can be modified to perform actions on Explorer that can ultimately lead to infection. But the actions can also be post-infection as well.

Conclusion, Prevention and Protection

It is one thing to know what types of files could ultimately lead to infection on your computer, but it is a whole different ball game to learn how to protect yourself. Since the malware scene is very dynamic and changes on a daily basis, there may be infections for which you still may be unprepared. This is why we have decided to create those general tips to help increase your protection and malware awareness significantly:

Tip 1: Make sure to install the appropriate

protection software.

Tip 2: Learn how to

safely store your important files and hence protect them from file encryptors or other malware.

Tip 3: Learn how to protect your computer from

malicious e-mails.

Tip 4: Always make sure you scan a downloaded file. For archives, you can use the service Zip-e-Zip and for various file types and web links that you believe are malicious, you can use VirusTotal online scanner. Both services are completely free.

Tip 5: If you are ok with it, use Sandboxing, it is a very effective method to isolate malware within encrypted sandbox code, even if you do not have the proper protection. A good program to start with is

Sandboxie.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove File from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove File

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall File 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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by File 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 File 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.
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.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for File 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.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


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

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


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-Free-Scan-Next-2018

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


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of File from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall File and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


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 File:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


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 File. 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 File. 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 File 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

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 File. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove File files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as File, 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove File 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.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase File 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall File 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Delete File 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".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the File will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate File 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.


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